All posts by Rajesh Pandey

Rajesh is a 19 year old nerd, currently pursuing B.Com Hons from Bhawanipore college in Kolkata, India. He loves everything tech, especially Android. You can follow him on twitter @ePandu or mail to him at [email protected]

Press For Android Update Brings Performance Improvements And Background Syncing

Press is hands down among the best Google Reader clients available on Android. It has been dubbed as the ‘Reeder’ for Android devices, which is no small feat.

Even then, Press is far from perfect. Until today, the app lacked background syncing notifications and had performance issues even on dual-core Android devices.

The developers of Press – TwentyFive Squares – pushed a new update to the app today which fixes most of the issues with the app and brings other new features. Below is the full change-log of the app -:

– Quick article navigation to go to next/previous articles
– Background/automatic syncing
– Sync on app launch
– Background syncing notifications
– New text-alignment options
– Show image title and URL in the image viewer. (xkcd fans rejoice!)
– Date and time formats now match device settings
– Article title is now included when sharing to social networks
– Lots of performance enhancements and bug fixes

If you are an avid Google Reader user and have not tried Press, you are missing out on probably the best way to access Google Reader on your Android device.

LG France Mobile Director Talks About The Nexus 4 And Rumors Surrounding It

The Nexus 4 launch has been nothing short of a disaster for Google and LG. The handset sold out minutes after being up for purchase on the Play Store, and since then the supply of the handset is still erratic. To make matters worse, both LG and Google have been absolutely mum about this matter frustrating potential buyers.

Now, in an interview with Challenges.fr, LG France’s Mobile Division director – Cathy Robin – has spoken in detail about the Nexus 4, its shortage issues, and regarding the rumors of LG shutting down production of the handset. She even rubbishes the 375,000 estimated sales figure of the Nexus 4 saying that it is way lower than the actual figure.

While the interview is originally in french, it has been translated into English by a floflo81 on Reddit. Below are some excerpts from the interview -:

What’s happening with the Nexus 4, a very competitive but unavailable product?

The Nexus 4 indeed offers an excellent technical specs/price ratio. The stock issues aren’t complety related to LG. Google submitted us some sales predictions calculated from their sales history for the previous Nexus.

However they were lower than the actual demand. The current shipments from LG to Google match what had been preordered on the Google Play site. We still ship them regularly. But it’s “just-in-time”. That’s why the Nexus 4 is always shown as sold out and the potential buyers have the feeling they can’t buy it.

As an example, the initial predictions of Google were 10 times higher for the United Kingdom and for Germany. So we ship a lot more to these countries than to France. There was a happy medium that was badly anticipated. But mind that I’m not blaming anyone. Between Google and LG, everything is going smoothly. Today, if we want to increase the shipments pace, there will be a 6-week delay.

Is the Nexus 4 sold at a loss, as it has been said?

We have no incentive to sell it at a loss. However there was an agreement between Google and LG to sell it at a very compelling price. And it’s true that €299 for the 8GB and €349 for the 16GB, that’s a super attractive price.

The whole interview clears up a lot of rumors regarding the Nexus 4, and how the handset has helped increased LG’s reputation among international carriers. Head over to Reddit to read the full interview in english.

Android 4.2.2 Shown Running On A Nexus 4

Rumors about Android 4.2.2 running on a Nexus 4 started floating around since last week, when an image of a Nexus 4 running Android 4.2.2 surfaced in Brazil. The rumor indicated that the latest batch of Nexus 4 rolling out from LG’s factory in Brazil is already running Android 4.2.2.

Today, a Czech site – SmartMania.cz – casually showed off Android 4.2.2 running on a Nexus 4 in an overview video of the phone. The previous image and this video all but confirm the existence of Android 4.2.2. Don’t expect Android 4.2.2 to bring any new features or UI changes though.

The minor bump in the Jelly Bean version is only aimed at improving the overall performance, stability and battery life of all the Nexus devices, that has gone down considerably in Android 4.2.1.

If you think that the above video is fake and just a build.prop edit, then check the video again. The leaked picture and the video show the Nexus 4 using a newer .44 radio/baseband that at least, for me, proves the authenticity of the video and image.

Samsung Galaxy S II Jelly Bean Update Coming Next Month

A couple of weeks ago, Samsung detailed all the new features that it will be bringing to the Galaxy S II with the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update. The company, however, failed to mention any kind of time frame as to when it intends to starts rolling out the update.

Along with all the usual Jelly Bean goodness introduced by Google in Jelly Bean including Google Now, expandable notifications, and offline speech-to-text support, Samsung has also added its own enhancements. This includes the new nature inspired TouchWIZ UI as seen on the Galaxy S3 and Note 2, Smart Stay and much more.

Today, a spokesperson from Samsung confirmed to CNET that the Korean giant intends to roll out the Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S II sometime in February. The company will first start rolling out the update in Singapore and other neighboring regions before rolling out the update globally.

Via – GSMArena

Apple iPad mini and iPad Coming To China On January 20th

Today, Apple announced that it will be bringing the fourth generation iPad and the iPad mini to China beginning from Friday, January 18th.

The iPad mini sports a 7.85-inch screen, a dual-core A5 chip, and a 5MP camera. Its bigger brother, the fourth generation iPad, sports a 9.7-inch Retina Display, 1GB of RAM, and a very powerful A6X SoC. Both the tablets will come with iOS6 pre-loaded, which Apple dubs as the most advanced version of iOS yet.

