Five Friday Phone Features - InformationWeek
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Mobile // Mobile Devices
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7/9/2010
02:16 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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Five Friday Phone Features

American Eagle is giving away smartphones, Trillian aims for Android, T-Mobile drops the Garminphone's price, Motorola's BackFlip gets an update, and living wallpaper goes digital.

American Eagle is giving away smartphones during a promotion that starts later this summer. All you need to do is try on a pair of American Eagle jeans between July 21 and August 3. When you exit the fitting room, you'll be handed a card to redeem the free smartphone offer. Of course, you're not going to get the phone free and clear. A new two-year contract with a wireless network operator is required.

What's the phone selection like? Mostly BlackBerries and Android handsets from a slew of manufacturers. All four major U.S. carriers -- AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless -- are represented in the promotion. In addition to the free phone, American Eagle is also throwing in a $25 money card with the phone. All this for trying on a pair of jeans? Wow.

Intant messaging service Trillian is preparing to launch a new Android client. Trillian is already available on desktops and lets users access and chat through AIM, Yahoo Messenger, ICQ, Google Talk, Windows Live, Facebook, and MySpace all from one IM console. It's a good tool for those who have friends spread across a number of different instant messaging networks. Trillian is allowing interested beta testers to sign up, and says there should be more information available in a few weeks.

T-Mobile has slashed the price of the Garminphone from $200 down to $130. The move is meant to spur sales, which according to at least one analyst, aren't all that great. The Garminphone is an Android device developed by Garmin that puts navigation features first. It actually has one of the better custom skins over Android that I've seen, and the navigation features are top notch. If you're in the market for a nav-focused handset, the Garminphone just got a lot more attractive.

Motorola is offering a pretty significant software update to the Backflip Android phone. It's not Android 2.1 or anything, but it is a system-wide update that brings plenty of stability and performance improvements. Some of the Backflip's features that should get a boost include the camera, Bluetooth radio, display, text messaging, Android Market, battery life, and streaming media playback.

Last, for anyone with an Android 2.0 device and up, you have to check this out. There's a new Android Living Wallpaper called aCircuit Board in the Android Market. It places an image of a circuit board on the home screen of an Android device and it actually has moving parts/systems, which include a moving fan; binary clock; GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth status lights; a pulsating Android bot; and active circuit paths. It costs a little bit more than $1.

Here's a video of it in action:

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