Hold your horses, March 10 is a no-go for the Galaxy S II (I9100) ICS upgrade

Yesterday we told you that according to Samsung’s Philippine website, owners of the international version of the Galaxy S II (I9100) could expect the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update tomorrow. Unfortunately the official Samsung Twitter account nixed that (above-translated) by saying the March 10 date was a mistake by their Philippine website and a date hasn’t been established yet. Of course they will let us know as soon as their is one. For now go back to your regularly scheduled plans for the weekend.

source: samsung twitter
via: theverge

New Photos Taken With HTC One Show Lackluster Performance?

HTC previously showed off some amazing photos taken with an HTC One series phone sporting the fancy new HTC ImageSense technology. Now they have blogged about real-world pictures they took on a hike up Camelback Mountain in Arizona. Maybe they should have checked with their PR department before posting these because they are getting all sorts of negative press on the quality of these pics.

The comments on the HTC blog post have been slamming the pictures, with many people saying they would no longer consider this phone based on these poor samples. The original author of the post responded in the comments with the following:

Ahh – good catch.  we actually compressed the images for web to make load times better.  We are going through now to get the full size images of our journey up Camelback.

All links to the high resolution versions of the photos have been removed from the blog post and now it only shows small thumbnails so you can’t see the true quality. But the original high resolution versions have been making their rounds since the post first went up, so there’s no hiding them now.

I checked the embedded EXIF data of the originals posted, and it shows the photos were taken by an HTC One S (not the flagship X) and were taken February 28th in the early morning. This makes me think these are straight from the camera and not “compressed for web” as HTC is saying. Of course, the EXIF data could transfer over when compressing a picture, but I don’t believe it usually does. As a test, I compressed and re-saved one of these images in Photoshop and the EXIF data was wiped out, so make of that what you will.

Picture gallery after the break.

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Apex Launcher For ICS Out of Beta


We showed you Nova Launcher a couple of weeks ago, a home launcher replacement for ICS devices with some pretty cool features. And now, a new ICS-based launcher named Apex Launcher just left beta and joined the party in the Play Store. The list of features is pretty impressive.

- Customizable homescreen grid size and up to 9 homescreens
- Scrollable dock with up to 7 icons per page and up to 5 pages
- Infinite & elastic scrolling (homescreen, drawer and dock)
- Fancy transition effects (tablet, cube, etc.)
- Hide elements as you want (persistent search bar, status bar, or even the dock)
- Customizable icons and labels for shortcuts and folders
- Choose different folder preview styles and background
- Multiple drawer styles (transparent/opaque, horizontal/vertical, paginated/continuous)
- Drawer apps sorting (title, install date, mostly used)
- Hide apps from the drawer
- Lock your desktop to prevent accidental changes
- Enjoy homescreen gestures (pinch, swipe up/down, double tap)
- Backup/restore settings and data
- Optimized for both phones and tablets
- Lots of other customization options!

Hit the break for tips, screenshots, and the download link.

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Google Fixes Broken Motorola Market Links With Play Store Update

With the recent update that turned the Android Market into Google Play, some users were confused when their Market icon disappeared. But that was just user confusion. Users of some Motorola devices had a more serious problem with the new update… it broke their special MotoBlur link to the Market in the app drawer. Of course, there was a new working link labeled Play Store, but many users didn’t know of it and were still expecting the regular Market link to work.

Luckily, Google just pushed out update 3.4.7 to all devices, which should fix the broken link issue for Moto users. If you don’t get the update automatically, you can try to force it by going into application settings, selecting all apps, click on Play Store and hit the clear data button. This should initiate the update on next launch.

