webOS: The Little Mobile OS That Could

Many grew up with The Little Engine That Could, a tale about the power of optimism and hard work. The goal is to spread hope through the metaphor of a little blue engine that defied all odds despite what others say. To keep motivated, the little engine chants, “I think I can; I think I can; I think I can.”

Open Source: a philosophy, or pragmatic methodology that promotes free redistribution and access to an end product’s design and implementation details.

From it’s beginnings with the Palm Pre in 2009, webOS has always been a unique animal in the mobile device market. Using the metaphor of cards that could be flung off the screen to terminate tasks, its approach to multitasking was unique at a time when iOS couldn’t / wouldn’t do it. The Palm Pre itself was actually a pretty nice device at the time, but like everything else Palm did, they bungled webOS and it never really took off. In April 2010, HP acquired the OS. After numerous, half-hearted attempts to take the OS forward, including the release of the HP TouchPad to compete in the expanding tablet market, they finally announced that they would halt device production and webOS development in August 2011. This lead to speculation that webOS would be killed off or sold to the highest bidder.

XDA exists so that like-minded developers can come and share their work and knowledge, as well as learn from others. We encourage open source development because that’s how true innovation happens. And without open source development, our favorite OS Android would not be where it is today. So when HP announced late last year that webOS would be open sourced rather than killed, the development community leaped at the news.

Except for a tidbit earlier this year about an HTC Evo 3D running a very dirty port of webOS, all has been mostly quiet on the Open webOS front. But now word is leaking out from the webOS-Ports team that webOS is being ported to the Galaxy Nexus. They have provided a video showing the device booted up with webOS and WiFi working, but it is quite obvious that hardware acceleration is drastically needed before this is actually usable—not to mention all of the phone functions, etc.

What makes this extremely interesting is that we are seeing the epitome of open source development. We have software—in this case a mobile OS—that the manufacturer no longer wishes to or is capable of supporting and improving. Then, you have a group of developers who see the potential of said software. And after a lot of hard (often thankless) work, we have the makings of another alternative for the mobile community. This is the crux of what makes XDA what it is. We look forward to seeing where this project goes.

TWRP 2.2.2 Update Brings Several Improvements and Bug Fixes

Team Win Recovery Project was recently updated to bring several improvements and bug fixes to the popular custom recovery. For those unfamiliar, TWRP is a custom recovery with an impressive touch-based GUI that packs quite a punch and makes recovery operations a flash, no pun intended.

TWRP is officially available for dozens of Android devices, and is quickly becoming the custom recovery solution of choice for many enthusiasts. It is an open source project and utilizes the open source Open Recovery Script, which Team Win created.

This is the third update to TWRP in the recent months, after 2.1 and 2.2 that we previously featured. According to the official changelog, the changes made in this 2.2.2 update include:

  • Significantly improved sd-ext handling (ext partitions on sdcards)
  • Changes to kinetic scrolling in file selectors
  • Fixed a problem with using periods in backup names
  • Fixed problems in XML layouts with mounting system and USB storage
  • Fixed a problem with unmounting a partition before formatting during restore
  • Add Jelly Bean decrypt support
  • Updated 320×480 theme to match others (thanks to Llewelyn)
  • Improve “symlinking” of /data/media to either /sdcard or /emmc
  • Added sanitizing of device IDs for invalid characters (thanks to bigbiff)
  • Fixed free space calculation when switching backup devices on /data/media devices
  • Fixed a problem with using OpenRecoveryScript to create a backup without providing a backup name

Want to grab TWRP 2.2.2 for your device? Head over to the appropriate forum thread link below for your device:

You can also install TWRP 2.2.2 directly to your device using GooManager or download it from the TWRP website, where it may be available for more devices than listed above.

