Sprint Galaxy S II to Receive Jelly Bean Update (Finally)

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If you have been sitting in the wings watching the GSIII and GS4 come and go, you are probably feeling a little “left behind”. If you are still stuck in your two year contract and have fallen a bit behind the power curve of late, fear not, a refreshing new update to your old trusty handset should be just what the Doctor ordered.

Sprint announced yesterday that Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is on its way! I know this has been a long wait for those of you who have had your GSII since its release in 2011, but your wait is finally over. As you probably know, and have severely drooled over time-and-time again, the new update will bring with it:

  • Google Now
  • Project Butter Animations
  • Lock Screen Widgets
  • Numerous stability and battery saving enhancements

TalkAndroid Weekly Recap for March 25 – March 31, 2013

TalkAndroid_Weekly_Recap

We had another busy week at TalkAndroid so here’s a recap of all the top stories. The HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S 4 continue to dominate the news, but things are starting to heat up regarding the Motorola X phone as well. Google made a few updates to their apps, and word is that they are working on an all-in-one messaging system too. It’s time to get caught up and get ready for another exciting week.

Reviews

Aces Gin Rummy [Cards & Casino]

Jokes HD [Entertainment]

Guides

How to automatically receive MMS picture messages

How to send SMS or MMS text messages from your PC or tablet using your Android phone number

Accessories

When To Expect Samsung’s Galaxy S 4 Accessories And For How Much

Image of Samsung Galaxy S 4 wireless charging accessory

AT&T nabs US exclusivity on the 64GB variant of the HTC One

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Thanks to a recent video of the HTC One by AT&T, we have  now learned that the wireless company has been awarded US exclusivity of the 64GB variant of the upcoming HTC One. While it’s great for AT&T users, this is terrible news for everyone else.

My question  is, if HTC is trying their best to crawl themselves out of the hole they’re currently in, why in the world would they grant any carrier exclusivity on the 64GB variant of their flag ship device? Let’s just hope this exclusivity won’t last too long.

Well, this certainly is a new record; Verizon has apparently discontinued the DROID DNA after only 4 months

HTC_DROID_DNA_TA_Front_01-450x444

The title certainly isn’t a mistake folks, Verizon has apparently “retired” the HTC DROID DNA after only 4 months of being on the market. I’m sure we’re all wondering why this move was made, could it have been due to lackluster sales? Or perhaps Verizon is planning on making room for the upcoming HTC One device? Either way, 4 months is just not acceptable and embarrassing for Verizon to do this to their customers.

This was first brought up when users started to notice that the DNA wasn’t available on Verizon’s website anymore. After several XDA users contacting Verizon to ask about it, several have confirmed that the device has been discontinued by Verizon. Below is a conversation from XDA user robertmoore208 with a Verizon representative that seemed to have confirmed the retirement of the DNA.

Verizon Samsung Galaxy S 4 gets green-light from FCC

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The FCC has just gave the Verzion variant of the upcoming Galaxy S 4 from Samsung the go ahead. Some things to note are the presence of 4G LTE, as expected, on both Verizon’s 700 MHz band and their AWS band which they recently acquired.  Also worth noting is the presence of HSPA-3G network which could mean a better experience for consumers who travel overseas. As of now the only other carriers left to pass through the FCC’s tests are AT&T and T-Mobile, but we don’t expect that to take very long.

Source: FCC

New Google patent application could produce better photos using weather info

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A new Google patent application demonstrates a method for connecting weather information with a device’s camera application. Besides the camera app and a connected weather app, the method makes use of GPS coordinates. Grabbing location data using the GPS of a device, coordinates are transmitted to a server to retrieve local weather information. When the weather data is returned to the device, ambient light info is fed into the camera to adjust the settings to optimize the picture. Some of the settings that may be adjusted include white balance, hue, saturation, sharpness, or contrast.

It is not clear how this may be better than the sensors already present in a camera, though many photographers find those to be inadequate and resort to manual settings or process their photos through software to make corrections. We also don’t know whether this concept will ever find its way into an actual product. If it does, Android users may enjoy an edge in the photography department compared to other platforms.

source: USPTO
via: Engadget

US Cellular to take Samsung Galaxy S 4 pre-orders starting April 16th

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As expected, after AT&T announced this week they will be opening pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S 4 in April, other carriers are following suit. U.S. Cellular has announced they will start taking pre-orders for the device on April 16th, the same day as AT&T. No pricing information was provided by U.S. Cellular. Hit the source link if you want to sign up for reminders from U.S. Cellular.

source: U.S. Cellular

OUYA shipping to early backers, retail launch on June 4th

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Early backers of the OUYA game console got a nice surprise this week when Julie Uhrman, the project’s founder, announced consoles had shipped already. If you were one of those supporters, your unit should be arriving any day now. When the units arrive, new owners will find:

  • 104 titles will be immediately available with many more on the way
  • OUYA will require an update on first launch but it will be ultra quick
  • You’ll need a credit/debit card to download games… even free ones
  • OUYA supports up to 4 controllers and although you can buy more, it’ll work with Xbox/PS3 controllers among others

The folks at OUYA indicate they will be launching at retail locations starting June 4th. In an interesting little twist,they also announced plans are available for anyone who wants to 3D print an OUYA for themselves.

