Individuals of a certain age may remember a time when a Sony Walkman was the technological, gee-whiz gadget of its time that set the standard for other portable music players. While much has changed over the years, the spirit of the Sony Walkman lives on today in the Sony Walkman Player app. Like other manufacturer specific apps included on Android devices in an effort to differentiate themselves, the Walkman Player is limited to Sony devices like the Sony Xperia S, Xperia T, and Xperia V devices. That situation has changed thanks to XDA forum member Rizal Lovins.
Using a copy of the app he extracted from his own Xperia S, Rizal Lovins has figured out how to get the app to install and run other Ice Cream Sandwich devices that have been rooted. Some quirks are still being worked out, but for the most part users can enjoy the visualizations, equalizers, animations, and other features of the music player app.
For instructions on how to install the Walkman Player on your rooted ICS device, hit the source link below.
source: XDA Developers forum
When it comes to Android, one of the hottest topics has always been how fast updates are. It has been a problem for a while now and there’s no question that Google recognizes that. At last year’s I/O, they announced a new agreement with OEMs that would make them commit to updates over an 18-month period. That didn’t seem to do much, so at this past June’s I/O, they announced the PDK. which is the hardware equivalent of the SDK. It gives manufacturers of hardware and chipsets early access to Android builds so they can get a jump start on current and upcoming devices. It’s still too soon to judge if this will help or not, but I really have to point out that things are going in the wrong direction in a major way.
October is officially here, so you know it’s time for some distribution stats for Android lovers (and subsequent haters). Like any other distribution study, the Android team takes time and does measurements of devices that access the Play Store and verifies which version of the Android OS users are on when accessing the Play Store. As you can see per the lovely pie chart and grid, we see that Gingerbread 2.3.3 – 2.3.7 overwhelmingly runs the majority of Android devices, though you can see the tasty Ice Cream Sandwich OS slowly creeping up— taking a 23.7% market share. Looking beyond those two versions of Android is the sudden growth of Jelly Bean 4.1: it’s now at a steady 1.8% representing all Android devices at this time. Considering will see imminent Jelly Bean updates on devices like this, and this… and this too— expect the trend grow even more.
All in all, it’s a wonderful time for Android as we’re really starting to see the newer versions appear on more and more devices. I’m definitely curious to see how much market share Gingerbread loses as we approach the end of the year. Hit the source for more details.
source: Android Developers
Sony announced plans to rollout an over-the-air (OTA) update over the next few days for three devices to bring them up to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The devices include the Sony Xperia Go, Xperia U and Xperia Sola. This latest round of updates continues a trend of Sony’s to provide ICS to many of their devices, even older ones.
Along with the ICS update, the OTA will include some Sony specific additions like enhanced media, a better lock screen, and “extended standby mode” to help improve battery life for the devices. The Xperia Sola also gets “Glove Mode” which will let users operate the device while wearing gloves.
The OTA was scheduled to start rolling out today with unlocked devices first up to receive the improvements. Carrier-branded devices will take a little longer although Sony anticipates the updates to well underway by the middle of next week. Owners of the Sony devices can check the Sony update site at http://www.sonymobile.com/us/software/ for more information.
Chinese manufacturer ZTE is looking to continue its big splash out here in the States, so it’s only natural we see more and more devices on networks willing to take a chance and bring some unique devices. That’s why Cricket has announced its new ZTE Engage smartphone. This Ice Cream Sandwich-powered device will arrive on the wireless carrier on October 2nd and will cost a mere $250. What this gives customers is a zippy Snapdragon S2 1.4GHz processor, 4-inch WVGA display and 8MP camera. Not a bad way for customers to enjoy Muve Music, right?
More details of the device once you hit the break and check out the full presser.
If you remember, a couple of days ago we told you about the soak test Motorola initiated for the Atrix 2. While most initially thought the test was an incremental update to Gingerbread, it was in fact the long-awaited update to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Today we’re getting a look at exactly what that update entails via a screenshot from the “About Phone” option. The screenshot reveals the all-important version numbers embedded in the update. This is most likely the final step in Motorola’s beta testing before officially rolling it out. It’s obviously still very early in this final testing, but hopefully things will go well and sweet ICS goodness for Atrix 2 owners rolls out to the masses sooner rather than later. We will keep you updated if anything changes.
source: Android Central
Following a disappointing weekend for Motorola customers, the company has initiated a soak test for last year’s Atrix 2. Initially believed to be a minor Gingerbread update, the new firmware is actually Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Interestingly enough, Motorola’s official software update landing page still lists the handset as “further plans coming soon.”
Participants of Motorola’s feedback program have begun receiving invitations to take part in a preliminary test of the smartphone’s new software. The message reads:
Thanks for signing up for the Atrix 2 software test. Our apologies for the delay in starting this test! The software will begin to be pushed out later this afternoon; however, it may take several hours for all targeted devices to receive the update.
We’re eager to hear your feedback. Please share your experience on the private community provided, and via the survey I will send out after you’ve had some time to work with the software.
Regardless, it’s great to see Motorola actually make an effort to rectify its mistakes. Now let’s just hope other devices (like the Atrix 4G) get some update love.
Source: Android Central
Another day, another spec leak. Today we’ll be discussing the LG Optimus Vu II leak. You have to wonder about these “leaks” sometimes. After all, it was announced in August that we should see this beast in the wild in September, so the specs are inevitable at this point. Plus there’s that Samsung Galaxy Note II, right around the corner. LG may have gotten a little antsy and “leaked” the specs, not to be outdone.
The leak itself reveals a dual-core Snapdragon S4 (Qualcomm MSM8960) processor with 2GB of RAM. Other niceties include an 8MP camera, NFC, LTE, and a slightly larger 2150mAh battery than its predecessor. The screen size will stay the same, as will the resolution with a 1024×768, 5-inch display. The device will also ship with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. On paper, it seems like the Vu II won’t be on par with the Note II, however it hopes to narrow the gap by offering a universal remote feature. We’ll have to see how they both perform in the real world however. Do you plan on purchasing one of these “phablets” soon? Let us know either way as I find the many opinions on this niche type of device fascinating.
source: IT tong
As we see existing quad-core devices featuring Exynos or Tegra 3 chips, it’s only natural that we start to see offerings featuring the new chips from Qualcomm. Well the newest superphone in all the land is now here: the Pantech Vega R3— a Snapdragon S4 Pro-powered beast. The device features an quad-core APQ8064 1.5GHz chip, 2GB of RAM, a whopping 13MP camera, Bluetooth 4.0 and 2,600mAh battery. While those features are nothing to sneeze at, the device also features a unique 5.3-inch display dubbed “Natural IPS Pro LCD”, which aims to make that 1280 x 720 resolution really pop compared to the competition. Oh and the device will come with Android 4.0 loaded up— with a Jelly Bean upgrade due not too long after the device’s initial release.
The device has just been announced, but there’s no word of availability just yet— though there’s the expectation the device will be sold starting tomorrow in Korea. Fingers crossed other markets— specifically those of us here Stateside will have the opportunity to see the device someday.
source: Android Authority
ZTE has announced its newest smartphone called the Blade III— yes that same Blade III we mentioned to you we menitoned to you sometime last month. This smartphone will be featured as more or less a budget offering as it has a 1GHz single-core Snapdragon processor, 512MB, a 4-inch screen and 5MP camera. Not the most impressive device on the planet, but at least it will be loaded up with a heavy dose of Ice Cream Sandwich onboard. For now, the device will launch in Finland this month, followed by Sweden next month and cost a measly 1499 SEK ($230 USD).
You’ll find more details once you hit past break.