The Xperia Z, set for a March launch, will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean out of the box but Sony announced it will be updated to Android 4.2 “shortly after.” Unfortunately, that’s about as specific as we’ve come to expect from manufacturers regarding update ETAs. Looking back on the Android 4.2 announcement, it doesn’t look like the Xperia Z’s update will be too extreme. It’s doubtful Sony will scrap its camera and keyboard for their stock Android equivalent and the only other major 4.2 enhancement I can think of was to Android Beam. We’ll let you know if we learn of any specifics related to the update. In the meantime, feel free to go back and check out our hands on with the Xperia Z from CES.
Google’s patent request will make their DIY cyborg kit even crazier better. Need to dial a number? Just type it on the palm of your hand. That’s at least one expected functionality of a tiny laser projector for Project Glass. The system would project the dial pad or QWERTY keyboard on to your hand, arm, desk or whatever. A tiny Kinect-like camera would then interpret your movement. Google, you had me at laser!
The original Droid RAZR and Droid RAZR MAXX received an over-the-air Jelly Bean update (Android 4.1.2) a few weeks ago. It took that long for an exploit to be found in the OTA allowing for root access for both devices. At this point, it looks like all you’ll need is a PC and a USB cable. Hit the source for the walk-through. Have fun and don’t forget to backup! Once you’re rooted you can even give Carbon Backup a try.
CES 2013 came and went without a peep from LG regarding the Optimus G2. Now we’re hearing the launch of LG’s next flagship phone will be delayed until fall 2013 after Google releases the next version of Android, presumably Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie. Then there’s the rumor LG will release a quad-core device, being called the GK, at Mobile World Congress in February. The GK, running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and equipped with a 5.5-inch HD screen, would compete with Samsung when Sammi brings the next Galaxy phone to market, hopefully the Galaxy S IV.
We’re happy to see LG making moves to be a player in the mobile device market but I think the Korean manufacturer could do more for its image by correcting Nexus 4 production issues rather than release a stop-gap phone before the G2. A new LG phone would be a hard sell over a Samsung device after all the off and on again reports regarding LG’s first Nexus.
35 percent of the nearly 4,000 people polled by McKinsey & Company said they used their smartphone while driving. Most of those who admitted to the violation, 89 percent, said they used their phone to make calls. The next highest cause was navigation, 68 percent. 39 percent of the self-admitted guilty drivers said they used some form of instant messaging and 31 percent admitted to checking email or just plain browsing the web. The report, called Mobility of the Future, also showed younger drivers were far more likely to use their handsets on the road. When asked about the importance of in-car access to data, 55 percent of 18 to 39 year-olds see it as important. Only 27 percent of geezers 40 to 69 year-olds gave it the same level of importance.
We know it’s hard to keep the phone down while on the road, like REALLY hard, but it’s the law in most states not to mention not the safest thing you could be doing. We’d like you guys to stick around to make fun of our little Android blog. Until Google’s self-driving cars are here, we’ll all need to be a bit safer behind the wheel.
The analog-loving Lomography camera company posted its version of Instagram on Kickstarter today. Thankfully, it’s not another app with a ton of retro filters. It’s a 35mm film scanner designed to be used by your Android (or iOS) handset. The Lomography Film Scanner, set to launch March 2013, has several pledge options available but you’ll have to spend at least $50 (at the time of this posting) to grab a hold of a scanner. It will work with a free scanning app that will allows users to share images and edit scans, including animating images into a funky stop-motion movie. A printing option will be available for those interested in a complete boycott of digital media. The printing program will presumably be offered as a mail order option but specific details were not released.
For those of us who shoot film from time to time, this might be a quick and dirty alternative to dragging out the film scanner. It might also be a good option for those wanting to get into film without spending too much on gear. If hipsters have taught us nothing else, it’s that sometimes old crappy antiquated technology can be cool again. Why do you think they still have iPhones?
Popup Browser for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 allows users to browse the interwebs via a re-sizable browser that floats over the desktop. The floating app produces a very similar result as the multi-window feature found on the Galaxy Note II. XDA user pidio1 created the app for the Galaxy Tab 2 running stock ROM. Another user tried installing the app on a custom ROM but did not fare so well.
I tried flashing the app on the original Galaxy Note but was unable to get it to run. Another XDA user reported the app ran perfectly on a Galaxy S III. Here’s the Download Link if you want to give it a go or hit the source below. Although it doesn’t specifically say you need to be rooted for the app to work, those flashing through ClockworkMod recovery are experiencing the best results. If you change your mind about it, just delete PopupBrowser.apk from /system/app. Good luck!
The Android Dropboxapp update to version 2.3 is now available. The update provides some UI improvements and slight updates but its focus is clearly on photo sharing. If you have the “Camera Upload” feature enabled photo sharing via Dropbox is pretty damn easy. The the app’s gallery view of your uploaded images allows you to select multiple images. Once selected you can add to an album, delete or share a link to the usual choices (Gmail, SMS, Facebook, Google+, etc.). The recipient gets a link to the images you selected. They can then decide to download or add to their own Dropbox account.
One of the questions I receive most often from my less tech-savvy friends (and iPhone owners) is about how to email multiple photos. “I tried to email the 50+ photos from my daughter’s birthday party but…” Ugh, stop. Just use Dropbox and quit bothering me. Everyone else, update via the Play Store or hit the download link below.
Performance is sluggish, noticeably on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S
Frequent freeze on devices with specific versions of Qualcomm GPU driver
Text autosizing may break formatting on some sites
In what maybe the best news for T-Mobile customers from this year’s CES, T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray announced LTE will go live in ”a week or two.” He actually said they were hoping to get LTE up in Las Vegas in time for CES but missed it by a couple weeks. Once Vegas is taken care of, Ray said they will have “a series of LTE markets coming on line through Q1 and Q2.” Assuming the MetroPCS merger goes through, T-Mobile is planning to stretch its LTE coverage to 100 million people by the end of Q2 and 200 million by the end of the year.
The obvious question is, when are the LTE phones coming? Ray said, ”There will be a period when markets are up but we don’t have devices yet.“ T-Mobile does have one phone that can take advantage of LTE. Ray said the Samsung Galaxy Note II can be made LTE capable via an ”over-the-air software update.” He said another option for LTE on T-Mo will be “some AT&T LTE phones.” He did not mention when they would begin selling LTE phones but we’ll let you know if we hear anything… Galaxy S IV maybe? Keep up to date on CES 2013 here.