Ice Cream Sandwich update for Motorola XOOM WiFi-only is officially rolling out to all

Last week we told you about the project for owners of the Motorola XOOM WiFi-only version. Yes, it’s the Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich update. Some of our readers let us know that they received the update last night so it’s now officially rolling out to all, but as usual it will be in stages so your device might not get it right away. If you haven’t received it yet, you should definitely see if you can manually pull it by going to Settings/About Tablet/System Updates. I would imagine it will take at least a week for everyone to receive the update.

Cheers Brian and Dave!

 

ASUS UK Offers An Extension On The Transformer Prime and Says Their New 700 Series Device Is Arriving In June

The Transformer Prime news is still quite a buzz around the interwebs even though there are quite a number of buggy issues still going on with the device.  For instance, we’ve seen a number of issues on several devices regarding WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth connectivity.  However, the newly Tegra 3 empowered monster recently received the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update and for the most part it’s gone smooth.  In addition to the Transformer Prime, CES 2012 revealed the addition of a new 700 series being added to the ASUS lineup.  If you haven’t caught our CES coverage of the device you can check it out here.  The TF700 is actually quite impressive touting a 1920 x 1200 HD display with crisp color and contrast throughout its User Interface.  Asus UK has stated that both devices are in line for decent warranty updates as well.  The original Prime will be receiving a warranty update from 12 to 18 months for those currently in possession of one.  In addition, if you’re not completely happy with the way the GPS performance has been, Asus says they’ll take it back for a full refund with no questions asked.

The 700 series also dubbed the “Prime HD” has a redesigned rear panel that’s said to improve the overall functionality of the WiFi and GPS radios and will go for just around $100 bucks more than the current price of the Prime.  No ultimate release date has been provided by Asus but it looks like it’s geared for a Q2 (possibly June) launch or as Asus likes to put it, “coming soon”.   As for an official US release date, stay tuned as we dig a little deeper on that for you.  For now, check out our hands-on with the 700 series from CES 2012 and get your salivation on.

Tranformer Prime 700 Series Hands-On Video from CES 2012

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[via Android Comm.]

 

Samsung Releases Smaller Galaxy Player 3.6 in South Korea

Fresh off the September announced and released Galaxy Player, Samsung announced that they will be launching a smaller version of their Android toting media device. This will be sold along with already announced 4-inch and 5-inch models. This one, dubbed Galaxy Player 3.6 (YP-GS1) will be released in South Korea and has the following specs:
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Microsoft Signs Another Agreement, Pantech Is Latest To Pay For Patents

Microsoft has just notched yet another one under its belt. After announcing a patent deal with LG just last week, Microsoft is not content with signing deals invovling 70 percent of all Android smartphones in the US having licensing deals. Microsoft went full speed ahead and signed yet another agreement with a manufacturer, this time setting up an agreement with Pantech. The perceived reasoning is Pantech perhaps wants to avoid any sign of legal trouble with Microsoft by agreeing to sign a licensing deal and settling things upfront with the Redmond giant. The terms of the new agreement have not yet surfaced, so look for further information to trickle out sooner than later.

[via Mobile Syrup by Engadget]

Deal: Verizon Restocks Galaxy Nexus Extended Battery, Still 50% Off

For those of you Galaxy Nexus owners who missed out on the first round of Verizon’s discounted extended battery sale, well they’re at it again. Now that they have replenished stock, you can still purchase the larger extended battery for 50% off and it will only run you 25 bucks. Head to the source link below to get your extend on (didn’t sound right), and some readers are even claiming to have gotten the deal honored at their local Big Red store. Do it.

[via Verizon]

 

2012 Is the Year for Better Battery Life, At Least At Samsung

All those fancy features in your 4G LTE phone are amazing. A dual-core, soon to be quad-core processor, with 8+ MP cameras, huge HD displays with the added speed of 4G LTE in a tiny frame is something sought after in today’s phone market. However, having these state of the art parts in our handheld device comes with a high price; dismal battery life. Well it appears that some folks are starting to catch on that this is an issue and they are making strides to combat this. Motorola for instance is releasing the RAZR MAXX, the first smartphone to boast a 21-hr talk time with a 3300mAh battery. 
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Could Samsung be close to acquiring RIM? Probably not

We know that Research In Motion is in serious trouble, and the only way out might just be a sale. BGR is reporting that RIM is mulling over selling part or all of the company, which can’t be a surprise to anyone. What is surprising is that supposedly the front runner is Samsung.

Why would Samsung want RIM? The theory is that BlackBerry Messenger would give them further differentiation from the other Android manufacturers, and of course there is the enterprise features.  Samsung has already implemented a few enterprise solutions and why on earth would they want BlackBerry Messenger? Unless that part of the business is sold dirt cheap, I can’t imagine Samsung buying RIM for that purpose. Supposedly RIM is looking for upwards of $12 billion to $15 billion. I’m pretty sure BlackBerry Messenger is not worth that kind of money.

I’m not sure what will ultimately happen to RIM, but I’ve said it in the past that I believe the best option would be Microsoft. Microsoft wants market share and a purchase of RIM would give them a boost of roughly 15% market share. BlackBerry enterprise solutions will work well with Microsoft. It’s simply the perfect fit.

To me, this news is just “window dressing” to show other potential buyers there’s interest.  RIM’s ultimate goal is to increase the bidding. The question is if anyone really wants to start bidding?

[via bgr]

 

 

5.9.902 Update for the DROID Bionic Heading to Testers

The DROID Bionic, the phone to rule all phones, came out with some pretty big bugs. Some of the bigger bugs included the 3G/4G signal issue, and even the whine that some users were complaining of. Well it was roughly 3 months after the fact that the phone received its first major bug fix and since then the folks at Motorola and Verizon have been cranking out the bug fixes.The mysterious update that came out a week after the major bug fix appears to have been a test build somehow released to the public and the new build going out to testers today only adds a few more changes on top of 5.9.901. This update that brings the software version to 5.9.902 includes the fixes in that mysterious 5.9.901 update and adds the following:
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ASUS Says Don’t Hold Your Breath For 3G Transformer Prime Tablet, For Now

Those of you hoping for a 3G variant of the ASUS Transformer Prime tablet are in for some bad news. Despite earlier reports and rumors of a 3G variant of the device, ASUS has gone ahead and dispelled any such thought of such a device and even adds “no such product exists on its current roadmap”. However, the company does expect to launch 3G versions for other high-end products in the Transformer family in the future. So there you have it folks— don’t hold your breath on any 3G Transformer Prime tablet… for now.

[via Focus Taiwan]

National Security Agency releases SE Android, A security enhanced version of Google’s Android

The National Security Agency (NSA) just announced their security enhanced version of Android, dubbed SE Android. Stephen Smalley of the NSA recently explained what SE Android does at the 2011 Linux Security Summit. Basically it brings Mandatory Access Control to Android’s Linux kernel and it works to protect against malicious exploits. Every file and folder that Android has access to can be locked down with encryption.

To build SE Android, you need to download and compile the latest code from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and put SE Android on top of it. It’s intended for emulators and the Nexus S, but there won’t be much support. You need to be familiar with Android from source and Linux/Unix-based systems.

[via androidcommunity]