DroidMote Brings Remote Control Functionality To Your Device

If you’ve ever wanted to be able to take control of either your PC or another Android device from your phone or tablet, this app may be something worth looking into. DroidMote by XDA Senior Member zulu99 is an app that will allow you to do just that. In the developers own words:

“DroidMote is not only a remote mouse, a remote keyboard, a remote gamepad and a remote multi touch touchpad, but it is something more. In fact, with the Gamepad2Touch feature allows you to use all the applications and games that were developed to support only devices with touch screen. Imagine you want remote control a game, designed for touch screen devices on your large TV Full HD, with DroidMote you can.”

The application is composed of two parts: a client for the device you will be using as the remote controller and a server for the device(s) to be controlled. The device on which you are installing the server will require root access. Once the app is installed and both devices are connected to the same local network, you are all set. Compatible with all Android devices and PCs running either Windows or Linux, this is an incredibly versatile application.

The application thread contains a wealth of information pertaining to the app itself and how to set up everything to meet your needs, including details of remapping the keys and games that are compatible with its “real gamepad” emulation feature.

If this appeals to you, check it out by visiting the application thread.

App Review: Toggle in Your Notification Bar with Notification Toggle – XDA Developer TV

Do you have too many toggle widgets on your home screen? Would you like to toggle the on/off state of your Wi-Fi or other toggles on your notification bar? Well XDA Recognized Developer j4velin has provided us with a great application that brings this feature.

In this video TK reviews the Notification Toggle application. He shows the options of the application and shows how the application looks. TK steps you through all the setup screens of Notification Toggle. So check out this app review.



Compile CyanogenMod 10 for the Galaxy S

Since the Jelly Bean source was released, we’ve brought you news of a very large number of official and unofficial CyanogenMod 10 ports. Now, as new releases are beginning to wind down, various developers are writing up guides to show others how to do it. One early guide on compiling Jelly Bean from source was already covered on our Portal not too long ago. Now, more device specific guides are beginning to slip through the cracks, including for the Samsung Galaxy S I9000.

Posted here by XDA Senior Member pmos69, the guide builds on existing guides that teach how to compile CM9 from source—all fully credited, of course. It starts with the very basics, including installing Ubuntu packages, Android SDK, and Java. Then, it goes through that now familiar task of installing the repository.

After the set up, pmos69 walks users through how to compile the ROM and flash it to their devices. It is a very elementary guide, but perfect for those looking to start out and want to do so on the latest version of CyanogenMod 10. Additionally, there are tips on how to update the repository. While some may want more topics explained, it is quite easy to follow for even the most novice of users.

For more information, check out the original thread.

Team Win Recovery Project Updated to 2.2

Just about three months ago, we brought you news that the Team Win Recovery Project had received a massive update to version 2.1. April’s release largely heralded the start of a new age in recoveries—where one would no longer have to deal with cumbersome menus, instead interacting with a very user-friendly GUI.

It wasn’t simply about the GUI either. In addition to bringing an unrivaled level of UI polish, TWRP 2.1 offered users many advanced features such as update.zip queuing, a basic file manager, and dual storage support for Nandroid backups. Additionally, TWRP added support for the open source scripting engine OpenRecoveryScript, which works in conjunction with the previously covered GooManager.

How do you follow up something as revolutionary as TWRP 2.1? With TWRP 2.2, of course. That’s how! The new release builds on the previous offering by delivering many recovery “firsts.” For starters, this is the first recovery to feature on on-screen keyboard. Why would you want such a thing? How about naming and renaming Nandroid backups! TWRP 2.2 is also the only recovery to split extremely large backups, allowing users to backup and restore /data partitions larger than the 2 GB FAT32 file size limit.

