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App Industry News: A new Droid for the holidays

by Eric Benderoff

Motorola's CEO hints that an updated Droid will be available soon, the lead item in today's App Industry News. Also, dad may like a new iPhone case for his special day while the FBI is looking at the iPad security breach.

Motorola updates hot Droid

The Motorola Droid was the hottest phone of the 2009 holiday season and put the mojo back in Moto. More than that, it gave the Android platform serious juice while Verizon customers had a solid reason to stick with the carrier and not jump over to AT&T for an iPhone. Now, Motorola is talking about the second edition of the Droid and the timing is good: the Android buzz continues to grow but the conversation has shifted toward HTC, with its desirable Evo and Incredible phones.

Motorola has done very well with the Droid and faces some shortages, said co-CEO Sanjay Jha during a Chicago luncheon earlier this week. "(Droid) sales are going extremely well. If I could build more I'd sell more," he said. Jha added that Motorola would release two to four phones this year with front-facing cameras, a nod to the attention that the iPhone 4 and HTC Evo have received due to the front-facing cameras on those models.

Pictures of the new Droid 2 were released by the Droid Life blog. They are grainy but one things clear: from a physical standpoint, the Droid 2 looks a lot like the original. (I hope it's thinner though.) It still has a physical keyboard that slides out, plus the keys appear to be "puffier," as Droid Life notes. That would be a good improvement. The Droid 2 does not appear to include a front-facing camera, however.

Inside, the Droid 2 runs on Android 2.1, will have an updated version of the MotoBlur social networking software and allows for Wi-Fi tethering. When will it be released? A date hasn't been set but it is expected to be one of the key new products Verizon pushes for the holiday season. Another new Verizon model is being nicknamed the Droid Xtreme and it will be more like the new HTC products as it lacks a physical keyboard. The Xtreme, however, still only exists in rumorland.

Gear: iPhone case doubles as battery charger

With all the talk of the iPhone 4 this week, someone in the middle of a contract might be a little jealous. So why not dress up your 3G or 3Gs with a new iPhone case?

One of the most useful products to cross my desk recently is the MiLi Power Skin, a $60 iPhone case that doubles as a battery charger. When your iPhone starts running low, turn the case on and you’ll get an additional three to four hours of use. I love this case and have been using it since my review unit arrived a few weeks ago. The Power Skin is thinner and lighter than my longtime favorite battery-infused case, the Mophie Juice Pack Air ($80, but currently 25 percent off for Father's Day).

FBI looks at iPad security breach

The software flaw on AT&T's website that lead to an iPad security breach is now being looked at by the FBI, according to several reports. The flaw exposed 114,000 email addresses, including high-profile names such as Diane Sawyer and Rahm Emanuel. AT&T fixed the flaw before it became public knowledge.

The FBI wouldn't reveal what they are looking at, only saying the agency is in the early stages of its investigation.

Goatse Security found the flaw and shared its findings with Gawker Media, which published the news Wednesday. Escher Auernheimer, a member of the group, said it waited until until AT&T fixed the flaw before sharing the information, according the Wall Street Journal.