Sprint’s press event tonight will yield a new Kyocera smartphone dubbed “Echo,” according to a report from Bloomberg Businessweek. Further information is not available for the time being and the moniker Echo doesn’t seem to be a great fit for theme of magic and illusion suggested by the invitation seen above, but Businessweek seems thoroughly confident in its source. Sprint announced last month that it would hold a special press event tonight. With Dan Hesse on hand alongside special guest David Blaine, a “master illusionist and world record holder,” Sprint promises to announce “yet another industry first.” Kyocera is most certainly not the first handset partner that comes to mind when carriers hold events like these, and we’re all the more intrigued as a result. BGR will be on hand at the event tonight and we’ll be live blogging all the action from start to finish. More →
Sprint just sent out invitations to a press event that will be held early next month in New York City. It is unclear what will be announced at the event, which will take place on February 7th — just one week ahead of the annual Mobile World Congress convention in Barcelona. Sprint’s invitation states that CEO Dan Hesse will be on hand to introduce what Sprint is calling “yet another industry first.” Adding to the mystery is the fact that illusionist David Blaine will be there to “show you that the impossible is possible.” Ok Sprint, we’re intrigued.
We’ll be honest, seeing a shiny new gadget get taken down to the screws puts a huge smile on our faces… and why shouldn’t it? Two days after the Magic Trackpad was released by Apple, the gang over at ifixit has done a proper teardown of the device. Spoiler Alert: there were no magical gnomes or elves hiding inside the trackpad. If you still want to know more hit up the read link to see the trackpad takedown. More →
HTC Magic owners disappointed by Rogers’ announcement that the Dream was going to stay at Android 1.5 may have cause to rejoice. A post from a Rogers rep over at Android forums claims that Rogers is putting together a promotion that will provide current Dream owners a limited time opportunity to upgrade to the HTC Magic. Rogers is reportedly still working on the details of the promotion but if it pans out, Dream owners may have a shiny, new Android handset in their future. More →
HTC Magic and Dream owners in Canada take note as Rogers has reconsidered its “No Donut or Eclair policy” for at least one of its two Android handsets. Rogers has confirmed that, in the next few weeks, it will issue a minor update for the Android 1.5 OS on both the Dream and the Magic, bringing the HTC Sense UI to the Magic while keeping the platform steady at Android 1.5. By mid-2010, the HTC Magic will be updated to Android 2.1 complete with HTC’s updated Sense UI. While Magic owners are jumping for joy, Dream owners may want to get out a handkerchief to dry their eyes as Rogers confirmed that the HTC Dream will not be updated past Android 1.5 due to “certain limitations on the HTC Dream.” Any Rogers Dream owners out there can vent voice their opinion in the comments below.
If you have either a HTC Dream or Magic (or perhaps both) from Rogers Wireless, you might want to brush up on your rooting and porting skills because it appears that both devices will not receive an official OS update past Android 1.5. Said HTC’s website (and confirmed by Rogers):
HTC is not currently planning any Android 1.6 upgrades for Rogers Dream or Magic. Android 1.6 was only made available for “Google”-branded devices such as the G1. It is not available for HTC-branded products such as the Dream or Magic, which use Android 1.5. We believe that Android 1.5 is a stable and reliable software platform that delivers a terrific user experience.
We’re not even going to bother getting into how upset some owners are, but we think it needs to be said how sad it is that a company would release a pair of devices, call it an open-sourced “Revolution” and then completely screw its customers over. it’s not like other carriers offering non-“with Google” Dreams and Magics weren’t able to dish out some new software upgrades. You’re better than this, aren’t you Rogers?
Thanks, Andrew! More →
If you’re Canadian and love the thrill of the hunt Boxing Day provides, hate waiting in long lineups on a frosty winter’s eve, are looking for a new smartphone, and aren’t too sure what to make of this WIND Mobile business, then Rogers kinda/sorta has a deal for you. From now until January 18th, the following smartphones are avaiable from $0 to $0.99: BlackBerry Bold 9000 (white), BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8220, HTC Magic, LG Eve and Sony Ericsson Xperia X1. Of course, with such a price there is always a catch and in this particular instance it’s a decision not to be made lightly — a 3-year contract More →
Sure it looks a bit odd in the image above, but don’t be fooled — Layar’s preview of its updated AR interface is as cool as the other side of the pillow. What’s better than augmented reality? 3D augmented reality, of course. We told you about Layar’s AR browser for Android back in August and since then, it looks like the Layar team has really kicked things up a notch. This morning, Layar released three new videos that preview its new 3D augmented reality browser that is currently on display at the Picnic Conference in the Netherlands. As far as how Layar has implemented 3D objects in its browser, here’s a description straight from the horse’s mouth:
Layar 3D makes use of OpenGL, the accelerometer, the GPS and the compass of the phone. Developers can place 3D objects in their content layers based on coordinates. Objects can be optimized in size and orientation to create an immersive and realistic experience. The 3D capabilities support live downloading and rendering of 3D objects. Actions such as “open link” or “play music” can be assigned to 3D objects.
