Almost two months ago Verizon Wireless announced the HTC Windows Phone 8X, in Blue, Black and Red, for $199.99. The US carrier slashed the price of the smartphone down to a more competitive $99.99 on new two-year contracts, bringing the handset more in line with the other Windows Phone 8 device available right now at the big red, the Lumia 822.
However, the move to halve the price may add even more confusion for prospective customers looking to purchase a new Windows Phone 8 handset. At the $99.99 price point Verizon now offers two similar handsets, the Lumia 822 and the Windows Phone 8x, neither of which sets itself clearly apart from the other in the software or the hardware department.
Android modding is often perceived as a rare disease that must be treated at all costs with tightly locked bootloaders and impossible to root devices. When users do want to remove the shackles imposed by manufacturers, and carriers alike, there's always a sense that someone will suddenly knock on the door and say: "Stop, we'll void your warranty. Your device must run unadulterated software!" That's just limited thinking. Modding is beneficial and not just for those roaming around in obscure corners of the interwebs.
Some argue that modding is just that insignificant other that is over-hyped per the overall scheme of things. When enthusiasts ask for unlocked bootloaders or maybe easier to root devices, those very same people will shorty argue with "Most people don't need that, so your wish doesn't matter!" Obviously there's some "truth" to that, because in most cases the deniers don't bother to read thousands of forum posts or even to check custom Android distribution statistics. Yes, there are such things.
Nearly two months ago HTC teased Android enthusiasts with the J Butterfly, but sadly the handset was only for the Japanese market. On Friday, the Taiwanese manufacturer introduces the global variant, simply dubbed Butterfly, sporting similar specifications.
The Butterfly features a 5.0-inch SuperLCD 3 display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution. Power comes from a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor paired with an Adreno 320 video card and 2GB of RAM. On top of the 16GB of internal storage, the Butterfly has a microSD card slot which can extend the capacity by an additional 32GB. HTC is, however, evasive when it comes to the operating system, but it's fair to assume that it ships with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, similar to the Droid DNA and J Butterfly.
Well that was fast. Little more than two months after Apple launched the iPhone 5 in nine countries, the Cupertino, Calif.-based software corporation offers its latest smartphone free of any carrier obligations. Pricing starts at $649 for the 16GB model and tops $849 for the 64GB version.
The models that Apple offers are actually unlocked GSM units, meaning that using either of the three available versions on a CDMA network such as Verizon Wireless is not possible. For the advantage of owning a carrier-free iPhone 5 prospective buyers have to shell out an additional $450 for the equivalent version available at major US carriers such as AT&T, Sprint or Verizon.
Starting today the HTC DROID DNA is available for purchase at Verizon Wireless. On a two-year contract the J butterfly's US brother runs for $199.99, while off-contract it costs a marginally higher $599.99.
Like the J butterfly, the DROID DNA comes with a massive 5-inch Super LCD3 display with 1920-by-1080 resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass 2 for protection. Power comes from a 1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor backed by 2GB of RAM and a relatively small 2020mAh non-removable battery. Unlike the J Butterfly, the big red version has to make due with just 16GB of internal storage as it does not feature a microSD card slot.
Two months ago, I declared Android winner in the smartphone wars. The victory is now broader, in a total route of all competing operating systems and in process driving down iOS market share. That's right, after more than five years of near-constant growth, Apple's platform retreats before the Android Army.
Android's global smartphone OS share rose a stunning 19.9 points year over year in third quarter, according to Gartner. That's to 72.4 percent, up from 52.5 percent. Meanwhile iOS fell to 13.9 percent from 15 percent.
The custom recovery plays an important role in Android modding by allowing users to install new ROMs or to perform full device backups. But finding and installing the right one can be a problem, which is where RecoverX comes into play. It comes with an impressive list of supported devices.
RecoverX offers a step-by-step guided process in order to install a custom recovery. The program only requires the brand and name of the Android smartphone or tablet, and it will display a list of available options. On a Google Galaxy Nexus, RecoverX can install ClockworkMod Recovery or ClockworkMod Touch Recovery, but depending on the device Amon-Ra Recovery and/or xRecovery is available.
Tonight, Apple and HTC ended their longstanding patent litigation. The agreement terminates all litigation and establishes cross-licensing of patents current and future for 10 years. The deal raises questions about whether Apple might step back from its aggressive litigation, working with competitors. Cross-licensing intellectual property tends to be mutually beneficial, and it's a tactic long pursued by Microsoft.
