Posts Tagged ‘Android 2.1’

AT&T Announces 3 New Motorola Android Devices

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

AT&T logo

AT&T announced three new Android phones today from Motorola. The Flipside, Flipout, and Bravo will be available soon on AT&T’s network. Two of the three conform to Motorola’s “Flip” naming standard for AT&T, and one branches out a bit.

Motorola Flipside

Motorola Flipside
The Motorola Flipside is geared to help blend your work and personal life. It features Android 2.1, Motoblur, a slide-out QWERTY keypad, 3.1″ HVGA display, pinch to zoom, and a track pad. It features full push corporate e-mail, supports for Microsoft Exchange, and offers a remote wipe and password enforcement tools. It will be available for $99.99 with a 2-year service agreement and smartphone data plan in time for the holidays. You can view the preview page at att.com/flipside.

Motorola Flipout

Motorola Flipout
The Motorola Flipout is designed to offer a lot of style for a small price. It features Android 2.1 and Motoblur. It can be customized with the Dark Sapphire and Saffron battery covers which are included in the box. It will be available for $79.99 with a 2-year service agreement and smartphone data plan October 17. See the preview page at att.com/flipout.

Motorola Bravo

Motorola Bravo
The Motorola Bravo features Android 2.1, Motoblur, an 800 MHz processor 3.7″ WVGA touch screen, 3MP camera with digital zoom and auto focus. It is a certified DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) device, which enables streaming content to other DNLA devices in your home. It will be available for $129.99 with 2-year agreement and smartphone data plan in time for the holidays. See the preview page at att.com/bravo.

There isn’t a lot of additional information yet, so be sure to check back here for updates. It looks like Motorola is still pretty intent on releasing bargain-bin phones on AT&T. It would be nice to see a Droid make its way to AT&T. It doesn’t look likely anytime soon though.

These phones will bring the AT&T Android offering up to 8 devices. AT&T will finally have a decent spectrum of high to low-end Android phones, making it easier for its customers to switch to Android. This is definitely an improvement. AT&T has a long way to go, however. Let’s hope it is finally on the right track.

Eclair Delayed for Xperia X10

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Sony Ericsson

The Xperia X10 from Sony Ericsson has caught a lot of flack for its Android 1.6 OS. Even if Sony Ericsson modded the 1.6 so it has some pretty spectacular bonus features, people are still getting hung up on the 1.6 version. Version 2.1, Eclair, had been scheduled for a late Q3 release, which would have begun by the end of next week. In a blog post this morning, Sony Ericsson bumped the date to late October or beyond, depending on your particular model.

On the one hand, the Xperia X10 is a perfectly capable phone, regardless of its current OS model. It is easy to use, has a large screen, one of the best digital cameras available, and more. On the other hand, the update has been dangling for a while, and some fans are pretty upset by yet another delay. While I am disappointed, I appreciated the fact that additional information was added to the post as a bit of consolation. We have a better idea of what exactly is coming with the upgrade.

Update Specs:

  • Android 2.1 (Eclair)
  • HD video recording with continuous auto-focus
  • New back up and restore app
  • 5 homescreens
  • Social phonebook

As I said before, the Xperia X10 as it currently stands is a perfectly capable phone. There are certain popular apps that require a minimum of Eclair though, so once I saw that the upgrades would begin in September I was pretty excited. Add to that the 720p video recording upgrade and the value of the update increased even more. The backup and restore features can be useful, but my first thought is that I could take or leave the feature. It isn’t particularly compelling at present, especially since I have installed the Sony Ericsson syncing software on my computer. I am pretty happy about the 5 home screens though. Looking at all the home screens available on the tiny HTC Aria left me with a bit of home screen envy. I am looking forward to having more room to put widgets.

The social phonebook is a welcomed feature. I was surprised that I couldn’t use Facebook images as contact photos natively on my Xperia. I had to install an app that performed the sync for me. Now I’ll be able to download contact photos without needing that additional app. It is a feature that makes sense considering the Facebook enhancements already on the phone.

The minis didn’t escape notice either. Here is what X10 mini owners can look forward to:

  • Android 2.1 (Eclair)
  • Improved Bluetooth functionality
  • New backup and restore app
  • Automatic phone book image sync
  • Improved picture, audio, text handling

The X10 update will begin in late October. As the builds are available they will be launched. This means different markets will get the product sooner than those in other markets. Hopefully North America is in the first draft.

While I am disappointed that the upgrade was delayed, I appreciated the additional upgrade information Sony Ericsson provided. I am really looking forward to the HD video upgrade. I think the Xperia X10 is still one of the best phones on the market, and these updates will go far in keeping Sony Ericsson competitive. It would just be nice if the updates were more timely.

Xperia X10 Getting Eclair Update In September?

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Sony Ericsson

Update: Eclair update delayed until the end of October. Learn more

Sony Ericsson’s UK Twitter account has been pretty active regarding the upcoming upgrades. According to the tweet by @SonyEricssonUK, the Xperia X10upgrade to Android 2.1 could occur by the end of September. I say could for the benefit of the US fans. The UK folks should indeed be getting the upgrade “by the end of September.” The other markets will follow suite, while the update will slip into Q4 for those in the rear.

Looking at the above tweets, it shows that September is indeed the month for 2.1. Looking at the second tweet we can see that Sony Ericsson is still having to fight off rumors of multi-touch being part of the update. They’ve been saying for months that the hardware is incapable of multi-touch, yet the rumors have hung on.

The question remaining for the US Xperia owners is whether AT&T has us in the rear or near the front of the line for the upgrade. I had a chance to ask Sony Ericsson some questions last week, and naturally asked about the upgrade plans. I was told that Sony Ericsson is limited by contract with AT&T to not leak any information about AT&T’s upgrade schedule. Apparently AT&T is worried someone might find out they are going to release 2.1 even though by then everyone else will have Froyo. I can respect Sony Ericsson’s position though, as they are bound to the terms agreed to with AT&T. The UK branch doesn’t seem to have such restrictions however. Let’s hope that the US is included in this upcoming round of updates.

As exciting as all the talk about 2.1 and even Froyo is, it is important to remember something about the version of 1.6 on the Xperia X10. It is not the stock version by any means. Sony Ericsson has done a lot of work to modernize the older OS, and there are some Froyo-Esque features like Timescape and Mediascape. The UI masks the OS pretty well. There are some limitations, like the inability to install the new StumbleUpon app (2.1 and above only). These minor issues should be solved with the 2.1 upgrade. Also coming is a patch to convert the video camera to HD. This will also help. The still camera is already at 8.1MP, but the video camera was stuck in WVGA. I’m looking forward to the HD upgrade.

What about you? If you have an Xperia X10, is Android 1.6 really that bad? Are you excited about the upgrades? Let me know in the comments.