Phandroid » PhanMail Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Tue, 28 Jul 2015 08:50:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Gift Idea: become a typing master with these quick-switch Bluetooth keyboards [CONTEST] Wed, 10 Dec 2014 14:56:06 +0000 keyboards

We’re back with another gift idea to help you finish your holiday shopping. Today we’re taking a look at quick-switch Bluetooth keyboards. These keyboards are great for people who own multiple devices (like most of us do). You can go from typing on your PC to typing on your tablet with the flick of a switch. Check out the best quick-switch keyboards below, and don’t miss the chance to enter out Gift-a-Day Giveaway!

Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480

Logitech K480

Logitech is known for their great accessories, and the K480 is no exception. This keyboard has a dial that allows you to quickly switch between three different Bluetooth devices. It has a built-in cradle that can fit most tablets and smartphones, and shortcut keys for Windows and Mac. The K480 goes for around $50.

Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard

Universal Keyboard

The Universal Mobile Keyboard is a great example of Microsoft’s excellent build-quality and design for accessories. This keyboard has an operating system switch that allows you to switch from Windows, Android, and iOS. It has a built-in device stand that doubles as a smart cover. The keyboard is only on when the cover is open, which makes the battery last 6 months on a charge. You can snag this keyboard for $65-$85.


Today is yet another chance to enter our massive giveaway for a chance to win Nexus devices and smartwatches. Be sure to enter every single day to improve your chances of winning. Entries for this day will remain open until 11:59 PM (Eastern) on December 21st. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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PhanMail Friday: Back From Google I/O [May 20th, 2011] Fri, 20 May 2011 17:23:28 +0000

Yes, I know I promised these would go down every Friday. But last Friday was different. We were hot off the heels of Google I/O and there was a crap ton of stuff to do. (You can find all of our coverage link the wrap-up post here, by the way.) But it’s another Friday and it’s about time for another session of PhanMail. Lots of things have come in since the last time we’ve met so let’s not waste any time digging into it all. And remember, you can easily submit your own question by heading over to our contact form here. (We can’t promise that every single question will be met with an answer.) Let’s go!

“Why aren’t companies expanding the tablet market to offer dual boot Android (Honeycomb) / Windows 7 tablets? My online search for such a device rendered only 1 by viewsonic, but it’s subpar especially due to it’s severely outdated Android (1.6 I think).

I have a hard time justifying investing $400-700 dollars in a tablet alone since much of what it might do I can do on my Android phone or my laptop already. But a tablet that could also run Windows software and could be used for Windows computing via touchscreen, then could spin around and through superhero-like magic become a Honeycomb Android tablet…

Now that is something I would actually stand in line to buy! (So long as the hardware specs were enough to support the power it would need.)”

— Eric

Trust me, Eric – we’d all love to see that. Unfortunately, this is not common even in the desktop space. It’s usually always one or the other, with users being given the choice to dual or tri-boot alternative operating systems. It’s amazing that we even have devices in mobile that allow this out of the box, no matter how outdated that version of Android is. Mobile is even more difficult, not only due to licensing and legal speed bumps, but due to technical feasibility. I’m no expert on any of this stuff, but portability with mobile chipset technology isn’t quite as easy as you might think. It’s possible, but most OEMs don’t care to offer such a product. They’ll offer one, the other or both in separate products and it works for them. I don’t see many dual-booting tablets or smartphones headed our way inn the near future.

“I read Quentyn Kennemer’s HTC Incredible 2 review. Now that the Droid X2 is days away, what do you feel is the better solution between Incredible 2 or Droid X2? I do not want to go to 4G and I will be new to the android market (leaving the BB). I am mainly a phone, e-mail, text, and little web user.” [Editor’s Note: The DROID X2 is now available online.]

— Bill

Thanks for the note, Bill. Unfortunately, I have not yet played with the Motorola DROID X2 so I can’t give an opinion on it. I can definitely tell you that the DROID Incredible 2 is a fantastic option for some who doesn’t need the absolute latest in specifications. The single core 1GHz processor in the Incredible 2 is fine enough for all of the things you’ve listed plus more. And as you’re a former Blackberry user, I imagine you value battery life. The DROID Incredible 2 is great in that regard and lasts longer than a lot of products I’ve tested recently. Do note that Kevin Krause will be reviewing the DROID X2 shortly, so be on the lookout for that and use it to get an idea of what it’s like up against the DROID Incredible 2.

“Has AT&T resolved the Amazon app-store yet, or did I miss this lead?”

— Whiskey

Not quite yet, Whiskey. While they have released a phone that allows you to sideload applications (the Samsung Infuse 4G), their existing phones are still locked down. AT&T has confirmed that several of their existing Android phones will get an upgrade to enable this functionality, though. We’re not exactly sure how long this will take, but they haven’t forgotten about you folks. Sit tight.

“I am currently on Sprint, and my contract is up, and I’m jumping onto my first android phone. My only necessity is a hardware keyboard. After doing some research, I found the Epic 4g to be the phone that best fits my needs. However, with the Galaxy S II released in Europe recently, a US launch, and hopefully an Epic 4g 2, seems imminent by July to August. The Galaxy S II is arguably the best android phone available, and if there’s a chance of US variants again. Should I hold out and wait for the possible Epic 4g 2 or jump ship to the Epic 4g, and be stuck with already dating hardware for two years?”

— Ralph

While there’s a possibility Sprint could provide a hardware keyboard for the Samsung Galaxy S II, nothing has been confirmed. In fact, all signs are pointing toward Sprint adopting the international Galaxy S, just as AT&T and Verizon are rumored to be. This came by way of an accessory listing that said one case was interchangeable between all three of their versions of the Galaxy S II. And that isn’t the most concrete information in the world, but it’s all we have to go on. Also note that the Galaxy S II is a 4.3 inch device – keyboards are only usually included on devices 4 inches and lower. That’s not to say there isn’t a chance Sprint could opt to include one, but given the history of the smartphone industry that’s highly unlikely. I’d hold out until at least June or July to see what cards Sprint is holding.

“Are keyboards going the way of Pagers? It seems like now a days every phone that comes out is all about the huge touch screen instead of a nice quality keyboard. What are your guys thoughts?”

— Sapan

It certainly seems that way, Sapan. Keyboards on smartphones (with any operating system) are at a premium these days up against sole touchscreens. Thankfully, they haven’t completely been phased out just yet. Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, HTC and more all produce several phones that include hardware keyboards. Some folks can never seem to find the combination they want, though. 4G? Dual core? Stock Android? Front-facing camera? Some of those but not all? There are still hardware keyboard phones to be had, but options are definitely limited and you can’t be picky if you want one in this day and age. I don’t know if they’ll ever go the way of the beeper, but I imagine they won’t.

“I know that the software update to the Motorola XOOM is rolling out but this miss anything or the SD card issues still will be missing?”

— Jose

Unfortunately, the latest upgrade to Android 3.1 still did not enable SD card support. Some folks at XDA have gotten it up and running if you’re into that sort of thing, though. Otherwise we’ll need to wait for Motorola to issue that upgrade. (Which we imagine might not come until they start upgrading XOOMs to have 4G radios inside.)

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PhanMail Friday: We’re Back! [May 6th, 2011] Fri, 06 May 2011 18:05:35 +0000

It’s been a loooooong long time since we’ve done one of these. Due to hectic schedules, donuts, and other circumstances beyond our control the past couple of months, we haven’t been able to answer all of the great questions that continue to flow in. We’re putting an end to all of that, though. If you don’t remember, PhanMail Friday is a weekly collection of some of the best questions sent to us and answered by our very own editors.

Whether you need help with your phone or if you want our thoughts on current Android happenings, we’re happy to answer any and everything. (Just don’t expect us to entertain obscene questions – those will get trashed without delay.) Please continue to send your questions in by heading over to the Contact Us section and use the PhanMail form. Check back each Friday to see if your question was answered. I’ll do my best to answer as many of them as I can but I can’t get to them all. Without further delay:

“Why does it seem that other Countries are always getting the newest phones months before the US? I’m a little peeved that US carriers must wait while others get to roll around in Androidy goodness!”
— Andy

Yea, it angers me too, Andy. Even though we write about and review phones, we can’t get our hands on a majority of the European exclusives until their North American counterparts make their way over to the US. And on a personal tip, I’m waiting to buy a certain phone that I’m hoping will come out for a certain carrier with certain features. (I won’t disclose which phone as I don’t want it to seem as if I’m endorsing it.) But yes, we hear you. It sucks. I always say that American cell phone companies should just adopt the Europeans’ style. Their carriers are willing to carry any and everything and you can get any phone for “free” with the right data plan. Actually, I think I might just move to Europe. Bye.

“Do they make an EVO soft cover to accomodate the extended battery for the EVO phone?”

I haven’t seen anything like that, Walsh, but if you don’t mind an ugly solution I’m sure one of the many silicon cases available will be able to stretch right over that extra junk in the trunk.

