Google Android 4.2.1 begins rolling out to Nexus 4, 7, and 10

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Nov 272012
 

With December only days away, Google has begun to push out Android 4.2.1. According to xda-developers forum users, the OTA update is landing on the Google Nexus 4 smartphone as well as the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets.

Google Android 4.2.1

The update is only 1.1MB in size. It fixes the missing December issue in the People app and may also fix some Bluetooth issues experienced by some. A changelog has yet to be posted so it’s not clear what other changes could also be included.

As always, the rollout will be staggered so you may not see the update notification immediately. You can also check manually via System updates in your device’s Settings.

Read more: xda-developers (Source: TalkAndroid)

Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie surfaces on benchmark result?

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Nov 192012
 

With the latest version of Android having been released as version 4.2 with the Jelly Bean moniker, attention is shifting to what Google has in store for Android next. Will it be another dot release or can we start looking forward to Android 5.0? Whatever the codename, Key Lime Pie or some other dessert name, it appears that at least one device is already running Android 5.0.

There is no question that Google is hard at work on the next version and it does appear that Android 5.0.0 has been spotted on the Nena.se benchmarking web site. Hopefully it is not just someone having a bit of fun.

Android 5.0 spotted on a Sony Xperia LT30i?

The device running Android 5.0 appears to be a modified Sony Xperia T. The Sony LT30i is none other than one of the Sony Xperia T variants albeit with slightly different specs. This model appears to be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8260 processor clocked at a slightly faster 1.6GHz although is shares the 720p HD display of the original model.

It is likely that Google will announce Android 5.0 sometime in 2013 as Key Lime Pie (or another K-named dessert).

Read more: Nena.se (Source: Android Authority)

Samsung Galaxy Nexus image revealed hours before announcement

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Oct 182011
 

Hours ahead of its official announcement, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has been found on the Samsung US website. There are few details but a search for “Galaxy Nexus” returns the following image:

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

The “Galaxy Nexus” page has not gone live yet.

The official announcement will take place at 2200 Eastern Time tonight. You can catch the live stream at www.youtube.com/android.

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Sony Ericsson 2011 Xperia models to be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich?

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Sep 102011
 

Sony EricssonIn late August, Sony Ericsson committed to upgrading its entire 2011 Xperia range to Android Gingerbread version 2.3.4. It appears that it has gone even further with suggestions that their 2011 Xperia smartphones are all Android Ice Cream Sandwich ready.

The statement was made by a Sony Ericsson representative to UK-based SoMobile.com but the company later reached out to the site to clarify and indicate that it had made no official decision yet:

“When it comes to future platforms of the Android OS, we will make them available to consumers in a timely manner, as long as they improve the user experience and are viable from a hardware point of view.”

Google is expected to launch Android Ice Cream Sandwich in the October or November time frame. Sony Ericsson has not given any details as to when its Xperia devices will be upgraded although a 2012 date seems likeliest assuming it even happens.

Just keep those fingers crossed!

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IDC: Tablet sales to top 53 million in 2011

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Jul 102011
 

Tablet shipments may have dropped 28 percent in Q1 2011 over Q4 2010 but IDC expects that sales will bounce back. In fact, it expects device shipments to now reach 53.5 million units, an increase over its initial estimate of 50.4 million.

“Like the PC market, Media Tablets had a bit of a challenging quarter in Q1, as concerns about general macroeconomic issues and the post-holiday letdown took a toll on demand,” said Bob O’Donnell, IDC Vice President, Clients and Displays. “We expect the rest of the year to be much stronger, but we believe vendors who continue to focus on the telco channel for distribution will face serious challenges.”

In Q1, Apple’s sales fell short of market expectations mostly due to overall economic conditions and supply chain challenges. Competing manufacturers that opted to focus their distribution through wireless carriers also found only “moderate success” as customers were largely unwilling to sign up for the data plans required with the devices (a trend expected to continue for the rest of the year). Despite the gloomy news, Google saw Android’s market share increase by 8.2 points as Android-powered tablets accounted for 34 percent of Q1 shipments.

IDC also reported that Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color is now the best selling e-reader with the Amazon Kindle falling to second place.

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Bell Mobility launches HTC Wildfire S

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Jun 012011
 

HTC Wildfire S

Bell Mobility today launched the HTC Wildfire S, an entry-level Android smartphone. It was first unveiled by HTC back at MWC 2011.

