Motorola Pushing Software Fix for Atrix Mobile Banking Compatibility

When Motorola issued the 4.1.83 update for the Atrix 4G on AT&T, the devices ability to properly communicate with the mobile apps and websites of several financial services broke. Never fear, Moto is pushing forth a small update to remedy the problem as we speak. You’ll need to grab the Atrix Certificate Updater from the […]

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When Motorola issued the 4.1.83 update for the Atrix 4G on AT&T, the devices ability to properly communicate with the mobile apps and websites of several financial services broke. Never fear, Moto is pushing forth a small update to remedy the problem as we speak. You’ll need to grab the Atrix Certificate Updater from the Android Market and follow the simple instructions to get everything in working order. Remember, you’ll need to be on the latest version of the Atrix software for the update to stick.

[via DroidMatters]

Amazon Taking Memorial Day Sale to Next Level: Nearly Twenty 4G Phones Will Be Free Monday

Amazon may have slashed prices on their selection of 4G smartphones for the holiday weekend, but they aren’t done yet. On Monday, the same selection of phones will drop to the sweet price of free when purchased alongside a new two-year contract. Phones included in the free-for-all Memorial Day sale include the HTC Thunderbolt Nexus […]

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Amazon may have slashed prices on their selection of 4G smartphones for the holiday weekend, but they aren’t done yet. On Monday, the same selection of phones will drop to the sweet price of free when purchased alongside a new two-year contract. Phones included in the free-for-all Memorial Day sale include the HTC Thunderbolt Nexus S 4G Samsung DROID Charge and the newly released LG Revolution If you’ve been on the fence about committing to a 4G device, the decision may have just been made for you.

[via MobileCrunch]

Android Community 101: Bootloaders

Bootloaders. They’re quite the touchy subject for many of us geekier android lovers. Naturally they’ve been a hot topic in the news lately, with HTC deciding to lock down phones only to reverse the decision. This is hardly an issue reserved for HTC though. For those who aren’t as privy to the underlying workings of […]

Bootloaders. They’re quite the touchy subject for many of us geekier android lovers. Naturally they’ve been a hot topic in the news lately, with HTC deciding to lock down phones only to reverse the decision. This is hardly an issue reserved for HTC though. For those who aren’t as privy to the underlying workings of computers, what a bootloader is, and what it means for one to be unlocked can be unclear. We’re gonna break down for you what a bootloader does (at a non-technical level), what the difference between locked/encrypted/unlocked/signed/etc, which manufacturers are doing what, and why the debate is so hot, and why you should care.

What is a Bootloader and What Does it Do?:
When any computer turns on (including your Android phone) it has to run a small dedicated program that loads the operating system. This program is what we call the bootloader. Because the bootloader is in charge of loading your OS, it rules quite a bit of your ability to load a custom ROM. It is not impossible to customize your phone with a locked bootloader. For instance the Motorola Atrix has several “pseudo ROMs” which consist of mostly cosmetic changes. To load a truly custom ROM though, one with lower level changes, like those that allow you to overclock your phone, the bootloader must be unlocked.

So Why Can’t We Just Unlock it?:
This is the tricky part. A lot of terms have been thrown around, misused and confused in regards to bootloaders. So first a few terms:

Locked: Nearly ALL phones sold commercially have a “locked” bootloader. This is not any sort of indicator as to whether or not you will be able to customize you’re phone. What matters is how easily it can be unlocked.

Unlocked: Once a phone is unlocked you can basically any software on it from a custom version of Android (aka a custom ROM) or custom recovery, like ClockworkMod Recovery.

Signed/Encrypted: To put this plainly, a signed bootloader requires an obscenely large code to unlock. The security can be more complex, and “key” sizes vary, but this is what has many Android lovers up in arms.

Locked down: This generally means that a bootloader cannot be unlocked, at least not without the “keys” that were used to sign or encrypt the bootloader by the manufacturer. Usually signed or encrypted bootloaders are considered locked down

Even phones like the Nexus line have locked bootloaders, but unlocking them is very simple if you so desire. On most phones this will void the warranty however, but more on that later. Not all phones’ bootloaders are as easy to unlock though. Some have been unlocked by exploiting weaknesses in code, while some require the help of the manufacturer, as is the case with Sony Ericsson’s newest Xperia phones. It’s when we get a “signed” bootloader that trouble starts.

The first phone to really bring the bootloader issue to light was the Motorola Milestone, which was the international version of the original Droid here in the U.S. The bootloader was indeed signed, and to this day has not been truly cracked. For this reason international owners of the Milestone did not have anywhere near the freedom as Droid owners had. Since the Milestone we’ve seen several different approaches to bootloader policy from different manufacturers, but until recently things had not been going too well.

