Over the weekend, Verizon Wireless began issuing a software update to the Samsung DROID Charge that addresses a number of issues. Most notably, the update repairs a bug that caused the Charge’s mobile hotspot feature to work only if users set the date back to last month. Beyond the personal hotspot fix, the update is said to bring improved web browsing and email, improved battery life, and several other enhancements. Users will be notified automatically when the over-the-air (OTA) update is ready for there devices, or impatient users can initiate the update manually. More →
In the mobile space there are leaders and followers, and our friends over at Novatel Wireless are clear leaders. The company’s MiFi devices set the market abuzz as people rushed to replace their older mobile broadband devices with portable mobile hotspots capable of connecting multiple devices to cellular data networks via Wi-Fi. Now, Novatel is extending its lead in the space by updating the AT&T MiFi 2372 with DLNA streaming media support. We’re big fans of making good gear even better, and by adding wireless media server capabilities to AT&T’s MiFi, that’s exactly what Novatel did. We tested the MiFi 2372’s new DLNA functionality and it indeed works exactly as expected — by simply connecting to the device over Wi-Fi, users can stream media stored on the MiFi’s microSD card to computers, smartphones, tablets, televisions or anything else that supports DLNA. We were able to stream movies, music and even browse photos from an iPhone, a laptop and an LCD TV as well. We had no problems whatsoever, and — surprisingly — battery life doesn’t seem to take too much of a hit. If you own an AT&T MiFi 2372 and haven’t updated the software yet, consider this your motivation. A video showcasing the MiFi’s DLNA capabilities follows below. More →
RIM on Tuesday announced the availability of a new software update for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Before we get into all the details, we should note that this is not the major update PlayBook users have been waiting for that will enable email and PIM functions without the need to tether. Now that we have that out of the way, version 1.0.5 of RIM’s QNX-based operating system brings the following additions to the BlackBerry PlayBook: the Facebook app is now preloaded, in-app payment support has been added, Wi-Fi hotspot detection has been added, the status bar menu has been tweaked a bit and a few new languages are now supported. We’ve applied the update to our PlayBook as so far, everything is going just fine. If you haven’t yet received a notice letting you know that the update is available, you can check for it manually in the device settings. Hit the break for RIM’s full press notice. More →
On Friday Nintendo announced that the much anticipated software update for the 3DS — which will deliver the eShop application store, a web browser, and more — will officially be available on June 6th. Anyone who installs the update before July 7th will also get a free 3D version of the NES game Excitebike. Nintendo also announced that it will deploy new content to the eShop every Thursday including Gameboy, Gameboy Color, and more than 350 Nintendo DSiWare titles. The initial Gameboy titles include Super Mario Land, Alleyway, and Radar Mission. Unfortunately, there was no mention of Netflix support in the update, but we won’t have long to find out if that’s a last-minute addition. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Countless Android fans complain about new phones still launching with Froyo while Gingerbread has long since been pulled out of the oven, but Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 owners on AT&T can only dream of frozen desserts. Sony Ericsson on Tuesday announced that the Android-powered Xperia that started it all will finally be updated from Android 1.6 — yes, that’s Donut — to Android 2.1, Eclair. Obvious annoyances aside, it’s quite clear that AT&T and Sony Ericsson had some major issues while getting this update ready for primetime, so we suppose X10 owners should be happy the companies didn’t just give up. New features introduced by the Android 2.1 update include 720p HD video capture support, continuous auto-focus and face detection in video capture, multitouch support and five home screens instead of three. Eclair is available for the Xperia X10 beginning Tuesday, May 31st, and it can be accessed by visiting sonyericsson.com/attupdate on a PC. More →
Verizon Wireless has detailed a software update that will soon be pushed to the Motorola DROID X, thus confirming that the phone will be upgraded to Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). The update will include a number of enhancements and the more prominent ones include a new user interface, better word prediction, app grouping, an improved email application, geo-tagging support in the camera, a download manager application, auto-focus improvements for the camera in low-light conditions, and improved battery life while using Bluetooth. Phone Scoop says Verizon has confirmed it will begin pushing the Android 2.3 update to DROID X phones on May 27th. More →
Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled its forthcoming major update to its Windows Phone platform — Windows Phone 7.1 “Mango.” We gave you live coverage of the event as well a hands-on look at the update, and now that the dust has cleared we can finally sit down and collect ourselves. In short, Mango looks awesome. We’ve seen plenty of promise in the Windows Phone platform right from the start, but we also thought Microsoft rushed the OS to market — understandably — and a lot of key features and functionality were missing as a result. Mango goes a very, very long way in bringing the emerging platform up to date, and Microsoft has named HTC, LG, Samsung, Dell, Acer, Fujitsu Limited, ZTE Corporation and of course Nokia as partners moving forward. Windows Phone 7.1 will be the launch platform for upcoming Windows Phones from Nokia, by the way, and Microsoft confirmed that Nokia has already built devices running Windows Phone 7.1 that are currently being tested in its labs. Mango will add more robust multitasking support, messaging threads, deeper social integration, a unified email inbox, voice-to-text and text-to-voice support, and about 500 other enhancements to the Windows Phone platform when it launches this fall. Hit the break for Microsoft’s full press release along with a video of some of the new features Mango will bring to the Windows Phone platform. More →
According to a report from CIO, BlackBerry users who installed RIM’s latest update for the tablet’s QNX operating system are now experiencing weakened battery life. The recent 1.0.3 software update introduced BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) and video chat to the device, but it also appears to have had a substantial impact on battery life, possibly reducing it by 11% or more. RIM addressed the issue by suggesting that users accept the new license agreement for video chat, which may drain the battery if left unchecked, and the company also suggested that users fully charge and discharge the PlayBook battery several times in order to restore full function. Many users report that neither proposed solution has has an impact on the weakened battery life, however. More →
Samsung on Monday announced that it will finally begin rolling out Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) to its popular Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab devices. Samsung had started to roll out Gingerbread last month, but was forced to halt the update due to a bug identified shortly after it was released. Samsung has apparently addressed the issue, and the update will release the update once again this month beginning in the UK and other European countries. The Android update, which will require users to connect their devices to Samsung’s desktop software, will then roll out to North America and other regions at an unspecified time. Hit the break for the press release. More →
Google on Tuesday announced its first major update to the Honeycomb OS. Key feature additions in Honeycomb 3.1 include resizable home screen widgets, added support for new input devices like enhanced keyboards, mice, trackpads and even dedicated gaming controllers. Another key addition is enhanced multitasking support for more fluid transitions and reduced crashes. In addition, Honeycomb will be coming to Google TV in version 3.1 via an automatic OTA update. Among the notable Google TV-specific features is the addition of Android Market support, which will allow third-party apps to be delivered to Google TV devices just like they are on smartphones and tablets.
Apple is set to give the world its first look at iOS 5 next month at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference, and a new report from 9to5 Mac suggests one of the new features in the coming operating system update may be an over the air updating mechanism. Apple’s iOS updating system is currently a mixed bag — it often takes an excessive amount of time to download a new OS build, back up a device, apply an update and then restore the device from the back up, but it also means restoring devices and switching phones is extremely simple. 9to5 Mac claims to have confirmed with multiple anonymous sources that updates delivered following Apple’s iOS 5 release could take advantage of a new OTA update mechanism that will deliver incremental updates directly to devices rather than to iTunes. The report specifically notes that Apple has been in talks with Verizon Wireless regarding OTA updates, though the feature would obviously be available to any carriers that agree to deliver the updates over their networks. OTA updates would certainly be a welcome addition to iOS — let’s just hope we also get a solid new notification system so those OTA update messages aren’t quite as intrusive. More →
Apple has released iOS version 4.3.3 for the iPhone 4 (GSM), iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad and iPod touch (third and fourth generation), just as we reported. The only changes noted by Apple with this release pertain to the location tracking bug discovered recently. Apple states that this release “contains changes to the iOS crowd-sourced location database cache.” More specifically, the update “reduces the size of the cache,” “no longer backs the cache up to iTunes,” and “deletes the cache entirely when Location Services is turned off.” An update carrying similar changes — iOS 4.2.8 — is available for the Verizon Wireless iPhone 4 as well.
Motorola on Tuesday finally announced that the HSUPA-enabling ATRIX 4G update thousands of users have been clamoring for has finally begun rolling out to devices. Software update v4.1.83 for the ATRIX 4G includes several updates that Motorola claims will improve device performance — none of those improvements will have quite the dramatic impact that enabling HSUPA will, of course. AT&T had disabled HSUPA when the ATRIX 4G was first released, and countless of users gathered on forums to complain of the slow upload speeds they were experiencing on their “4G” devices. Thousands of angry ATRIX owners even signed a petition to voice their disdain. AT&T finally responded and told users a future update would enable HSUPA, and now that update is finally available. Motorola has issued the OTA update and users should receive a notification once it is queued up for their devices. Impatient ATRIX owners can also initiate the update manually from within the device settings. More →