Motorola backtracks on software updates: Atrix 4G and Photon 4G likely to be denied ICS

Software updates are a dreaded nuisance for any smartphone owner. Today, Motorola has solidified our stance on the issue, as it has retracted numerous of its previous upgrade promises. The new timeline pushes the Android 4.0 update for the DROID XYBOARD 8.2, DROID Bionic and Motorola XOOM Family Edition back until next quarter. Additionally, Atrix 4G, Atrix 2 and Photon 4G owners may be out of luck. Whereas the previous timeline showed the devices would be receiving their Ice Cream Sandwich update in Q3, the new list only entails that “further plans [are] coming soon.” What this means exactly is still unclear.

While this wasn’t completely unexpected, it’s a sad day for early adopters. Constantly manufacturers are revealing new groundbreaking hardware with behind-the-curve software. As an Atrix 4G owner, I’m ashamed that such a travesty couldn’t be avoided. The phone may have launched with Android 2.2 Froyo, but underneath lie the internals of the world’s first superphone. I’ll continue to use the handset, but Motorola needs to realize that it’s this type of thing that will prevent me from being a returning customer. For the full run-down, we’ve included the official upgrade timeline below.
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Samsung reveals pink Galaxy S III, set to launch next week in Korea

Samsung previously announced a slew of new colors for its flagship Galaxy S III handset, but today the company is introducing a slightly less conservative hue. Beginning next week, customers will be able to pick up a Galaxy S III in pink. Initially, the handset will only be available in Korea, though its expected that the device will see a regional roll out in the near future. This means users can now choose between seven different colors, including Pebble Blue, Marble White, Amber Brown, Garnet Red, Sapphire Black and Titanium Grey.

Source: GSMArena

Facebook Messenger update brings texting support to select devices

Today Facebook is introducing texting support for its Messenger application for Android. A thorough redesign has transformed the old, tired inbox into a full-fledged SMS app. As you swipe to the left, a list of available users is given, which will allow you to directly send a message over your carrier’s cellular network. Additionally, you can create groups to message multiple friends at once.

There is a downside however, as Facebook has only made the application compatible with a handful of devices. Currently, the HTC EVO 3D, HTC One X, LG Optimus Black, LG Optimus Hub, Samsung Galaxy Ace, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S3, and Samsung Galaxy Y are supported. If you’re rocking one of the aforementioned devices, be sure to hit the Play Store download link or scan the QR code below.

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Play Store download link

The Cube U9GTV sports Android 4.1 and 2048 x 1536 ‘Retina’ display

Usually when we bring up cheap, knock-off Chinese tablets, readers begin cringing with fear. However, a new slate from the land of the sleeping giant could potentially change our unyielding distrust. The Cube U9GTV is an Android 4.1-powered slate, fueled by a dual-core 1.6GHz Cortex A9 processor and 1GB of RAM. Because that wasn’t enough to separate it from the pack, the manufacturer has included a 9.7-inch display with an eye-soothing 2048 x 1536 pixels, equating to about 264 ppi — the same as Apple’s newest iPad.

Availability is slated for next month, and rumor has it that the tablet will launch for under €200, or about $260 in the US. Without having seen the device for ourselves, there’s no way to vouch for the screen quality, though it does have our undivided attention. To get a better feel for the tablet, we’ve included a set of comparison images and videos after the break.
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Roku updates Android app, brings new music and photo streaming capabilities

Today Roku is rolling out an update to its popular Android companion app, which brings along several fresh enhancements and features. One of the most notable changes, however, is the new “Play on Roku” feature. With it, you can stream photos and music from your smartphone directly to any Roku player over your home’s Wi-Fi network.

“Photos streamed on TV using Play on Roku can be viewed individually using a swiping gesture on the mobile device, or in automatic slide show mode. When music is streamed using Play on Roku, a screen saver with the song title, artist, album name and cover art will appear on the TV while the song plays. Photo slide shows can also be viewed with music streaming at the same time. Play on Roku is compatible with MP3 and M4A audio files and JPG and PNG image files.”

