Rumor: Sprint + Google = Mobile Payments?

This just in! Sprint and Google almost finalized their marriage! Supposedly being announced sometime next week, the service would use Verifone hardware as well to let your Nexus S (or other NFC capable phone on Sprint, largely absent) act as a credit card. With the inclusion of a mobile data carrier, it stand to say that Sprint will be the only carrier offering this service as there’s not a hint of T-Mobile’s Nexus S to be found. What interests me most is if this becomes a carrier dependent service, something you sign up for (and possibly pay for) when you get a new contract. It would most likely be linked with a credit card/bank account that Sprint already has confirmed on file, but that’s just my speculation. Considering NFC is a new and upcoming technology I would be very sad to see it already shackled and balled like wireless tethering is. Of course this technology is worthless without a place to scan it, and only several markets will be available at launch, specifically the following:

  • New York
  • San Franciso
  • Los Angeles
  • Chicago
  • Washington, D.C.

Yeah that’s not too many. And considering it’s only available on one phone on one carrier, it seems the incredibly cool new technology Near Field Communication is off to a slow start here in the states. But, it’s a start nonetheless and I’m finding it awful hard to resist how Android friendly Sprint has become…

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Get your Google Music Beta Invite Yet? I DID!!!

Yessiree, the next statement is false. That last sentence was true. And also I got an exclusive invite to use Google’s Music Beta program! W00t w00t! What does that mean for you, dear reader? Well, not much really. Actually, it’s mostly just so I can rub it in that I got invited and you didn’t. Nana-nana-boo boo, stick your head in doodoo. Is that all spelled right? I’ll look it up later…

Actually it means you get to hear how my experience is going so far with it and (down the road) if you’re even gonna want to use it. Yes, it’s always cool to use something cutting edge. Like a knife, for example. But what if that new latest and greatest isn’t so great? Who cares if its new if it doesn’t work! Like the iPhone 4 for example. OH! That just happened! Anyway, I’d love to tell you how I’m enjoying it but unfortunately CableOne has a max upload of 1 Mbps which is in reality only 100kbps of actual throughput. Which means it will literally take days to upload all my music. Only ~3900 songs total and at about 15 hours into it I have 535 uploaded. I’ll keep you folks posted on the end result time, how the web based player works in Chrome, the Android app itself, and how it all works across my devices. Keep it tuned right here folks! (Just pretend it’s the 50’s and you have to get up to change the channel.)

You stay classy, World Wide Web.

P.S. Actually, one of my main reasons was to see just how many of you had gotten invites. Hit up the poll good fellows! (Using the term asexually of course)

Long Term ROM Review: Apex 2.0 “Beta”

Well guys I know its been a while, but life happens ya know? And one thing you can always count no matter what happens in life is that the world keeps spinning. Including the tech world! One of our favorite devs, Fabdroid/@bigxie has done just that and released the “beta” version of his Apex ROM for the Droid X and Droid 2. Now this isn’t like what most people think of when they hear “beta”. Like he says himself, it’s “beta” in the Google sense of the world. This is no doubt a daily driver ROM. I’ve been going back and forth with other ROMs based off of various (read: waaaay too many) different leaks of the Gingerbread build from Motorola. ZombieStomped, Liberty GB, Rubix BlurryBread all come to mind and none have left me properly satisfied. Granted Liberty isn’t finished yet and I’ll of course be giving it a fair shot when it’s got some polish and finish. But until now there hasn’t really been “that” ROM based off Gingerbread for our Droid 2. In fact, this is one of the few I’ve tried that’s being made for the Droid 2. Most of the ones I’ve flashed that get updated are actually Droid X ROMs and then having the DXtoD2GB.zip flash file on hand. But this Apex 2.0 has really come along and I think you’ll be very impressed with how it looks, feels, and performs.