HTC Wildfire S specifications:

  • Processor: 600MHz Qualcomm
  • Operating system: Google Android 2.3 with HTC Sense
  • Cellular connectivity: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE / dual-band (850/1900MHz) HSPA/UMTS
  • Other connectivity: GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0
  • Display: 3.2-inch HVGA Super LCD
  • Input: Capacitive touchscreen
  • Memory: 512MB RAM and 512MB ROM
  • Storage: microSD cards up to 32GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 5MP with auto-focus and flash
  • Front-facing camera: None
  • Connectors: 3.5mm headphone jack, micro-USB 2.0
  • Battery: 1230mAh
  • Dimensions / weight: 101.3 by 59.4 by 12.4 millimeters / 105 grams

Bell is offering the HTC Wildfire S for CA$29.95 with a three-year contract, CA$199.95 with a two-year contract, CA$224.95 with a one-year contract, and CA$249.95 with no contract.

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Dell Streak Pro tablet to launch in June?

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May 202011
 

Dell appears set to launch a 10.1-inch Android tablet in June if a report by German Tweakers.net turns out to be accurate. Aimed at both commercial and consumer customers, the Dell Streak Pro will come with a number of accessories including a docking station and keyboard.

The Dell Streak Pro will reportedly be powered by a 1.0GHz dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 T20 SoC (rather than the faster 1.2GHz T25 as some earlier reports had suggested) and Google Android 3.0. It will also come with 1GB RAM, dual-band 802.11 n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, a rear-facing 5MP camera, a front-facing 2MP camera, dual-microphones. 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models are likely to be offered.

Rumoured Dell Streak Pro

The report also suggests that it could come with 4G LTE connectivity (with AT&T). Considering that LTE has yet to deploy LTE, this could be an option made available later (either activated through a software update or on a new model).

No pricing details were given out.

Read more about this story German [Google translation]

T-Mobile USA 2011 product roadmap revealed?

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May 182011
 

T-Mobile USA

ThisIsMyNext.com has landed what could be the T-Mobile USA device roadmap for the rest of the year. It includes a number of Android devices (some unheard of until today) as well as three new BlackBerry devices. Here is a summary (check out ThisIsMyNext.com for additional details):

  • June 8th: Dual-core HTC Sensation 4G,Samsung t589 Gravity Touch 2, and Samsung t759 (mid-range Android 2.3 slab)
  • June 15th: Samsung t499 (possibly branded as the Galaxy Suit)
  • July 6th: HTC Doubleshot (possibly as the myTouch 4G Slide)
  • July 15th: Mid-range HTC Marvel (rebranded HTC Wildfire S)
  • July 27th: BlackBerry “Monza”
  • August 17th: BlackBerry Bold Touch
  • August 31st: BlackBerry “Apollo” (latest Curve)
  • August: Huawei S7 Android 2.2 tablet (possibly with HSPA+ connectivity)
  • September 21st: Nokia “Panda” (possibly as the Nuron 4G)
  • September 26th: Samsung Hercules
  • November: LG Maxx and Maxx Q (adding a QWERTY keyboard possibly)
  • No date: Samsung “Dumont”
  • No date: LG “Gelato” Optimus II
  • No date: HTC “Bresson” and HTC “G-Infinity” (possibly the latest in T-Mobile’s G-series)

There are also a number of feature phones and a new 42Mbps HSPA+ mobile hotspot to look forward to.

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Samsung confirms Android 2.3 update for Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab

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May 162011
 

On the heels of news that some Galaxy Tab owners had begun to receive Android 2.3 updates, Samsung has confirmed that it plans to upgrade the entire Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab lineups (as well as the GALAXY Ace/Gio/Fit/mini) with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).

The upgrade from Froyo 2.2 to Gingerbread 2.3 offers an even greater user experience, with features including:

  • Faster Performance – Multimedia content now has a lower CPU consumption rate, while support for more powerful 3D Graphics enables an enhanced mobile gaming experience.
  • Upgraded Usability – The user interface has been improved, enabling faster access and control and a more intuitive user experience. Users will also benefit from improved copy-and-paste functionality.

The update will be made through Kies, Samsung’s device management software. It will officially begin in the UK and Nordic countries from mid-May with other regions, including North America, to follow at an unspecified later time.

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Amazon planning “entire family” of Android devices?

