Android 4.1 upgrade now available for Sony Xperia T in Canada

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Mar 042013
 
Sony Xperia T

Sony Xperia T

Sony Mobile today announced that its Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upgrade is now available in Canada for Sony Xperia T owners. According to the Facebook post:

Your Xperia™ T is about to get even better! Starting today, the Jelly Bean update to Android 4.1 for Xperia T will be available. Just plug your device into your PC and use PC Companion to install the new software.

It does not appear that an OTA update will be provided. Instead, the upgrade will have to be done through Sony’s PC Companion software using a PC.

The Sony Xperia T is offered by Bell, Mobilicity, MTS, Rogers and Vidéotron.

Drop us a note below to tell us if you’ve updated and how it went.

Android Jelly Bean rolling out to Mobilicity and WIND Mobile Galaxy Note II

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Feb 262013
 
Samsung Galaxy Note II

Samsung Galaxy Note II

The Canadian Samsung Galaxy Note II Jelly Bean upgrade rollout began earlier this month. As expected, the rollout has been phased with some carriers getting it before others. There is good news today for Galaxy Note II owners on the Mobilicity and WIND Mobile networks as notifications have begun to pop up on their devices.

The Google Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update also includes Samsung’s Multi Window function as well as Chinese language support.

As usual, you will be able to check manually to see if the upgrade is available yet: Settings -> About phone -> System Updates -> Check now.

Read more: MobileSyrup

Google Android 4.2.2 begins rolling out

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Feb 122013
 

About Google Android 4.2.2

It appears that the rumoured Google Android 4.2.2 update is indeed real and starting to roll out to devices today. A growing number of users are reporting that an upgrade is hitting the Galaxy Nexus (GSM model) as well as the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets and updating them to version 4.2.2.

A changelog outlining the changes to be found in build JDQ39 is not yet available. The description that comes up during the upgrade process promises only “performance and stability” enhancements. One expected fix should address the Bluetooth A2DP audio streaming issue will be included.

Let us know if you’ve received the update and what changes you have noticed.

Read more: AndroidPolice

Sony Xperia T and Xperia V Android 4.1.2 upgrades begin rolling out

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Feb 072013
 
Sony

Sony Mobile today announced that it has begun to roll out its Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean upgrades for the Sony Xperia T and the Sony Xperia V. Both will also include improved Sony features. “We’ve been working to blend our Sony Xperia software with Google’s Jelly Bean release to create optimum user experiences.”

Aside from the OS upgrade itself, software versions 9.1.A.0.489 and 9.1.A.0.490 for the Xperia T and Xperia V respectively also include updated, more intuitive versions of Sony Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies. There is also a new search function within the application tray to find local apps.

As is so often the case, the update comes with a caveat: “Availability and rollout timing will vary by market and customer variants.” In Canada, the Sony Xperia T is carried by Rogers which expects the update to roll out in “mid-February.”

Sony Mobile also confirmed that the Xperia TX upgrade will follow next month. If the schedule last communicated remains unchanged, the Xperia P, Xperia J and Xperia go will then follow starting in late March. The Xperia S, Xperia SL, Xperia ion and Xperia acro S will then follow in “the subsequent weeks.”

Read more: Sony Mobile

Google Android Jelly Bean adoption continues to inch up

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Feb 052013
 

Google has once again updated its “Platform Versions” report showing the distribution of various Android versions across devices that have accessed Google Play within a 14-day period. Jelly Bean (including both 4.1 and 4.2) continues to inch up (about 3% over the last month) with version 4.1 accounting for the lion share of the increase. At the same time, the story remains much unchanged: The nearly two year-old Gingerbread (2.3) still dominates with a 45.6% share.

Google Android version distribution
Click for a larger version

Combine Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) and Jelly Bean (4.1/4.2) and they still account for less than Gingerbread but the gap is narrowing. With Google Nexus 4 availability improving and still more OS upgrades get pushed out, the tipping point may not be much longer in coming.

Android Donut (1.6) also managed to cling to the charts for another month. Anyone care to hazard a guess as to how much longer it will remain on the chart?

Google is widely expected to launch the next major version of Android at Google I/O 2013 in May. Before then, we may see the release of one more Jelly Bean version as early as later this month.

Read more: Android Developers

Google Android 4.2.2 to launch as early as mid-February?

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Feb 052013
 
Google Android

Ahead of the expected launch of the next major version of Android at Google I/O in May, Google is reportedly readying another Jelly Bean update. According to The International Business Times, Android 4.2.2 is currently undergoing testing internally on a variety of Nexus devices, including the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and the older Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It was first spotted back in early January on a Nexus 4.

The update is described as “minuscule at best.” New features are likely to be kept for Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. Instead, Android 4.2.2 will instead focus on bug fixes and security enhancements. A changelog is not yet available but one fix mentioned will address the Bluetooth streaming issue on the Nexus 7.

Android 4.2.2 is reportedly set to launch in “a couple of weeks” with a release window of mid-February to mid-March.