“Went from liberty gingerbread to liberty 2.0.1 and am now stuck in boot loop, what do I do? Tried holding home and power, that do anything but get me back to the liberty logo in a boot loop…Help please!”
— Spencer

Stop. Go to the DROID X’s All Things Root section at or XDA-Developers’ DROID X General section and ask your question there. I’m not saying this because I don’t feel like answering the question, but I wouldn’t dare give advice on a device I don’t own and have no experience with. You’ll find that the Android hacking community – while a bit testy at times – will get you going before you can say “I’m going to switch to the iPho–”

“I have been looking at your site and would like to join as a user.”
— Brad

That’s awesome, Brad! There’s no better way to become a user than to sign up at our sister site It’s owned and operated by us here at Phandroid and your username there will enable some great functionality here on in the months to come. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter – if you haven’t, you’re currently missing out on a chance to win whatever Rob gets at Google I/O. (Keep your fingers crossed for it being a device of some sort!) Look for the newsletter button on the upper right of this page to get started.

“could you tell me how i can make my samsung galaxy europa into a modem for my laptop”
— David

Android has tethering (modem) features built in since Android 2.2, but your carrier may have opted to get rid of them or replace them with their own solution. If you don’t have the option, you may need to root your device and use one of several free tethering applications. This may or may not be legal depending on who your operator is so be sure to check your contract or terms of service.

“I am in need of a Smart Phone, my company reimburses me $75/month for the expense. I just started researching the subject and feel overwhelmed by phone/Carrier choices. I would like to go Android 4G but from where which carrier? Is there definitive information somewhere? Every website I go to spins the information a new way whether I look at carriers coverage, plans or phones. Can you direct me or is it really this convoluted? Like everyone I just want the most for my dollar. The unit will be primarily for business then personal and I expect to need somewhere between 450 and 1000 minutes with data. I can’t be more precise on usage until I have worked here a while.”
— Keith

Hi Keith. I’m unable to endorse any one carrier, but if your $75 reimbursement covers you no matter what, you may only be paying a few dollars per month for service at a couple of different carriers. I know T-Mobile and Sprint have affordable rate plans compared to the two biggest carriers in America, AT&T and Verizon. Verizon’s only two 4G devices at the moment are the Samsung DROID Charge and the HTC Thunderbolt. Their network can also rival most Americans’ broadband internet connections in terms of speed. Unfortunately that leaves us back at square one – there is never an easy way to choose carriers. Consider your limits and see who is the best fit for you.

“So, I’ve been having problems non-stop since I updated my Samsung Captivate to 2.2. I called Samsung and they had me ship it in for repairs. I haven’t gotten it back yet, but my question is, should I be more up-set with AT&T or Samsung about all the Captivate problems?? I mean who’s really to blame here for the overall lack of support and poor quality? Should I switch from AT&T or just never by a Samsung again??”
— Whiskey

I can assure you that this will be a problem no matter where you go in the United States, whiskey. Samsung has proven that they can deliver timely and stable updates to unbranded Galaxy S phones in Europe. They were alongside the first group of folks to receive Froyo and the same will ring true for Gingerbread. In the United States, as you know, there are  no unbranded Galaxy S devices – each update for each phone had to go through respective carrier. They have to customize it with certain preinstalled applications and carrier specific features and must test and test and test. All four major carriers in the United States took quite a while to get Froyo out, and not all of their updates were stable when they did bring them out. (Forcing them to take the update offline until further notice.) Switching carriers isn’t going to help anything so I’d only suggest you do that if you have other reasons.

That’s all the room we have to answer this weeks, folks. Now that I can assure you this feature will continue weekly from here on it, don’t be hesitant to send your questions through. We always love to hear what’s on you guys’ minds and this is no doubt one of the funnest ways to do it. See you next week!

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PhanMail Friday: Your Questions Answered [1/28/2011] Fri, 28 Jan 2011 20:49:42 +0000 Give us your weak, your poor, your Android questions! It’s Friday and you know what that means…time to dig into the old mail sack and get down to PhanMail. We know we haven’t been as on top of our game as we should be, but two weeks in a row means we’re back on track. Remember, if you have any questions of your own send them our way via the PhanMail contact form. But time’s-a-wastin’, let’s get down to the questions.

First, HELLO PHANDROID TEAM…Ok onto the question! I coworker of mine has found a way using an i*hone app call “TalkaTone” to make free calls via GoogleVoice/GMail on his iPad. I was wondering if you know of any app/script/process to make this work on an Android phone or tablet? – Originalme8

Well HELLO TO YOU, TOO. At one point in time there was a clever way of combining Google Voice and certain features of carrier billing plans such as T-Mobile’s myFaves that would allow you to setup your handset for free voice calling. Recent updates to the Google Voice application have rendered the process moot, but if you happen to retain an older version of the app you may still be good to go. Head over to our original post on the matter and be sure to read through the comments for more tips.

Why does my phone charge so much slower when plugged into a USB plug on a cigarette lighter adapter in the car? What can I do to make it charge as fast in the car as it does at home? – Don

While I have dabbled in some electronics and still remember a bit from my high school physics class, I’m no expert when it comes to the scientific reasons your phone might charge faster via a wall outlet than when using a car adapter. I have noticed the discrepancy as well and long pondered it. My educated guess would be that the car adapter is drawing power at a lower rate, as car outlets and cigarette lighters aren’t intended to create the sort of current needed to run large utilities. Your home outlet, however, is designed to carry enough juice to power even large appliances, meaning much more energy is available to get your battery back to 100 percent. But don’t quote me on any of that. As far as ways to speed up the process in car? I’m not too sure. If you are frequently running out of juice on the go, you may consider purchasing an extended battery or two to carry as spares.

I am looking forward to 2011’s upcoming Droid-based tablets (like the Motorola XOOM). One thing that I’m trying to wrap my head around is — how will most co-owners of Droid phone & Droid tablet use both? Will will end up using the phone just for phone calls (what a concept) and the tablet for everything else? Might some folks see the tab as a complete replacement for a phone? – Steve

Ah, you are digging at the very question that has been the center of the tablet debate for years. Before the iPad made a huge splash, the most common argument against tablet computing was that the device might be less useful when tasks could as easily be accomplished on a smartphone or netbook/laptop. We’re starting to see more usefulness out of tablets these days, and a world when a user owns both an Android tablet and Android phone is right around the corner.

I guess how one ultimately splits up their time between the two is a matter of personal taste, but Google’s cloud synchronization of contacts, calendar, and voicemail makes it really easy to stay in touch and organized no matter which device is at hand. I’d imagine with powerful tablets like the XOOM on the horizing, Android slates will mostly find a home as media devices, while the Android smartphone would remain the day-to-day means of communication and productivity.

Hello, Im on att and already upgraded so I will have to buy either outright, overall I’d say the Atrix bests the Arc in specs but the design of the Arc is fantastic imo and it has a better screen and im gonna assume the camera will be better, im just not sure though, also theres the question of release date and price, anyone have any ideas when these phones will come and how much on eBay? Also do you think that the Arc will make it to att or at least a 3g compatible version at launch? I know people are gonna say avoid SE but I like them and I liked the X10, only thing that annoyed me was no MT.

Anyway what do you think? I really need a new phone as I am using a 3GS after my captivate broke, its not bad but I really miss Android. – Kevin

I have it on pretty good word that the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc will indeed make its way to AT&T in the US, but as far as when that is an entirely different question. Knowing that, here are a few things to consider. The Motorola Atrix 4G should be out within the next month or two. It will feature support for AT&T’s HSPA+ 4G network. It will also feature a dual-core processor and the cool ability to dock into a laptop or desktop dock for PC-like computing. Do you sense that I’m leaning towards the Atrix?

But perhaps a later release of the Arc will give you time to consider your position. The Arc is a great phone, but (while there is chance they could update it) it won’t feature 4G support, has a slower processor spec, and comes with the baggage of SE’s history of Android updates. Having seen both, I will say the issue of which screen is better would be a toss up. In your case, it may just be best to wait it out and let your contract ride a bit as deals start to pop up and you can snag the handset you really want for a good price.

I have a Sprint Hero and can’t stand its lag, even though it is rooted and running CM6.1. I can now upgrade, and want to get an Evo. Assuming the Feb. 7 announcement is NOT a new phone, do you think I should upgrade or wait 4,5,6 or more months for the possibility of a newer and more exciting phone from sprint (?dual core)? – Jason

We’d say you’re in a tricky spot, Jason. While the HTC EVO 4G remains a great option on Sprint’s or any carrier’s network, we’d suggest holding off at least until after the February 7th announcement and Mobile World Congress later in the month pass. With Sprint lacking in any great new handsets on the horizon, we’d say they are poised to announce something big at either or both of those events. If you need a phone now, you shouldn’t feel guilty about picking up an EVO, but if you can at all wait, we’d say Sprint will have something better to offer over the next few months.

Hello, I am using metro pcs as my current carrier and I would like to know if I could get a highend Android phone like a Samsung vibrant or any other phone like that….(keep me updated about the forte) thx guys – Kelvin

I’ll keep this one short and succinct. You’re probably best waiting for the release of the Samsung Forte, which if recent leaks are any indication will be coming very shortly.

Say “hello, weekend!” everybody, and keep those questions rolling in. We’ll be back next friday with more answers so stay tuned.

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PhanMail Friday: Your Questions Answered [01/21/2011] Fri, 21 Jan 2011 19:18:42 +0000 Guess what gals and guys? PhanMail Friday’s back after a month-long hiatus due to hard partying and laziness. No, actually we were just on holiday break and came back to tackle the monster that was CES. But now that all that is out of the way, we’re excited to get back into our normal swing of things. (That is until we’re thrown off by the change in timezones when we head out to Spain next month.)

