If you own a Samsung Galaxy Stellar, you’re about to be in for some exciting news. Verizon has announced owners of the device are about to get an OTA notification indicating an extensive update is at hand. The update comes in at a hefty 400MB in size and not only brings items like network improvements, but it (finally) brings Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) and all the standard Jelly Bean goodies like Google Now and an improved UI. Naturally the update is being rolled out in phases, so if you own the device and don’t see it right away just sit tight— it’s on the way and will be there sooner than later.
In a recent interview, Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo said that due to competition from other carriers, Verizon’s subsidized prices are expected to drop within the next 2-3 years. Shammo said, “I’m a believer that over the next two to three years subsidies will start to decrease just because of the ecosystem.” Value-priced smartphones are becoming more prevalent in the competition, which is why it makes sense for Verizon’s move to lower subsidy costs. Shammo also mentioned that Verizon will start producing devices without CDMA radios built into them as voice technology moves towards LTE radios (VoLTE), thus averting more subsidy costs.
T-Mobile has said they plan to move exclusively to Value-Plans which has caused competitors like AT&T and Sprint to keep their eyes on the progress T-Mobile makes using these plans. It’s no surprise that Verizon plans to do the same. Carriers usually see a decrease in profit when they sell in higher volumes because of the subsidy costs. By cutting these costs, Verizon and the consumer both benefit; the consumer will have more affordable devices at their disposal while Verizon eliminates losses and generates more revenue.
Verizon has started rolling out an update for Galaxy S III owners with a new build number (VRBMB1). The update will bring users to Android 4.1.2 and features improvements for the keyboard’s predictive text function, allows pictures to be taken during calls simultaneously, better sync of emails and enhances Bluetooth connectivity. The size of the update is around 150.3 MB in size and is expected to be on most devices within a week. Let us know what you think of the improvements brought with the latest update in the comments section below.
If you’re a Verizon Galaxy Nexus owner, then it looks like you’ve got some sort of update on the way… which we were already aware of and expecting. Reports are coming in that the nation’s wireless carrier is currently testing a mysterious JDQ39 build of Android 4.2.2 which seems to feature some new radios, but unfortunately seems to feature an old bootloader and old kernel version.
Why Verizon isn’t updating the kernel and bootloader beats us— but maybe it’s just part of its extensive testing before rolling out to the masses. Nevertheless we’ll certainly be keeping our eyes and ears open to what Verizon has up in its sleeves for you G-Nex users out there.
Some of our readers have been reporting that Motorola is sending out emails to select members of the Motorola Feedback Network to try Jelly Bean for the DROID RAZR and DROID RAZR MAXX. An excerpt from that email is posted below.
Thanks for joining the Motorola Feedback Network. We are inviting owners of the Droid RAZR or Droid RAZR Maxx on Verizon to participate in an early preview of a new Jelly Bean software release, and provide feedback. If you are not currently using a Droid RAZR or Droid RAZR MAXX on Verizon, please excuse and ignore this email.
This leads us to believe that a Jelly Bean update for the DROID RAZR and DROID RAZR MAXX is just around the corner, and with everyone looking for all the new features the latest Android OS has to offer, it couldn’t be happening at a better time.
Not too long ago Pantech unveiled their Discover for AT&T. It’s a pretty powerful little device with a low price point, which tends to win customers over pretty well. Now we’re getting a sneak peek at Verizon’s version of the device, named the Perception, which we can pretty safely assume will have the same or similar specs and pricing as the Discover, although it’s worth noting that the Discover has a 13 MP camera, and the FCC shots show an 8 MP shooter. Aside from that, the device looks slick as ever with what appears to be a brushed metal finish and a very thin profile. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as we hear more about the availability of this device.
Here’s some fuel for the fire; we’ve got some benchmarks showing up from a device with a model number of SCH-I545. Could it be Verizon’s Galaxy S IV? Following Verizon’s naming conventions for their Samsung devices, like the SCH-I535 for the S III and the SCH-I515 for the Galaxy Nexus, logic says yes, this will be the Galaxy S IV, complete with a 1.9 GHz Snapdragon processor and 1080p screen. This lines up with all the details we’ve been hearing about the device. However, it does also dampen the possibility of the device launching with the Exynos 5 processor, as was the case with the Korean S IV benchmarks. Although we still don’t know anything for certain, it won’t be too much longer until the official release.
Verizon is introducing their MyInfo Widget for your Android devices. It’s a handy widget that will show you your battery percentage, battery drain, links to your Verizon account, storage space left, etc. Plenty of things that are helpful to have at a glance. It even offers links for support pages specific to your device. It will also feature a few tips and tricks to help you out here and there, and new tips every week. Verizon says they’ll be releasing 3 new tips per week, so we’ll have to see how that goes. It’s a clean, functional widget, so it looks like Verizon users shouldn’t mind having this one preloaded on their devices too much. Hit the video below to see the widget in action.
The newest addition to Verizon’s Droid family, the HTC Droid DNA, is set to receive a minor update OTA relatively soon. It’s not a major update to 4.2, unfortunately, but it does contain quite a few other enhancements WiFi, Bluetooth, and audio quality, among other things. Regardless, updates are always a good thing. No official word on when this update is going to roll out to devices, but since Verizon has officially put up their support page, it shouldn’t be too much longer. Hit the source below to get the full changelog for the update.
Verizon is hoping to add some value for its customers by helping them rate the value of the apps they run on their smartphones. Rather than rating apps based on things like graphics or usability for a certain task, Verizon is looking at qualities that may affect the overall ownership experience. Major areas that are assessed include battery drain and data usage along with some other factors. Verizon makes a couple lists available, one that assesses top Google Play apps and another that highlights apps they find especially worrisome. » Read the rest