In the words of XDA Recognized Developer Dees_Troy:

– On-screen keyboard in recovery! — supports long press, backspace repeat, and swipe left deletes everything left of the cursor
– Name new backups and rename existing backups
– Rename files and folders in the file manager
– Pseudo-terminal emulator
– Support decrypting an encrypted data partition on Galaxy Nexus (enter password using keyboard)
– Backup archive splitting — allows backup and restore of data partitions larger than 2GB
– Simplified XML layout support between resolutions
– Added dual storage selection radio buttons to zip install, backup, and restore pages
– Improved zip install compatibility
– Updated update-binary source code
– Numerous small bug fixes and improvements

Eager to get started? I know I am. Head to the links below to obtain the appropriate version for your device:

Team Win Recovery Project Updated to 2.1

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: touch-based recoveries are the future. Aside from giving end users easier access to device firmware modification, they add a much needed element of polish to the Android hacking experience. While some may say that these upgrade recoveries take away from the feelings of thrill and excitement, I argue that they offer a more efficient interface and enable some truly unique new features not available in the recoveries of yesteryear.

In a rather large update to what is arguably the most popular touch-based recovery around, XDA Recognized Developer Dees_Troy presents to us Team Win Recovery Project (TWRP, for short) version 2.1. Aside from simply bringing a friendly UI, TWRP 2.1 packs a healthy feature punch by offering zip queuing, a basic file manager, and dual storage support for backups.

TWRP supports scripting via a new scripting engine called OpenRecoveryScript for use with GooManager. With ORS, users can install multiple update.zip files from within Android, wipe cache & dalvik, and run a backup. Furthermore, in the name of openness, Team Win has submitted ORS as a commit to ClockworkMod.

In the words of the developer:

Team Win Recovery Project 2.0, or twrp2 for short, is a custom recovery built with ease of use and customization in mind. We started from the ground up by taking AOSP recovery and loading it with the standard recovery options, then added a lot of our own features. It’s a fully touch driven user interface – no more volume rocker or power buttons to mash. The GUI is also fully XML driven and completely theme-able. You can change just about every aspect of the look and feel.

New features for version 2 of the recovery software:

Zip queuing as seen in TWRP 1.1.x is back
Dual storage capable (backup, restore, and install zips from internal or external storage – you choose)
Slider control (swipe to confirm most actions aka swipe to wipe)
Lockscreen (with slider to unlock)
Basic file manager (copy, move, delete, and chmod any file)
Added support for devices with /data/media (most Honeycomb tablets, new ICS devices like Galaxy Nexus)
Displays sizes of each partition in the backup menu
Added listbox GUI element (currently used for listing time zones)
Updated stock XML layouts to be more consistent and easier to port to different resolutions
XML layout files are significantly smaller
Partitions available backup are more accurate for some devices
Removed unneeded error messages (/misc errors, unable to stat sd-ext, etc.)
Fixed a bug with blkid detection code
Fixed bug where a blank line was inserted between every line of text during zip installs
Fixed a bug during zip installs where an invalid zip would cause TWRP to get stuck in the zip install
Added setting for themers to toggle simulation mode to make theming easier
New devices added – Galaxy Nexus GSM & CDMA (preview only, manual install), Acer Iconia Tab A500, HTC Vivid, Motorola Defy
Added support for .jpg images in the theme engine
Changed images for stock tablet theme – makes tablet builds about 500KB smaller
Removed unneeded non-GUI images from GUI – makes all builds about 100KB smaller

If you’re itching to get started, please visit the development threads listed below. If instead you are looking to theme the recovery, visit their theming guide.

Load Ubuntu 11.10 on the Archos Gen8

Installing a Linux Distro on an Android device is always an interesting prospect. The idea of having an operating system like Linux, which is meant for real computers but can be run on practically everything, brings even more functionality to a device than it had with just the stock software. Its small footprint and low spec requirements make it just as good for most Android devices as Android itself.

For those carrying the Archos Gen8, your Ubuntu goodness is right around the corner. XDA Forum Member CalcProgrammer1, who’s brought Linux to tablets before, has been working on a build of Ubuntu to fully work with the Archos Gen8. Unfortunately, there’s still a ways to go, but users can experience most of what handheld Linux has to offer with the first release. Despite some problems with the wireless drivers and the occasional bug here and there, the Linux experience on the Gen8 seems to be pretty complete as, at the very least, the essential functions all still work.