The iPad mini with Wi-Fi and Cellular model will set buyers back by US $459 for the 16GB model, and US $559 for the 32GB model. The 16GB iPad with Wi-Fi and Cellular radio is priced at roughly US $629, while the 32GB variant costs US $729.

The iPad mini and the fourth generation iPad will be available at Apple’s online store and retail stores, along with certain authorized resellers from this Friday in China.

Samsung Exynos 5 Octa SoC Uses PowerVR GPU Instead Of ARM’s Mali GPU

One of the highlights of this year CES was the announcement of an Octa-Core mobile SoC from Samsung – the Exynos 5 Octa. This absolute beast of an SoC makes use of ARM’s big.LITTLE implementation and packs 4 Cortex-A15 based cores, and 4 lower-power Cortex-A7 based cores, manufactured on the 28nm HKMG process.

The use of ARM’s big.LITTLE technology will allow this SoC to provide the best of both worlds – performance and battery life. On the GPU side, it was assumed that Samsung went with ARM’s Mali GPU, which was found inside the Galaxy S II and the Galaxy S III.

However, it looks like Samsung may have had a change of heart and has instead used PowerVR’s Imagination GPU on its latest SoC. AnandTech has confirmed from multiple sources that the Exynos 5 Octa SoC packs in three cores of PowerVR SGX543 GPU, with each core clocked at 533MHz.

This is the same GPU that Apple uses in its A5 and A5X SoC, with the latter being found inside the third generation iPad. Considering the PowerVR SGX543 inside the Exynos 5 Octa SoC is clocked so high, it should be able to beat the 3rd generation iPad in benchmarks. However, it won’t be able to surpass the performance of the A6/X SoC found inside the iPhone 5 and the fourth-generation iPad.

There is a very strong possibility that Samsung will end up using the Exynos 5 Octa SoC on its upcoming Galaxy S IV smartphone.

Samsung Galaxy S Series Reach 100 Million Sales Mark

Samsung, today, announced that its highly popular Galaxy S brand of flagship handsets have sold more than 100 million units worldwide. The 100 million mark comes after 2 years and 7 months since Samsung initially launched the Galaxy S in May 2010.

The Galaxy S III, which is currently Samsung’s most popular handset, has already sold more than 40 million units within 7 months of its release, and is selling at a whopping 190,000 units per day rate.

The S3’s predecessor, the Galaxy S II, has also been selling briskly more than a year after its launch and has managed to reach the 40 million mark in 20 months. The original Galaxy S, Galaxy S III Mini and other Galaxy S branded handsets have also contributed significantly in making Samsung reach the 100 million sales figure from the supply side.

Keep in mind that the 100 million sales figure is from the supply side, and does not relate to units actually sold.

Via – Samsung Tomorrow

Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 And 7 Get Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean In The United States

Samsung has started rolling out the Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update for the 7-inch and 10-inch Galaxy Tab 2 in the United States. The Korean giant had started rolling out the Jelly Bean update for the European Galaxy Tabs a couple of months ago.

The Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy Tab will bring with it some much need improvements in the overall UI performance thanks to Project Butter, expandable notification bar items, enhanced voice-to-text recognition which works even without an active data connection, Google Now and much more. Samsung has also added some minor additions and enhancements to its TouchWIZ UI for improving the overall usability.

Tab owners in the United States can get the update either via OTA or by using Samsung’s KIES software.

Via- GSMArena

Dropbox And Flipboard For Android Update Brings New Features And Bug-Fixes

The Dropbox app for Android has constantly evolved over the months getting UI changes, bug-fixes and new features as needed. Today, the Dropbox team for Android released the v2.3 of the app on the Play Store that brings certain much needed enhancements and changes.

The latest update to the app brings the ability to share several images at once as well as delete them. There are also minor tweaks and UI improvements throughout the app. Lastly, the most important change is the ability to organize all the photos that you have uploaded on Dropbox into albums.

As a Dropbox user who also uses their instant upload feature, this feature is like god-send to me.

Below is the official change-log of the update -:

In version 2.3:
* Easily share several photos at once
* Organize your favorite photos into albums
* Delete multiple photos at once
* UI improvements and updates throughout
* Lots of other little tweaks and bug fixes

Flipboard for Android also got a major update. The update brings support for Flipboard Daydream for all Android 4.2 users. The Daydream feature will allow Flipboard users running Android 4.2 to create a screensaver made of their Flipboard covers.

Below is the official change-log of the update -:

– Now with Flipboard Daydream for Android 4.2 users. Allows you to create a screensaver made out of Flipboard covers.
– Fixed accidental flip when trying to scroll.
– More bug fixes.

The update is already live in the Play Store and can be downloaded from here.

Beta Version Of Chrome For Android Hits The Play Store

Google introduced Chrome for Android with Android 4.1 and the Nexus 7. With the launch of the Nexus 4 and Android 4.2, the company ditched the stock AOSP browser for Chrome. While Chrome for Android is feature-filled, it has some major performance issues even on devices with a dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM.

Google aims to bring Chrome for Android on level with its desktop counterpart in terms of security and performance. Keeping this in mind, the company has released a beta version of Chrome for Android in the Play Store. Like the beta channel for the desktop version of Chrome, the beta version of Chrome for Android will provide users with some new experimental features, under-the-hood changes, bug-fixes and much more.

The official blog post from Google states that the beta version of Chrome for Android should already feature at least 25-30% improvement in Octane benchmarks on average. Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7 users who have already tried the beta version of the browser have also reported an improvement in the performance of the app.

The beta version of Chrome for Android can be installed side-by-side with the stable version available on the Play Store.