Google I/O is just a few days away and if you were expecting to see a brand-new OS or a revolutionary device— then you will probably be a little disappointed at this tidbit of news. Android head Sundar Pichai recently expressed some hints of what we can expect to see, especially for all of you developers out there:
“It’s going to be different. It’s not a time when we have much in the way of launches of new products or a new operating system. Both on Android and Chrome, we’re going to focus this I/O on all of the kinds of things we’re doing for developers, so that they can write better things. We will show how Google services are doing amazing things on top of these two platforms”.
Yeah— it’s definitely a bummer, we know. Fortunately there is a silver lining to look forward to: the development and arrival of some pretty neat concepts and improvements to the Android and Chrome platforms. In his interview, Pichai highlights that because of the Android platform’s flexibility and design, consumers are able to see the arrival of Facebook Home, part of many “welcome innovations“. Additionally, items like Amazon’s Kindle Fire series of tablets and its customized Android software represent the computer explosion of today, which is a benefit for consumers of all.
Until now we had only seen the Galaxy S 4 available in white frost and black mist, but Japanese provider DoCoMo will apparently have a new color variant available for their customers. Promotional materials by DoCoMo show a “Blue Arctic” version, shown above, expected to be announced on May 15 and available next month.
We knew Samsung would eventually release more colors for the phone as they did with the S3 — the question was just when. It will be interesting to see if and when the “Blue Arctic” version will arrive in other markets. The Galaxy S 4 Activ has been rumored to come in a metallic orange color – could that make its way to the regular S4 as well?
As AT&T brings more LTE coverage to more markets, they plan to roll out support for voice-over-LTE, or VoLTE, to select markets by the end of the year. VoLTE will use AT&T’s LTE towers to convert conversations into data packets over an IP network, allowing for not just higher quality calls but also video calling and enhanced messaging services.
AT&T currently has LTE coverage in 212 markets and expects to cover 90% of the country by the end of the year. Calls over the standard UMTS network will still be available when VoLTE is not, or if a device does not support it. It should be noted that these calls will use data, and probably not a small amount. For customers on shared data plans, this could potentially force you into a higher data bracket.
Back in April we told you about the possibility of an Android game network to rival iOS’s Game Center, and today we have many more details to share. Our friends at Android Police have discovered and torn down the APK for Google Play Services v3.1.36, which is a massive update slowly making its way to devices right now.
When Google MyGlass was torn down last month, we learned that the game-center service would include multiplayer, in-game chat, leaderboards, invitations, lobbies, and achievements. This teardown of the Google Play Games APK shows that cloud-based game saving and notifications will also be included. The cloud-based universal game saving will sync across all devices based on your Google account.
Popular launcher app Nova Launcher released a new update over the weekend that adds much more flexibility and control over app icons to go along with normal optimizations and bug fixes. While many people put their favorite apps on their homescreens, others like to access them using the app drawer. This is where many of Nova Launcher’s recent updates are focused. Users can customize app icons and titles used in the app drawer independent of the theme they currently have selected. Users can also group apps into folders in the app drawer and then drag these folders to the homescreen. This essentially means folders can be created from the homescreen or the app drawer. Read more
We had another busy week at TalkAndroid so here’s a recap of all the top stories. Google I/O is next week and we have the full scoop on the new and improved Nexus 7. Rumors say the Motorola X phone is scrapped for the time being, but a recent FCC filing seems to indicate it might actually be sooner rather than later. We weren’t expecting to see it announced next week, but could we get a surprise? Google Babel is expected to be unveiled under the “Hangouts” name, and recent developments support that Google will unveil an updated Nexus 4 with LTE. Lastly, Google will unveil cloud sync gaming with Play Games. There were a lot of new apps, including a couple of reviews as well. It’s time to get caught up and get ready for another exciting week.
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It looks like the Verizon Motorola XOOM LTE is finally going to get a taste of Jelly Bean. Motorola began sending out invitations to members of the Motorola Feedback Network to install the update as part of a soak test. An OTA update for all Verizon XOOM LTE owners is expected to arrive in the coming week.
This is good news for Verizon XOOM LTE owners, as the update to Jelly Bean is filled with some nice improvements. If you’re part of the Motorola Feedback Network, check your email for an update invitation. If you’re not, then you’ll unfortunately have to wait patiently a few days until the update hits your device.
It looks like this will be one of the last painfully long-awaited updates from Motorola, as the rocky transition period to Google ownership is nearly over.
We’ve been seeing X Phone rumors everywhere recently, including leaked pictures of a potential device last week. Today we have some concrete information to share. A new FCC filing mentions the Motorola XT1058 with specs including Bluetooth 4.0, NFC capabilities, 802.11ac WiFi, and LTE bands compatible with AT&T. The picture in the filing, posted above, looks awfully similar to last week’s leaked photos of the XFON for AT&T. After releasing their latest DROID RAZRs for Verizon, this filing suggests that Motorola could be releasing their first AT&T phone since last year’s Atrix HD.
If the model number XT1058 looks familiar, it’s because last week we showed you information suggesting an XT1055. Two model numbers so similar further supports Motorola advisor Guy Kawasaki’s comments regarding personalization of phone hardware. Considering an FCC filing, the X Phone could be unveiled in the near future. Stay tuned to Talk Android as we learn more.
via: Phone Scoop
The name “Project J” was thrown around quite a bit with Samsung’s devices, and is now known to be the original codename of the Galaxy S 4. However, there were multiple variants of the Project J, such as the J Mini and J Activ. The J Activ seems to be a waterproof version of the S 4, known as the Galaxy S 4 Activ, which should be announced by the end of the month. The next logical assumption would be that the J Mini would be code for the Galaxy S 4 Mini, but the name “Serrano” has been tied to the Mini as well. The Serrano is coming to AT&T with the model number of SGH-1257, so it’s safe to assume this will be the Galaxy S 4 Mini. The Galaxy S 4 Activ will probably also land on AT&T, but no word yet.
Either way, these Project J variants are not expected to surpass the original Galaxy S 4 in any way— they are simply mid-range alternatives, with some slightly different features. We’ll keep you guys posted on these phone announcements expected later this month.
As part of its plan make to a major splash for 2013, Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi is rumored to quietly working on a special smartphone called the Red Rice behind the scenes— a device that could potentially redefine the budget category as we know it. According to tech site IT168, the smartphone is expected to operate on Xiaomi’s custom MIUI OS and feature a dual-core processor, a 4.7-inch 720p display, 1GB of RAM, an 8MP camera, 8 gigs of storage and a 2,000mAh battery. Additionally, the device will be dual-SIM compatible and also have support for traditional GSM and TD-SCDMA technologies for Chinese customers out there looking for a traditional 3G or higher-speed technology. All of those specs add up to a shocking price— 799 yuan or roughly $130— meaning that customers in China will have a solid device that could be head and shoulders above other budget-line devices at that price range.
Of course nothing is confirmed just yet, but all indications are pointing out to the MIUI v5-based Red Rice seeing an October release— meaning that customers will have a lot to look forward to right before the holidays.
via: Android Authority