In the words of the developer:

The display is working and the touchscreen works as well (calibrated correctly as I copied my calibration from my 11.04 install). It boots into Unity 2D which is the default. I’m having issues getting the wl1271 wireless module up, I have had it running once but NetworkManager said device was not ready despite being able to iwlist scan and see a list of AP’s and then connect to them manually.

So while there is still a lot of work to be done, a lot of work has already been done and Gen8 users are very close to have a fully functional Ubuntu to play with.

Check out the modification thread for additional information, some really fun modifications, and download links.

HP’s webOS Spotted Running on an EVO 3D; Open Sourcing Effort May Pay Off

Since HP announced the release of the webOS source code, the recently abandoned operating system has grown a rather loyal following. Progress has been made in homebrew development and in custom builds for webOS native devices. Many forum members have been clamoring for a port of webOS to Android devices for several months now. Initial ports were expected to appear for the Motorola Droid or its GSM counterpart, the Milestone, since the devices share the same OMAP3 3430 processor with the Palm Pre (the very first native webOS device).

Recently an HTC EVO 3D was spotted running a build of webOS 3.0, the version that came with the notorious HP TouchPad. Originally posted by Ryan Hope (@_puffthemagic_) on Twitter, the 3 still images of webOS running have now been supplemented with a YouTube video that can be found here. While not functional enough for actual use, the operating system boots without issue. Ryan originally started work on the port before HP released the source code for webOS. With the release of both the Android kernel and the full webOS source porting progress can only move forward from here. Could this mean widespread availability of webOS ports on Android devices soon? Depending on interest level and developer involvement, it is a possibility!

If webOS is of interest to you don’t forget to check out our webOS forum section here. Want to get involved? Developers and *nix experts, check out the webOS Software and Hacking section here!


APK Makes Windows 95/98/XP and Linux Run on EVO 3D

Running computer operating systems on a phone is always an interesting experience. For most phones, booting into Linux is hard enough and Windows isn’t even an option. The HTC EVO 3D is not one of those phones.

XDA Senior Member mnomaanw has posted a method that will get Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows XP and Linux running on the HTC EVO 3D in a relatively easy process that can be done pretty quickly. Basically, all a user needs to do is download the required software, modify a file or two and run the apk. Wait for it to boot and you’re ready to go.

Controls are pretty easy to understand and make excellent use of the hardware as well as the home and menu buttons. The instructions are as follows:

– It emulate touchpad on touchscreen and left/right mouse buttons on volume
– You can also click touch screen to generate mouse left button click.(this does not work everytime)
– Back = BackSpace, Menu = Enter, left-upper corner click generates TAB
– left-lower corner click popups keyboard

For those who want to give their EVO 3D some Windows or Linux love, they can find all the downloads and instructions in the thread here but make sure to take the proper precautions, such as backing up your device.

HP Begins Open Sourcing Of webOS, Releases Enyo 1.0 and 2.0 Source Code

Since HP announced that it would open source webOS, there have been lots of questions on how exactly HP plans to do that, and what such a move could bring. While the future for webOS is still very much up in the air, the process of open sourcing the mobile operating system originally developed by Palm has now begun, with the release of the Enyo 1.0 source code and the introduction of the brand new Enyo 2.0.

HP expects to finalize the open source version of webOS, dubbed Open webOS 1.0, in September. The first piece here is Enyo 1.0, which is the application framework that debuted in webOS 3.0 on the TouchPad. It allows the creation of platform independent applications using web technologies such as JavaScript in theory, while it was used for writing apps that targeted the TouchPad in practice, since it was only compatible to the WebKit browser engine. The source code of Enyo 1.0 has now been released.

