Motorola fesses up to buggy Froyo build on Droid X

Motorola has come clean in their support forums today to some problems that have arisen with the current build of Froyo for the Droid X.

Their specific comments on several of the most frequent complaints are copied below.

  • Stuck on Moto logo after reboot – this was tough on a very few owners. Sorry about that. A fix has been developed for this and should eliminate the problem. It will be distributed in a future software release. If you are still experiencing this issue, click here.
  • Random rebooting – while there always seem to be new conditions that can cause an electronic device to panic, we do have improvements coming that address and eliminate identified panic states. They will be distributed in a future software release.
  • WiFi connection and stability – improvements in WiFi have been developed, to address several problem areas. They will be distributed in a future software release.
  • Battery Manager “force close” errors – under some circumstances, pressing the battery icon under Menu > Settings > Battery Manager results in a forced close error. A fix has been developed for this and should eliminate the problem. It will be distributed in a future software release.
  • Media won’t play – includes “sorry the player does not support this type of audio file,” custom ringtone stop working, video won’t play, etc. A reboot will restore full media function, but not permanently. We believe we have identified the cause of these errors. A fix has been developed for this and should eliminate the problem. It will be distributed in a future software release.
  • Music files cutting off the final four seconds or so – a solution has been developed. It will be distributed in a future software release.

Unfortunately they do not have a specific timeline for when an update to address some or all of these issues will be coming, but they are working on it and promise to update with new information when it is available. It’s good to see Motorola owning up to this rather than just burying their heads in the sand until they have a fix, but here’s hoping we see the update soon.

I have had a few random reboots, but the major problem for me since the Froyo update has been my WiFi connectivity. Motorola is stressing that these issues are only being experienced by a limited number of users so I’d be curious to hear how many of our Droid X users have seen any of the above on their device.

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T-Mobile to launch America’s largest 4G network next month

The last time I wrote about the possibility of T-Mobile branding their new HSPA+ network as 4G, one of their PR reps quickly called me up so they could correct me and clarify they would not use “4G” in their marketing. Eight months later, it looks like T-Mobile has changed their mind.

If you want to get really technical, the ITU Radiocommunication Sector defines 4G as an advanced cellular system that “must have target peak data rates of up to approximately 100 Mbps for high mobility such as mobile access”.

Here in the United States, the 4G term is really just marketing speak and it gets tossed around pretty easily. Sprint has branded their WiMAX network as 4G and we already know Verizon will refer to their 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE) network as 4G too.

Again if you want to get really technical the geeks out there would refer to these two types of networks as pre-4G technology, but that hasn’t stopped the carriers from adopting the 4G term for their new networks.

Basically here in the U.S., the carriers are using 4G to refer to any type of network that offers faster speeds than their existing 3G networks.

So if Sprint is going to advertise their 10 Mbps WiMAX network as the First and Only Wireless 4G then what is to stop T-Mobile from doing the same with their 21 Mbps HSPA+ network?

Sprint will only cover 120 million people this year with WiMAX, but T-Mobile will offer 4G speeds to 200 million by the end of the year and that is why you see leaked company documents already using the phrase “America’s largest 4G network”.

Starting next month I believe T-Mobile will launch a massive campaign to advertise their new myTouch 4G on “America’s largest 4G network”. This is the fabled Project Emerald strategy (4G phone + network) that we have been talking about for months. All the signs are already there. Go browse T-Mobile’s site and you will already see the 4G term being used pretty frequently.

The only thing T-Mobile has to do is replace “HSPA+” with “4G” and they are ready to go. The average consumer doesn’t have a clue what HSPA+ means, but everyone knows “4G” must be better than “3G” because it’s a higher number, right?

Going forward it looks like T-Mobile will milk HSPA+ for all it’s worth because it was already announced they will double the speeds to 42 Mbps next year. After that look for T-Mobile to become a major investor in Clearwire (or just buy their spectrum) as they migrate their network to LTE in 2012 and beyond.

Someone tell me I’m wrong.

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VISIONary gives G2 users a one-click (temporary) root solution

Permanent root access on the T-Mobile G2 is still nowhere in sight, but if you’re looking for a temporary solution, things have gotten a lot more simple. First there was a five-step process and then that was simplified down to a three-step one. Now, all you need to do is install and open an app to gain temporary root.

The VISIONary application was created by @paulobrien to give G2 users a faster root workaround since root access is lost every time the handset is restarted. If running the application every time you reset your G2 is still too cumbersome, a second version of the app has been tweaked so that it runs automatically on reboot.

It’s encouraging to see developers still working hard to find G2 owners a permanent root solutions. Let’s hope that once a solution is found, @paulobrien or other developers can make it as simple as the VISIONary one-click (temporary) root application.

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Huawei Ideos gets rebranded as the T-Mobile Coment

T-Mobile customers will soon have another Android option to choose from. The Huawei Ideos will be launching on November 3rd as the T-Mobile Comet.  With a 2.8 inch QVGA display, 3 megapixel camera, and a 528 MHz processor, it’s no secret that the T-Mobile Comet is going to be targeted toward first-time smartphone users.  Probably the most appealing feature of the handset is the fact that Hauwei will be developing the T-Mobile Comet with stock Android 2.2 with the Android Market and the other Google apps.

Pricing for the T-Mobile Comet is still unknown, but we wouldn’t be surprised if T-Mobile gave it the same $50.00 price tag as the recently launched Motorola Charm.

