Rogers delays some Android Jelly Bean upgrades

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Jan 182013
 
Rogers Communications

Rogers has once again updated its OS Upgrades Schedule found on its Community Forums. All devices on the list are scheduled to receive Android 4.1 Jelly Bean but ETAs for many have slipped a bit.

The Motorola RAZR HD is now slated for its update in early February (from late January). It will be followed by the Sony Xperia T (LT30a) in mid-February. Bringing up the rear are the the Samsung Galaxy S II (SGH-I727R) and Galaxy Note (SGH-I717R) with late February ETAs.

On a more positive note and just in case you have missed them somehow, the Samsung Galaxy S III and HTC One X updates are now available.

Rogers does warn “release dates are subject to change.” There could be more changes so you will have to hang on (patiently) a bit longer. If nothing else, kudos to Rogers for updating the timelines regularly.

Read more: Rogers Wireless

Rumour: HTC Facebook smartphone specifications revealed

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Jan 172013
 
Facebook

It has been quiet on the Facebook smartphone front for a while today but that may be about to change. Rumours surfaced last summer that HTC was working on a Facebook-centric smartphone. They were quickly dismissed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. A tweet from @LlabTooFeR (the renamed @Football4PDA) today suggests that the HTC Facebook smartphone is not only still coming but also headed to AT&T.

The device is now codenamed MYST_UL but was formerly known as Opera_UL. While the new codename does not feature on a recently leaked HTC codename list, the former does.

If the tweet is accurate, the HTC Facebook smartphone will sport the following specifications:

  • Processor: 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8930
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1.2
  • Cellular connectivity: Not specified
  • Other connectivity: 802.11 a/b/gn/ Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Display: 4.3-inch HD (1280×720)
  • Input: Dedicated Facebook button
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB ROM
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP
  • Front-facing camera: 1.6MP

There are no specific details on availability and pricing at this point.

Read more: @LlabTooFeR

Google Nexus 5 and Nexus 7.7 by LG to be announced at Google I/O?

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Jan 162013
 
Google Nexus

If the latest rumours are true, LG will continue to be Google’s manufacturing partner into 2013 with at least two more devices. According to a forum post on the Korean website Ruliweb, Google will announce both the Google Nexus 5 and Google Nexus 7.7 at the upcoming Google I/O 2013. Both will be manufactured by LG.

The Google Nexus 5 will be powered by NVIDIA’s new Tegra 4 processor. It will come with a 5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) display with 1 millimeter bezels, 2GB RAM, a 13MP rear camera and 3MP front one. Onboard storage is listed at 8GB. If so, a 16GB option is also likely.

The Google Nexus 7.7 will be very similar. It will also come with the NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, 2GB RAM, and 8GB of onboard storage. As the name implies, it will have a 7.7-inch Full HD (1920×1080) display with a thin bezel (although perhaps not as thin as that of the Nexus 5) and a 5MP front camera.

With Google expected to unveil the next major version of Android at the event, it is possible although not stated in the post that both will come with latest Android version rather than Jelly Bean.

Both could sell for as low as US$299 in their 8GB configurations.

Google I/O will take place from on May 15th to 17th. Ticket prices and other registration details will be announced in February.

For now, take it all with a grain of salt until some corroborating evidence surfaces to give these rumours some more credibility.

Read more: Ruliweb (in Korean) [Google translation] (Source: AndroidAuthority)

Canadian Samsung Galaxy Note II Jelly Bean upgrade coming next week

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Jan 142013
 

Samsung Galaxy Note IISamsung Canada delivered some good news to Canadian owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note II. In a statement released today, it confirmed that its Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update will include support for the anticipated Multi Window feature:

Samsung Canada announced today the upcoming availability of the latest update for the GALAXY Note II smartphone, which offers Multi Window allowing users to interact with two separate applications simultaneously.

The OS update (Android 4.1.2) gives customers the ability to personalize and customize their smartphone experience and interact with two apps at the same time. Samsung Canada now allows GALAXY Note II customers to change app positions within the Multi Window in addition to having the capability of using Pop Up Video while using Multi Window.

