On February 1st, a couple of tweets from the developers of Swype confirmed that we will have an update to their popular keyboard within the next few days. Responding to another Tweet, the Swype team promised that the update would be for devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, plus some mysterious “goodies”. There has been an unofficial hacked version of Swype for more than a month, so we’re looking forward to having the real deal updated. If you’d like to be a beta tester, be sure to register for the update at forum.swype.com. Otherwise, wait for the OTA update.
“Tomorrow after 12 Central/10 Pacific, you will receive a pop-up message on your phone that will mark the beginning of the software pre-release test.”
Of course we speculate it’s likely the 4.5.141 software update bringing Gingerbread 2.3.5 and a few other enhancements. But part of me wants to reaaaaaaaaaally hope and believe it’s a surprise sweeter treat. Stay tuned with Talk Android for any further updates on the rollout of this mysterious update for Atrix 4G soak test participants.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news if you’re a Motorola Atrix 4G owner, but we have some disappointing news. You all remember how we mentioned how Motorola tried to pull a fast one and sent a confidential email to users indicating an imminent update was on the way? Well as some of you suspected and feared, the impending update is one that will include some minor bugfixes, not the big update you’re really looking forward to. Brief Mobile reports the update which is due February 7th, which will update unrooted or unmodified phones to software version 4.5.141 and include the following features:
Latest Android security fixes from Android 2.3.6+
Bluetooth voice commands while the device is asleep
Improvements to the Messaging and Contacts applications (unspecified)
WiFi settings update and AT&T Mobile Hotspot usage built-in
Increases in stability, power management
There is additional speculation that this may be the final update for the old workhorse device as well. It would be a shame too since it has the same internals as the Motorola Xoom tablet, but is cursed with a certain unnecessary skin. Of course MOTO has yet to update its ever-growing list of devices it plans to update to Android 4.0, so maybe MOTO will include the Atrix 4G at a later date. Here’s hoping MOTO (and Google) will give owners some official Ice Cream Sandwich glory eventually.
Sprint is doing whatever it takes to keep its customer’s trust and happiness. We mentioned to you a few days ago that Sprint provided some security updates to a handful of its devices, but were unsure if the updates included the removal of some dreaded spy software. We now have confirmation that the recent updates being pushed out to a HTC and Samsung devices completely removes Carrier IQ thanks to the gang at XDA. As previously highlighted, the recent updates include both the removal of Carrier IQ software and minor software enhancements. HTC devices will receive automatic notifications starting on January 24th (or you can manually check right now), while the Epic 4G’s update is being pushed out in phases until January 29th. While owners of the EVO Design 4G, EVO 4G and Epic 4G won’t have Ice Cream Sandwich, they will have a piece of mind at least knowing they won’t have tracking software of their devices anymore.
Huawei continues to make its presence felt at CES. The company graced us with the original MediaPad last year, which of course was among the first of tablets to use Honeycomb 3.2. As fluid and smooth as that tablet was already, Huawei has decided to take the tablet and make it even better by letting Ice Cream Sandwich run the show. They’ve announced all existing versions of the tablet will get the update by the end of Q1. In addition new MediaPads are set to have Ice Cream Sandwich pre-installed as well sometime in Q1. Speaking of new tablets— Huawei also announced the MediaPad color series tablets set to arrive in select markets in Q1. That means you’ll be able to enjoy the 1.2GHz smoothness in a black, brown or even pink variant. Be sure to hit the break for the full press release and details. » Read the rest
Sony Ericsson is on a roll. First they tell us that some of their phones would get some of that Android 4.0 goodness. Then they go ahead and release a preview of Ice Cream Sandwich for select unlocked Xperia devices. Now they come out and formally announce a specific timeframe of when they will begin to roll out the ICS update. Around the end of March or early April, the Xperia Arc S, Xperia Neo V and Xperia Ray will be the first existing SE devices to get Ice Cream Sandwich. The Xperia Arc, Xperia Play, Xperia Neo, Xperia Mini and Mini Pro, Xperia Active and Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman will follow shortly after with updates beginning in late April or early May.
Sony Ericsson continues to do a lot of right in the Android world. If you do use one of the listed Xperia-line devices due for an update, just sit tight and be patient. The months between March to May is not that far away, so you will able to enjoy the OS soon enough.
Folks who own a Bionic are reporting that they are receiving a mysterious update bringing their system to version 5.9.901. They were a little miffed at what this update entailed and people were especially confused considering the major update that was already being pushed as of last week. Well it appears that this is no minor update in itself as the awesome folks over at Droid Life were able to get the details on what this release encompasses.
So whether or not you’ve received the update at hand, you can hit the break below to see what’s in store for you. Sadly some of it entails more Verizon Bloatware… But you may be able to look past that with connectivity and stability fixes they’ve packed in. » Read the rest
Whoa, that didn’t take long. Barnes & Noble has announced an update for its Nook Color tablet. The update includes new PagePerfect NOOK books, the ability to read books in portrait or landscape mode and wait for it– Netflix support! The update is over-the-air (OTA) of course and will begin rolling out starting today. Users should receive it when their device is connected to Wi-Fi and is idle. Of course you can download the update here if they just can’t wait for the OTA update. Don’t forget to let us know how the update works out for you in the Comments section.
Sony Ericsson is making good on its word to upgrade its flagship phones to that sweet, sweet new treat. Some new firmware for the Xperia Arc and Xperia Neo has recently been submitted to the PCRB certification body this past Friday. What’s the significance, you ask? Well the firmware submitted is seemingly Android 4.0 firmware– meaning the Arc and Neo may get the ICS update as early as the first quarter of 2012! Kudos to Sony for being proactive. Not only have they pledged upgrades for their premium phones, but they’re actually taking the first steps towards making the upgrade a reality. Let’s hope the other manufacturers are paying close attention to Sony Ericsson and follow suit.
The saga of the Galaxy Nexus is starting to get real old. This isn’t as long as the DROID Bionic affair, but it’s starting to feel like it. Either way, it continues to dominate the news. We already reported that it hit the Verizon Cellebrite systems again, but the way Verizon is dragging their feet, you might be starting to wonder if the phone really exists. If you need proof, we now have video of a download speed test over Verizon’s 4G LTE. It hit 8667 kbps downloads and 2892 kbps uploads with only 2 bars of signal.
If you’re still clammoring for more Galaxy Nexus news, we can now tell you that the Verizon version received an update to 4.1.0, which includes an update to the radio and a new screensaver, which could be the one we showed you yesterday called Android Dreams.