Huawei Ideos (T-Mobile Comet) Specifications

  • Android 2.2
  • 2.8 inch QVGA TFT Capacitive display
  • Smart Sensor (G-sensor, Proximity Sensor, Light Sensor)
  • 3.2 Megapixel fixed focus camera
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n
  • Google Apps

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I’ll be back, this is my last Terminator post for awhile

So for the past couple of months I’ve been doing all the heavy lifting on the Terminator (Tegra 2 phone) story and now I think it’s time to pass the ball to someone else and let them have fun doing the digging for awhile.

This post is meant to recap everything I have learned and provide a few new tips so that all you wannabe ninjas can go out and unearth some new info. Until I have some hard evidence to provide you (like pics or video), I promise I will stop pumping this story until something big breaks.

For starters, Terminator is not the name of any actual product. It was a nickname that came up when we shortened Tegra 2 to just T2. I believe someone in the comments made the T2 to Terminator connection and I thought it fit the whole Droid theme that Verizon uses so we just ran with it. Plus you have to admit it’s just a really cool name, so maybe Verizon will pay James Cameron to license it one day.

I don’t know exactly when it first started, but I became obsessed with getting my hands on a dual-core phone when I heard they were coming in late 2010. For awhile it actually looked like something would drop before Christmas, but I soon realized I would have to wait until 2011 to experience the next generation of smartphones.

LG was the first handset maker to officially announce a dual-core Tegra 2 phone last month and they claimed it was arriving in Q4. Since that time nothing has been announced and their Android tablet from the same press release was delayed so I don’t have any faith in that phone.

Then I learned Motorola was also working on a dual-core Tegra 2 phone. I had my doubts at first, but then I was lucky enough to speak with Motorola Co-CEO Sanjay Jha and he actually confirmed it was real and he hoped to launch it in early 2011.

Originally I was lead to believe the Motorola Tegra 2 phone would be a Verizon exclusive, but later I learned it was headed to multiple carriers and AT&T would be the first to launch it.

After doing some more research and talking with all my contacts I know AT&T’s version of the Motorola Tegra 2 phone is codenamed Olympus and has the model number MB860. There is still a version of this phone in the works for Verizon, but I have heard of no other carriers specifically mentioned in reference to this device.

I know a lot of sites are saying Everest and Olympus are both Android tablets that Motorola is working on, but that info is incorrect. Everest (or Stingray) is the 10.1 inch tablet that Google and Motorola are working on for Verizon and Olympus is most definitely a phone for AT&T.

When it comes to specs for the Motorola Tegra 2 phone, there are not a lot of solid details. Based on conversations I’ve had with several different sources who claim they saw the phone, it will be a touch-only model that has a display between 3.7-4.3 inches, feature a dual-core 1 GHz Tegra 2 processor, and include a front-facing camera.

The Clues

If you want to go searching for more information on this phone, the key is the model number MB860. It has been spotted on several certification sites including the Bluetooth SIG, the Wi-Fi Alliance, and the UPnP Forum. The MB860 was also listed in the Tweetdeck report that was published this week.

Several Motorola employees are already testing the MB860 and have uploaded pictures taken with it to Picasa. Some of the pics are dated October 1st, which tells you how recently this device went out. One of the pics was actually taken at Garden Fresh Market located in Chicago, just down the road from Motorola’s global headquarters. If you live in the Chicago area, keep an eye out for business men cradling an odd phone you have never seen before.

That’s it folks

Unless someone sends me some pics or hard evidence, that’s all I have to say on this topic for now. We expect the phone to be announced at CES in Las Vegas on January 5th, 2011.

p.s. I got a few non-Motorola, non-Tegra devices that have caught my attention recently. Be on the lookout for some exciting new topics in the coming weeks.

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Do you want a 7 or 10 inch tablet? Googler weighs in on the debate

I’m still not completely sold on the idea of buying an Android tablet, but starting next month the carriers will begin to push them and I could be swayed into picking one up. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab might be our only choice this year for a tablet with the Android Market, but starting in 2011 we should have a variety of options that come in all shapes and sizes.

Originally I thought a 10 inch tablet would fit me best because it seemed like the larger display would be ideal for browsing the web and watching movies. However after spending some brief time with a couple prototypes I found it was awkward to hold with both hands and type on the virtual keyboard with both my thumbs. When I got to go hands on with the Galaxy Tab, I think I was most impressed at how natural typing felt on the 7 inch display.

Typing on a tablet is just one factor of many and I’m going to need to spend a lot more time with several other devices before I figure out what design works best for me.

If you feel like you might be in the market for a tablet coming up, I suggest you ready Ten Theses on Tablets from Android advocate Tim Bray who has spent the last month carrying around the Tab and comparing it with the larger iPad. For sustained use he think a 7 inch tablet is the most comfortable, but the larger 10 inch tablets work best for sharing content with friends.

Which size tablet do you see yourself wanting to use? Or do you still think tablets are all hype and there will never be a reason to own one?

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T-Mobile speaks up about rumored G2 OTA update

We certainly don’t like to bring bad news, but it looks like yesterday’s reports of a G2 OTA update may have been premature. T-Mobile has issued a statement which indicates that the G2 will eventually get Wi-Fi calling and tethering capabilities sometime in the future. While we don’t doubt some of the reports that popped up yesterday, it looks like T-Mobile isn’t exactly ready to roll out these new Wi-Fi capabilities to all G2 users.

As we mentioned yesterday, we’d be surprised if T-Mobile decided to give the G2 these new features before the launch of the new myTouch. Why give something away for free when they could easily use it as a key selling point for a new handset?

Wi-Fi Calling and tethering Wi-Fi sharing are not currently supported on the T-Mobile G2. T-Mobile knows these features are important to consumers and we’re working to deliver them to G2 users in the future. We have nothing further to announce at this time.T-Mobile Support

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