The more significant thing here, however, is Enyo 2.0. HP is apparently keeping their promise to continue development of webOS, and Enyo 2.0 brings several advantages over its predecessor. It finally makes good on its original aim and is fully browser-independent, claiming to work in “any modern browser, desktop or mobile” as long as it supports HTML5. This could be an incentive for developers to build apps using Enyo, since it’ll work basically everywhere, even including other mobile and desktop operating systems – if it succeeds in creating a vibrant developer community and app ecosystem, it would make it much easier for HP to bring out new webOS devices in the future by negating one of its strongest shortcomings.

Even better, HP plans to bring Open webOS in “late summer” to owners of the discontinued TouchPad, and is even “looking” at all other webOS devices like the Pre, Pixi and Veer. While we can’t know yet whether webOS will be able to gain enough traction, this is certainly great news for owners of current webOS devices.

Read more at The Verge, HP webOS Developer Blog, Enyo.

Sony (Not Sony Ericsson) Unveils the Xperia Ion

Back in October, we were greeted by news that Sony was set to buy out the remainder of Sony Ericsson for a cool $1.45 billion—a move made with the hopes of delivering better product integration and bolstering patent holdings. Fast forward two-and-a-half months, and now we have our first purely Sony phone since the 2001 merger—and what a phone it is!

The Xperia Ion by Sony will be the first Xperia-branded phone to pack 4G LTE connectivity. The goodness doesn’t stop with network speeds, as the Ion also comes loaded with a 4.6″ Reality display with Bravia technology and a massive 1280 x 720 resolution.

A beautiful screen and fast network mean nothing, however, if there isn’t enough grunt to back it up. Luckily, the Ion packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon S3, which mates the ARM Cortex A8-derived Scorpion CPU with the AMD Adreno 220 GPU. Sound familiar? It should—that’s the same SoC that’s powering the T-Mobile variant of the Galaxy S II, various HTC phones such as the Evo 3D, and even the hacker’s delight HP TouchPad. The memory and storage are equally impressive at 1 GB and 16 GB (expandable via microSD), respectively.

Unfortunately all is not peachy, as the Ion will launch with Android 2.3 Gingerbread rather than the oh-so-sweet Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This being XDA, we are sure to see plenty of custom ROM ports within hours of release, but it’s always preferable when the OEMs at least pretend to care about what’s best for their customers. Given Sony’s recent track record with ICS updates, however, we remain hopeful that the Ion will officially receive ICS in a timely manner.

Has the Xperia Ion made the short list for your next device upgrade? Let us know in the comments section below!

Looking Back At 2011

2011 is about to come to an end, and it’s been an impressive year for us. We’ve grown more than 50% year-over-year, while the adoption of smartphones is also growing like crazy, with Android coming out on top in terms of marketshare, Windows Phone going from very small to very small, and Windows Mobile finally fading into irrelevance. And that August 2011 was probably the most eventful month in tech history…

So, let’s take a look at what happened this year, from a smartphone enthusiast’s standpoint. Make yourself comfortable, for it’s a long read.

HTC HD2 still popular

Surprisingly, despite a slew of new Android devices released this year, none of them managed to surpass a now two-year old device, one that originally shipped with Windows Mobile, in terms of popularity and development activity here on xda-developers. It’s the HTC HD2.

This was in no doubt helped by some big breakthroughs that happened just around the beginning of 2011: MAGLDR was released, allowing you to boot directly into Android and thus completely bypass Windows Mobile; a few weeks later, Windows Phone 7 was ported. But I won’t go into too much detail here – I’ve previously written a 2,000-word essay about the story of the HTC HD2, in case you’re interested.

The patent wars…

Google has certainly earned a lot of goodwill from enthusiasts by keeping Android open source. However, not only has a study found that Android is, by far, the least open among seven other open source projects including Linux, Mozilla and Symbian, but it also seems to infringe lots of patents.