Also, included in this software update is the inclusion of both simplified and traditional Chinese language support. Easily accessible from the device’s settings menu, the software can change the language for most menus and applications and also support handwriting of Chinese characters to be transposed into text.

In a follow-up email, Samsung Canada indicated that the update will begin rolling out “in the next week.” Availability will depend by carrier suggesting that we could see a similar deployment as that of the Samsung Galaxy S III where some carriers got the update ahead of others.

Read more: MobileSyrup

Huawei Ascend P2 and Ascend W2 specifications revealed?

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Jan 142013
 

With CES now behind us, it’s time for the MWC rumours to start (or more accurately continue). Huawei, which unveiled the Ascend D2, Ascend Mate, and Ascend W1, is set to announce two more devices at next month’s event. Thin is definitely in for Huawei for the Ascend P2 and the Ascend W2. The former could be the next smartphone to grab the crown of world’s thinnest smartphone while the latter could the thinnest Windows Phone 8 device.

The Huawei Ascend P2 appears to be a successor to the Ascend P1 S unveiled at CES 2012. It is expected to be less than 6.45 millimeters thin. Based on leaked information, we can expect its specifications to be as follows:

  • Processor: 1.8GHz quad-core HiSilicon K3V2
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Cellular connectivity: HSPA
  • Other connectivity: GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • Display: 5-inch HD (1280×720) IPS
  • Input: 5 point multi-touch capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 8GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 13MP AF with LED flash and 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 1.3MP
  • Battery: 3,000mAh non-removable
  • Dimensions / weight: 6.45 millimeters thin

As for the Ascend W2, not quite as much is known but here is what we have so far:

  • Processor: Dual-core
  • Operating system: Windows Phone 8
  • Display: 4.5-inch HD (1280×720)
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 2,800mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 7.7 millimeters thin

A higher end device than the Ascend W1, the Huawei Ascend W2 could sell for ¥3,200 (about CA$510).

Read more: UnwiredNews (Ascend P2) and UnwiredView (Ascend W2)

ASUS announces 7-inch budget MeMO Pad tablet

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Jan 142013
 

The ASUS MeMO brand is alive! As had been rumoured, ASUS, Google’s partner on the Google Nexus 7 tablet, has released its own 7-inch tablet. The ASUS MeMO Pad is clearly aimed at the budget-minded buyer with a starting price of US$149. While most of its specifications will not touch those of the Google Nexus 7, it has one that many Nexus 7 owners wish for: a microSD card slot.

ASUS MeMO Pad

ASUS MeMO Pad specifications:

  • Processor: 1GHz VIA WM8950 with Mali-400 GPU
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Cellular connectivity: None
  • Other connectivity: 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Display: 7-inch WSVGA (1024×600) LED-backlit
  • Input: 10-point multi-touch capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 8GB or 16GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB, 5GB free ASUS WebStorage
  • Rear-facing camera: None
  • Front-facing camera: 1MP withf/2.0 aperture and 720p HD video capture
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB port
  • Battery: 4,270mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 196.2 × 119.2 × 11.2 millimeters / 370 grams
  • Colours: Sugar White, Titanium Gray, Cherry Pink

The ASUS MeMO Pad will be available later this month in “selected markets.” Pricing will start at US$149 for the 8GB model.

Read more: ASUS

Android 4.2.2 spotted on Google Nexus 4

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Jan 112013
 
Google Android

Google may be readying to push out an Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update in the near future. Reports of devices running Android 4.2.2 have surfaced in both Malaysia and Brazil.

In Malaysia, Lowyat reviewers received an 8GB Google Nexus 4 review unit with Android 4.2.2 preloaded. Upon initial assessment, it does not appear to come with any major differences over Android 4.2.1, the current official release. The build number is new and comes with the “dev-keys” tag, suggesting that this could be a developer build.

Android 4.2.2 spotted

A second device running Android 4.2.2 has also been found in Brazil. Much like the Malaysian unit, it appears to have come with Android 4.2.2 preloaded. There is no word if it also sports a build number with the “dev-keys” tag.