Any Moto users out there get the update yet, and did it fix your link issues?

source: droidlife

Samsung Galaxy S II (GT-I9100) Will Get The Official ICS Update on March 10th

We recently told you that the international Samsung Galaxy S II would receive the ICS update on March 15th, but according to Samsung they are actually a little ahead of schedule. Now, March 10th is the new date that the GT-I9100 will gain access to the latest version of the Android operating system and the update will be available through Kies 2.0. Although the update will be accompanied by the TouchWiz overlay, you can expect to see familiar features such as Android Beam, data usage and Face Unlock, as will some apps be improved.

If you own a Galaxy S II other than the global version, you will have to wait a bit before your respective carrier pushes-out the update themselves. It can still take a little time before your carrier completes the required testing before all devices get the update. If you see the update hit your device, be a pal and let us know, will ya? For you GT-I9100 users, hit up the source links below for further instructions.

source: Samsung / FAQ
via: Engadget

Motorola Now Selling Water Repellent Wi-Fi Only Xyboard Tablets (Update: they were splash proof all along)

Interesting news coming from the Motorola camp as they are now offering their Xyboard tablets with nano-coating technology. The good news is that is means the Wi-Fi only tablets are now water-resistant, allowing users to simply wipe off spills in case of an accident. The bad news is that this doesn’t apply to the 4G laden Verizon models, and no, Moto isn’t going to upgrade them either. So if you already bought a Xyboard from Verizon, you are just going to need to remain being careful with your device around liquids. Kind of a lame move on Motorola’s part, it would’ve been nice to see an upgrade option even if was for a nominal fee. No word on whether Motorola teamed up with Liquipel or HzO, or just created their own coating.

In case you were wondering, the prices remain the same as before. $399 for the 8.2-inch and $499 for the 10.1-inch, but this time around Moto is throwing in a free $90 portfolio case with purchase. If you have been looking to get a new Xyboard but have been holding out, now would be the time to get one. Hit one of the source links below to make a purchase.

Update: Looks like they were always splash proof. In fact this is from the original presser about the DROID XYBOARD 8.2 and 10.1:

Both are equipped with scratch-resistant displays that use Corning® Gorilla® Glass to stay brilliant and a coating of water-repellent nanoparticles makes them resistant to accidental spills and splashes.

Even Rob missed this in his review. With so many devices and so many specs, sometimes things fall through the cracks. We’re sorry about the confusion.

source: Xyboard 8.2 / Xyboard 10.1
via: Unwired View

Google Play Looks Like It Will Include Audiobooks, Magazines And Newspapers

With the recent launch of Google Play to replace the Android Market, it seems clear that Google is planning some major moves, likely to compete with its most obvious competitor, Apple’s iTunes and iBooks. This doesn’t require much explanation as to why, since it would be a vital move for Google to expand its services in order to remain in a contending position.  It seems that in addition to offering apps, movies, music and e-books, Google is planning to offer audiobooks, magazines and newspapers as well.

The initial sighting was in the in the Google Play Help Center by Google news site Google Operating System, with empty pages for “Audio Books” and “Magazines and Journals”. Also noted is Google’s registration of several place holder domains such as googleplaymagazines.com, googleplaynewspapers.com, googleplaynewsstand.com and googleplaytv.com among various other iterations of these themes. Looks to me like Google is planning another major update to its services, and I for one will welcome them with open arms when they’re released some time in the future.

source: techcrunch

As the quest for more spectrum continues, opponents ask the FCC to check Verizon

As our need for more data grows, so does the need for more wireless spectrum. As a result, cell phone companies have been squabbling over the acquisition of the spectrum. The most recent development in this saga is a letter to the Federal Communications Commission by Verizon’s opponents, asking the FCC to halt the review of a purchase of spectrum for $3.9 billion by Verizon until certain documents are made public.

The center of this controversy is a deal that Verizon struck up last December to purchase Advanced Wireless Systems (AWS) spectrum licenses from SpectrumCo, LLC, a joint effort from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks. Verizon would pay $3.9 billion for acquiring the spectrum, allowing them to expand their LTE network.

