Samsung Sends CyanogenMod Developers Galaxy S II; Shows Its Support To Developers!

The Samsung Galaxy S had a relatively easy method to root, and did not feature an encrypted boot loader. Still, the phone never got quality ROMs based on AOSP. It was only a year after its release, that the phone got official support from the CyanogenMod team.

CyanogenMod

However, like Sony Ericsson and HTC, Samsung knows that they should get developers to support their phone. So, while HTC was encrypting boot loader on their latest handsets (EVO 3D, Sensation), the Galaxy S II boot loader was unprotected. Later on, Samsung also released the Galaxy S II source in less than a week of its launch.

Unlike the Galaxy S, SGS II was much better, cleaner, and the kernel’s source code did not feature any proprietary code. Now, in a bid to further support developers and custom ROMs for the Galaxy S II, Samsung has gone ahead and sent a few developers a Galaxy S II.

The developers @atinm, @codeworkx, @dumdidum and @unhelpful were the main mastermind behind brining CM7 to the Galaxy S. By gifting these developers a SGS II, Samsung surely is helping them in porting CM7 to the handset.

Kudos to Samsung for supporting these developers, who are working on bringing CM7 to the Galaxy S II.

New Droid Bionic Pictures Leak; Sports A Gigantic 4.5inch Screen!

Back at CES 2011, Motorola announced two Tegra 2 powered handsets the Droid Bionic and the Atrix 4G. The Atrix 4G was meant for the AT&T network, while the Droid Bionic was going to be Verizon’s first 4G handset with a dual-core CPU.

However, things did not go as planned and Motorola had to delay the release of the Droid Bionic. The company stated that they will release an updated version of Droid Bionic with a new form-factor, sometime in Q3 of 2011.

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Now, pictures of the updated Droid Bionic have made their way on the Internet. The new Droid Bionic sports a whopping 4.5-inch with qHD (960×640) resolution. Hopefully, the display won’t be a Pen Tile matrix one!

The leaked pictures also suggest that the Bionic sports an 8MP camera at the back which is capable of recording videos in Full HD 1080p resolution, right out of the box.

Unlike the Atrix 4G and the Droid X2, the Bionic will run on Android 2.3.4 with a new version of MotoBLUR on top of it. From the leaked pictures, the new version of Blur actually looks usable! Since the handset also features a front facing camera, users will be able to do video chatting with their friends via Google Talk.

Like the Atrix, the Bionic will also be compatible with the WebTop dock accessory. The handset will be powered by a large 1750mAh battery!

I presume the Bionic will be powered by a dual-core OMAP processor, which will also power the upcoming Droid 3.

iOS5 – Everything You Need To Know About It

Apple has just announced the next major version of iOS at the ongoing WWDC. iOS5 is a major release for developers with more than 1500+ APIs and tools, as well as for general users with more than 200 new features.

Notification Center

First and foremost, Apple has finally gone ahead and over-hauled the notification system is iOS. The new notification style in iOS5 is called the Notification System, and can be accessed from anywhere by just swiping down the screen (Android style). The Notification center also takes some cues from the popular Mobile Notifier app from the Cydia App store. Apple has also updated the lock screen to display notifications and music control buttons.

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Twitter Integration

Apple has also tightly integrated Twitter into iOS5. iOS device owners can simply sign-in to Twitter once under Settings and they are done! Their Twitter contacts will be linked to their phone contacts. Core apps of the iOS5 like iPhotos, Maps, and Safari etc. will also feature Twitter integration. Users can now share an image or a link to an article by simply tapping the Tweet button in iPhoto or Safari.

Newsstand

With iOS5, users can read magazines available on the newsstand right on their iTouch device. The Newsstand’ app will show users a list of all the available magazines, and will also download the latest magazines in the background for offline reading. The App Store will also get a dedicated category for the Newsstand magazines.

Upgraded Camera App

Apple has also made taking pictures and videos on the iPhone easier and quicker, with a shortcut of the camera app right on the lock screen. The volume up button on the iPhone will now act as a physical shutter button. Users can now pinch and zoom right inside the camera app and select a particular scene where they want to lock the focus to. The new version of iOS will also allow users to do some basic editing with their photos like cropping and red-eye reduction.

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Safari, Game Center And Mail With New Features

Safari for iOS has also been revamped in iOS5. It now features tabbed browsing, and also looks similar to Safari for OS X. The new Safari Reader’ feature will strip down a webpage from all the junk and ads, and present the main article in a readable, scrollable text format. For example, a 20 page article can be stripped down to just one page by this feature in a simple scrollable text format. The new version of Safari also features Reading List’ which is similar to the popular Read It Later service. The Reading List’ also syncs across all iOS devices and OS X based devices.

Safari_iOS5

The popular Mail app has also been upgraded in iOS5. The app now features drag able addresses, indentation control, S/MIME support, the ability to search within messages, and to flag messages. There is also a Swipe to Inbox gesture for the iPad.

Reminder

iOS5 will also include a new To-Do list app called Reminders’. The app will be location aware and can trigger functions depending on a user’s location and the time.