Read more: The International Business Times (Source: BGR)

Canadian Samsung Galaxy Note II Jelly Bean upgrade rollout begins Wednesday

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Feb 042013
 

There was good news from Samsung Canada yesterday among all the tweets about the Super Bowl and The Next Big Thing. The Canadian arm of the manufacturer announced that the Jelly Bean upgrade for the Galaxy Note II would begin rolling out on Wednesday, February 6th:

As you can see from the tweet, it will include Samsung’s Multi Window function as well as Chinese language support.

While Samsung did not provide additional details, the rollout will likely be staggered by carrier (as we have seen in the past). With the Note II carried by Bell, Mobilicity, Rogers, SaskTel, TELUS, Videotron, and WIND Mobile, it may be a few more days at least before everyone sees it on their device. As usual, you will be able to check manually to see if the upgrade is available yet: Settings -> About phone -> System Updates -> Check now.

Read more: Samsung Canada [via Twitter]

Carbon for Twitter app now available for Android

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Feb 032013
 

It has been a while in coming but Dots & Lines have at last launched their Carbon for Twitter Android app. It features a timeline design that aims to put everything on one screen to cut down on having to switch between views to get all your information.

The idea behind the design in Carbon has always been giving our users access to all of their Twitter content in one screen without the need to drill down to different screens to get them. Timeline, Mentions, Messages on the home screen, an extended Lists, Favorites, Trends as an extended screen to the main screen. All there.

Carbon for Twitter

Despite being an initial release, it appears to be full-featured already. It supports a number of features including threaded direct messages, support for multiple accounts, filters for hashtags, users, and keywords, and more. For now, there is one limitation that may keep you from installing this first version on some of your devices: There is no tablet support yet. It looks like Dots & Lines will develop a tablet-specific app but there is no ETA yet.

Future updates will add more customisable options and settings and non-Twitter options. Best of all and as promised, Carbon for Twitter is available for free. That includes no ads, this is the full version of the app.

Here’s hoping that Carbon for Twitter puts an end to the revolving door of Twitter apps on Gadgetorama’s smartphones.

Read more: Google Play

Record tablet shipments in Q4 2012

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Feb 022013
 

Worldwide tablet shipments set another record in the last quarter of 2012. According to IDC, 52.5 million tablets were shipped over the quarter, an impressive 75.3% increase over the same quarter a year ago and a 74.3% increase over the previous quarter. Apple continued to dominate but its overall market share fell again as Android tablets continued to make gains.

“We expected a very strong fourth quarter, and the market didn’t disappoint,” said Tom Mainelli, research director, Tablets, at IDC. “New product launches from the category’s top vendors, as well as new entrant Microsoft, led to a surge in consumer interest and very robust shipments totals during the holiday season. The record-breaking quarter stands in stark contrast to the PC market, which saw shipments decline during the quarter for the first time in more than five years.”

Vendor 4Q12 Unit Shipments 4Q12 Market Share 4Q11 Unit Shipments 4Q11 Market Share Year-over-year Change
Apple 22.9 43.6% 15.5 51.7% 48.1%
Samsung 7.9 15.1% 2.2 7.3% 263.0%
Amazon.com Inc. 6.0 11.5% 4.7 15.9% 26.8%
ASUS 3.1 5.8% 0.6 2.0% 402.3%
Barnes & Noble 1.0 1.9% 1.4 4.6% -27.7%
Others 11.6 22.1% 5.5 18.5% 108.9%
Total 52.5 100% 29.9 100% 75.3%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, January 31, 2013 (preliminary data)

Microsoft’s entry into the tablet space with the Surface RT did not crack the top five. IDC estimated that just under 900,000 units were shipped and that Microsoft could expect the market to remain challenging.

“There is no question that Microsoft is in this tablet race to compete for the long haul. However, devices based upon its new Windows 8 and Windows RT operating systems failed to gain much ground during their launch quarter, and reaction to the company’s Surface with Windows RT tablet was muted at best,” said Ryan Reith, program manager, Mobile Device Trackers at IDC. “We believe that Microsoft and its partners need to quickly adjust to the market realities of smaller screens and lower prices. In the long run, consumers may grow to believe that high-end computing tablets with desktop operating systems are worth a higher premium than other tablets, but until then ASPs on Windows 8 and Windows RT devices need to come down to drive higher volumes.”

Overall, the tablet landscape appears much as the smartphone one does: Apple and Samsung dominating with everyone else scrambling to make a dent.

Read more: IDC

Second-generation Google Nexus 7 to sport FHD display?

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Jan 292013
 

Google NexusAccording to Digitimes, Google is teaming up with ASUS again for a second generation of its Nexus 7 tablet. Recently released engineering samples suggest that the new model will feature a Full HD (1920×1080) display and thinner bezels. It adds that it will run Jelly Bean but that could be bumped to Key Lime Pie should the next major version of Android be announced before or at the same time.

