Talk about a long time coming! The LG Optimus Black if finally starting to receive the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update and should hopefully hit all devices soon. Reports are showing that the overdue update has rolled out to folks in Europe and India already, so I imagine other countries will see it soon. The update will bring the Optimus Black up to version 2.3.4 (3 versions behind current Gingerbread), and will bring improved power management, support for new media formats, shortcuts, widgets, better camera auto-focus, and Google+ pre-installed. Word has it that you can get this update right now by using LG’s software update tool, but I cannot confirm this so if somebody is able to force the update let us know.
While it’s pretty late in the game, it’s nice to see that LG really can deliver because if you’ll remember, the Optimus Black was said to receive ICS sometime in Q3 of this year. Any bets on whether or not it shows up on time?
The Huawei Honor is a really nice mid-level phone available on China Unicom. It’s going to get that much better because Huawei and China Unicom just announced the Ice Cream Sandwich-powered Honor will be available by Valentine’s Day. Kudos to Huawei for getting this done faster than the likes of Motorola, HTC, and Samsung. I guess this can’t be a surprise since we wrote about the ICS demo build a little over a month ago. To refresh your memory, the specs of the Honor include:
- 4-inch (854 x 480) display
- 1.4GHz single-core processor
- 512MB of RAM
- 4GB of ROM
- 8MP rear camera
- 2MP front-facing camera
- microSD for up to an additional 32GB of storage
- 1900mAh battery.
As we all know, it’s been a couple of weeks now since we’ve seen the new Android 4.0.3 update hit devices like the Transformer Prime making it the first tab to receive the new firmware. Subsequently, after the update we saw a few nice features and improvements to multiple applications and the UI itself. However, it’s been discovered by the folks over at ComputerWorld that there’s a hidden little gem in the Gmail application. A new Gmail feature has been discovered labeled “experiments“. Sounds super duper secretive doesn’t it? The experiments feature is basically just a few useful options Google engineers added for the user to try out but may not be necessarily “stable” by any means. First up on the new experiments feature is “Enable Full Text Search” which is obvious right? The feature allows you to perform a complete search throughout your threads for key words while indexing them nicely for you. Read more
From time to time leaked builds become available for certain devices. Most of the time, it’s not the final build, and we never know for sure whether or not it is. In this case the Android 2.3.6 update for the DROID RAZR is now available for you to install, and you won’t need to be rooted. The new build number is 6.12.173 and it brings you to Android 2.3.6 from 2.3.5
We’re told this build brings a LTE radio update which is probably the biggest reason to install it. You will also find some Blur enhancements along with some new bloatware like the Moto Car Finder we told you about a couple of months ago.
Instructions after the break
It’s been a real sad state of affairs hearing all of the negative news surrounding the Transformer Prime lately. Who would have thought the follow up device would have undergone so many fails in such a short time? This week it’s being reported by a number of Prime owners that their already lacking GPS functionality has gotten significantly worse since the last update. Quite a number of members over at XDA have reported that their already weak signal is now no longer present since downloading the second Android 4.0 update. One of the members even reported leaving their TP on the window sill for over 25 minutes and it still didn’t latch on to a satellite. Asus went on record stating that the “metallic uni-body design” is responsible for the weak GPS signal in that it ultimately interferes with the signal’s ability to reach the device’s sensors. The company states that the new TF700 device is supposed to effectively fix the issue however. Lets hope reports about ASUS charging their customers to fix the issue isn’t true. Did you fork out for a Prime? What do you think? Feel free to rant all you want in the comments below.
Beginning in December, HTC started rolling out the Android 2.3 update to the HTC Flyer, but unfortunately the end result has made some users a bit unhappy. Although the update brings a new and improved UI and access to tablet specific apps, a select group of folks dislike the new UI and the fact that they lost the use of physical capacitive buttons which have been replaced with virtual on-screen ones. Some have even stated that HTC Sense doesn’t play well with Honeycomb either.
What does HTC have to day about this? HTC-Hub reached out to HTC for a resolution and apparently a customer service rep claims you can send your device back to HTC to have the original Gingerbread OS reinstalled, or simply wait for the ICS update to roll out this quarter. Wait, what? ICS for the Flyer? That’s news to me! Check out this excerpt from HTC-hub’s conversation with HTC:
HTC: or wait for the update to ice cream sandwich.