Anywho, you know the deal: you had questions and we answered them to our best ability. I’ll be selecting the best ones sent in since the middle of December – when we went on break. If you want your question answered in a future edition, don’t be afraid to give us a holler with at the PhanMail contact form. So without further delay…

John Asks “When reviewing a phone, is the call strength measured/compared? Lots of people have issues getting good reception in their home, and the handset may make a difference?”

I can’t speak to anyone else’s methods, but I personally don’t review in-home call strength due to one very annoying reason: I live in a low coverage area. Be it Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, US Cellular, or T-Mobile, I just don’t get very good signal out here, so it’d be unfair for me to judge a carrier’s or phone’s performance from that alone. In my reviews, I make an effort to go out and use the phones as if they are my daily drivers. Most of the time, I don’t have a problem with call strength or reliability, but I don’t carry out any scientific tests. More than a couple of bars is usually good enough to get the job done. Even after antennagate, extensive attenuation testing for a review isn’t carried out. It consumes far too much time and a number of different variables can cause attenuation issues, if there are any.

Sami says: “Hi am Software tester I want test android applications free of cost so tell me to whom I should contact.”

Hi Sami. Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut, surefire way to test applications that you like for free. 9 times out of ten, any applications you have the privilege of testing ahead of launch are public beta tests that may be buggy and not fully featured. If a major application heads into beta and the developer announces it’s public, we usually inform our readers. Other than that, you’d need to ask each developer individually if you could test their applications. My guess is that you won’t get very far doing that.

“I have an account however I cannot log on to your website via tapatalk, I enter the information in the login area but the login prompt keeps poping up” ~Kamal

Unfortunately, our are not yet enabled for Tapatalk. In fact, we don’t anticipate they will be anytime in the immediate future. The official Phandroid application is currently in beta and will allow you to browse and post right from your phone, but there’s no release timeline to be had for the time being. We’ll update you guys at the moment anything changes.

Alex asks: “How to download android applications to Samsung Galaxy 5?”

Hit that cool looking Android market icon in your app drawer and start searching and browsing for apps. And if you’re installing a .APK file from your SD card, finding and selecting the file using any file manager should get you going.

“Have a question about an app. Would you be able to help?” ~V

Sure. But since you didn’t include the question, I can’t answer it for you. I decided to answer this question to let folks know that you don’t need to ask if you can ask a question. If you have something you want or need answered, type your entire question inside the message box of the PhanMail contact form.

Charlie asks: “I would like to become a reviewer for Phandroid. Who would I talk to about such an arrangement?”

There are currently no openings for writers and reviewers on Phandroid, but if something should come up, we’ll announce official details – including how to submit your resume and application – on the front page of the site.

Curtis says: “You know, I’ve been browsing the market recently and realized how many browsers there are out there, I did some searching on Google for feedback, but many of them are too old. So my question is this, what browser do you use, and how does it compare to others?”

I know Kevin and Rob both use the stock browser of their respective phones – the DROID and DROID X. They’re such pansies. I, on the other hand, recognize the value of a good third party browser and I personally use a healthy combination of Dolphin HD and Opera Mini. Opera Mini is at a slight disadvantage if you care about website features and proper formatting, but it’s a lifesaver in those situations where you can’t seem to grab a healthy connection – a situation I often find myself in. Dolphin HD gives me everything I need: tabs, bookmarks, an exhaustive selection of useful plugins, and more. I’ve tried others – such as Xscope, Opera Mobile (one of my favorites, but not ready for primetime), Steel, and Skyfire, but nothing compares to the one-two punch I mentioned.

David asks: “So hard to choose! Which is better? Tegra? 4g? Honeycomb? Any clue as to which will have all 3? Would love to see a post on this!” (Editor’s note: I should mention that this question was submitted before CES, as well as the questions which follow.)

We actually do have a post like that in the works, but CES has come and gone: there are a few options out there. Some have Tegra 2 but no 4G, and Vice Versa. None of the handsets have Honeycomb at this point, though: that’s reserved for tablets only. But I’d have to say AT&T’s Motorola Atrix impressed me the most. Yes, it’s AT&T. But cut them some slack: they just lost exclusive rights to the iPhone. They’re trying!

“When will the G2 get gingerbread? And what are you doing to speed this process up? Hah” ~Nicholas

We don’t know when it’ll get Gingerbread – the Nexus One hasn’t even gotten it yet. Gingerbread on the G2 is all on T-Mobile’s shoulders. As far as what we’re doing? We’re eating bacon and watching football. There’s little we can do to speed this process up except to ask T-Mobile nicely.

Klay says: “Android or Apple? I’ve never seen an article which says BOTH. I am an android Diehard, but I received a wifi only iPad with an engraving making a return impossible. It was a blessing in disguise and I hope others can do it on purpose. Take a rooted android on Tmobile, add Barnacle wifi tether, and buy a wifi only iPad. Now you have an iPad with 3g access without the $130 premium, you avoid an extra $30/month AT&T data plan, and you avoid a $15/month Tmobile wifi tether fee. That is a savings of $360 in the first year. The only example of Apple Android synergy I’ve seen in a while.”

Perhaps you didn’t see my “Galaxy Tab vs iPad” article where I stated an Android phone with an iPad wouldn’t be a bad choice right now. Back then, the Samsung Galaxy Tab was the only tablet in the market, and little was different about it compared to any Android phone out there. Now we’ve seen Honeycomb, we have Tegra 2 – things are looking awesome. But the app market still isn’t there. Thankfully, more developers are starting to approach their engineering cycles with a tablet mindset, and the trend should pick up as the tablet market snowballs in 2011. But at this point in time, the iPad is still the best choice. Kudos to you, Klay.

Matthew asks: “Why haven’t they come out with android accessories that have anti I-phone content. I’d love to have a phone case with the Android man urinating on a apple icon or something like that. Just like how they have the car decals. Not only phone cases/covers, but t-shirts and bumper stickers too!”

Check out DecalGirl. They’ll be able to customize something for you.

“i got the t mobile g2 and i video chat with friends and i was told that there is a piece where i clip onto the top of my phone and i can see myself in the screen how would i get that?” ~Sho

You may be referring to this. That’s only a concept, and if it comes to fruition, it’d only be for the Nexus One. You’ll probably need to build your own mirror-based solution or just go with one of T-Mobile’s phones with a front-facing camera.

“Will you have a section on the website dedicated to tablets when they start coming out in force, like you do for the phones?” ~Charles

Yup, we’re working on that now! Hopefully it’ll be ready by February.

“Will you get the option to pay for apps for my motorola mistrone using paypal cause I don’t have a visa or Mastercard” ~Francis

We’ve heard rumors and seen evidence of Paypal integration in the Android market, but nothing was ever confirmed and we’re not sure if that’s still happening. Hopefully we hear more soon.

Ron asks: “As an android news, app, and forum follower, I run across the word “rooting” constantly. My questions are – what exactly is “rooting?”; and what are the major advantages of doing it given the worst disadvantage is the possibility of rendering your phone useless by “bricking” it?”

In true XDA fashion, I’ll just link you to this. (I lied. True XDA fashion is yelling at you and telling you to use the search button.)

“How can I take advantage of VOIP/SIP on the Nexus S? Google doesnt seem to have dived into much detail about it and I feel as if its a wasted feature on the phone unless I put it to good use. Please let me know. Thanks.” ~Slick

Many third party applications exist in the Android market to afford you this functionality. A simple search of “VOIP” or “SIP” should do the trick. But starting with Gingerbread and Honeycomb, Google’s looking to build those features into Android. You have a Nexus One, so you should get that update. (Whenever that happens.)

[Update]: Why did I answer this question under the impression that you owned a Nexus One instead of a Nexus S when you clearly stated otherwise? Silly me. Anywho, I have yet to spend an extensive amount of time with Gingerbread so I can’t help you myself, but Oscar lends a helping hand in the comments section below:

Just go to settings-call settings-internet calling accounts and set it up. You need a voip account though, google for some.

That’s it! No more questions! Not for this week, anyway ;). As you can see, we received a lot over the holiday break and through CES, and I did my best to answer every (good) question. Remember, hit that PhanMail contact form up if you have any more to send our way. We actually enjoy these things, you know. Until next Friday.

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PhanMail Friday: Your Questions Answered [12/10/11] Fri, 10 Dec 2010 20:48:36 +0000 phanmailWhat’s that? Friday is here? Of course it is! And so is our bag of PhanMail. It’s getting harder and harder to narrow down the best questions every week, so keep them coming! Just head over to our PhanMail contact form to submit your own question. Read on to get this week’s fix.

I formatted my Nexus One and was wondering whether there was any way for me to retrieve the backup of my text messages. There is a folder labelled ‘Backup’ on my SD card and it contains a file called Messages.arc.

Chances are after a format your text messages are gone for good, unless of course you backed up your device beforehand and have the technical know-how to restore your lost messages. I’m sure a friendly commenter will quickly correct me if I’m wrong, so you might want to stay tuned there. In the mean time, the best advice to avoid losing messages in the future would be to back them up using an application such as SMS Backup and Restore, Lookout, or WaveSecure. Those come to mind, but there are certainly others to look into.