The Android patent saga didn’t begin this year: Apple sued HTC back in March 2010, and Oracle filed its lawsuit against Google five months later, in August. However, it was only with the aggressive suing and counter-suing between Apple and Samsung, started by the former in April 2011, that the whole thing really blew up. Dubbed as the “patent wars”, they are currently being fought out in nearly two dozen lawsuits in at least ten countries all over the world, with the outcome still very much open.

…make Google buy Motorola

In August, presumably to protect Android and its hardware partners, Google surprisingly bought Motorola Mobility, which owns over 17,000 patents and has several thousand more pending, compared to the less than 1,000 patents Google holds. This led to speculation that Google might either kill off Motorola’s unprofitable hardware business in order to focus on its patents, or utilize its hardware business to manufacture its own Android devices.

So far, neither has happened. In fact, it’s both unclear whether Motorola’s patents are really strong enough to fend off Apple, Oracle and Microsoft, and Motorola still makes its own devices, with the newest Google Nexus device actually coming from Samsung.

Android grows up…

Yes, again. Last year’s Nexus S introduced us to Android 2.3 Gingerbread, originally rumored to be the major overhaul that Android 3.0 Honeycomb partially turned out to be. But Honeycomb was designed exclusively for tablets, and never gained much traction with developers or consumers – Android 4.0, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich and launched on the Galaxy Nexus, set out to change this.

It not only unified smartphone and tablet versions, but finally managed to overcome Android’s biggest weakness to date: its UI, which was overly complex, inconsistent, and laggy. Ice Cream Sandwich still may not be as polished as iOS or as beautiful as Windows Phone 7, but with all of Android’s other strengths, it has in many ways surpassed the competition.

…while HTC struggles

Ah, HTC, that obscure Taiwanese OEM turned billion-dollar smartphone behemoth. Its brand name is now more valuable than that of Acer, and it has had record quarter after record quarter. But not anymore – its projection for the fourth quarter is negative.

Of course, that’s due in part to the highly anticipated launch of the iPhone 4S, but Samsung is still doing fine; since they introduced the Galaxy S and were chosen as the second manufacturer for a Nexus device, they’ve surpassed HTC both in marketshare and popularity in our forums. That’s because HTC is lacking in innovation: it can neither compete with Apple in terms of industrial design, nor with Samsung in terms of specifications. Just look at the Rezound, which has similar specs to the Galaxy Nexus, but is about ten times as thick.

With smartphones going mainstream, HTC has gone mainstream. Unfortunately, without other businesses besides smartphones to bring in money, it doesn’t seem too competitive right now. Hopefully, their strategy for the new year of bringing fewer, but better phones will turn them around.

Nokia goes Windows Phone…

In February, a rallying memo by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who previously worked for Microsoft, leaked. In the memo, he compared Nokia to a man standing on a burning platform, who had no choice but to jump into the ice-cold water to be rescued. It was a brutally honest comparison, acknowledging that Symbian simply had no chance in the smartphone market – it was the burning platform. And, a few days later at Nokia World, it turned out that Windows Phone would be the ice-cold water.

Meanwhile, Windows Phone 7 got off to a rocky start. Praised for its Metro design language, but hampered by a lack of basic features, it launched with little fanfare, and reports further indicated that retail sales persons actively pushed people away from Windows Phone to Android, telling potential customers that it was laggy and had viruses. There was a big perception problem, and sales were abysmal. Furthermore, the first update, NoDo, which, among others, brought copy-and-paste, was heavily delayed by carriers, despite the initial promise of unified and timely updates.

Things started to get better with the first big update called Mango, which bumped the version number to Windows Phone 7.5. It generally received critical acclaim, and rolled out within a few weeks in late September and early October to all devices, adding lots of improvements and new features such as multitasking. Starting in October, the second wave of Windows Phones was introduced. The spec bumps were only minor, but the devices were still big improvements over the first generation; standing out, of course, was Nokia’s new Lumia 800, with its universally praised industrial design.

