Google IO 2016 Coverage

Android co-founder says wireless carriers should spend more time and money customizing interfaces for Android phones

What was that? Everybody put your hands over your ears now, especially the carriers. At the Open Mobile Summit conference, Google Ventures General Partner and Android co-founder Rich Miner said that carrers should spend more time and money creating unique interfaces for Android phones. He’s actually surprised that carriers like Verizon and AT&T haven’t put more time into it. He points to the fact that Android is open and that anyone can modify it to their heart’s content. True, but that doesn’t mean they should.

“There’s a big opportunity that they seem to have left on the table,” Miner said. “I’m a little curious as to why” carriers haven’t done more to customize their Android phones.

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O2 UK launches “Bond Phone” Xperia T variant

Last month we reported that the UK carrier O2 would have rights to release the exclusive “007 James Bond Skyfall branded Sony Xperia T phone. The phone is now available through O2 priced from free at £36 per month on O2’s “On & On” tariff.

While the device is identical to the normal Xperia T in the outside, the exclusive bond phone comes pre-loaded with Bond-themed ringtones, wallpapers, “screensavers” and geo-tagged photos from the production of the upcoming 007 movie Skyfall.

source: O2

HTC One series is launching on UK networks

The big launch day for the HTC One X and One S is coming up fast in the UK. You can buy the phones in any brick-or-mortar store for the main UK networks starting tomorrow, April 5.  If you can’t wait that long, several networks are allowing preorders today.

Here are the details of each UK network provider and their plans for the One X and One S:

  • ​Orange: the One X and One S are coming soon.
  • Three: you can order both online today for delivery tomorrow, the official launch day. With unlimited data, the One X is free on-contract from £35 per month, while the One S costs at least £32 per month. Another option is paying £99 upfront, and then paying from £27 per month for the One X, or from £24 per month for the One S.  All of Three’s contracts are 24-months long.
  • O2: for delivery tomorrow, now lists the HTC One X (in grey) as available “online only”. There are several 18 and 24-month deals to choose from, but you’ll have to choose one of the most expensive to avoid any up-front fees. The best value are O2’s “On & On” deals. With these, you get a One X for free, unlimited calls and texts and 1GB of data for £36 per month, with the option of increasing the data allowance up to 2GB for £41 per month. Finally, O2 also offers the One X on Pay-As-You-Go for £479.99.
  • ​Vodafone:​ you can pre-order the One X (white and grey) and One S (silver). The S is £36 per month, and the X is available for free on 24-month plans from £41 per month. The first 10,000 customers to order each handset will score a pair of urBeats headphones and 10 free tracks per month from Vodafone Music.
  • T-Mobile: matches Vodafone’s prices of £41 per month for the One X and £36 per month for the One S. T-Mo UK, though, offers unlimited data if you choose the “full monty” plan. The phones will launch online and in stores tomorrow, according to the network.
Are you picking up either the One X or the One S in the UK? Let us know in the comments.

source: Android Central

O2 Galaxy S II now getting Ice Cream Sandwich, What about the Unlocked UK models?

O2 just announced the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update is now live for the Galaxy S II, Of course, as usual it’s available through the Kies software. Last week Three was able to release the update so we are now at two carriers. We don’t expect to see T-Mobile UK or Orange until April, and Vodafone will likely follow suit.

What is alarming is that unlocked (non carrier branded) Galaxy S II owners in the UK are still waiting for the update. It was two weeks ago when Samsung released the ICS update, and usually the unlocked devices are the ones to get the update first. It’s always the carriers that cause the delays. We are fully used to that here in the U.S. as it’s a bigger joke here. Unlocked Galaxy S II owners in Hungary, Sweden, Poland, and Korea have received the update, but nobody in the UK.

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O2 UK delaying the Xperia Play, other carriers making decisions

Wanting to get your hands on an Xperia Play on the UK’s O2 network? Well, unfortunately, it looks like you may be out of luck… at the moment. According to the British carrier, they found some bugs in the software, which is keeping them from releasing the Play on the anticipated date. So where does that leave other carriers? According to rumors, the issue may not be carrier specific, but it looks like all other carriers are still right on target with release dates. For example, Vodaphone hints nothing towards a possible delay. So, O2… what’s the deal?

In an official statement by Sony Ericsson, they said:

Sony Ericsson Xperia™ PLAY will be launching on 1st April across all UK mobile operator partners except for O2, who have decided to prolong the testing period in order to ensure that the software meets the requirements of its procedures. Sony Ericsson will be workingwith O2 over the next couple of weeks to expedite the process and ensure that O2 customers can soon join consumers across the UK in being able to enjoy the world’s first PlayStation certified smartphone.

What are your thoughts? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

[via O2]