I have three mobiles HTC Desire 2.2, Motorola milestone 2.1 (sad), and a SE X10 on 1.6 (crying), all got the same 3.5mm headphone jack but I cant use one headset with different phone… If they are designed to not be used with others then what’s the point of standardising the ports… I also noticed the touch screen sensor on milestone doesn’t work correctly when charging using a blackberry charger…

This is a strange observation. I can’t think of any reason why the same set of headphones would not be compatible with all three devices, because, as you said, they are all standard headphone jacks. It would be hard to pinpoint the issue without the actual model of headphones as a reference.

The charger issue is slightly different, as even though certain chargers will be compatible and provide the juice necessary to charge a device it was not designed for, side effects — though not always as obvious  as the one you ran into — aren’t necessarily out of the ordinary.

I purchased my Droid X the first day of its July release and within a few weeks someone showed me how to switch to the Swype option that came on my unit. My question is this – how is the Swype software that came with my X different than the beta versions that have been closed, opened and upgraded over the past few months? How do I keep the version on my X up-to-date with the latest Swype released? (My Swype version is and I’m using Android 2.2)

The Swype version installed out of the box on the Motorola Droid X is outside of the realm of the private beta. That beta exists to test elements of the software that may eventually make it to handsets that came with the text input software pre-installed. Ultimately the manufacturer and carrier will decide on that, and the Swype version would most likely be updated alongside an OTA update for the Android operating system.

Because of this, the versions of Swype present on devices at launch is typically a few steps behind the one those taking part in the private beta receive. From time to time the Swype team has opened up the beta, as you have mentioned, so if you are a big Swype fan like me just stay tuned to your number one Android news source (that’s Phandroid, duh) and we’ll be sure to let all you Swype fans know right away.

Which is actually better,Swype OR SlideIT?

As I said above, I am a huge Swype fan, so obviously that is my answer to this question. It may vary from user to user, but it’s hard to argue against the software that made it possible to break through the speed texting barrier like never before. That being said, there are several other really innovative text input options worth checking out, including 8pen, BlindType, and SwiftKey, all of which I would probably take over SlideIT.

I’m a faithful Droid X owner and have never had an issue with anything…until now! Some of my contacts (specifically numbers) are disappearing. I assume it has something to do with the linking of my gmail and facebook accounts. Why is it not possible to merge the contacts and have them all saved in gmail?! I am becoming increasingly frustrated with this issue of losing contact info but truly love android. Please help!

You may want to take a look at your sync settings located under “Settings > Accounts & Sync.” Make sure under the Google Account options you have Sync Contacts selected, and all names and numbers logged into your DX should automatically get backed up in the cloud to your GMail address book.

Facebook also has several sync option accessible via the application’s settings menu. You can choose between syncing all contacts, syncing only the ones currently in your phone’s address book, and no sync at all. Also, make sure Facebook syn is enabled in the Accounts & Sync settings menu.

If you still experience issues with your contacts, you may want to take the phone into your local VZW and see if they can help.

My Sprint contract has been up for the past 2 months and I have been holding out for a phone that is either equal to or better than the Evo and Epic. Do you see in the very near future a better phone being released from Sprint or should I just cave and go with the Evo?

As of right now, we haven’t caught wind of any major releases from Sprint in the next few months that will rival the EVO and Epic 4G, but we don’t expect things to stay dormant for long. The HTC EVO Shift 4G (HTC Knight) is right around the bend, but will most likely be a smaller version of the EVO while keeping similar specs.

With dual-core and 4G handsets coming to Verizon and AT&T potentially as early as January/February, we don’t think Sprint will stay out of the game that long. But as always, I must say the EVO 4G and Epic are as good a choice today as they were at their launches. Unless you absolutely have to have the latest handset and technology, you really can’t go wrong with either.

Are you guys looking into getting a new comment system? The current one doesn’t allow editing, tiered replies, or ‘likes’. I know for me, I get more involved in the comments if I can directly reply to someone and have people like my comments. I know quite a few people use Disqus, it allows all of these features as well as keeps track of your ‘likes’ and comments. Thanks for all the work you guys do, keep it up.

For this answer I turned to the man with the plan himself, Mr. Rob Jackson. Here is what he had to say:

“While the comment system has much room for improvement, our development efforts are currently focused on more feature-rich experiences. We’ve recently added the ability to compare phones and use community input to provide a dynamically updated “Best Phone” feature.

We’re also launching a new version of the Phandroid App on Monday, and currently have a completely new application in closed Beta.

Improving the comment system is definintely on our to do list, it’s just a matter of where in the priorities it all fits. Thanks for your input!”

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PhanMail Friday: Your Questions Answered [12/03/2010] Fri, 03 Dec 2010 17:56:57 +0000 phanmailYou guys sent in a lot of great questions this week. Some of you want to know if the Android tablet scene is worth jumping into yet, while others are livid that their SMS and MMS messages have suddenly gone missing. We might not have the right answer or the cure, but we’ll always have the best possible answer that we can offer up! If you have any questions you’d like answered by Phandroid each Friday, feel free to drop us a line at our PhanMail contact form and check back Friday to see if your question was met with an answer. (It most likely will be. Unless you’re asking one of us to marry you or something weird like that.) Have fun!

I posted a response to your Friday PhanMail column, in which I commented that your stated reasons for “highlighting” porn applications constitute a cop-out. My comment has since been deleted from the site, not by me.  It is ironic — and not a little hypocritical on your part — that you claim that the reason you “highlight” porn apps is because they open up an “interesting area for debate”, but then when such debate occurs — in the form of my response — you delete it. Are only pro-porn comments allowed on Phandroid? – Ernest

Hi, Ernest. We normally don’t delete comments unless they are highly offensive, obscene, or if a user is just blatantly trolling. (For whatever reason, the “1st” comments are the exception to the trolling rule.) It’s possible your comment MAY have gotten deleted throughout the moderation process accidentally if you believe it didn’t break any of the unwritten rules above. If your comment doesn’t show up in a reasonable amount of time (usually within a few hours throughout the day or the next day if it’s posted in the evening), please feel free to resubmit it.

What screen resolution supports most of the android apps? – Wally

It sounds like you’re asking which screen resolution is the most common and which ones do most developers target. Phones with QVGA, HVGA, and WVGA resolutions are aplenty around the world so most – if not all – developers will naturally target those. For the former-most, some games or apps may not be supported if the developer hasn’t designed their application to scale regardless of screen size. (It happens, but rarely.) It’s not until you start getting into the near-HD resolutions that you might run into some complications. The Galaxy Tab – for instance – has a WSVGA resolution, and while most apps work for it, some of them may show black borders on each side due to the developer not updating their application to take advantage of the added real-estate. As more tablet devices make their way to market starting in 2011, we should see developers targeting phones and tablets alike.

hey, im having a very strange problem with my android phone. Whener i plug in my cable to my computer its not showing the mount option nor am i seeing it on my computer or anywhre else on my computer. ive tried a different cable also and its till not working. ive tried it on my new computer and its still not showing up. I really need your guys help. this never happened before i got the update for my phone, so please and thank you :) – Franky

Hi Frank. It’s hard to troubleshoot an issue like this without added information such as which phone you have, what version firmware you’re on, and if you have all of the proper drivers installed. The bit of information you did give – that it worked before the update – helps, but I’m in no position to help you considering the many different things that could be causing your problem. (Hardware problem with the phone’s USB port? Missing drivers inside the phone’s kernel itself?) I had this exact problem with my Samsung Epic 4G, and I had no alternative but to call Samsung to get things situated. They helped me troubleshoot my phone and we determined it was a hardware issue with the phone. At that time, I was immediately set up with instructions on where to ship the phone for repairs. Your best bet is to check with your carrier and manufacturer to see what they can do to help you.

Its annoying when people post “first” on every story.Are you going to do something about it – Gad

Unfortunately, no. We are strong believers of free speech unless someone is being offensive, obscene, or causing overbearing commotion in the comments section.

I want to by an android tablet but looking at the prizes of the galaxy tab why should i buy a android tablet when the Ipad is the same prize and more mature when when it come to professional use including school eBook. I know that there are cheaper tablet but not as reliable don’t get me wrong I really like android but I’m looking at the big picture. – Jose

I totally understand where you’re coming from, Jose. I even said as much in my Galaxy Tab vs iPad article: there really is no reason to get a Galaxy Tab over the iPad at this point in time. The biggest differences came down to Size and Software, and while the Galaxy Tab is a lot more portable than the iPad (a lot of people chose it for its size alone), there’s simply no comparing its software offering to that of the iPad’s right now. If you absolutely want an Android tablet over iOS, I strongly urge anyone to wait until the first half of 2011. By then, we should see Android honeycomb introduced with major players such as Motorola and HTC leading the charge in bringing some powerful devices to the table, and hopefully a tablet-specific market will encourage developers to adapt their wares to the larger screen sizes.

Still waiting on phandroid the app. The masses crave it. Feed the masses! – Shawn

I’m still waiting, too. ;). Perhaps if we sent the developers some cupcakes. That’ll get things going!

I take a decent amount of pictures with my Incredible aka (the lost tribe of vzw). Often enough there are more than a few pictures that are blurry and/or dark. What are my best options for a photo editor app? – Flatline

I’m not too big on editing photos on my phone, but you might want to check out Picsay, Photoshop Mobile, or Photoid. I feel your pain on this. I used to own an HTC (EVO, G1) phone and the problem isn’t just with the Incredible. Hopefully HTC – at some point – will start adopting better camera sensor technology because even shots in natural daylight are hard to impress with, and don’t even think about taking one in lowlight. You didn’t ask for that, but I thought I’d drop my two cents anyway ;).