Bruno: When is the update expected?
HTC: the first quarter of this year.
So there you have it folks. Although this came from the horses mouth, I’m not sure you could classify this as official just yet. You never know how customer service reps get their info and whether or not it’s 100% truth. BUT.. if this does indeed hold any truth, we should be seeing the ICS update within the next 9 weeks. For now, we have our eyes and ears open and hopefully we will get an official statement from HTC sometime soon. Stay tuned.
[via HTC-Hub through Android & Me]
Recently, Android design chief Matias Duarte sat down with Wired to talk about Android Design, which was recently launched to help developers adapt to the look and feel of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and Google’s own suite of apps. During the interview, fragmentation, and particularly updates were discussed. Here’s what he had to say:
“A lot of those issues really are much more related to the hardware capabilities. Things like just how much memory you have. The reality is, right now Android is growing so quickly, it’s like it was back in the X86 days of PCs. When you got that 286 and were so excited! ‘Yes!’ And then Quake comes along and your 286 just couldn’t do the job. So right now, we have that issue people call ‘fragmentation,’ where some of the older hardware just won’t run the new OS. So trying to upgrade the OS is really difficult.”
“Remember when you got the new version of Windows, and you couldn’t run it on your PC? You just had to get a new computer, right? It’s something that happens at certain inflection points of computing, where the capabilities just grow so quickly that they outpace everything else.”
Before I go on a rant, let me say that I love the work that Matias is doing with Android. Ice Cream Sandwich is a wonderful UI, and I’m excited for the future of the OS. With that said, I have to disagree with Matias on this. In principle, he’s correct when it comes to old hardware and what we’ve experienced with PCs, and I can’t blame him for this response as he’s trying to downplay the issue. Gingerbread was announced in late 2010 and it took six months for the first top tier phones to get it. I’m sorry, that doesn’t have anything to do with old hardware. Now, with Ice Cream Sandwich, the SDK was released in October 2011. It has already been 3 months and companies like Motorola won’t have the ICS update until quarter 2. This is for devices like the DROID RAZR which doesn’t have hardware limitations, and it doesn’t appear Samsung and HTC are going to be any quicker.
Sprint is doing whatever it takes to keep its customer’s trust and happiness. We mentioned to you a few days ago that Sprint provided some security updates to a handful of its devices, but were unsure if the updates included the removal of some dreaded spy software. We now have confirmation that the recent updates being pushed out to a HTC and Samsung devices completely removes Carrier IQ thanks to the gang at XDA. As previously highlighted, the recent updates include both the removal of Carrier IQ software and minor software enhancements. HTC devices will receive automatic notifications starting on January 24th (or you can manually check right now), while the Epic 4G’s update is being pushed out in phases until January 29th. While owners of the EVO Design 4G, EVO 4G and Epic 4G won’t have Ice Cream Sandwich, they will have a piece of mind at least knowing they won’t have tracking software of their devices anymore.
[via Sprint Community 1, 2, 3 by XDA]
The Xperia S is a sleek and stylish phone. Given that it’s the first handset from Sony after they bought out Ericsson from Sony Ericsson they are coming in with a bang. Quite anticipated after its announcement at CES this year users from the UK will be happy to know that the Xperia S is scheduled to drop January 30th even though it was expected March 5th. Given that Samsung dropped the bomb about their Galaxy SII HD not coming to the UK it is certainly good news to see another gorgeous phone coming to the UK.
You can pre-order the device at Play.com for £450 which is the cheapest you can get your hands on the device right now. Both Clove and Ebuyer will let you pre-order device as well. Most of the major UK carriers will offer the phone at cheaper per contract prices. So expect this device soon and if you’re wanting this phone and are having a hard time waiting, check out the hands-on video from CES. Hopefully it’s enough to tide you over.
[via GSM Arena]
We’ve gotten a number of emails from our friends up north telling us they received the Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread update for the Telus HTC Desire HD, The enhancements include:
- HTC Sense 3.0 (improved Calendar, Messages, Camera, Gallery, Music, Weather, Lock Screen, Reader, and more)
- HTC Watch – Rent or buy the latest movies and/or shows
- Google Video Chat
- Improved stability
If you haven’t received the update yet, you can check to see if you can manually pull it by going to Settings/About Phone/System Updates. Please let us know in the comments if you received the update and how things are working.