source: Phandroid

LG Optimus G 2 shows up in GLBenchmark database

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The GLBenchmark site is one of the best resources for finding out about phones in the pipeline. A new LG phone (D801) showed up in the database that is most likely the Optimus G 2. It’s powered by a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, an Adreno 330 GPU, an FHD display, and Android 4.2.2. It has been rumored that the Optimus G 2 would carry an Odin Octa-core CPU, but this news doesn’t mean that it won’t. Just like the Galaxy S 4, it’s very likely that LG will offer variants with different processors for different regions. I would expect to see this phone to get announced at IFA 2013 later in the year, so expect a lot of rumors and leaks in the meantime.

source: GLBenchmark

Samsung Exynos 5 Octa Will Support All 20 LTE Bands

Samsung Exynos 5 Octa

While those of us in the U.S. will just get the Galaxy S 4 with a quad-core Snapdragon processor, other countries are fortunate enough to get the Exynos 5 Octa on-board. If you are able to get your hands on the S 4 or future Samsung device with an Octa processor, there is some good news when it comes to LTE support. According to the official Samsung Exynos Twitter page, the Exynos 5 Octa will support all 20 LTE bands allowing fast data speeds worldwide. As far as what modem it will be paired with and how many bands will be supported on a single device, Samsung has yet to release more information.

Source: Official Samsung Exynos Twitter page

Google’s Babble is actually Google Babel and will come to Android, iOS, Chrome, Gmail, and G+

babble_geekdotcom

If you’ve been keeping up at home, we’ve heard a ton of reports lately that Google is releasing a unified chat client called “Babble.” Well, turns out that client is actually called Babel, but many of the other rumored features were right. Babel will be available cross-platform on Android, iOS, Chrome, Gmail, and Google Plus, but as of right now, Google Voice isn’t part of the list. It may come at a later point, but not right out of the gate.

Babel will allow you to access the same conversation list from any of those platforms, and features a new, conversation based UI, picture messaging, improved cross-device notifications, and picture messaging. That’s a pretty fully featured app, and it’s definitely going to improve our communication experience as a whole.

Babel as a name does make sense for Google’s project, though, especially if you consider the Biblical meaning of the word and the story of the Tower of Babel. However, it still might not be the official name of the app, whenever it’s released, so take it with a grain of salt. Personally, I think Google will opt for something a bit more accessible and catchy, but I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

source: Droid Life

Sony rumored to be working on Cyber-shot and Walkman-based Xperia smartphones behind the scenes

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Yup— it’s looking more and more like 2013 is shaping up to be the year of the Sony devices for Android fans. New rumors have surfaced indicating that the ever-growing manufacturer is all set to bring in some topnotch camera and sound capabilities in its Xperia line of handsets. Let me explain– rampant rumors have surfaced recently regarding speculation of Sony’s Cyber-shot and Walkman technologies into the following upcoming flagships: a 5-inch Cyber-shot-based smartphone with unrivaled camera capabilities, a 5-inch Xperia Walkman-based device featuring an integrated amplifier chip, an “iPhone competitor” with a small form factor and finally, a mysterious phablet-type device. The neat thing is the fact that each rumored device are expected to feature top of the line guts inside which presumably include a hyper-fast processing chip and a current/up-to-date version of Android.

Naturally Sony is staying mum on the possibility of some attractive devices on the horizon, but considering it has plans on sitting at the big boy table in the near-future, these rumors shouldn’t be too far-fetched.

source: PhoneArena

 

HTC One first smartphone to receive iFixit’s lowest possible repair score

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The HTC One looks to be a fantastic device, but if you buy electronics based on how easy they are to repair, you’re probably going to want to pass on this one. According to iFixit, the One is pretty much impossible to repair, scoring a 1 out of 10. Unfortunately for HTC, that’s the lowest score ever given to a smartphone in iFixit’s ratings.

According to the rate, opening the the rear case without damaging it is nearly impossible, and it is impossible to replace the screen without removing the rear case. On top of that, there’s a sheet of copper inside the phone that protects the guts, and it’s easy to wrinkle and distort, which makes the whole process that much more difficult.

The One is a gorgeous device, and I’m sure it’s going to sell extremely well, despite component delays. But if you do decide to pick one up, make sure to grab insurance, too.

source: iFixit

TalkAndroid Daily Dose for March 28, 2013

TalkAndroid_Daily_Dose

With hectic schedules, it can be hard to keep track of everything in your news feed. That’s why we created the TalkAndroid Daily Dose. This is where we recap the day’s hottest stories so you can get yourself up to speed in quick fashion. Happy reading!!

Reviews

Jokes HD [Entertainment]

Guides

How to automatically receive MMS picture messages

Accessories

Image of Samsung Galaxy S 4 wireless charging accessory

Apps

Tasker’s New Holo Redesign Graduates to the Play Store, Brings It to Android 4.0+

Rendered Image Leak of Meizu MX3 Confirms Previous Design Spec Rumors

Meizu_MX3_Leaked_Image

China’s mobile smartphone manufacturer, Meizu, is at it again.  They have improved on their original MX2, with their latest and greatest handset, dubbed cleverly enough as the MX3. The device was previously rumored to contain a 5.1-inch full HD display, Exynos 5410 Octa processor, and a narrower bezel.

Although the leaked rendered image above does suggest that the MX3’s screen will be at least 5.1, with a narrow bezel, there is still nothing firm from our sources to confirm the Exynos 5410 processor, but since the rest of the rumors appear to be holding true, this may not be too far of a stretch from reality.