Are the Pro’s at Phandroid hearing anything about an android device coming to a noncontract pay as you go service? – Steve

Nothing since the phones that have launched for MetroPCS, Cricket, Virgin, and Boost, sadly. We’re always on the lookout for information regarding new devices, though, so be sure to keep an eye out on if anything new turns up. :)

i have an HTC Desire, and all my messages have suddenly deleted. i would like an answer as to why this has happened. as nothing else on my phone has gone.. just sms/mms messages. i have had this ophone for 8 month, i have checked all settings and nothing has changed as to how i originally set it up. i have rebooted device also. and still no messages. i had alot of important information.. and require an answer to what has happened.. – Carl

Similar to the question above regarding the USB port, we sadly can’t say for sure what happened. You should give HTC or your carrier a ring and see if they can do anything to help you retrieve those messages. Most carriers keep a record of incoming and outgoing text messages and a lot of them aren’t against offering them upon quest, so a quick explanation to them should get you started. Good luck.

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PhanMail Friday: Your Questions Answered 11/26/10 Fri, 26 Nov 2010 17:52:04 +0000 phanmailFriday is here, and so is another edition of PhanMail, the feature where we answer reader questions to give a bit of personal insight into the Android world. The questions keep getting better and better each week, and if you’d like to submit your own just head over to out PhanMail contact form and ask away.

What is the best application for recording calls?

While there are several options for recording calls available in the Android Market, you might be surprised to find out the in addition to handling your voicemail and giving you a single number that can be forwarded to multiple phones, Google Voice does a great job of handling call recording. The main drawback is the call you want to record has to be directed to your Google Voice number, but recording the call is as easy as pressing a few numbers on your keypad. Once the recording is finished it is automatically stored online and accessible via Google Voice on your computer.

Why does the Market have so few categories for apps? I’d prefer more categories with the “apps” or perhaps subcategories within the main categories section. Also, why no ability to sort by “most downloads” or “best rated”?

The Android Market has been a thorn in the operating system’s side since the beginning. If it wasn’t the fact that it initially held far less apps than the competing iOS store (it still trails by a large margin, but I don’t think you’ll be complaining about the 100,000+ available apps), complaints have rested on Google’s handling of the Market presentation. Third party sites like AppBrain have already done a great deal to enhance the Market browsing experience via your phone and PC, but Google is gearing up for a major overhaul to their Market website. Expect the advanced sorting options to be present in that new version, as well as the ability to push app downloads to your phone while browsing on your computer.

Hello , I have an HTC evo 4g. And I want to know if there is some kind of website or app that will change the notification/status bar color to look like the notification bar on , lets say a Nexus One for example instead of the original HTC sence notification bar, although the bar is nice i want to start something new , thank you.

When it comes to customizing the look of your Android, you have several options on the HTC EVO 4G and other handsets. For a less technical way to gain access to UI changes you could download what is known as a Launcher application, which places a new skin overtop of your existing Android interface. One favorite is ADW Launcher, which allows some notification customization through its various themes. A more advanced option would be to dabble with rooting your handset and installing one of the numerous custom ROMs available. Before you consider rooting you should most definitely read up on it at AndroidForums, as there is a risk you could brick your device.

Which no-contract carrier would be best for a Galaxy Tab?

This choice will boil down to preference and plan pricing more than anything else. Each carrier has some unique advantages as well as drawbacks. Personally I would skip AT&T all together, I have never had much luck with their network, but between T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint the choice is a little more difficult. All run on 3G and have month to month plans priced around $30, though the T-Mobile version might see a slight speed boost due to backwards compatibility with their HSPA+ network (which in itself is an advanced 3G technology, even if touted as 4G). You may find that you don’t even need coverage from a carrier, in which case you might want to wait a bit longer for the Wi-Fi only version, which will land at a lower price.

I would like to know when the program iks coming out that would allow u to add apps to yr SD card. I have a Motorola Cliq.

Unless you root your device (see HTC EVO questions above), there is no application that will allow you to move apps to your SD card. This functionality is built into Android as part of the 2.2 Froyo update, but seeing as the Motorola Cliq struggled to even make it to Android 2.1, we don’t feel good about Froyo making it to the handset. The update timeline currently lists no plans to move in that direction.

For others wondering, in Froyo apps that are designed to include the functionality have the option to be moved to the SD card via your Settings/Applications menu. If your phone memory is full and an app can be SD installed, Android will install it to the SD card automatically.

I would really like to get rid of my ipod touch. As much as I’d like my Droid X to be an all-in-one, memory and battery life prevent that from happening for a power user like myself. Do you think the US will ever see a true android pmp competitor to the ipod touch? I’d like to see something with at least 64gb

Android PMPs are few and far between it seems. Samsung has been working on a variant of its Galaxy S line for use as a PMP, and many tablet makers are beginning to offer 4-inch versions that are sized like a phone while being focused on media exclusively. We definitely haven’t seen a device with the type of storage you are talking about. Will the US see a competitor to the iPod Touch? We hope so, but it might take a while until we see a really good one.

Why do you guys showcase Android apps for porn? Arn’t there some things people can just find out for themselves on the Android market? Just wonderin’ :P

Because Android is for porn ;). No, seriously, we don’t intend to “showcase” porn applications any more than other applications, but we do highlight them from time to time as we feel it opens up an interesting area of debate. Android, unlike iOS, is much more open in terms of what sorts of applications can and can’t be on devices. It has been a raging debate and a main point of contention from Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.

We aren’t by any means encouraging or imploring our readers to be massive horndogs with Android phones filled to the brim with porn, but the mere fact that it is possible on an Android phone opens up an important discussion concerning how much control we have over our phones and the content we access via them.

So that’s that. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and enjoys the rest of their weekend. See you next week!

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PhanMail Friday: Your Questions Answered [11/19/10] Fri, 19 Nov 2010 20:27:19 +0000 phanmailEvery Friday we gather questions we’ve been e-mailed throughout the week and take a shot at answering the ones we feel would be most helpful to our wider audience. It’s Friday, so here goes nothing! If you’ve got a burning question of your own, hit up our PhanMail submission page and ask away.

What gives? when will we get the long awaited much anticipated phandroid app? please release it NOW!!! Also, please tell me it will have alerts!! — Shawn

Premium AF Members have had access to a private beta of the application for about a month and a public beta SHOULD go live in the next week or two. It’ll feature a boat load of new features including alerts, full forum support, chat and a lot more. I’m convinced you’ll love it and we’ll continually be working on new features such as “recommended apps” based on your personal profile. Stay tuned… I promise it’s almost ready!!!

How do you get your products to review? Do you contact the wireless provider or the company that makes the phone? Thank you. –Michael

We do the awesome product review rain dance and Droidoclause dumps them down our chimney.

With the way Android is growing, there’s a bunch of new anti-viruses out there. Paid and free…. which one is the best? Why? What would you guys use? BTW. Phandroid > all.<3 — Sarah

Personally, I think the power of due diligence and community support is better than any anti-virus. Before you download an app you should:

  • Take note of the developer, be more cautious of unknown or unreputable sources
  • Look at market comments – is anyone else questioning the apps reputation?
  • If you’re concerned/suspicious, hit up our forums and ask others for their opinion
  • Prior to downloading, read through the list of “permissions” the app or game requests and make sure nothing fishy is going on

I’m not saying mobile anti-virus is stupid, but I think much like on your desktop or laptop, you can play it safe by knowing what you’re getting into beforehand. Since I don’t personally use an Android anti-virus, let’s ask our readers what they think:

I just got a phone with Froyo and Flash, so I’m now using the stock browser (as opposed to Opera Mini). The only problem I have with it is I can’t close it out all the way without backing up through all the pages I’ve visited. I don’t want to just hit home and have it running in the background constantly. Is there any way to close out the browser without backing all the way through my session (short of killing it with a task killer)? — Jaylan

This is a misconception with Android. If you hit “Home” it won’t be “running in the background” – this is a fear people have because they’re used to the concept of Windows and having different apps “open”. When you press the home button on Android the most recent “state” of your browser will be saved and then your browser will be dead to the world until you re-open it.

Some apps DO “run in the background” when you press the home button, but the browser isn’t one of them. App developers should be carefully crafting their apps to ensure excess memory isn’t being used. For some apps, like streaming music apps, you NEED your app to be “running in the background” but in the case of the browser you should just press “HOME” and call it a day.

Try it yourself:

  • Go to a webpage that will take a LONG time to load
  • In the middle of loading, press the home button
  • Go to settings > applications > running services
  • You’ll see the browser is not currently “running”
  • Re-open the browser and that single PAGE may have loaded fully, but after it loaded it will have stopped
  • If you didn’t want to fully load that page, you could just pres the X to stop loading and THEN press the home button

I’m deciding to stay with tmobile for a while. In your opinion which phone out-performs the other, the mytouch 4G or the G2? I’m not concerned with about having/not having a physical keyboard. — Nicholas

As you noted, the main difference is the keyboard. Since that doesn’t matter to you, I’d also keep in mind the myTouch 4G has a front-facing camera. Beyond that the phones are nearly identical, with the myTouch taking the edge with more RAM and a faster processor.

