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Summary:

Motorola released not one but six new Android phones this week. These cover a wide range of forms and target audiences, and the Droid Pro looks like a winner. This week hackers discovered the new T-Mobile G2 has hardware that detects and removes unapproved software modifications.

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Android phone maker Motorola released not one but six new Android phones this week. The new smartphones cover a wide range of forms and target audiences, from the Kin-like Spice to the enterprise-ready Droid Pro. The new phones will be divvied up between AT&T and Verizon, and look to augment Motorola’s successful Droid line currently with Verizon. Two of the phones (Spice and Citrus) have introduced a new BACKTRACK panel, a small touchpad on the back of the phone to make navigation on the home screen easier.

Hackers looking to modify the system software of the newly released T-Mobile G2 discovered the phone has hardware that detects such modifications and removes them automatically. The G2 can be “rooted,” the first step in customizing the software in the phone’s firmware, but that change is quickly reverted back to the standard system software by hardware in the phone. This is a first in the smartphone world, and since Android is an open-source software system, the enthusiasts who are unable to customize the G2 aren’t very happy with this new development. If this method of onboard software protection is successful at stopping custom ROMs from being used on the G2, it’s likely we’ll see it appear on other handsets in the future.

Firefox fans who want to use the browser on Android smartphones have a reason to be happy: Firefox released its first Android beta. We found mobile Firefox to be worth watching in the future, but not quite ready for prime time. Our review of Firefox for Android points out slow performance and web page rendering issues that mar an otherwise decent first effort by the folks at Mozilla.

At CTIA, Motorola showed off its new Android app MotoPrint, which allows users to print from an Android device to a networked PostScript printer. MotoPrint will help those users for whom Android smartphones are becoming their primary computing device.

Good Technology noted that Android devices are making their way into the enterprise, with the Droid X ranking among the company’s top five new activations utilizing its enterprise-level services.

Adobe AIR for Android was released on Friday, which Ryan Kim notes “will allow Flash developers to build desktop, browser, iOS and now Android device apps that work off the same source code. Working with Flash tools, they can easily package an existing application for Android with minimal work.”

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  1. If it’s open source, but you are not allowed to make modifications to it, doesn’t that defeat the purpose of being open source?

    And Isn’t HTC breaking the law or something?

  2. It Seems That All Mobile Brands Try To Take The Big Part Of this OS to sell more…Any way the time is running and soon will see what will happen to this OS.

  3. I like options Saturday, October 9, 2010

    If I can’t root it, I won’t buy it.

    1. buy something you can root, ok

  4. Not only will I not buy it now thanks to this BS as well as the fact you cannot hotspot-tether with this phone (Tmobile removed that feature as well).
    What I will do is get a throwaway imported from china now, stick the stock android OS on it (or some decent rom) and be happy as a clam having saved hundreds of $$$ in the process while telling these faggot telco’s to go fuck themselves with their greed.

  5. Maybe if we start a petition and get enough signers the carriers and manufacturers will back off this locking-down trend. It’s seriously disturbing that this is happening with Android, when windows mobile phones are so hackable people have installed android on them!
    Shame on you, T-mobile, and shame on you, HTC, for this anti-consumer bullshit!

  6. It is bad if you are not allowed to make modification?????

  7. Latest custom screen print news – Picnik (October 2010) Friday, December 24, 2010

    [...] Android This Week: Motorola Army; Hack-Proof G2; Mobile Firefox [...]

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