So Where are We Now?:
We are finally starting to see some progress in the way of bootloaders. Although HTC, who used to be recognized as one of if not THE most hacker friendly manufacturer, did give a scare recently, locking down the Sensation in a complete 180 after giving us some of the most customizable Android phones ever. As mentioned Sony Ericsson is starting to let developers unlock their SE phones by following a process and instructions from SE. Samsung and LG have yet to implement anything to completely lock down the bootloader. Finally there is Motorola. They started the locked bootloader fiasco for Android, and many of their devices remain completely locked down. We are all still waiting for their promised “fix,” which will allow users to unlock the bootloader on “certain devices,” but with no details other than it will come in late 2011.

So Why Does Any of this Matter?:
Flashing custom ROMs is not for everyone, and neither is rooting. That’s a major reason why manufacturer’s don’t listen more ernestly to those of us who want full control over our phones, we’re simply not that big a percentage of the market. Furthermore manufacturers have other reasons motivating them to lock bootloaders, like the possibility of people bricking their phones, then trying to return them. Solutions have been suggested, but an in-depth analysis of the arguments if for another time. For now I will wrap up by saying that Android is meant to be free. It’s open source. Manufacturer’s don’t have to pay to use it, or even any of its logos. Many people love Android over iOS, overlooking that it’s not as polished in some areas for the freedom it brings them. When you buy a phone it’s yours, you aren’t leasing it from the carrier, no where in your contract does it say Motorola can come to your house and take back your phone if they don’t like how you use it.

If you have any questions feel free to hit up this thread! I’ll be watching it and answering questions anyone asks there as best I can. Also feel free to leave your opinion on the bootloader issue either in the thread or the comments.

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Sony Ericsson Xperia Play hands-on and initial review

 Xperia Play with PS logo

The long-awaited Xperia Play from Sony Ericsson — often referred to as the "PlayStation Phone" — is finally hitting store shelves and some mailboxes, too. This phone has been rumored by the gaming community for the past few years, but really started getting some buzz Fall of 2010. From rumors, to leaks, devices in the wild, and weird Super Bowl commercials, this guy has been on a wild trip. But after all the hype and buzz around this gaming-phone, does it all finally come together and make the ultimate portable gaming-phone? You’ll have to find out in our full review, but for now, hit the jump to read some initial hands-on impressions.


BeFunky Photo Editor an Excellent Photo Effects Application

Befunky Photo Editor. Edit photos, apply effects, add frames, and save back to your phone. BeFunky, the popular online photo editing application is now on your Android. Edit your photos, apply special effects, add frames, save back to your phone with more than 20 high quality photo effects, powerful editing tools and marvelous photo frames. Price: […]

This content was originally posted at AndroidTapp.com

Your Music App for Your Band for Android and iPhone

Algadon Free Online RPG. Fully Mobile Friendly.

Mysterious New Asus Tablet/Phone Finds A Name: PadFone

It was only last night we found the teaser pic for the mysterious new tablet/phone from Asus and I immediately dismissed the device as the Eee Pad MeMO but could I have been wrong? (Gasp) Well, we didn’t have much to go on, just assumptions and speculation but now it appears we have a name. […]

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It was only last night we found the teaser pic for the mysterious new tablet/phone from Asus and I immediately dismissed the device as the Eee Pad MeMO but could I have been wrong? (Gasp)

Well, we didn’t have much to go on, just assumptions and speculation but now it appears we have a name. Thanks to PocketNow, who did some sleuthing around in the FCC archives, we now have a name to give the Asus hybrid phone/tablet. In the aptly named Padfone (not to be confused by the iPad or iPhone), Asus has brought together their most brilliant, creative minds and delivered this title no doubt bestowed by the tech gods. (Sigh)

Well, besides the name of the tablet/phone, the FCC filing also shed new light that the device will be compatible with a capacitive stylus, adding more fuel to the fire that this is indeed, a rebranded Eee Pad MeMO (with an even sillier name). We’ll give you more details once this Tablefone, er- Padfone is unveiled at Computex next week.

But what do you guys think of the name? Bad? Good? Its not like a name could really hurt sales, I mean, just look at the Asus Transformer. I’m curious to hear what you guys would have come up so leave your ideas down below.

[Via PocketNow]

Motorola Droid X “Soak” Test Starts Tonight, Gingerbread Coming to Limited Users

It turns out the announcement that the Gingerbread update for the Motorola Droid X won’t begin rolling out to all users today, after all. Word has come in that tonight the “soak test” we caught wind of earlier in the week will begin rolling out to select members of the Motorola support forums. Chances are […]

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It turns out the announcement that the Gingerbread update for the Motorola Droid X won’t begin rolling out to all users today, after all. Word has come in that tonight the “soak test” we caught wind of earlier in the week will begin rolling out to select members of the Motorola support forums. Chances are that the soak will be the initial wave of the update, and if all things go well all users will start to see the update following shortly.

The update won’t be pushed until late tonight, so many may not find it on their phones until morning. Rooted users will have to go back to your standard signed Droid X software.

[via DroidLife]