BUT – and this is a big but – the G2 has stock Android while the myTouch 4G has HTC Sense (espresso). I personally prefer stock Android rather than the sexied up custom UIs, and you’re more likely to get OS updates earlier on stock Android devices. That being said the myTouch 4G will also be lighter and more pocketable.

Personally I’d go with the G2, even though I’d only use the keyboard for gaming. But since they’re so close in specs, you can’t really go wrong since they’re both great phones. Check out a head to head comparison between the two phones here.

Often (like real often) I’ll hear the beep that says I have mail on my EVO. I’ll click on the Gmail icon and then.. forever… I get a blank screen with the loading circle circling. I mean it sometimes takes 5 minutes! It knows I have mail, it told me so. Why won’t it give it to me??? Seriously, is there a better app? This is making me a little nuts. — Susan Dennis

I’ve never had that problem myself. The first thing I’d suggest doing is going into your Application settings and clearing out Gmail’s storage and database. It’s possible something could’ve gone wrong somewhere to cause the anomaly. If this “cleansing” doesn’t work, then the only alternative application I can confidently suggest is K9 Mail. It’s gotten a lot better since it was but a mere fork of Google’s official email client and there are a lot of benefits to using it over Gmail (such as proper handling of attachments.)
(answered by EVO user and Phandroid Contributing EditorQuentyn Kennemer)

Do you believe we should be paying for android updates on our phones? — Your Name

I think the carriers and manufacturers should decide what approach is right for them and the customers will vote with their wallet. In the end, the companies who please the customers most will win out, and good old democratic rule and capitalist practices will allow the “right” way to float to the top. Personally, I think paying for new versions of Android would be a ridiculous idea. Paying for new versions of an application would be appropriate depending on the situation.

The above question was already answered last week, but I already answered it on accident and thought it was an interesting point of discussion. So I left it in… deal with it ;)

That wraps up the latest edition of PhanMail – thanks for sending in your questions and check back next Friday for more answers to your questions!

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PhanMail Friday: Your Questions Answered [11/12/2010] Fri, 12 Nov 2010 18:22:27 +0000 phanmailFriday, Friday, Friday! It’s time for PhanMail, and we’ve got some answers to some questions you’ve had throughout the week. Want to learn how to get those text messages printed up to use against your pesky ex in court? Having trouble with installing the Swype beta after switching phones? We’ve got all of the answers to the questions you’ve sent in right here. If you see your question below, congrats! If not, it was probably answered in a previous PhanMail Friday session or it just wasn’t a very good question. Either way, you’ll get a chance each week to send new questions in so be sure to jump over to that PhanMail contact form and let us know what’s on your mind. Without further ado:

I am in a huge legal battle right now and I need to print out the texts regarding the case. My sister is a police officer and says they use them in court all the time. Sony and Rogers have told me this is impossible. I have recorded the phone calls. Any help would be appreciated

That’s odd. Usually carriers are supposed to be able to print out text messages sent from and to your phone over their network if they are to be used as evidence in court. If they’re absolutely sure they can’t help you out, don’t fret. There are still a few different routes you can take here. First up: if your phone is rooted, you could take screenshots using ShootMe found in the Android market. This would probably be the best method because it’d be harder to dispute text messages as they appear on your phone than ones that look like you could’ve typed them up.

There are also reasons why this method would be undesirable, though. If the list of messages you need printed is longer than Rapunzel’s locks, you’ll want an easier way to get this. Cue the Android market. (Or apps in general.) I’ve done a bit of searching around and my first suggestion would be to try Txtract for Android. It can be found at the following site. Txtract will extract all of the conversations you specify onto an SD card and will allow you to view it in XML, CSV, or HTML format. From here, it’s as easy as loading the file up on your computer (CSV is for Excel, HTML for your browser of choice, and I wouldn’t bother with XML) and hitting that nice print button.

The nice thing about Txtract is that it even pulls the images in, displays proper timestamps, and any other information you’d need in court. Other things you can do is use an app like G-Backup to back your SMS messages up to your Gmail account and print them from there, but I can’t comment on how it outputs the information. Another app I can’t vouch for but looks VERY nice is PrinterShare which will allow you to send several pieces of data – including messages – from your phone directly to a wireless printer. Go ahead and check it out on AppBrain and see if it’s something you’d like to try out. There’s no shortage of “Does” in the Android market, as Verizon would have you know. Check this thread out at for some other nice suggestions.

I’m moving from the US to Spain shortly. I will have no choice but to dump my Sprint Hero when signing up with a new provider there since it won’t work at all. Will I still have access to apps that I’ve paid for? If not, is there some other kind of solution?

You know what’s so wonderful about Google Accounts? Everything Google ties into it. Your Google Reader, your Gmail, your Google Documents. And hopefully your music and books whenever Google’s ready to introduce those (we know you’re working on it Google. You can’t hide it from us!) So of course you should expect that all of your apps will come with you, as well. Move on over to Spain, get yourself a brand new phone, and have no worries about your apps because once you sign in with the same Google account you used to pay for them, they’ll show up in your downloads list as already purchased. From there, it’s as simple as downloading and installing them.

Whats with manufacurers not wanting to make a high end phone with a 5 row hardware keyboard? and whats with manufacurers wanting to go thinner with every phone? i want a comfortable grip, not hurt my hands with thin stuff!

It’s hard to tell what’s what with any given manufacturer. Some manufacturers will come up with the greatest keyboard layout ever then switch to something entirely different for the next phone in that same line (ie, HTC from the G1 to the G2.) A lot of factors can tie into a manufacturer’s decision to make their phones how they make them, and unless we sit in on the R&D process for each of them, we may never know why things are how they are.

As for slimmer phones? This one is easy as cake: going green means going sleek, and going sleek means you’re cool. And so does going green. Duh.

I have a Droid Eris. When I link people’s facebook birthdays to my phone or by hand put them into my phone why does it not have an option to show them on my widget calendar that came with my phone? My 8 year old phone posted the birthdays and notified me on the calendar. I never missed one then. I miss them all the time now.

Unfortunately, Android’s calendar doesn’t pull Birthdays in from Facebook, thus you won’t be able to be notified of that person’s birthday unless HTC’s Facebook sync is updated with the feature (which we doubt will happen.) Again, the Android market is always your friend if your phone doesn’t do something out of the box. EboBirthday is a great app to try out first to do exactly what you’re asking for. There are a lot of other options, as well. Search “Facebook Birthday” in the Android market and I’m sure you’ll end up finding exactly what you need, eventually.

Türkiyede distribütörünüz varmı? (Translation: Do you have a distributor in Turkey?)

No. Sorry.

Is the HTC EVO still worth getting at this point? Will it handle gingerbread smoothly? Is there anything that’s worth waiting for as far as sprint and android phones go?

The HTC EVO 4G is a fantastic phone, one which I still use as my primary phone to this day. Unfortunately, there are a couple of downsides to the EVO 4G. Firstly, the 1 GHz Snapdragon processor on the EVO doesn’t hold a candle to the Epic 4G. While it’s still ridiculously fast for apps, you’re not going to get anywhere near the performance you’ll get out of an Epic 4G. (This is based on my own quality time spent with both phones as I do own both.) As far as any other phones in the future? We’re hearing the Nexus S may make its way to all four carriers, eventually, but that’s still up in the air, at this point. Anything else we’ll have to wait until early 2011 to hear about.

Howdy ok I’ve had your phandroid app for quite some time and haven’t seen a post about the Droid T2 or Droid “Terminator” sorry if I have missed it but I have been waiting patiently for my upgrade to the DX and its finally nearing the 27th of Nov and what’s this? Oh looks like Dr Moto is creating a super Droid with a Tegra 2 chip and a 1.2 ghz dual core processor 8 gigs of RAM and going to be running with gingerbread 3.0 …sigh come on! I’m so fed up with my Eris I want the best phone I want the DX and now T2 is commin early 2011 if what I read was remotely true could yall shine more light on this so not only for myself but everyone else who is tired of getting a top of the line phone only to be obsolete in a few months I know smart phones are like desk tops lap tops technology is always evolving but the T2 would be the standard if the specs are true. BTW this took me 20 mins to type on the Eris yep its going to be destroyed after my upgrade. Thx for wat Yall do!

First order of business: we’ve posted about Motorola’s Tegra 2 phone (affectionately dubbed the “Terminator”). Many times. Next up, there will always be the next “ZOMGWTFBBQ” superphone headed your way right around the corner, whether they’re announced or not. We do still believe the Tegra 2-based device will be coming out sometime in 2011, but we can’t be sure on when Motorola will announce it, and when they’ll subsequently release it. We don’t even know if this Tegra 2 phone of theirs will be headed for Verizon whenever it does come out. (I know, that’s VERY hard to imagine.) So I’d say you have two clear choices: keep on waiting and deal with that Droid Eris, or just get yourself a Droid X.