The app will be available to download in the same countries that Rokus are sold, meaning nearly all users should be able to take advantage of the feature. There’s no word on whether or not the service will be expanded to support videos or third party applications in the future, but in the meantime be sure to check out the official application in the Google Play Store. Catch the full presser after the break.

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Play Store Download Link


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Developer constructs Granny Smith arcade machine in preparation for official launch party

In celebration of the launch of Granny Smith for Android, Mediocre Games has constructed the ultimate apple collecting machine. With some left over wood lying around, a carpentry wizard managed to build a fully-functioning Granny Smith emulator, complete with actual physical buttons.

“For the Granny Smith release party, I wanted to make an old school arcade machine, and since the game is controlled with virtual buttons it should make a nice experience to play it with physical buttons.”

The game is run via an ASUS Transformer TF300T, with Zeemote wireless joysticks acting as the main form of interaction. The entire process is fairly in-depth, but the result is a one of a kind piece of Android gaming heaven. For a full walkthrough, be sure to hit the source link below.

Source: MediocreGames

Verizon’s Galaxy Note II will reportedly have locked bootloader

We already knew Samsung’s Galaxy Note II would be making its way to Verizon Wireless, but a new report suggests that the 5.5-inch behemoth will be locked down. An inside source has confirmed that Big Red’s Note II will ship with a locked bootloader, meaning users who want to install custom ROMs or kernels are out of luck.

The news isn’t all that surprising considering Verizon previously told us that it would be locking down most of its devices moving forward. That’s not to say that some developers can’t find a workaround, but at this point things aren’t looking good. Regardless, let’s just hope that the Verizon branding on the home button is just a temporary sticker.

Source: Brief Mobile

Acer reveals 7-inch Iconia Tab A110 with Android 4.1 and MicroSD

Acer has just unveiled the Iconia Tab A110, a 7-inch Android-powered tablet that will serve as a direct competitor to Google’s Nexus 7. The device sports the same quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor as the Nexus 7, though Acer has gone a bit further and added additional features like a MicroSD slot and MicroHDMI port. The best part? The A110 will ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on board.

These enhancements may make the A110 more appealing to some customers than Google’s offering. Pricing and availability remain a mystery, though the company previously said the tablet would be aimed at the sub-$200 range. Either way, we’re told to expect a full-scale launch in the coming weeks. Catch the full presser after the break.


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Bloomberg Radio+ now available for Android

After a rather long wait, Bloomberg has finally released its Radio+ mobile application to Android users. With it comes 24/7 access to the biggest names in the financial sector, offering live, full-length interviews and expert analysis. In addition to audio, the app will also feature some of the publication’s most popular shows on demand.

Using the app is simple. Live audio streaming is set as the default, while on demand shows can be accessed by hitting the on-screen menu button. Users can also edit the ticker on the bottom to better suit their personal needs. The app is now available for free on the Google Play Store, so be sure to hit the link after the break to try it out for yourself.


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SIM-free Sony Xperia T sales to be unrestricted

This past weekend we reported that customers looking to purchase a SIM-free Sony Xperia T off-contract in the UK could be in for a long wait. Today, Sony has managed to slightly clear things up, reiterating that the Xperia T will be available “within timescales previously announced through Vodafone, EE, O2, 3, Carphone Warehouse, Phones4U and Tesco.” Furthermore, Sony made it known that it would not be imposing restrictions on how the units are sold. This means the above retailers will be the ultimate deciders when it comes to whether or not SIM-free devices are actually sold.

In the past, Phones4U and Carphone Warehouse have offered SIM-free deals on the latest phones, which leads us to believe that they would do the same for Sony’s latest flagship. With the phone launching next week in the UK, it looks like we won’t have to wait much longer to find out.

Source: Android Central