The report adds that the next-generation Google Nexus 7 will be announced at Google I/O in May and will sell for the same price as current models (between US$199 and US$249). It’s not clear if the first generation models will simply be retired or continue to sell albeit at a lower price.

Total Google Nexus 7 shipments are expected to top six million units by the end of the month. With the expected second generation models, they are expected to exceed 10 million in 2013.

Read more: Digitimes

CEO Stephen Elop dismisses Nokia Android possibility

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Jan 242013
 
Nokia

After seemingly opening the door to an Android-powered Nokia device at some point in the future, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop closed that door again during the company’s latest earnings call. Asked about the possibility of using Android for low-end devices, Elop said,

“We are clearly innovating with Microsoft around Windows Phone, and are focused on taking that to lower and lower price points. You will see that over time compete with Android. But at the same time we’ve said consistently — and we’re just beginning to see it in the Asha full-touch products — that we will continue to innovate around our Asha smartphone line in order to compete with the very lowest levels of Android.

“We are not in a situation where we are considering something other than Windows Phone combined with what we’re doing with Asha.”

On the Windows Phone front, Nokia will continue to differentiate its devices from those of competitors through “additions” such as its City Lens augmented reality app and Nokia Music streaming service as well as its PureView technology.

Read more: TechCrunch

Weekend fun: Temple Run 2 for Android now available

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Jan 242013
 

It’s not Friday just yet; our Weekend Fun feature is running a day early today because there is good news for those who have been waiting for Temple Run 2 to make it over to Android. Launched last week for iOS devices, it has already topped the 20 million download mark.

Temple Run 2

As you can see from the preview below, the game has been updated with new features but remains true to its predecessor as well. For example, one new feature gives each different character its own unique ability.

Temple Run 2 is free to play. Like the original, in-game purchases offer you the change to play new characters and get new powerups faster than simply by collecting coins.

You will have to run faster; that monkey chasing you is much bigger now!

Read more: Google Play

TELUS HTC One X Jelly Bean upgrade rollout begins

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Jan 222013
 

Good news for the owners of a TELUS HTC One X. The Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean upgrade is now available and being pushed out to devices via OTA. Software version 3.17.661.2 also includes HTC Sense 4+.

TELUS HTC One X Jelly Bean upgrade

The update weighs in at a hefty 629MB so be sure to download it over Wi-Fi.

As usual, you can check manually through your settings if you have not yet received your upgrade notification: Settings -> About phone -> System Updates -> Check now.

Read more: TELUS

Samsung takes aim at RIM with Unicorn Apocalypse ad

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Jan 212013
 

Samsung poked quite a bit of fun at Apple and its fans with its “The Next Big Thing is Here” ads for the Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy S III. A new campaign, “The Next Big Thing for Business is Here,” now takes on Research In Motion and its own faithful. For example, the ad depicts them clinging to their QWERTY keyboards and two phone strategies (one for work and one for home).

Needless to say, Samsung’s pitch is that its Android devices, including the Galaxy Note II with SAFE technology, are as good if not a better fit for the modern business as RIM’s devices.

Is Samsung worried about the upcoming BlackBerry 10 launch? Probably not too much but there’s never a bad time to remind enterprises that there are options out there. In the end, it’s not quite as clever as Samsung’s Apple ads were but still worth a look (and a chuckle or two).

Read more: Samsung Mobile USA [via YouTube]

Rumour: Motorola X Phone to be unveiled at Google I/O

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Jan 192013
 
Motorola Mobility

Rumours about the Motorola X Phone have resurfaced. We first heard about this mysterious device last December. There was little information but there was the promise of a “sophisticated” smartphone (whatever that means) and a focus on improving the camera and photo software as well as new materials and shapes. New rumours now suggest that the Motorola X Phone could be unveiled as early as Google I/O 2013 (May 15th-17th) and provide a few alleged details about it.

Citing “hidden friends in high places within the industry,” DroidForums reports that the Motorola X Phone will sport a 5-inch edge-to-edge display (like the Motorola RAZR M?). If so, it could be roughly the same size as the Samsung Galaxy S III despite having a larger display. Unlike many Motorola devices that have ended up at Verizon as DROID models, the X Phone will be available from multiple carriers under its own new “hyper-competitive brand.”

As such, the Motorola X Phone will not be a Nexus device. It will run Google Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie (which is also expected at Google I/O) but will also feature a Motorola interface that “both compliments & enhances the Android experience, and is intended to be Nexus-like.” Additional software add-ons are also expected to enhance the Android experience (much as Samsung has done with recent devices like the Galaxy S III and Note II).

DroidForums do warn that there is not only no secondary corroboration for this report yet but that the source is also “not the most solid.” So, take it all with a grain of salt (or more) until further details surface.

Should the Motorola X Phone be announced at Google I/O, it may have to share the stage with the rumoured Google Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.7 from LG.

Read more: DroidForums (Source: AndroidinCanada)