Sure, something newer and better is going to come out that makes you wish you would’ve waited, but if you get the Tegra 2 device, something else is going to come out that makes you wish you would’ve waited on pulling the trigger on that. I was the same way with my G1 after we were hit with a sudden onslaught of high-end phones. Knowig the Galaxy S was coming out, I decided to bite on the EVO anyway. Had I waited for the Epic 4G that I just bought this past weekend, I’d be wondering why I just bought this when Samsung’s about to bring this newer super phone out to market. Wait all you want, but this cycle never ends. PS: be on the lookout for a nice upgrade to the Phandroid app coming VERY soon ;)

I’m look for an app to view my android display on a PC screen. i search online and not successful. please help

Take a gander at this thread on There are always people in there trying to do new things with their phones, and there are just as many people who will help you find the best way to do that. It’s a great resource that becomes invaluable when Google just isn’t working out for you. Go ahead and sign up and start asking some questions! :)

What do you think are the best three android phones on the market and why?

This is a VERY tough question and any answer I provide simply can’t be taken as law. But my personal favorites – as of today – are the T-Mobile G2, the Samsung Epic 4G, and the Google Nexus One. The stock experience of the G2 combined with that nice spacious keyboard and the 800MHz scorpion processor makes for one hell of a phone that you can bet will be next in line to get the latest versions of Android after any Nexus phones (notice I said “phones” with an S, hehe.)

After that comes the Samsung Epic 4G. It’s not stock Android, and Samsung may be slow on bringing it up to speed with everyone else, but it still has one of the best keyboards on the market, one of the fastest processors for gaming and general application use, and that Super AMOLED screen is amazing. It’s also the only Galaxy S phone with a notification light, and the only Galaxy S phone in the UK with a front-facing camera. Win. Finally, the Nexus One due to software alone. Its internals might seem outdated up against the processors of today and tomorrow, but it still gets the job done quite nicely.

Do you believe we should be paying for android updates on our phones?

This is an iffy area that I’m sure many people feel strongly about. I feel like no one should have to pay for updates on mobile platforms, to be quite honest. Sure, we’ve all said smartphones and tablets are beginning to overtake the desktop and laptop market where users will gladly pay for (costly) updates to the latest and greatest versions, but there’s something about a mobile phone that I think should continue to get updates regardless of who pays what. But if it would ever come down to us having to pay for updates, then I won’t fight it if it’s truly justified and if it helps to continue innovation. Apple’s recently backed off of the paid updates model for their smaller iOS devices and it would be hard to ever see Google charging for updates to Android, though, so I don’t think we have anything to worry about.

Now if you were to ask me if I would pay to get updates to my phone faster, then yes. In a heartbeat. :-P

I’m deciding to stay with tmobile for a while. In your opinion which phone out-performs the other, the mytouch 4G or the G2? I’m not concerned with about having/not having a physical keyboard.

I’ve not yet used a functional MyTouch 4G (only a software-disabled model) and if keyboard is a non-factor, I’d still go with the T-Mobile G2. I don’t hate HTC Sense. I actually think it’s the better of the Android customizations out there. But if I had to choose between stock and customizations, I’d go with stock every time. I’m not even considering the MyTouch 4G’s front-facing camera here. Nor am I considering the fact that it has a bigger screen. (Even if only very slightly.) For me, it comes down to processor after software. And even though the MT4G’s processor is clocked at 1GHz compared to the G2’s 800MHz, the G2’s chipset is so efficient that it can and does outperform various 1GHz offerings on the market today.

Most of that is in part to the Adrena 205 GPU on the phone (up there with the PowerVR SGX540 on the Galaxy S’s Hummingbird), but most of it comes down to good ol’ fashioned core efficiency. And the fact that there’s not a lot of bloat to slow the G2 down makes it soar past the MT4G, in my books. (Note: opinions based on 10 minutes of use on a functional display unit of the T-Mobile G2, and 10 minutes with the MyTouch 4G, both in T-Mobile stores.)

That’s it! A lot of questions, and I had fun answering them all. Be sure to send your questions in for next week’s PhanMail Friday by heading to the contact form found here and spilling all of your curiosity into our inbox!

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PhanMail Friday: Your Questions Answered [11/05/2010] Fri, 05 Nov 2010 16:25:56 +0000 phanmailIt’s Friday, November 5th and that means we’ve got a deep bag of mail to get through and a whole slew of questions to answer for you guys. It also just happens to be Android’s 3rd birthday, if you guys didn’t already know. (Cookie to anyone who can tell us when Phandroid’s third birthday is.) Anyway, we’ve got some mail to go through!

Is there any sign of a decent dock in the future that will support Android? In my case, a HTC Desire HD.

Docks are awesome, but unfortunately we’re at the mercy of manufacturers or carriers if we want official charging and media docks. Many high-end phones do make it to store shelves with an accompanying dock. In the case of your HTC Desire HD, it only comes with a car dock that’ll allow you to stick it to your window for use as a GPS device. As of yet, HTC has not announced plans to release an official desktop cradle, but there are some third party offerings on Amazon UK that can be had for decent prices.

As for everyone else, it’s best to first check with your manufacturer’s official website, then your carrier’s storefront or website to see if they’re offering anything. Just like for the Desire HD, if you can’t find a specific accessory for your particular phone, there are sure to be a number of third party vendors ready to do business with you on various websites.

I’m sure this has been asked before. I just haven’t seen it. When am I going to be able to get that 2.2 update for my samsung fascinate? I’m doing over here? Optional second question: is that super phone from motorola really coming out this year? Love you guys! If it wasn’t for you guys I probably wouldn’t check up on my facebook account. Found out today is my friends birthday! Oops!

Ah yes, Android 2.2. For Galaxy S phones, it’s been a bit of a mystery regarding Samsung’s upgrade and rollout schedule. Good news is that they have finally seemingly worked out all of the bugs for their base model – the GT i9000 – and has started pushing it out to everyone in the UK. This is good news because these phones are very similar at the core and differences in hardware, specs, and features are dismissive.

The bad news is that Samsung will likely have to brew up different versions of the update for different versions of the phone, and then must go through the carriers’ QA process before being approved for rollout. We’re hoping that Samsung and the carriers are able to get the ball rolling sooner rather than later.

As for your optional question? Your guess is just as good as ours. We’ve heard that same rumor time and time again, but there has yet to be any hard evidence to back the claims up. We wholly believe that a new Motorola superphone with a dual-core processor is on its way – the company’s CEO confirmed as much – but we just can’t say for sure what it will be and when it will be here.

I have a g1 and it doesn’t ring or vibrate…what should I do?

You should turn the ringer volume up and make sure your vibration features are turned on. Next!

Joking. But seriously, that should be your first course of action, as simple as it may sound. It’s likely that won’t be the issue, though. If your notification sounds come in just fine, then we know it’s not your hardware messing up. And a software issue preventing your phone from ringing doesn’t sound like it should be the issue. You might want to double check your settings (Menu > Settings from the homescreen) to make sure you’ve actually set up profiles and ringers for incoming cellular traffic. Failing that, the best option is to call T-Mobile and let them know about your issue as it’s a weird one that I’m sure they’ll be glad to help fix.

I have a Droid X and I am interested in the ultimate screen protector. I have done some homework and it looks like the top 3 is Skinomi, SGP and Zagg. I wanted to know which one do you guys recommend and why? P.S. I already purchased Zagg but the skin only protected the screen and not the whole glass face, which is what I am looking for. Thank you for your time.

I can’t personally speak for the quality of the other two protectors, but I have used and swear by Zagg. It sounds like that just won’t cut it for you. While I’d love to order and try out the other brands and give you my opinion on them, I think a much better option would be for you to head to and check out the Droid X accessories section. There is always something going on in there and those guys love talking about accessories. There’s bound to be a thread dedicated to screen protectors where users are giving their personal suggestions after weeks of use. I’ve even spotted some for you! Here, here, and here to get you started. (You’ll really want to dig into that last one. Judging by that review, I’d give SGP more than one look.)

As for everyone else there’s bound to be more of the same going on in the respective sections of the phone you own. Just be sure to sign up at to participate and don’t be afraid to ask questions!

What is with the current trend towards non user replaceable batteries? Amazon has gone there as has the Nook. Apple went there long ago. My Droid X of course is much more user friendly in that regard, but I am concerned it might pop up in the non apple tablets, especially the Motorola. Any input on this?

When Android was announced and the first “Google phone” – the T-Mobile G1 – was unveiled, one thing we loved laughing at our iPhone-owning brethren about was the fact that we had the option to swap out batteries and they didn’t. It’s something we take for granted, and when a manufacturer goes this route for their phones, it can throw more than just a few people off. (See: Xperia X10 Mini).

I’ve noticed it has become more common, but not to the point where you’ll see every manufacturer designing all of their phones this way. Everyone wants to be as successful as Apple and the iPhone, but they don’t need to mimic their every move. I would say expect this trend to pick up in the tablet race more than the smartphone sector, if anything.

Where can we buy Phandroid gear like that which you’re giving away?

You can’t unfortunately. We only provide it for giveaways, contests, at events, etc… if we had an easy way to ship them we might consider it but we’ve already got our hands full!

How can I purchase the full version of Robo Defence in Hong Kong?

It looks like Hong Kong still isn’t on the list of regions that Google supports for the paid sector of the Android market. They’ve been working to grow that list, but we’re not entirely sure when – or if – Hong Kong will be included.

For any of you in a region where you are unable to purchase paid apps, don’t lose hope just yet. Rumors have been suggesting that PayPal will be offered as an alternative to Google Checkout for buying applications in the Android market. If and when this does happen, that means Google will be able to flip the switch for your countries and you’ll be able to buy to your heart’s content. We know how frustrating it must be for not only users who want to support these developers, but developers who can’t offer ad-free versions of their apps because they develop applications in a non-supported country. Consider this our official plea to Google to make this happen sooner rather than later!

