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Sidekick returns on Android, Sony Ericsson bets on OS

by Kristen Nicole

T-Mobile shut down the Sidekick service not too long ago, but not to worry, the carrier is bringing back Sidekick devices, all running on Android. The first in this new line is the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G, manufactured by Samsung (005930.KS). It features Android 2.2 Froyo, a 1GHz processor, a 3.5 inch touch display, a 3 megapixel camera, and of course, a full QWERTY keyboard. Staying in line with most previous Sidekick basics, the Android version remains focused on the younger, message-happy crowd.

Matthew Miller of ZDNet offers a full review of Samsung’s new device, noting that its all-plastic construction doesn’t take away from the quality of the phone. Hardware is important for Sidekicks in particular -- a strong hinge mechanism is necessary to withstand the constant sliding an average user will do, even when they’re not getting ready to send a text message. Miller notes the software on the Sidekick as well, which includes Group Texting and Cloud Text, both befitting of this new device.

Sony Ericsson shifts to Android

Another manufacturer, Sony Ericsson (SNE), is facing some market struggles, in part due to the quakes that continue to shake Japan. But even as sales drop, margins are on the rise, and Sony sees Android as an important part of its plans for this year. The company is shifting to Android in a big way, decreasing production efforts around a lineup that included lower-end devices. During an earnings call yesterday, CEO Bert Nordberg also notes the early success of the Xperia arc and Play, “which have been well received by both operators and consumers around the world.”

CNN looks beyond Android tablets

While Samsung and Sony alter their devices to better fit with current Android trends, CNN has pushed an important update as well. After releasing a Honeycomb-specific app earlier this year, the news portal has launched a version that runs on Android 2.1 and higher. The move was necessary for CNN, as a large portion of Android users are still using smartphones and not tablets. Features of the new app include international content, CNN radio, iReports, social sharing and custom options for saved stories. [via]