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.
Samsung is out to remind us about the next big thing already being here. The following installments of the awesome series highlight more of what the Galaxy S II phone can do and of course what the iPhone can’t do.
The first ad highlights the theme of Urban Camping. A casual couple arrives at a coffee shop only to be surrounded by iPhone fanatics who want to go camping. While talking, the male Galaxy S II owner reserves a camping area, right from his phone using 4G. The barista and campers in the shop are clearly not impressed and the campers proceed to proclaim they’re doing “urban camping”… right in a line as they wait for an iPhone.
The second ad highlights a poor fellow waiting in the cold, long line for an iPhone, only to see the power of the Galaxy S II. Here, the frostbitten iPhone owner dashes into a store and needs gloves desperately. He’s greeted by a beautiful store associate who offers him the only pairs of gloves left, but the frostbitten man is concerned he is unable to use the gloves because he will not be able to text message while having them on and asks her how he will be able to text with them on. The store associate then pulls out her handy Galaxy S II and uses the impressive voice-to-text feature. She later highlights her phone is a Galaxy S II with an innocent smile. Tormented, the frostbitten iPhone owner asks the store associate about “what else the Galaxy S II can do”, in an awkward, unusual flirtation no less.
If you’re not already following @VerizonWireless on Twitter, you might want to because they’re kicking off a 4×4 Galaxy Nexus Giveaway in a little less than an hour (10:00am EST). Each day over the next 4 days, they will award a lucky winner a Galaxy Nexus. You can see in the above image what your task is going to be for each day. You will have from 10:00am to 11:59pm to send your tweets and you’re limited to 10 tweets for each period. Winners will be picked by a random drawing and announced by January 31. Good Luck!!
It’s only the first round and already Apple has reportedly burned through $100 million on its legal battle with HTC, and the fact of the matter is, here lately they have had little to show for it. Newsweek’s Dan Lyons notes Apple’s onslaught of lawsuits around the world have yielded precious little while meaningful wins have been few and far between in its ongoing legal battles against Android vendors. Apple did manage a victory last month when the International Trade Commission banned the import of several HTC smartphones it deemed to be infringing on a patent, but HTC responded the same day and said a simple workaround was already set to be rolled out. How do you like them apples? No end in sight yet however, and if it comes down to cash, Apple certainly has the resources and drive to ruin HTC. Hopefully HTC can continue to rectify their disputes quickly and simply.
[via BGR through RealDan]
Custom launchers are one of those aspects that make Android so awesome. They offer a realm of customization unmatched by Android’s competitors. However, those competitors sometimes offer a unique experience of their own, that is until an Android launcher dev decides he wants that look on his device. In particular, XDA member, TheRedDrake, decided he like some of Windows’ looks and eventually created a Windows Phone 7 launcher. Despite this being well received, TheRedDrake and four other XDA members have since moved on in efforts to bring Windows 8 to Android. The team would like to qualify that in saying that their up and coming launcher is not a copy but rather inspired by the Windows 8 Metro UI. What really makes this launcher special is that the team is going above and beyond. They are implementing custom apps to go with the launcher. Upon launch they expect to have twenty and have so far posted eighteen that they have been working on. Here’s the list:
- People with IM and social
- Stock + Currency converter
- File manager
The team says a release will come sometime in late March to early April. Until then below is the only teaser picture offered up so far (yes they didn’t post a higher resolution image). By the way, who here would like to see them change the name to Metroid?
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that AT&T and T-Mobile have filed an application with the FCC asking for their approval to transfer $1 billion worth of AT&T’s AWS spectrum over to T-Mobile. AT&T had already promised the spectrum to T-Mobile as a part of the failed $39 billion merger deal that went TU in December. “This additional spectrum will help meet the growing demand for wireless broadband services,” said Tom Sugrue, T-Mobile’s senior vice president for government affairs. We hope the FCC will move swiftly to approve the license assignments.”
Along with the AWS spectrum, AT&T also promised to pay T-mobile $3 billion in cash to make up for the botched merger attempt. T-Mobile also claims the spectrum is needed to keep up with the stiff competition from other US carriers.
As I’ve always said, “Damn, if this isn’t an awesome time to be in the mobile industry“. It’s no surprise that companies like Sony and Samsung produce incredible cameras to accompany their incredible handsets since they’re no strangers to the stand alone camera. Sony has some of the best camera sensors one is ever going to find in a majority of their handsets. Devices like the new Sony Ericsson Xperia Ion and Sony Xperia S house a 12 megapixel Exmore CMOS sensor with the ability to capture beautiful shots in a number of different conditions. However, the company is looking to one-up itself by announcing an even better CMOS sensor which touts “RGBW Coding” enabling the ability to capture HDR video.
Gameloft and Verizon have recently announced plans to revolutionize Android gaming that could potentially change the game (pun intended). Plans are in action to enable in-game voice chat over Verizon’s 4G network that will work much similar to online gaming on Xbox and PS3 consoles.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Verizon to illustrate the potential of in-game voice chat and multiplayer over the 4G LTE network,” said Baudouin Corman, vice president of Publishing for the Americas at Gameloft. “Gameloft seeks to provide gamers with a complete mobile gaming experience and feels that these features are at the forefront of the platform’s future.”
According to the demo at this years CES, only three gamers are able to play and talk at the same time but I imagine that will change once the technology gets perfected a bit more. If you are anything like me and like to play online multiplayer games, then you know how important this feature can be and that it will take more than three people to be completely effective. To see how this is going to work, jump past the break to check out the short demo video and don’t forget to let us know what you think!
Now if Verizon would just activate voice over LTE we’d be set!
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.