"We are glad to have reached a settlement with HTC", Apple CEO Tim Cook, says. "We will continue to stay laser focused on product innovation". HTC CEO Peter Chou remarks: "HTC is pleased to have resolved its dispute with Apple, so HTC can focus on innovation instead of litigation".
The Nokia Lumia 920 and Lumia 820 are available for pre-order at AT&T starting today with sales to begin on November 9. On a two-year contract the Lumia 920 costs $99.99, while its smaller brother goes for less at $49.99. Off-contract, the Lumia 920 costs $449.99, while the Lumia 820 goes for $399.99. The HTC Windows Phone 8x will also be available before Thanksgiving. The 8GB model in Limelight costs $99.99, while the 16GB California Blue model runs $199.99.
On price, the Lumia 920 squares off with the HTC One X, Motorola Atrix HD, Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket or Sony Xperia TL. Competing flagship smartphones such as the Apple iPhone 5, LG Optimus G and Samsung Galaxy SIII are available for $199.99, but come with half the storage and obviously double the price.
Microsoft publicly unveiled Windows Phone 8 yesterday. We know that. But it does not happen everyday for the company's CEO, Steve Ballmer, to star in an ad presenting the company's latest smartphone operating system.
Titled "Meet Steve. See his Windows Phone," the video ad takes the man behind one of the most important companies in tech through various Windows Phone 8 features. There is an emphasis on social networking towards the beginning, as is shown by Facebook tiles. It has to be noted that the latter can be integrated in one's Outlook account, which is a neat feature further presented through a continuously updating Messaging live tile. The Mail app also displays similar behavior when Ballmer mentions "So, so, so much advice." Then there's Bill Gates making a short appearance.
In seven days, Microsoft launches Windows Phone 8 in San Francisco. But you need not wait that long. Some retailers are already taking pre-orders (and even postponing them). HTC Windows Phone 8X is available for $99.99 on AT&T, while Nokia Lumia 920 is $149.99. Best Buy offered both today, but the Lumia since disappeared, presumably sold out. It's available elsewhere, unlocked and contract-free, for considerably more.
The Nokia handset will be available in the United States exclusively from AT&T -- that is subsidized. Mobile City Online is among the retailers carrying the international version, there for $699.99. Note that international model is unlocked but has HSPA+ instead of LTE. T-Mobile and Verizon will also carry the HTC phone. None of the retailers I checked this afternoon list arrival times, which, based on earlier manufacturer product announcements, will be November.
Three weeks have passed since the Android Open Kang Project team released a new build, and after a long wait AOKP Jelly Bean Build 5 is now available, bringing along the latest version of Android with it. Also released is a new app named Kangerator for following and downloading new AOKP releases.
The latest build is based on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, build number JZO54K and apart from introducing support for the AT&T variants of the Samsung Galaxy S III (d2att) and Galaxy Note (quincyatt) and removing support for the HTC One XL/X (evita), it also brings a number of features from the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich builds, such as NavBar widgets.
HTC recently introduced the One X+, a quad-core powerhouse that took the flagship role in the company's smartphone lineup. Today, the Taiwanese phone maker announced the J butterfly (codename "htl21"), a 5-inch device with a whopping 1080p display.
The HTC J butterfly comes with impressive specifications, the first of which is a 5-inch SuperLCD 3 display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and a density of 440ppi. Power comes from a 1.5GHz quad-core APQ8064 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, that is identical to the one found in the LG Optimus G, and 2GB of RAM. On top of the rather modest 16GB of onboard storage, HTC included a microSDHC card slot which is a change of heart from the previously released One S, One X and EVO 4G LTE smartphones that had no expandable storage.
Launched with Android 2.1 Eclair in January 2010 the HTC-built Google Nexus One is more than two years old, but that is not stopping NASA from re-launching the smartphone... into space this time around.
Part of the PhoneSat program designed to create "small, low-cost, and easy-to-buid nano-satellites", in 2013 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration will launch Google's former Android flagship smartphone into space. According to HTC, NASA will not unbox the Google Nexus One and strap it on a rocket, as it was already put through thorough testing. The smartphone's first contact with space was in 2010, when it was attached to a rocket and launched to the edge of space, while also recording every step of the trip.