There was a nice small video sent to Engadget showing the latest in Ice Cream Sandwich features. The Android 4.0 OS is supposed to be released in October on the Google Nexus. The video preview was taken from a Nexus S bought on eBay that came with a newer version of Ice Cream Sandwich then we have seen till now. This version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich brings the kernel to version 3.0.1.
Ice Cream Sandwich Features Previewed:
Samsung style puzzle lockscreen
Honeycomb multi-tasking styled menu
iOS style launcher with 4 buttons and app drawer
New widget picker
Google Apps drawer for quick selection of Google made apps
Dropdown notifications with a Honeycomb style
Setting icon in the pull down
We are interested to see how this compares to the full version release in October. As we get more information on the new features we will post them here.
A company by the name of Verzo has decided to jump into the Android game with a device named the the Verzo Kinzo. We have been told that the device will be released late September early October.
We do know this is just the companies attempt to get started in the market and don’t intend to compete with any of the big players. They actually state this themselves:
We are definitely not going to scare off Apple and Samsung by our entry to the market, so they would have to call board meetings and hold press conferences. On the contrary – the VERZO brand is letting you know right from the start that we are not the slimmest, fastest or the best. For now.
While the device may not be high end it looks like a nice device with everything the average user needs. It seems to have a customized UI that makes it look more user friendly for even the most newbie of users.
A Japanese carrier SoftBank has decided that it was a good idea to carry a Yahoo branded phone running the Google Android Operating System. While this seems to be a contradiction and very odd on many levels it is what it is.
We can assume that this phone will have a completely modified version of Android to make it more inline with Yahoo’s services as opposed to Google search and Google Maps. The phone will come with two free years of Yahoo Plus. Since Yahoo is the nations largest website it should do rather well even with the odd combination.
The Yahoo phone is a rebranded Aquos phone with the following features:
4inch qHD display
8 megapixel camera
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Android 2.3 Gingerbread
While this phone may never get outside of Japan it does have some cool features on the homescreen like access to time, weather, stocks, news, social and search all on one screen. As we get more information we will be sure to let you know.
A new Samsung phone passed through the FCC August 11th. Since most of the specs and other details are under a confidentiality agreement we only have very little information. We can assume that the name will probably be a Samsung Galaxy device. We have heard it called the Galaxy S 2 Attain although this is not verified. We do however know that its design looks a lot like the Galaxy S 2.
Some Features we know the device has are:
850 and 1900 frequencies
1500 mAh battery
As more information becomes available we will let you know.
Sony Ericsson has pushed out an update to their European Xperia Arcs. This update will put the Firmware to version 4.0.A.2.368. If you haven’t already gotten this update all you need to do is plug your Xperia Arc into your computer and open up your PC Companion software. If you don’t have the software then just get the OTA update by going to “Settings -> About Phone -> Software Update”.
Some New Features in Firmware 4.0.A.2.368:
xLoud – boosts your music when played through the speaker
Stereo recording – shoot video with high-quality stereo sound
Digital home – enjoy entertainment content stored in your phone on DLNA certified media devices
New themes and Landscape mode for your home screen
Sprint and McAfee announced that they will partner up to bring mobile security to Sprint’s mobile devices. Sprint will now make it easy for users to access McAfee Mobile Security and Family Protection on their Android devices. With many manufacturers sending out their devices with unlocked bootloaders this added security will be needed on a grand scale.
Sprint’s Press Release Below:
Sprint and McAfee Offer Customers Mobile Security Applications to Help Protect Information on Their Wireless Devices
McAfee Mobile Security Technology Provides Malware Protection, Device Recovery and Backup
Application Readily Available to Customers in Sprint Zone
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. & SANTA CLARA, Calif. (BUSINESS WIRE), August 10, 2011 – Sprint (NYSE: S) and McAfee announced today that they are providing Sprint customers easy access to McAfee® Mobile Security and McAfee®Family Protection Android™ Edition software, which will better help them protect the important information stored on their mobile devices.
As the use of smartphones and tablets continues to grow, Sprint is actively working with developers, manufacturers and leaders in the industry to provide solutions that can help protect customers’ information and their devices. McAfee Mobile Security can help Sprint customers protect the important information stored on these devices from loss, theft and viruses. In addition, McAfee Family Protection Android Edition provides parents an application that will allow them to filter inappropriate websites on their child’s mobile device.
Sprint customers using select Android-powered devices can easily download the McAfee Mobile Security and McAfee Family Protection Android Edition applications from the Android Market™ by clicking on McAfee within Sprint Zone or the Sprint Tab in the Android Market. Customers can find Sprint Zone as an icon on their device1.
The McAfee Mobile Security software is available as a seven-day trial and can be purchased as a 12-month subscription for $29.99. The McAfee Family Protection Android Edition is available as a 30-day trial and can be purchased as a 12-month subscription for $19.99.
The Samsung Galaxy Xcover is the first Samsung phone in this category with its water-resistant case and running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The Galaxy Xcover also sports a protective housing with IP67 certification and a scratch resistant touch screen making this an ideal phone for those in construction and other rough conditions.
According to the press release below the Xcover will be available in October. This should be a a great addition for those that are in the construction industry as there are currently very few truly tough phones available. We are interested to see how well this device does. If the Xcover does well we can only assume that those in the demographic this phone supports will get many more like this.
Samsung’s Press Release on the Galaxy Xcover:
Water-resistant case meets social networking and Android ™ 2.3: The Samsung Galaxy Xcover
Tuesday, 9 August 2011The combination of protective housing with IP67 certification, scratch-resistant touch screen display, Android and Samsung Social Hub ™ 2.3 makes the Samsung Galaxy Xcover the ideal device for users with an active lifestyle
Schwalbach / Ts., 9 August 2011 – With the Galaxy Xcover Samsung expands its range of rugged mobile phones for outdoor use. The device combines outdoor skills with the ability of a powerful smartphone.