Game Center for iOS has also been enhanced with new features. Users now have the ability to view friends of their friends, find new games and purchase them right from within Game Center. Game Center now also features the ability to play turn based games like Scrabble and Chess etc.

iMessage The BBM Killer

Apple is also introducing a new messaging system with iOS5 dubbed as iMessage’. This service is similar to BBM, and will be available for the iPad, iPod Touch and the iPhone. The app will allow users to share messages, images, and videos etc. and will work over Wi-Fi as well as 3G.

iMessage

Users will also be provided with typing notifications, and the messages will be pushed to all the iOS devices of a user. The messages sent via iMessage will be totally encrypted for enhanced security.

Wireless Syncing and OTA Updates

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With iOS5, iDevices will become true PC free devices or rather Post-PC devices. iOS5 will incorporate wireless syncing with iTunes over Wi-Fi, which will include syncing your music library and apps. iOS updates will also be pushed OTA (Over-The-Air) from now on, and they will only update the needed parts of the OS a la Symbian and Android. Also, when users first start their iOS device, they will be greeted with a setup screen instead of the Connect To iTunes screen.

Miscellaneous

iOS5 will also include multi-tasking gestures which we saw back in iOS4.2. iPad users will also get a new split keyboard for thumb typing; along with a new music app. Dictionary has also been integrated in the whole OS. Users can tap a word anywhere inside the OS to find its meaning. Other new features of iOS5 include AirPlay Mirroring, improved Facetime video call quality, typing shortcuts, and Emoji emoticons.

Availability

The developer’s tool has also been updated with new features and is available for download beginning from today itself. iOS5 will be available for the iPod Touch 3G and 4G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and the iPad 1/2 sometime this fall.

Motorola Droid 3 Video Tutorials Leak; Updated Version Of Blur Onboard

Rumored specs and a picture of the Motorola Droid 3 leaked on the Internet a couple of weeks ago. The rumors suggested that the Droid 3 will be powered by a dual-core OMAP, and will sport a five-row QWERTY keyboard

Today, 3 video tutorials of the Droid 3 have leaked on the Internet. The 3 video tutorials provide us with complete specifications of the handset. From the video, it is clearly visible that the Droid 3 will sport a 4-inch screen with qHD (960×640) resolution.

As the earlier leaked picture suggested, the handset will also sport a five-row QWERTY keyboard, with a dedicated row for numbers. The back of the handset will sport an 8MP camera with dual-LED flash, and there is a front facing camera for video chatting as well. The camera at the back is capable of recording videos in Full HD 1080p resolution.

From the videos, it D3 seems to be running Android 2.3 Gingerbread with a new version of MotoBLUR. This new version of Blur is different from the one, which the Gingerbread update for the Droid X brought.

Like the Droid X and the Droid X2, the D3 will also sport a mini-HDMI port. The phone is also sleeker and slimmer than the Droid 2.

Below is a leaked video tutorial of the Droid 3-:

Samsung Galaxy Gio Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread Firmware Leaks

Samsung released a mid-range Galaxy branded handset Gio nearly a couple of months ago. The handset sports a 3.2-inch screen with HVGA (320×480) resolution and is powered by an 800MHz processor.

The handset runs on Android 2.2 FroYo with TouchWIZ UI running on top of it. At the time of its launch, Samsung never mentioned anything about the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the handset.

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However, at the middle of this month Samsung announced the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for a bunch of Galaxy branded handsets. The Gio did feature in this list, but Sammy did not mention anything about the release date.

Now, the folks over at SamFirwmare.com have managed to get their hands on a leaked Android 2.3 Gingerbread firmware for the Galaxy Gio. The firmware has a build date of June 2, and is aimed for the European region. The leak suggests that Sammy is already working on the Gingerbread update for the Gio, and might as well release it within a month.

The firmware has no major bugs, and has been rooted by developers as well. The firmware’s default language is Russian, and users manually need to change it to their desired language.

HTC ChaCha And Flyer Software Updates Rolling Out Now

HTC has started rolling out two new OTA (Over-The-Air) software updates for the recently released ChaCha and the Flyer.

The HTC ChaCha is an Android 2.3 Gingerbread based phone from the Taiwanese company, which is aimed at Facebook addicts with a dedicated Facebook button. The update for the handset carries the version number 1.18.401.1, and the change-log from HTC states system and application enhancements.

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HTC’s first tablet the Flyer software update has the version number 2.00.405.3. The Flyer sports a 7-inch screen, and is powered by a 1.5GHz single core Qualcomm processor. The tablet also has a pen input feature, which makes it handy for taking notes on the go.

While not the Android 3.0 Honeycomb update, which Flyer owners might be hoping for, the update does improve the system’s performance and stability.

At the moment, the updates for both the devices are being rolled out in U.K only. It is unknown whether HTC will roll out the software updates for the devices in other regions of the world or not.

HTC EVO 4G Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update To Roll Out From Tomorrow!

Sprint has just announced that they will start rolling Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the HTC Evo 4G beginning from Monday, June 6.

The Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Evo 4G will bring some much needed bug fixes including the popular SMS bug, along with a new Downloads application. The update will also bring in better copy and paste functionality, and some performance and stability improvements.

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The update will be an OTA (Over-The-Air) one, and will be pushed automatically to all Evo 4G owners. For the impatient Evo 4G owners, Sprint will allow them to pull the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update from their servers beginning from tomorrow itself!

Sadly, Sprint has not mentioned whether the Gingerbread version will be Android 2.3.3 or Android 2.3.4. The Evo 4G has a front facing camera, so it can definitely make use of the video chatting capabilities of Google Talk introduced in Android 2.3.4. Also, the update will not bring a newer version of Sense to the Evo 4G, as many have expected.

Some other Gingerbread goodies like the screen-off animation, new keyboard will also not be included in this update.

Sony Ericsson Xperia Play To Get 20+ Games; Including 10 Exclusive Titles!

In a press release, Sony Ericsson has announced that more than 20 games are coming to the Xperia Play. All these 20+ games will be optimized for the Play, and 10 games will be exclusive to the handset.

The list of games which will be exclusive to the Xperia Play includes :

  • Minecraftâ„¢ by Mojang
  • Battlefield Bad Company 2 by Electronic Arts
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Shadow Vanguard by Gameloft
  • Desert Winds by Southend Interactive
  • Ruined by Bigpoint
  • Icebreakerâ„¢ by NaturalMotion
  • Sleepy Jack by SilverTree Media
  • Cracking Sands by Polarbit
  • Armageddon Squadron 2 by Polarbit
  • An unnamed fighting game from Khaeon Gamestudio

Below is a video of Minecraft running on the Xperia Play :

Other games which will be optimized for the Play but not exclusive to it are :

  • Pocket Legends by Spacetime Studios
  • Star Legends: The Black Star Chronicles by Spacetime Studios
  • Eternal Legacy by Gameloft
  • Guns ‘n’Glory 2 by HandyGames
  • Dungeon Hunter 2 by Gameloft
  • Pocket RPG by Crescent Moon Games
  • D.A.R.K. developed by Gamelab
  • Samurai II: Vengeance by MADFINGER Games
  • Vendetta Online by Guild Software
  • Order & Chaos Gameloft
  • Happy Vikings by Handy Games
  • A Ball Game by Trendy Entertainment
  • Lumines by Connect2Media

As you can see from the list above, the Play is definitely getting some popular games like Minecraft, Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Armageddon etc. All these games are slated to hit the Xperia Play in the coming months!

Sony Ericsson will be giving a demo of most of these games at their stand in E3. The company will also reveal more information about these games during E3.

T-Mobile Announces The Samsung Exhibit 4G And The Gravity Smart

T-Mobile has teamed up with Samsung to announce two new lower-mid range Android handsets the Exhibit 4G and the Gravity Smart.

The Exhibit 4G is powered by a 1GHz Hummingbird processor, and sports a 3.7-inch AMOLED screen with WVGA (800×480) resolution. The back of the phone packs a disappointing 3MP camera, while there is a VGA camera in the front for video calling. The handset also packs 512MB of RAM, along with the usual Wi-Fi, GPS with A-GPS, Bluetooth and a 3.5mm audio jack.

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The Gravity Smart from Samsung is the first phone to be powered by the Android OS in the Gravity series. The handset sports a four-row QWERTY keyboard, and a 3.2-inch screen with HVGA (320×480) resolution. The handset will be powered by an 800MHz processor and packs 512MB of RAM. Like the Exhibit 4G, the Smart has a 3.2MP camera at its back.

The Exhibit 4G runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, while the Smart runs on the now old and stale Android 2.2 FroYo.   The former will also be compatible with T-Mobile’s so called 4G’ network.

The Gravity Smart will cost users $70 after a mail-in rebate, while the Exhibit 4G will cost $80 after a $50 mail-in rebate. T-Mobile did not mention anything about the release date of both the handsets, but expect them to be available by the middle of this month.

Samsung Galaxy S II Gets Useful Two Camera Mods

The Samsung Galaxy S II is the best smartphone in the market right now. The handset is feature packed to the brim, and hardly has any major issues.

The Galaxy S II is also among the first few handsets to record videos in 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution. The handset records full HD videos with 64kbps AAC mono audio quality, at 16Mbit/s bitrate.

Now, two different camera mods for the Galaxy S II have been developed. One mod increases the video recording bitrate to 24MBit/s, and the second one increases the audio quality to 192 kbps/44.1Khz. .

Below is a video of the Samsung Galaxy S II recording full HD videos with 192Kbps audio bitrate:

The first mod is by the popular HyperX, while the second mod is by Potatoman. The former mod still has not released for fellow SGS II owners, because he is still testing it.

However, the mod by Potatoman is already available for download over at XDA forums. This mod will also allow Galaxy S II owners to record videos and click photos even when the battery life is <15%. Galaxy S owners need to root their phone, before they can install this mod on their phone.

(Source)