Other companies have been calling foul on this deal. T-Mobile had already requested that the FCC halt Verizon’s purchase of spectrum. They argued that this would give Verizon an excessive amount of wireless spectrum that they wouldn’t even use in the foreseeable future. T-Mobile claimed the Verizon/cable company deal would hurt competition and was not in the public’s best interest.

Verizon responded to these accusations by stating that their current spectrum holdings would no longer support the increase in LTE data traffic by the end of 2015.

There are several redacted sections in this response, however. Sentences marked “highly confidential” would seemingly contain information about Verizon’s plans to build out its networks.

This has caused several companies, such as Sprint, DirecTV, and T-Mobile, along with advocacy groups like Public Knowledge and Media Access Project, to request for those redacted segments to be publicly shared before the FCC can proceed in their review of Verizon’s deal.

“As an institutional matter, the Commission cannot allow Verizon and the cable companies to make unilateral determinations that certain information is not relevant to Commission’s public interest determination or is too sensitive to be sufficiently protected by Commission safeguards,” they wrote. “As a policy matter, the Commission cannot allow the applicants to deny production of evidence for the record without which interested parties would be unable to submit … fully informed analyses.”

We’re hoping at Talk Android that the FCC will require that all relevant information is made public, and that the ruling of this deal will be in the best interest of the consumer, not just large corporations.

source: IT World

Nvidia’s Tegra 3 Reminds Apple’s New iPad Just What It’s Capable Of (Video)

Nvidia just wants to send out a reminder, with all the hype about Apple’s new iPad and all, just who rules when it comes to the mobile core space.  The company touts their latest product, the Tegra 3 chipset and claims that the iPad’s CPU is no challenge.  And as proof, they’re pointing towards their Nvidia powered gaming options.  Using their site, the chip manufacturer shows off just how good the 4-Plus-1 CPU can be.  Check out the list of impressive games that have been released to compliment the powerful CPU.

Mobile app developers are beginning to realize just how far they can take mobile applications when utilizing NVIDIA Tegra 3 – the world’s only 4-PLUS-1 quad-core mobile processor with the extra battery saver core that allows it to use less power than dual-core processors.

Here’s a quick look at just a few of the top Tegra 3 apps:

  • Splashtop THD from Splashtop Inc. – allows you to seamlessly stream content from your desktop onto your Tegra 3 tablet.
  • Photaf THD Panorama Pro from Oren Bengigi – a new photo-stitching app that allows you to combine a sequence of photos to create a panoramic view of any scenery. This app accelerates image stitching time by using all four Tegra 3 processing cores.
  • Snapseed from Nik Software – one of the easiest, most intuitive photo editors available for your Tegra 3 device. Take a picture, customize it to your liking and immediately send to friends and family. Coming to Google Play this summer.
  • PowerDirector Mobile from CyberLink– this app was once a powerful desktop-based video editing tool. Thanks to the Tegra 3’s high-performance and battery-friendly 4-PLUS-1 architecture, PowerDirector Mobile will give you the power to manipulate and edit videos on your mobile device. Coming to Google Play this fall.
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source: Nvidia

Caterpillar enters smartphone market with heavy duty CAT B10


Caterpillar Inc, perhaps better reconginsed as CAT and most famously known for being the worlds largest manufacturer of construction and engineering equipment have entered the smartphone market. It will come as no surprise to find that the B10 is a mid-range Android phone that positions itself as a rugged, heavy duty device.

The CAT B10 is fully IP67 certified meaning it’s water, scratch and dust resistant. The tech specs are relatively modest, sporting Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread, a 800MHz Qualcomm processor, 3.2″ display, 5MP rear camera and a front facing camera for video calling. The B10 is expected to go on sale worldwide from May with European pricing set at  €379 ($500).

All terrain phones aren’t new to Android. The Motorola Defy+ has been around for a while and Samsung recently announced the Rugby Smart. The interesting story here is to see if heavy duty experts but smartphone virgins, CAT, can challenge the Android elders.


source : THE VERGE