Whether water, dust or hard surfaces: the Samsung Galaxy Xcover is well prepared against harmful environmental influences. This IP67 certified enclosure protects the unit against dust and dirt there. In addition, the Samsung Galaxy Xcover to a depth of one meter for a period is waterproof up to half an hour.The touch-screen display with a diagonal measurement of 9.27 inches is made of scratch-resistant tempered glass. The 3.2-megapixel camera of the Samsung Galaxy Xcover is supported by an LED photo light, which can be used when needed as a flashlight or signal light.
Smart through social networking apps and running the Samsung Galaxy Xcover with the Android ™ 2.3 platform and is using apps ideally suit her personal needs. Provide wireless connectivity for fast n-standard, and an HSDPA connection with a transfer rate of up to 7.2 Mbit / s.
The Samsung Galaxy Xcover is available from October in the trade.
HTC has recently filed a trademark for the term “CLOSECONNECT”. This term is just another way for saying “Near Field Communication” and brings up the question, When will this be available on devices?
Computer hardware and software for setting up, configuring, and administering wireless networks; Computer application software for mobile phones, cellular phones, smartphones, PDAs, and tablet computers used to connect to other mobile devices; Computer software for mobile phones, cellular phones, smartphones, PDAs, and tablet computers used for the collection, editing, organizing, modifying, book marking, transmission, storage and sharing of data and information; Computer application software for mobile phones, cellular phones, smartphones, PDAs, and tablet computers used to manage near field communication technology features on those devices; Computer software for setting up, configuring, and administering peer-to-peer networks and local peer-to-peer networks.
We aren’t sure if HTC plans on using this to describe the devices that they offer NFC on although many companies tend to purchase new trademarks for old technologies in the hopes that their term will take off. This is more or less a marketing endeavor for pushing a new name for NFC when talking about HTC devices.
Those of you that need to flash back to the Samsung Vibrant stock ROM can do so with the following directions. This works on phones that are updated to Froyo and need to be flashed back to gain root access as well as those who have bricked their Vibrant by messing around.
You will need drivers installed on the computer that you use to flash your Samsung Vibrant back to the stock rom.
You can get these drivers here: 32-bit Driver | 64-bit Driver
Instructions to flash Vibrant back to Stock:
Get your phone into Download mode by holding volume down and power.
Don’t check anything else, “Auto Reboot” and “Reset Time” should be checked by default
Connect your phone to the Computer via USB
Hit “start”! be patient!
If you don’t see a progress bar after hitting start (after a minute) start over at step one.
Having Trouble with Download Mode:
If you are stuck on the PC and phone screen just hold both volume buttons and power at the same time. let the Vibrants screen come on and go back off and on the second time before the Vibrant comes back on let go of the power button while still holding the volume buttons. This should get you back to download mode.
People have mixed feelings about this question although there are two sides to this argument. We have heard the argument that the Amazon App store is bad for developers because of the free app a day giveaway. While this is a great way for consumers to get apps that they may not otherwise have even known about does it hurt the developers?
Well the Free App A Day doesn’t make the developer a dime as some of you may think otherwise. This is bad for developers for that day although in the long run should not (assuming the app is worthy of use) effect any sales of it later.
There are those out there that think the giveaway is wrong only for the fact that the developers don’t make any money and Amazon is receiving serious traffic and upselling from it. Shift Jelly posted the following about the Amazon App Store:
“What makes us mad though is the public perception that Amazon pays developers to be featured. Every single person we asked on Twitter or via email thought they were helping developers out, and getting a free application. Amazon does nothing to dispel these rumours, in fact they put really restrictive clauses at the bottom of their emails, saying that no one is even allowed to discuss these back door deals they are doing.”
Our take on this is that most of the free app a day giveaways are apps that consumers are downloading only because they are free. Those that are downloading the app because its free and no other reason would not have purchased the app anyway. This being said the Developer is now getting free publicity and users that may in the future recommend an app to a friend that otherwise would have never even thought about it. If developers create a great app the word of mouth after the free day will make up for any consumer downloading it that may have paid for it later.
After T-Mobile promised an update to take the G2 to Android Gingerbread 2.3 they are starting the first phase or OTA updates. If you don’t get the over the air update today don’t worry it will be available to you over the next few weeks. You can always check manually as history says you can get it that way before the OTA push.
Phandroid posted the following T-Mobile Communication Earlier today:
On July 27, T-Mobile G2 devices will begin to receive an Over-The-Air (OTA) update to Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread). The update will roll out to customers in waves over the coming weeks.
The update provides the following enhancements and improvements.
Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread)
Google Books added
Notification bar color scheme is changed to black
New battery indicator, phone, and web icons
Color-coded network icon and signal indicator added. Green when connected to Google servers. Grey when not connected.
Pressing the power key while on a call disables the proximity sensor
Fixed or improved issues:
Wi-Fi calling improvements
New SMS and email notification improvements
Improvements to sending MMS from the Gallery
Your phone will show a notification when you have received the update. Alternately, to check if your phone has the update, follow these steps:
From Home screen, press the Menu key.
Tap About Phone.
Tap System Updates.
Important: Do NOT call T-Mobile to receive the update before September 1. The timeline for receiving the OTA cannot be expedited. T-Mobile cannot manually push the software to customers who ask to receive it.
Its good to see T-Mobile making good on promises as quickly as can be expected.