Layar plans to launch its 3D AR product in November as part of its version 3.0 update and to put it mildly, we can’t wait. Hit the jump for the preview videos.
Augmented Reality is quickly becoming a hot ticket item in the mobile world and we’ve seen various nifty applications of the technology previewed recently. The key of course, is finding useful and valuable ways to apply AR concepts to mobile devices. Today, a preview of another infinitely useful AR app is making the rounds and we’re digging it big time. While the app name isn’t overly creative — Augmented Traffic Views — the application itself is fantastic. Built for the Android platform, Augmented Traffic Views combines a layer of AR above the device’s camera view with live traffic camera images and traffic data. Simply hold the Android handset up and the AR layer displays all available traffic camera points in the direction you’re looking. Tap one to see the most current available image taken by the cam. The app also packs some added features, such as an automated predictive tracking mode that will pop up traffic cam images ahead while you’re driving. Brilliant. Potentially dangerous, but brilliant. For the time being, Toronto is the only city covered by the app and there’s no word on when it might be available to the public. Hit the jump for the video and keep your fingers crossed that the developer decides to bring his work stateside to hit some major US metro areas as well.
Ok, seriously… Layar kicks ass. Big time. Sure you look ridiculous swinging your phone around to see which new icons jump onto the screen, but it’s totally worth it. For those who haven’t yet heard of Layar, here’s how it works: Using the camera on your Android handset, Layar displays the world around you with an added layer of location-based content on top. So if you search Google or Yelp for a restaurant, the Layar browser will plot results in a 3D layer above the live video displayed on your screen from your camera. But it gets better. Layar is actually a platform more than anything else, so a number of third-party developers have jumped on board to provide their own layers (or Layars). Currently available content includes Flickr, Wikipedia, Yelp, Google local search, Qype, Britekite, Twitter and more. With Layar’s recent announcement, the augmented reality browser is now available globally on the Android OS — it even ships pre-installed on the Samsung Galaxy in the Netherlands. What’s more, the company is already eying the iPhone 3GS and plans to have its browser ready for the handset some time next year. In the meantime, Android users need to hit the Android Market ASAP to snag Layar. Hit the jump for a pair of demo videos.
Good news: HTC’s Sense UI will indeed be made available to owners of the HTC Magic come October. Bad news: Owners of the T-Mobile myTouch 3G and any other “with Google” variants of the Magic are going to be left high and dry, as most have presumed. The reason for the lack of love is legal as the Android licensing agreement that T-Mobile and others signed forbids them from getting all cozy with Android’s hot new look. Lame, yes, but at least a few people are going to come out on top with this. For those who feel burnt, please take our advice: hit up the xda-developers forum.
Chinese tech journal DigiTimes recently sat down for a chat with HTC CEO Peter Chou and managed to glean a couple of tasty morsels in its extremely brief yet interesting interview. First and foremost, Chou revealed that HTC has sold over 1 million HTC Magic handsets to date. The Magic, released initially this past April, took less than four months to hit the million mark — certainly a respectable feat though it falls well short of recent numbers reported for more popular handsets such as the iPhone and the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. Beyond that, Chou stated that HTC will focus on mid-range smartphones during the latter half of 2009. 50 to 60 percent of HTC’s handset shipments will fall into the mid-range category, with target prices around $300. As is always the case, forthcoming HTC handsets have been leaking left and right lately so it looks like we can expect a solid portion of them to be nice and affordable once they drop. Go HTC, go.
Apparently the only way to stop people from continuously sending this tip in is to run it, so here we go: Eric Schmidt was caught rocking a BlackBerry. Oooooooo. Sure Google’s CEO can have his pick from the current stock of Android-powered handsets and likely from amongst a handful of unannounced devices as well. It would appear as though Schmidt knows what everyone else in the free world knows, however — if you want to get stuff done, use a BlackBerry. We imagine Schmidt has a handful of Android devices he uses as well of course, but it’s always fun to point and laugh. So people… Point and laugh.
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!