HTC has issued a statement naming the first phones that will receive unlocked bootloader updates this coming September. In a statement to BGR via email, the company said that the international version of its Sensation smartphone, T-Mobile’s Sensation 4G, and Sprint’s EVO 3D will be among the first phones to receive a patch that enables bootloader unlocking.”While we wish we could flip a simple switch and unlock all bootloaders across our device portfolio, this is actually a complex challenge that requires a new software build and extensive testing to deliver the best possible customer experience,” HTC said in a statement. “We’re in the testing phase for the unlocking capability now, and we expect it to be fully operational by early September for devices that have received the software updates. We’ll continue rolling out the unlocking capability over time to other devices as part of maintenance releases and new shipments.” HTC noted that it is continuing its commitment to unlocked bootloaders in an effort to support the developer community, and said that it will issue updates on its progress every few weeks. An unlocked bootloader will allow users to customize their devices more easily. Read on for the full statement from HTC. More →
Last week reports surfaced claiming that Google was clamping down on what its Android partners could and could not tweak in newer versions of the operating system. One report filed by Bloomberg Businessweek cited “dozens” of industry executives who said that Android partners will no longer be able to make “willy-nilly tweaks to the software” if they want early access to new builds. On Wednesday Google’s Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering for Android, wrote a blog post in an effort to address concerns. “We don’t believe in a ‘one size fits all’ solution,” Rubin wrote. “The Android platform has already spurred the development of hundreds of different types of devices – many of which were not originally contemplated when the platform was first created. As always, device makers are free to modify Android to customize any range of features for Android devices. This enables device makers to support the unique and differentiating functionality of their products. If someone wishes to market a device as Android-compatible or include Google applications on the device, we do require the device to conform with some basic compatibility requirements.” Rubin said Android’s “anti-fragmentation” program has been in place since Android 1.0, and exists as an effort to help create some consistency for developers. He added that Google remains committed to keeping Android an open platform and confirmed Google’s coders are hard at work bringing Honeycomb features to phones. More →
Well, well, well. We finally got our white iPhone 4 fully working, and wanted to update our previous story, but we also figured some high resolution shots of the phone would be pretty tantalizing as well. After being sent a white front and back assembly from our ninjas at cnn.cn, we transplanted the stock black iPhone 4 with the newly received parts. We had some difficulty with the first front white LCD assembly we got, however, so we had to wait for a second one. The second fared better, though it still didn’t work properly — the proximity sensor wouldn’t work at all! We finally gave up until someone suggested we remove a bit of metallic foil covering the proximity sensor holes on the front of the device, and lo and behold, this fixed our issues. We’re now running a 95% stock white iPhone 4. Things we didn’t bother changing include the dock connector on the bottom of the device and the internal headset jack piece (both come in a light gray from Apple).
Yesterday, ColorWare added the HTC Nexus One to its list of customizable colored goods, and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want a Nexus One in BGR blue…right? As we all know, customizing your mobile phone is never a cheap affair, and purchasing a painted handset directly from ColorWare will set you back $800; sending in a unit you already own has a price tag of $175. Those of you who need to express your steez and have a little extra money to burn can head on over to the ColorWare website to check out the plethora of pigment permutations. Alliteration anyone?
It appears that Google is just about finished rolling out its latest enhancement to Gmail and so far we like what we’re seeing. Gmail Labs was first announced last month and is exactly what you think it would be if you’ve ever played around with Google Labs before; a collection of experimental Gmail add-ons. Initially available only to US and UK users, we’re now getting word that other regions have gotten a taste of the Google juice as well. Google explains Gmail Labs as follows:
Gmail engineers come up with new ideas all the time. Gmail Labs is our place to try them out and get your feedback. None of these features are really ready for prime time yet, so they may change, break or disappear at any time.
Access to the new feature set can be found on the Labs tab under your Settings menu and there are currently 13 experimental features to play with. There are a few items of interest to us at this point and the first is Quick Links. Quick Links is essentially a Gmail-specific bookmarks toolbar. It gives you easy access to custom searches or anything else you might feel like bookmarking. It would be great if we could easily customize the sidebar and move the quick links box to the top however. The second Labs add-on we like is the ability to customize keyboard shortcuts. Enabling this feature will add a new tab to the settings menu where you can configure shortcuts to any keys you like. Finally, we like that Google has added a Mouse Gestures feature. Enabling it allows you to “hold right-click and move the mouse left to go to a previous conversation, move it right to go to the next conversation, and move up to go back to the inbox view.” We’re huge fans of the easyGestures add-on for Firefox so this is right up our alley. So if you’re a Gmail user, and who isn’t these days, definitely spend a few minutes checking out the new Labs section.