Keep clicking if you want to find out more in my in depth review and whether it’s worth installing for you or not!  Continue reading

Chrome 11 Goes Final

While not adding any new functionality from the latest beta, Chrome 11 is now the latest official version you can download. Yep, it’s finally “stable” according to Google, even though that Google Maps Navigation  app you’ve been using the last year and a half isn’t. Not much has changed since hitting the big 1-0 not too long ago. Adding in speech to text and text to speech is a huge deal for handicapped users, but not so life changing for the rest of us. Security and bug fixes abound, but nothing Google is willing to release for security reasons. The only reason I can see not to update is they decided to bump that horrid icon from the Beta to the stable version. Bad move Google, bad move. Here’s to hoping the next Beta has another redesign. If you’re with me and still don’t approve of the flat, cartoonish look to the new icon, be sure to check out my guide on changing it back here.

You stay classy, World Wide Web.

I’m Still Here!

I know it’s been a long weekend, but believe me I’m still kicking. I haven’t left here, I haven’t even started at my other blog yet! But I also have not been feeling the best. Sickness hit my workplace and after a long week of stay up probably a little too late I hit a wall and crashed hard. I’m recovering now, might be posting a lot later. We’ve had some great stuff happening for the Droid 2 (mostly the Droid X) over the weekend. But, thanks to Jboxen, we can try out any of those juicy new Gingerbread based ROMs on our Droid 2’s! I myself have taken him up on the promise of his DXtoD2GB converter file. This little magic file sets up the keyboard, camera, and other little fixes that make any Droid X ROM based on any Gingerbread link. That’s right, even that new leak that got sent out OTA to a few lucky Droid X users. You will have to double check in the .zip that there is no (RDL) folder or (BP) folders in the .zip according to Jboxen. Those are the files that upgrade the baseband for the radio and may in fact fry your phone’s. If they have those folders, try a different version. I can personally confirm that his latest update to include working bluetooth does work. I have a long night of flashing ahead of me, but I can confirm right now that the LexLight 4.1 (the version based on that latest GB OTA Droid X leak) does work on my Droid 2. Upon initial install the Market hot reboots on any app install, but a quick data/cache wipe fixes that up. From there it’s smooth sailing. I’ll be posting a lot more of my indepth Day 1 experience with this previously Droid X exclusive later. I’m loving it so far and will let you guys know how it goes. Anyway, just wanted to give you guys a heads up that I have NOT in fact left, you can still count on me for continuous updates throughout the week on all the Droid 2, Android, and tech/geek/nerd news you all can handle! I will also be starting writing for TechHog.com this week. You can check out my app reviews over there sometime this week. Till then:
You stay classy, World Wide Web.

LexLight 4.1 Link: Here

DXtoD2GB.zip download at DroidForums.com

Ad-Supported Kindle $25 Less on May 3rd, Trending Please

The idea isn’t a new one: sell a device/app for a lower sticker price based on the ad revenue you’ll be generating. This makes several popular apps (Tap Tap Revenge, Dungeon Defenders) actually free and is similar to how book sales help keep the Barnes and Noble’s Nook Color down to only $250 regular price. Well, Amazon is now taking the same principal and directly applying to the sales of their e-reader device. The ever popular Kindle will soon be available in the ad-supported (sound familiar app users?) form for $25 less than its ad-free brethren. Available at Best Buy and Target for $114, its the same e-reader experience with the added “benefits” of ads on both your screensaver and the home screen. They have confirmed there will be no ads on your books anywhere, but the screensaver looks annoying already. Continue reading

“More Cowbell” Turns 11, Google Celebrates?

It’s a phrase we’ve all probably (should have) heard at least once a day, but it does have an origin. The term “more cowbell” originates from that classic SNL skit with legendary record producer Bruce Dickinson played by Christopher Walken. More can be found at this link, but the reason I bring it up is Google just tweeted:

Need more cowbell? Type +/’\ when you’re chatting in Gmail.http://goo.gl/uk76o

I just tried it out in a quick chat to a friend, and let me tell you, this is why I have such a hard time believing Google is turning evil. This is just too much fun! Hop on Google Chat to try it out now! Enjoy.

You stay classy, World Wide Web.