It’s always nice to see companies releasing timetables for upcoming updates, especially as big as Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Here’s a list that Motorola provided:
- RAZR i Jelly Bean update now scheduled for Q1 2013
- Verizon Droid RAZR HD/RAZR MAXX HD still due Jelly Bean update before 2013
- AT&T Atrix HD due Jelly Bean update before 2013
- 3G/LTE Xoom Jelly Bean update delayed to Q1 2013
- Canadian Atrix HD + RAZR HD due to get Jelly Bean in Q1 2013
- Euro RAZR HD Jelly Bean update scheduled for Dec. 2012
While there’s still no word on when 4.2 will be released, it’s good to see they have their eyes set on a 4.1 update. Once these updates begin to officially roll out, we’ll be sure to cover it as soon as they’re live!
source: Motorola Forums
Android tablets have been around since late 2010 starting with the Samsung Galaxy Tab, but the first mainstream Android tablet was the Motorola XOOM, which debuted in the spring of 2011. Soon after, we saw tablet after tablet after tablet get released, but nothing seemed to gain any major traction. Things started to change with the Amazon Kindle Fire in late 2011, but it was the Nexus 7 that seemed to really change things for Android tablets. Although the 7-inch size has proven its popularity, there is still a need for a premium well priced 10-inch Android tablet for those that want more real estate. The Nexus 10 appears to fill that need with the highest resolution display available today and at a reasonable price. How does it stack up with the “99” other 10-inch tablets? Hit the break to get started.
It’s no surprise to anyone that Amazon’s Kindle Fire has had some pretty good success in the tablet market. To add to that success, Amazon announced Thursday that downloads in their own Appstore have increased by over 500% over the past year alone. That’s a big jump. With the recent release of more tablets in the Kindle Fire family, there’s no doubt that Amazon is trying as hard as they can to get their own unique services and stores in the hands of consumers, and judging by that 500% increase, they’re doing a pretty good job. If Amazon decides to throw a Kindle Fire phone into the mix, I’m sure that number will increase dramatically, too.
Amazon does also attribute some of that growth to their helpful development tools, citing things like A/B testing for helping developers get their applications ported over and set up on the Amazon Appstore. A/B testing is just one of many development features Amazon boasts in their ecosystem, and it’s obvious that it’s having positive effects for them.
The HTC Butterfly, which appears to be a variant of the HTC J Butterfly and the HTC DROID DNA, has surfaced on HTC’s web site. With the slight name change comes a couple other differences. Most notable is the absence of LTE capability. Although that may be a negative, on the positive side the Butterfly’s storage is expandable via microSD cards.
According to an HTC spokesperson, the HTC Butterfly is slated for release in China. However, no information regarding availability in other countries or markets has been released. At the bottom of HTC’s page for the Butterfly, there is an offer for 25GB of Dropbox space for two years if you sign-up or log-in to Dropbox using an HTC phone. The footnotes to that offer indicate the offer is only available on the HTC Butterfly device, but not in China. This would seem to imply the Butterfly will be available in other markets.
source: Android Central
more info: HTC
If you happen to live in Europe, today may be a great day for you if you’re an owner of a Playstation-certified device. Eurogamer has discovered that while Sony has not yet made a formal announcement, its web-based store is officially live. When account holders log in, they will be treated to a full allotment of premium games such as Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2013 or Tokyo Jungle available and ready for immediate download. All users will need to do is purchase a selected title and the title will be available in a download queue— which can be used on any certified device. Naturally there are some bugs and kinks to work out, but if you’re willing to overlook the minor quirks, give the new service a try. After all— Crash Bandicoot isn’t going to play itself if you’re sitting idle and all.
In some not-so-surprising news, Huawei has finally come out and confirmed it is indeed working on a Samsung Galaxy Note II competitor. While speaking on the Chinese social networking page Weibo (China’s equivalent to Twitter), Huawei Senior VP Yu Chengdong took some time to tout up his company’s next beast of a smartphone. The device (which is speculated to be the Ascend Mate) will have a 6.1-inch full HD 1080p display and feature an in-house 1.8GHz quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM– all the while having a “cooler” design than the current Galaxy Note II.
Unfortunately, the Huawei executive decided to leave the Android world collectively guessing and speculating what else could be found in the unique device, but at least we won’t have to wait long. The device is expected to be formally revealed at CES 2013 in January— which is only a month away.
Try to contain your excitement in the meantime folks.
So you own a Galaxy S III, but haven’t gotten that coveted Jelly Bean update yet— but are itching to get an idea of what to look forward to in the imminent update? Well great you’re in luck as Samsung recently posted a video highlighting its Premium Suite upgrade found in a special update. Similar to what is seen on other Samsung devices, Galaxy S III owners who are likely to be due for the update can look forward to items such as Contextual Awareness actions like Page Buddy which allows your Galaxy S III to predict your intentions based off your actions (think of when you plug in your earphones, the device automatically opens the music player) or Enhanced Features like the coveted Multi-Window multitasking feature.
While it is cool to get an idea of what users could potentially look forward to– unfortunately Samsung highlights the Premium Suite “availability and timing will vary depending on the country and mobile carrier”, so it’s uncertain of if most Galaxy S III owners will see the update. However, we’re holding out hope that most (if not all) Galaxy S III users will get to utilize all the cool features. Hit the break to get an idea of what the Premium Suite entails exactly.
T-Mobile has always been a strong proponent for Android. It teamed up with Google to launch the very first Android phone (the HTC G1) back in 2008 and is currently the only carrier to offer the new Nexus 4 on contract. In its smartphone line-up you could always find a plethora of strong Android based contenders, with one infamous smartphone (the one that shall not be named) interestingly absent. Well, all that is set to change in 2013. In an interview today, T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere informed the press that they will begin selling Apple products in 2013, including Apple’s iPhone 5 and the rest of the gang. What’s more interesting is that T-Mobile will be selling these (and all other) devices completely unsubsidized from now on. This is a dramatic move for a carrier, and the first of its kind for one of the big four. Typically carriers sell phones at significantly reduced costs to buyers and make up the money by charging more for monthly service fees over the two-year contract. T-Mobile is bucking the system and plans to sell phones at the full retail price (phones can be as pricey as $800!) while offering a lower monthly service fee. The strange thing about this plan is that you’ll still need to sign the dotted line and commit to a two-year contract. Personally, if I were planning on buying an unsubsidized phone, I’d go with a no-contract plan like Straight Talk’s $45 unlimited plan (month to month).
Are any of you willing to sign a two year contract if your monthly rates are lower? Or would you just go with Straight Talk and other no-contract service providers?
While this story isn’t totally Android related, we’re always scoping the competition. The world is a funny place, especially when marketing is involved. Take Euro-Disney for example: Who would’ve ever thought Disney would fail anywhere in the world? Similarly, Apple is nearly having the same fate in China. Okay, maybe that was an exaggeration. Regardless, things could be better for Apple in China. Research firm IDC has reported that Apple Inc has fallen to sixth place in China’s smartphone market. Turns out that the Chinese are a loyal group and like sticking to their own brands. Not surprisingly, Samsung nailed down the top spot.
Since HTC and Apple reached an agreement to cross-license patents and end their litigation, many have wondered just what kind of deal was made. One party that was particularly interested is Samsung, who argues the agreement shows injunctions are not needed as a value for patent infringements can be determined. Samsung went so far as to request one of the courts hearing one of the many Samsung v. Apple disputes to force Apple and HTC to reveal the details of the agreement. As a result of that request, which the court approved, a heavily redacted version of the agreement has surfaced in the public court filings. Read more