On your weekly contest where you must reply with a comment to enter. Does submitting multiple comments give you a better chance of winning? Because i have only been submitting one comment so far.

Sorry, but the answer is no. You can comment as many times as you’d like, but it absolutely won’t increase your chances of winning. Having said that, please don’t spam the Tuesday Phan Giveaway posts just because you can ;).

That’s it for this week, guys. You’ve sent in a ton of questions and we had a ton of fun answering them all. Don’t forget to keep sending them in using our PhanMail form over at the Contact Us page and check back each Friday to see if your question has been met with an answer!

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Android 101: How to Use Any Audio File as a Notification Sound [Video] Mon, 01 Nov 2010 14:05:12 +0000 Every day, hundreds of thousands of new Android users get their phones, and out of that hefty chunk, we’re sure there are more than a few of you who would like to learn how to use your phones to their fullest potential. Introduce Android 101, a series of guides, tutorials, and how-tos where we attempt to answer those burning questions whenever you first take your phone out of its packaging.

We were asked how one could use a song as a notification sound for incoming SMS messages – a sensible want and need. There are a few different ways that you can make this happen – some easier than others – but the easiest way is to use the Android market to your advantage. Just like you would expect from any app store, it’s there to add new functionality to your phone without you having to worry about complications.

For today’s session, I use an app called Ringdroid to edit any audio file on my phone for use as a ringtone, a notification sound, or an alarm sound. I then show how you can change the settings in your SMS app (AOSP version) to use your new file as the notification for incoming text messages. If you’ve been wondering about this yourself, be sure to watch the video above, and if you have any questions you’d like answered for Android 101 sessions in the future, don’t hesitate to submit them using our PhanMail contact form!

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PhanMail Friday: Your Questions Answered [10/29/2010] Fri, 29 Oct 2010 18:05:03 +0000 phanmailWe’re back with another edition of PhanMail Friday, the column where we take a peak inside the Phandroid mailbag and give you the low down on your Android questions. After sorting through the heap of emails received, we pulled out a few of our favorites for the benefit of you, our loyal readers.

And remember, you can submit your own burning questions by heading over to our PhanMail page. So let’s do this thing!

I am happy with my carrier, Sprint, and am upgrading this weekend and looking at the Evo. Any advice? Should I go for it or hold out for something new that may be coming out? I’d hate to get one and have a better version Android phone or a second generation Evo come out early 2011.

Now this is a question many of us will ask ourselves, regardless of carrier. There are plenty of great Android handsets to choose from and many more just around the corner. Fore those on Sprint, the decision may not be as hard as they currently offer two great Android phones using next-gen 4G technology. For other carriers the choice might not be so simple, considering Verizon and AT&T will be launching their own 4G LTE Android handsets early next year.

For Sprint, the HTC EVO 4G is as solid an option as it was back in June when it released, and will continue to be a great choice going forward. Sure, something better is bound to come out, but if you always hold out for what’s next you will find yourself never upgrading at the rate that new handsets become rumored and released. For those on Verizon or another carrier wanting the best phone possible, you might want to think twice about locking in to current or soon-to-be-released holiday offerings and consider waiting for handsets using 4G radios and dual-core processors. Those should be coming in early 2011.

Will Gingerbread work with my Motorola Droid 1?

As a Droid user, this is one question I wish we had a straight answer for. The truth is, until Gingerbread is officially debuted (that should be in the coming weeks), we won’t know. We can say that the original Droid is getting a bit long in the tooth in terms of smartphones. It is a year old at this point and the focus has shifted to the Droid X and Droid 2. Now that being said, the D1 with its stock Android has a history of being among the first devices to receive each new update to Android. While initial rumors speculated that Gingerbread might have minimum system requirements that the D1 would simply not meet, with the revelation that the next update is merely to version 2.3 rather than the expected 3.0 it seems more likely that a boost in specs will not be necessary.

We expect (and hope) 2.3 will make its way to the original Droid, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it is among the last of the OS updates the handset receives.

I was really interested in the Galaxy Tab until I saw its pricing. Do you think tablets from Motorola and HTC  will cost less and be worth waiting for?

First, let’s address Galaxy Tab pricing. Yes, it seems a little steep even at $399 locked in on a two-year contract, but you should also remember what you are getting. For Verizon to sell the tablet with a 7-inch screen and internals to match up with the Galaxy S at $599, the deal isn’t that bad considering it isn’t all that more expensive than an unsubsidized Samsung Fascinate. But we get that people wouldn’t want to drop that much dough for what they might get out of the Galaxy Tab, regardless of how fancy its specs are.

As for future tablets from Motorola, HTC, and the likes, expect them to be priced no cheaper, possibly even more expensive if their hardware ends up using dual-core Tegra 2 chips and 10-inch screens, though those may provide more bang for your buck than the Galaxy Tab. If you are looking for a decent tablet at a lower price you may want to pay attention to what Acer will be unveiling at the end of November or explore some of the many low-cost tablets that seem to pop up more and more everyday.

I want an Android halloween costume, any suggestions?

Well, you could always go as the green guy himself, though devising a full-scale Android suit might be a bit much if you are putting this together last minute. I personally was considering a zombie Steve Jobs with a Droid sticking out of his heart. Or, a little more obscure, but you could go as a Gingerbread man.

For something less Android-centric but still fun, you might consider some Angry Birds costumes. The guys at TheClockBlog threw together some pretty cool man-sized costumes of the birds. But really, be creative! How about dressing up as the red Droid eye?

That covers it for this week, but keep the good questions coming and check back in next Friday for more PhanMail and phanswers.

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PhanMail Friday: Your Questions Answered [10/22/2010] Fri, 22 Oct 2010 18:03:35 +0000 phanmailWelcome to a brand new feature that we’ll start doing every single Friday… PhanMail Friday! We get a lot of Android-related questions throughout the week and can’t POSSIBLY answer them all. But for the ones that could be entertaining, informative, educational, interesting and beyond… we thought you might enjoy hearing our answers.

You can submit your PhanMail questions here, or just read below and enjoy a good old-fashioned round of Q&A – Android style. Let the fun begin!

If Andy Rubin, Steve Jobs and Steve Ballmer fought in a 3-way celebrity deathmatch cage fight – who would win and how?

Steve Jobs would definitely have the upper hand. Being in that type of closed environment is definitely the equivalent to home field advantage. Steve Ballmer would definitely have a great shot too, because while Jobs and Rubin are busy pummeling each other to death, Ballmer would be sitting in the middle of the ring announcing why Windows Phone is so revolutionary. But in the end, I think Andy Rubin would find a way to take the battle to more fertile ground, pulling an Undertaker by choke slamming his nemesis through the very cage that used to encapsulate them. Jobs would land on Ballmer, instantly killing them both.

And just to clear this all up, I’m talking about this in the context of Celebrity Death Match and inherently in the most sarcastic way possible. I’d never wish harm on anyone, and when it comes to Steve Jobs and Steve Ballmer, I wish them nothing but success. Better competition = Better quality. Not to mention they’ve got families and are probably good guys and all that.


If you had to sum up each (American) carrier with one phrase or sentence, what would they be?

  • Verizon Wireless: Best Coverage/Signal/Service… DROIIIIIIIIIID
  • Sprint: G G G G… turned it around in an EPIC way
  • T-Mobile: home of the original Android and incredibly balanced offerings (value)
  • AT&T: I’ll have to get back to you on this one

What killer feature are you eagerly awaiting phones to start getting as a standard – either hardware or software related?

For some reason I’ve had this odd fascination for mainstream phones to get optical zoom. We’ve got devices with incredibly high megapixel counts, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to quality pictures. If an awesomely spec’d Android comes out with optical zoom… I’m getting it. I think it’s one of the key features that’s preventing people from using their phone as an everyday type of camera.

Make the phone a little more thick to accomodate. Slap on an extended battery as the default/stock battery. Hook it up with 5x optical zoom or something sick along with a 5MP or above lens, but focus on picture quality. Then send it to me and watch me smile. Then put it on sale and profit.

Are you ever going to update the Phandroid Application in the market?

Staff and premium members of AndroidForums already have access to a beta of the new Phandroid App. It’s infinitely improved and offers support for news, forums, IRC chat, and a whole lot more on the way. We’re fixing bugs and polishing things off and hope to have it released in the next couple weeks. I promise you that compared to the current app… it will blow you away.

FYI we’ll also be changing the name from “Phandroid News” to simply “Phandroid”

What will be the hottest Android items for the holidays?

It’s impossible to deny that Google TV products and Samsung Galaxy Tab will be among the favorites. Keep an eye on ChromeOS tablets and netbooks because while they’re not necessarily Android-related, we could see some integration between the two. For example, Google TV is based on Android but also baked in with Chrome.

It’s hard to know what will really catch fire in the mind of consumers. I think Google TV might take a little bit of time for people to understand and for it to catch on. It’s also only October so I’m hoping that a lot of Android stuff is still waiting in the wings for optimal announcement time. After Halloween people seem to start thinking holidays… so let’s see what November has to offer in terms of product announcements.

Hope you enjoyed the first edition of PhanMail and we look forward to getting your questions throughout the next week!

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