Android 4.2.2 spotted

Google Android 4.2.1 has not been without its bugs and issues, including random reboots (experienced on our Gadgetorama unit when location services are turned on). Hopefully Android 4.2.2 will focus on fixing these issues.

Read more: Lowyat and Adrenaline Brazil (Source: PocketNow)

Samsung unveils Samsung Galaxy S II Plus

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Jan 102013
 

Samsung Galaxy S II PlusThere is life yet in the venerable Samsung Galaxy S II. Samsung today unveiled an upgraded version called the Samsung Galaxy S II Plus. It features a few improvements (primarily on the software side) but is otherwise very similar to its older sibling. It “combines the performance that have made the GALAXY S II one of the world’s most recognized phones, together with nature-inspired user-interface and intuitive features that greatly boost its usability and functionality.”

Samsung Galaxy S II Plus specifications:

  • Processor: 1.2GHz dual-core Samsung Exynos
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with Samsung TouchWiz
  • Cellular connectivity: HSPA+ (21Mbps)/EDGE/GPRS
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS/GLONASS, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (dual-band), Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 3.0, NFC (optional)
  • Display: 4.3-inch WVGA (800×480) Super AMOLED Plus
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 1GB RAM
  • Storage: 8GB onboard and microSD cards up to 64GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP with LED flash and 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 2MP
  • Connectors: 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Battery: 1,650mAh
  • Dimensions / weight (NFC): 125.3 × 66.1 × 8.9 millimeters / 121 grams
  • Dimensions / weight (Non-NFC): 125.3 × 66.1 × 8.5 millimeters / 121 grams

There is no word yet on availability and pricing.

Read more: Samsung

CES 2013: Huawei Ascend D2 and Huawei Ascend Mate unveiled

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Jan 082013
 

Huawei yesterday unveiled two new smartphones, the 6.1-inch Ascend Mate ‘phablet’ and the 5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) Ascend D2 which looks small next to its larger sibling. Huawei bills the Ascend Mate as “the smartphone with the largest screen in the world” and describes the Ascend D2 as its latest “hero product in Huawei’s Ascend series of smartphones.”

Huawei Ascend D2Huawei Ascend D2 specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core Hi-Silicon K3V2 + Balong V7R1
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Huawei Emotion UI
  • Cellular connectivity: UMTS/GSM
  • Other connectivity: GPS, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA
  • Display: 5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) Super Retina LCD
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 32GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 13MP AF with HDR and 1080p video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 1.3MP
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB
  • Battery: 3,000mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 140 x 71 x 9.4 millimeters / 170 grams
  • Colours: Crystal Blue and Pure White
  • Other: Dust and water resistant

Huawei Ascend MateHuawei Ascend Mate specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core Hi-Silicon K3V2 + Intel XMM6260
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with Huawei Emotion UI
  • Cellular connectivity: Penta-band UMTS / quad-band GSM
  • Other connectivity: GPS, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (dual band), Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA
  • Display: 6.1-inch HD (1280×720) IPS with Gorilla Glass
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Rear-facing camera: 8MP AF with HDR
  • Front-facing camera: 1MP
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB
  • Battery: 4,050mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 163.5 x 85.7 x 9.9 millimeters / 198 grams
  • Colours: Crystal Black and Pure White

The Huawei Ascend D2 will launch in China later this month and in Japan “in the future.” The Huawei Ascend Mate is scheduled to go on sale in China in February 2013. There is no word yet on whether either will be available later in other markets.

Read more: Huawei Ascend D2 and Huawei Ascend Mate

CES 2013: Sony unveils Xperia Z and Xperia ZL

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Jan 072013
 

As widely predicted by rumours, Sony today unveiled its next flagship smartphone, the Xperia Z.

“With Xperia Z, we are bringing over half a century of innovation in TV, imaging, music, film and gaming to create a superphone experience that truly stands out,” said Kuni Suzuki, President and CEO, at Sony Mobile Communications. “With great specifications, Sony’s media applications, One-touch functions and outstanding battery life, Xperia Z is well positioned for leadership in the smartphone market. By putting smartphones at the heart of our strategy, Sony is enabling people to create, enjoy and share content and experiences like never before.”