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May 152011
 

Amazon is widely expected to launch an Android tablet later this year. When asked to comment in an interview with Consumer Reports this week, Jeff Bezos simply said “stay tuned.” All he would add was that such a device would complement rather replace the Kindle. Now, AndroidandMe.com has learned that Amazon’s plans may be more ambitious than a single tablet.

Citing "industry insider with direct knowledge," AndroidandMe.com has learned that Amazon is planning to launch an “entire family” of Android devices this holiday shopping season. No further details are given unfortunately. Could Amazon be planning differently-sized tablets, an Android-powered eReader (similar to the Barnes & Noble Nook), or even a smartphone? One device that appears to have been ruled out is a colour e-ink reader as Bezos indicated that the technology is “not ready for prime time…the colors are very pale.”

One thing is clear: An Android tablet would be an excellent fit for the growing list of services Amazon now offers: Its AppStore, Cloud Drive digital music locker service (along with its AmazonMP3 store), Unbox movie and TV streaming and Kindle ebooks.

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Sony Ericsson to launch at least 8 Android smartphones in 2011

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May 122011
 

Sony Ericsson will launch at least 8 Android smartphones in 2011 (up from 4 in 2010) according to Sony Ericsson vice president and CTO Jan Uddenfeldt. He also reconfirmed that the company will no longer launch Symbian-based smartphones. As for Windows Phone, Uddenfeldt did not rule out such devices in 2012 or later.

Smartphones now account for 60 percent of Sony Ericsson’s total handset sales.

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Motorola outlines Android 3.1 XOOM update plans

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May 112011
 

Motorola XOOM

Motorola today revealed some new details about the upcoming Google Android 3.1 Honeycomb upgrade.

As announced yesterday, the update will come with support for the new Android Market movie rentals service, full support for Adobe Flash Player 10.2, resizable widgets, support for USB-connected peripherals (such as keyboards, mice, game controllers, and digital cameras), expanded Bluetooth support, and simplified photo transfer to PCs.

The OTA update will first be rolled out to the Motorola XOOM on the Verizon Wireless network starting this week. Update for other Motorola XOOM variants (including the Wi-Fi-only model) will follow “within the next several weeks.”

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Skype fixes Skype for Android vulnerability

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Apr 202011
 

Skype

Skype today announced that it has released an updated version of Skype for Android with a fix for a privacy vulnerability identified a few days ago.

We have had no reported examples of any 3rd party malicious application misusing information from the Skype directory on Android devices and will continue to monitor closely. Please rest assured that we do take your privacy and security very seriously and we sincerely apologise for any concern this issue may have caused.

This new version of Skype for Android also adds a new feature: The ability to make VoIP calls using your phone’s 3G connection is now supported in the US.

You can download the latest version of Skype for Android from the Android Market or directly from Skype.

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Privacy vulnerability found in Skype for Android

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Apr 162011
 

A serious privacy vulnerability has been found in Skype for Android. The vulnerability was first found in a leaked beta version of Skype Video but exists in the currently available version as well. Essentially, private information such as profile information, contacts, and instant messages is stored in unprotected squlite3 databases and could easily be stolen by a malicious third-party application.

Skype has acknowledged the vulnerability and is working on a fix: “We take your privacy very seriously and are working quickly to protect you from this vulnerability, including securing the file permissions on the Skype for Android application.”

AndroidPolice.com found the vulnerability and has provided a proof of concept app:

In the meantime, Skype advises “users to take care in selecting which applications to download and install onto their device.”

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Android and Windows Phone top mobile operating systems in 2015?

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Mar 302011
 

A new IDC report predicts that Google Android and Microsoft Windows Mobile will be the dominant mobile operating systems by 2015. Android is expected to take the top spot this year while Nokia’s partnership with Microsoft is expected to have “significant implications for the smartphone market going forward.” RIM and Apple are expected to continue to battle it out for third (with Apple coming out on top according to IDC).

Operating System 2011 Market Share 2015 Market Share
Android 39.5% 45.4%
BlackBerry 14.9% 13.7%
iOS 15.7% 15.3%
Symbian 20.9% 0.2%
Windows Phone / Windows Mobile 5.5% 20.9%
Others 3.5% 4.6%
Total 100.0% 100.0%

IDC also predicts that the worldwide smartphone market will grow 49.2 percent in 2011 with smartphone vendors shipping more than 450 million smartphones in 2011, up from 303.4 million in 2010.

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