We've come to the end of another year, and as we wave goodbye to 2010, we figured it was only fitting that we share the most popular stories published on Gear Live in 2010, as determined by our readers (we've also got the top ten most read stories regardless of publish date!) These are the ten stories that were read the most, and when you consider that fact, it's pretty surprising to see what made the list. Let's kick it off with our most read story of the year:
Fring App Brings Skype Video Calling to iPhone 4 over Wi-Fi and 3G:
Sure, Skype just formally announced video calling in the Skype 3.0 iOS app, but Fring brought us Skype video calls months ago! The thing is, Skype pulled that feature from Fring with the quickness, but that didn't stop this from being the most read story we published in 2010!
Droid Life on Tuesday posted photos of the HTC Thunderbolt, which it says will be Verizon's first 4G LTE device. The site didn't have any details on specs except to note that it looks a lot like the Desire HD. The device features a kickstand and Google branding.
Verizon said it has no comment.
In the past couple of years, as 3G has become pervasive, cellphone providers haven't been able to rely on the term anymore in marketing ads. So it's no surprise that as soon as newer technologies get introduced, they start touting that they are now offering the next step above that, 4G. The problem is that whether it's Sprint offering WiMax, or Verizon offering LTE, these new technologies simply aren't 4G. The actual definition of 4G is something that none of the wireless companies can define, as that job belongs to the International Communications Union (ITU)--and according to them, none of the carriers met the requirements to really be called 4G. In fact, the ITU hadn't even provided a clear, final decision as to what could and could not be called 4G. This left customers confused as to who had the actual faster networks.
Now, it seems that the ITU has decided to back down, and cave to the various network providers. Over the weekend, the organization released a statement saying "As the most advanced technologies currently defined for global wireless mobile broadband communications, IMT-Advanced is considered as '4G,' although it is recognized that this term, while undefined, may also be applied to the forerunners of these technologies, LTE and WiMax, and to other evolved 3G technologies providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed." Once again, it seems they do their best to remain unclear and confusing, but what did change is that now when a Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon ad claims their 4G speed, they will actually be accurate. So a few days ago, no one had 4G in North America--now almost everyone does.
Read More | ITU
The Samsung Epic 4G is the second phone from Sprint to take advantage of their speedier 4G service, the original being the EVO 4G. The Epic 4G is part of Samsung’s Galaxy S line of Android smartphones, although visually it’s a departure from others like the Samsung Captivate, Fascinate, and Vibrant from other carriers. You do still get the TouchWiz 3.0 interface, 1GHz Hummingbird processor, and the 4-inch Super AMOLED display. So what’s different, aside from the phone being able to access Sprint’s 4G network? Well, it’s a Galaxy S phone with a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard. So, is it worth your time—and more importantly—your money? We’ve got our full review for you, so click on through.
Today, Sprint launched the Samsung Epic 4G smartphone, their second Android phone that can tap into their 4G network. We have our hands on the device, and we’ve taken a bunch of shots to show off Samsung’s only QWERTY keyboard-sporting Galaxy S device. We know you want to get to our Epic 4G review ASAP, but do take a moment and check out the Epic 4G unboxing gallery we’ve put together to really get an idea of the look of the thing, won’t you?
Gallery: Samsung Epic 4G unboxing gallery
Blurry photos of Samsung’s R900 Craft surfaced about a week ago within HowardForums. While the R900 is not running those new fangled operating systems that all the kids are raving for these days, the pics reveal that the phone will run on the MetroPCS’s LTE network making it the first LTE capable phone stateside, so it does breed a bit of excitement. Currently MetroPCS has only confirmed LTE networks to cover metropolitan areas in Las Vegas and Dallas Fort Wort, but states that they will cover several more metropolitan markets as well. Check out more photos of the MetroPCS Samsung R900 after the jump.
Read More | Howard Forums
Okay, so we know that T-Mobile launched their super-fast HSPA+ network recently, and up to this point, only data-specific devices are able to take advantage of those increased speeds. However, that’s about to change with the impending launch of the T-Mobile G2. Yup, the G1, the first Android phone to hit the market a couple of years ago, is finally getting its successor in the G2, and it’ll be the first phone to support HSPA+ speeds. It will be available next month, and it’ll be built by HTC (which means it should be awesome.) Here’s a statement from T-Mobile on the news:
“T-Mobile is proud to have launched the world’s first Android-powered phone, the T-Mobile G1, which captured the imagination of developers and consumers alike nearly two years ago. Now, we are readying its successor - the T-Mobile G2 with Google. Delivering tight integration with Google services, the G2 will break new ground as the first smartphone specifically designed for our advanced HSPA+ network, which delivers today’s available 4G speeds. In the coming weeks we’ll share more details about the G2, including information on how current T-Mobile customers can get exclusive first access. Visit http://g2.t-mobile.com to register for updates.”
Read More | T-Mobile G2
If you’ve pre-ordered a white HTC EVO 4G, don’t be surprised if you get a call from Best Buy today letting you know that your smartphone is ready for pick up. Apparently, despite having an availability date of July 11th, the white HTC EVO 4G made it to stores early, and Best Buy is cool with selling them as they come in. If you need some of that white smartphone goodness, you may wanna give your local store a call. In the meantime, where the heck is that white iPhone 4?
Sprint just announced their newest Android smartphone, the Samsung Epic 4G. Formerly known as the Galaxy S Pro in the rumor mill, the Epic 4G will launch in “the coming months” and seems feature-packed. For starters, it’s got a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, 1GHz Hummingbird processor, 5 megapixel camera with LED flash and 720p video recording, front-facing VGA camera for video calls, accelerometer, and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and a landscape QWERTY slider keyboard. Naturally, the Epic 4G will be running Samsung’s customized version of Android 2.1.
Read More | Sprint
We are big fans of the Sprint Overdrive, especially because here in Seattle, we’ve got 4G coverage. The network is speedy, and the Overdrive pretty much comes with us wherever we go. We use it as a WI-Fi hotspot for the iPhone, iPad, and laptop. We can even let friends hop on the network if need be. That said, there have been a few annoyances every now and then—it would crash once or twice a day, requiring a reboot. Starting the thing up took forever. Random disconnects would have us questioning why we weren’t getting data.
Well, a new firmware update for the Overdrive was released yesterday, and it seems to fix everything we had a problem with. Here’s the full list of fixes and improvements:
- Improved device stability, eliminating all known freeze-ups and lock-ups
- Wi-Fi enhancements that improve Wi-Fi stability and eliminate Wi-Fi disconnects and crashes
- Significant improvement in 3G & 4G WAN stability, eliminating most 3G and 4G disconnects
- Some improvement in overall battery life and battery life in poor coverage; for more information on how to improve battery life, see the “Overdrive Battery Tips” document on DSP
- Faster boot-up time (10-12 seconds faster)
- Improved response time when changing the WAN Mode setting - time savings of approximately 1 minute, 20 seconds; no reboot required (includes switching from 3G to 4G and vice versa)
- Tool Tips added to GPS settings screen to help the users understand the GPS settings
- Faster response time after canceling an operation on the Advanced Settings screen (device reset is no longer required; offline time decreased by 1.5 minutes)
- The ability to now enable or disable the microSD card and the TRU-install™ feature in addition to DataLink support
Just log in to your Overdrive admin console and check for updates. You’ll get the new hotness in short order.
Read More | Sprint Overdrive
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