Sony Xperia ZSony Xperia Z specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro (MSM8064)
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Cellular connectivity: LTE/HSPA+/EDGE/GPRS
  • Other connectivity: A-GPS/GLONASS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, DLNA
  • Display: 5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) with Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 13MP with Exmor RS sensor and HD video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 2.2MP camera with HD video capture
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB 2.0 port
  • Battery: 2,330mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 139 x 71 x 7.9 millimeters / 146 grams
  • Colours: Black, white and purple
  • Other: Dust and water resistant (IP55 & IP57)

Sony also unveiled the Xperia ZL, a very similar device intended for a number of select markets, including Canada. It will share many characteristics with the Xperia Z but will be slightly smaller.

Sony Xperia ZLSony Xperia ZL specifications:

  • Processor: 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro (MSM8064)
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
  • Cellular connectivity: LTE/HSPA+/EDGE/GPRS
  • Other connectivity: GPS/GLONASS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, DLNA
  • Display: 5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) with Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 16GB onboard and microSD cards up to 64GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 13MP with Exmor RS sensor and HD video capture
  • Front-facing camera: 2MP camera with HD video capture
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB 2.0 port
  • Dimensions / weight: 131.6 x 69.3 x 9.8 millimeters / 151 grams
  • Colours: Black, white

Both devices will launch with Android 4.1 but will be upgraded to Android 4.2 later on.

The Sony Xperia Z will launch globally later this quarter whereas the Xperia ZL will launch only select markets (including Canada). Pricing details were not provided.

Read more: Sony Mobile (Xperia Z) and Sony Mobile (Xperia ZL)

Nokia CEO on Android: “Anything is possible”

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Jan 072013
 
Nokia

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop had some surprising words in an interview published today by Spanish El Pais. At one point, the conversation turned to Android. Elop explained why Nokia chose Windows Phone over Android (concerns about differentiation and domination by other manufacturers) when planning its turnaround. But he left the door open for the future. When asked about whether he dismissed launching an Android phone next year, he answered that “anything is possible.”

While this puts into question Nokia’s commitment to Windows Phone, Elop explained that the company remains fully committed to both Microsoft and Windows Phone but that he was keeping an eye on the future. Elop suggests that HTML 5 could eventually make any mobile operating system irrelevant:

“In the current ecosystem wars we are using Windows Phone as our weapon. But we are always thinking about what’s coming next, what will be the role of HTML 5, Android… HTML5 could make the platform itself—being Android, Windows Phone or any other—irrelevant in the future, but it’s still too soon [to tell]. Today we are committed and satisfied with Microsoft, but anything is possible.”

Nokia is pushing to grow its market share to double digits in 2013. Not only will it need to continue to battle against the dominant Apple iOS and Google Android operating systems but some new players in 2013, including BlackBerry 10 and Tizen, could also make things more interesting.

Read more: El Pais (in Spanish) [Google translation] (Source: Gizmodo)

CES 2013: Acer announces entry-level 7-inch Acer Iconia B1-A71 tablet

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Jan 072013
 

Acer Iconia B1-A71Acer today unveiled a new entry level tablet aimed at new users, “families opting for a 2nd tablet for their children.” As you would expect from a tablet that will be among the cheapest when it launches, the Acer Iconia B1-A71 (a name that just rolls off the tongue) will not sport impressive specifications. But it may find a niche among those looking for such a device.

The Iconia B1 is an affordable entry level device to the wide family of Acer products and is designed for the everyday usage of Modern Day Explorers – in this case young explorers or busy mobile explorers. The Iconia B1 is, like its Acer family products, a device which provides the most premium experience at its price point.