…and Windows 8 too

In September, at its first BUILD conference, Microsoft showed off Windows 8. It’s still going to be Windows, but with a Metro-layer underneath that looks and feels very similar to Metro on Windows Phone, and will run on both x86 and ARM processors. The traditional desktop is still there, at least on x86-based machines, but relegated to the same status as other Metro apps. With further decreased system requirements, Microsoft hopes that Windows 8 can be successful on both tablets and traditional PCs, though there are doubts whether the Metro interface is really suited for regular desktops.

Whether you like it or not, you’ll probably have to get accustomed to Metro, as Microsoft is fully embracing it. Even the Xbox got a Metro-style overhaul this year. Heck, we even added Windows 8 subforums.

HP kills and unkills webOS

HP stumbled big in August. Then-CEO Leo Apotheker wanted to turn HP into a enterprise software company, similar to the German SAP, which he just left. To that effect, he announced that HP would be selling off its Personal Systems Group – that is, its PC division, the biggest in the world, and the recently purchased Palm assets, including webOS. As an immediate result, the TouchPad tablets were sold off at $99, a ridiculously low price. Eventually, HP cleared all of its inventory, catapulting webOS just behind iOS in terms of tablet marketshare, easily surpassing Android. How ironic.

Ultimately, Apotheker’s plan didn’t work out, damaged HP, stock prices fell, and he was fired. Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman was appointed as his successor and quickly stopped the spin-off of the PSG. The decision about webOS, however, wasn’t completely reversed; instead, HP decided to contribute webOS to open source, with the future remaining a very uncertain one, as I previously wrote.

Steve Jobs (1955-2011)

Besides Google’s purchase of Motorola and HP’s stumbling, the third big thing that happened in August was Steve Jobs resigning as CEO of Apple. Sadly, he later died in October, just before the unveiling of the iPhone 4S.

Even though we’re definitely not an iPhone site, the impact Apple has made on the smartphone – and computer and music – industry is huge and, mostly, for the better. With Pixar, Steve Jobs is also resonsible for the first entirely CGI-made movie, Toy Story, which went on to revolutionize its respective industry. His genius, vision and management skills are undisputed, and we say: rest in peace, Steve Jobs.

AT&T doesn’t get T-Mobile

Well, AT&T tried to buy T-Mobile, but due to strong opposition by consumer groups and antitrust regulators, eventually backed off. This may sound like good news, but since T-Mobile is still struggling financially, its parent company, Deutsche Telekom, is still looking for ways to consolidate its US business. With the purchase by AT&T failed, we’ll have to wait and see what they’ll do in the future.

Carrier IQ

By now, you have probably heard about Carrier IQ, a story which we helped break. A YouTube video by Trevor Eckhart, known as TrevE in the forums, showed Carrier IQ logging keystrokes, text messages, applications and basically just everything that can be logged on an HTC Android device. It was not known whether any of this data was actually sent to Carrier IQ or just stored on the phone, but considering how private that data was, you could definitely expect some transparency and clarification from Carrier IQ. However, instead of cooperating, Carrier IQ sent Eckhardt a cease-and-desist letter, which was later redacted thanks to the involvement of the EFF.

But at that point, the story had already blown up and out of control. In the end, it’s perfectly legit and certainly understandable that carriers need to track their network performance, which definitely is in the interest of consumers; however, the lack of transparency and communication was pretty damning.

To give you an overview of the whole saga, I’ve collected and listed all articles on our portals concerning Carrier IQ, in chronological order.

New portal, new admin

Finally, xda-developers has undergone some changes too. You’ve most definitely noticed the new look of our portal, and, if you’ve missed it, we also have a new portal admin since this week, Russell Holly.

So, yeah, thanks for reading this article, thanks for reading xda-developers, thanks for doing awesome stuff in the forums.

And… a happy new year from the news writer team!