Acer Iconia B1-A71 specifications:

  • Processor: 1.2GHz dual-core Mediatek MTK 8317T
  • Operating system: Google Android Jelly Bean
  • Cellular connectivity: None
  • Other connectivity: GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Display: 7-inch WSVGA (1024×600)
  • Input: Multitouch capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 512MB RAM
  • Storage: 8GB onboard and microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: None
  • Front-facing camera: 0.3MP
  • Connectors: 3.5mm audio jack, micro-USB 2.0 port
  • Battery: 2,710mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 197.4 x 128.5 x 11.3 millimeters / 320 grams

Acer did not provide specific availability details but indicated that it will sell for less than US$150 when it launches.

Read more: Acer

CES 2013: NVIDIA unveils Project SHIELD Android gaming platform

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Jan 072013
 

Nvidia Project SHIELDAlong with its new Tegra 4 SoC, NVIDIA has unveiled the first device to use it. In a surprise move, it turns out to be one that has designed. Project SHIELD is a portable gaming platform that will play not only Android games but also PC titles by streaming them over a LAN from a PC equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 GPU or higher.

“Project SHIELD was created by NVIDIA engineers who love to game and imagined a new way to play,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, co-founder and chief executive officer at NVIDIA. “We were inspired by a vision that the rise of mobile and cloud technologies will free us from our boxes, letting us game anywhere, on any screen. We imagined a device that would do for games what the iPod and Kindle have done for music and books, letting us play in a cool new way. We hope other gamers love SHIELD as much as we do.”

Project SHIELD is a clamshell device powered by the new Tegra 4 SoC. It comes with a built-in controller, a 5-inch HD (1280×720) touchscreen display, Wi-Fi, and built-in speakers. The 33Wh battery promises between five and ten hours of play time or 24 hours of HD video playback.

A future software update will also allow Project SHIELD to stream content from the device to televisions wirelessly so that you can use a larger display when one is available.

NVIDIA will launch Project SHIELD in both Canada and the U.S. in Q2. It did not reveal pricing.

Read more: NVIDIA

Facebook Pages Manager now available for Android

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Jan 052013
 

Facebook last month launched a revamped native version of its Facebook app. It yesterday rather quietly launched the Android version of its Facebook Pages Manager app. As the name implies, it will allow Facebook Page administrators to manage their pages by letting them:

  • Post new updates and photos and respond to comments as their Pages
  • View and reply to private messages sent to their Page
  • Get notifications about new activity on their Pages right away
  • View their latest Pages Insights analytics

Facebook Pages Manager

Facebook first launched Pages Manager for iOS devices back in May 2012. The Android version is still not not quite as full-featured but hopefully it will catch up in the coming months.

Facebook Pages Manager is currently available in Canada as well as Australia and New Zealand. It will be made available in more countries in the coming weeks.

Read more: Google Play (Source: TheNextWeb)

HTC M7 specifications leaked again

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Jan 042013
 

HTCA number of recent rumours are all suggesting that HTC’s next flagship smartphone will be the HTC M7. Another round of rumours today has painted a fairly complete picture of what we can expect from this device. The latest specification details come courtesy of both @Football4PDA and HTCSource. They align very well with earlier rumours. Here is what we can expect:

  • Processor: 1.7GHz Qualcomm S4 APQ8064
  • Operating system: Google Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with HTC Sense 5.0
  • Cellular connectivity: GSM/EDGE/HSPA+/LTE
  • Other connectivity: GPS/GLONASS, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Display: 4.7-inch Full HD (1920×1080)
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen with software buttons
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Storage: 16/32/64GB onboard
  • Rear-facing camera: 13MP possibly with Sony IMX135 Exmor RS sensor
  • Front-facing camera: 2.1MP
  • Battery: 2,300mAh
  • Other: Beats Audio

The specifications may be tweaked a bit before the announcement. For example, it could be updated to Android 4.2 before launch.

The design of the HTC M7 is said to carry a number of same design cues as the Verizon DROID DNA. It will be all black and sport a “very nice looking beveled edge” along the screen.”

Rumours paint a conflicting picture as to when the HTC M7 will be announced. It could happen as early as CES 2013 or at MWC 2013 in late February. HTC is aiming for a first quarter launch. It could be headed to at least two U.S. carriers (Sprint and Verizon) and perhaps all four major ones.

Read more: @Football4PDA [via Twitter] and HTCSource