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]
The HTC One X was not exactly a success for the Taiwanese maker last year. However, the company expects to bounce back with the release of the One X successor this year at Mobile World Congress.
While the world is yet to get its glimpse of the One X successor, codenamed the M7, the specs of the handset are all but known. The M7 will sport a 4.7 (5?)-inch 1080p S-LCD3 display, a quad-core Krait processor, 2GB of RAM, 32/64GB of storage, and a non-removable battery.
Now, the folks over at HTC Source have managed to get some more information about the M7 thanks to their insider. The M7 will not be sporting a unibody aluminum shell, and will pack some design cues from the DROID DNA. It will also have a “very nice looking beveled edge”, along with a new version of HTC Sense that features a “simple and clean UI”. I am not sure what the “simple and clean UI” statement here means, but if we are looking at a near-stock Android like experience on the M7 with just some minor tweaks and additions from HTC, then I am going to be among the first few people to get my hands on the phone.
The only worrying part is that HTC is currently testing the handset with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean on-board. However, considering that the phone’s launch is still more than 1.5 months away, HTC has ample time to release the phone with Android 4.2 on-board.
The Galaxy S2 was Samsung’s most popular and hottest selling phone in 2011. It went on to become the company’s most successful model ever in its history, before being overtaken by its successor in 2012 – the Galaxy S3.
Samsung upgraded the Galaxy S2 to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich but did not add any new features since then like it has been doing with the Galaxy Note, Galaxy S3 or the Note 2.
The good news is that Samsung Korea today announced its Jelly Bean upgrade plans for the Galaxy S II. The company plans to bring a lot of features from the Galaxy S3 to the Galaxy S2 including its nature inspired TouchWIZ UI, Smart Stay, improved performance thanks to Project Butter, enhanced camera app and more.
An Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean based firmware for the Galaxy S2 had leaked last year, giving advanced users a taste of all the new Jelly Bean goodness and other features.
All these additional features will come at a cost though. Galaxy S2 owners will need to use KIES to install the update on their handset since the update re-partitions their internal memory and also updates the bootloader. The other downside is that post the update the free internal memory of the handset will be reduced by 1GB, because of all the new system apps, libraries and features.
Samsung has not announced as to when they plan to roll-out the Jelly Bean update, but considering this announcement, the update should not be far away.
Today, Corning announced in a press release that it will be showcasing the successor to the massively popular Gorilla Glass 2, the Gorilla Glass 3, at the upcoming CES in Las Vegas.
Corning’s Gorilla Glass series has been massively successful and is used in nearly every smartphone or tablet today including the Galaxy S series, iPhone, iPad and the HTC One series.
While Gorilla Glass is tough to scratch, it is not impossible to do so. According to Corning, Gorilla Glass 3 will be up to 3 times more resistant to scratches and will also reduce the visibility of scratches by 40%. Apart from this, Corning also states that even after Gorilla Glass 3 is damaged or has a major crack, it will still be 50% stronger than its previous versions.
Corning will be unveiling Gorilla Glass 3 at its booth in CES at Las Vegas on January 7th. The company expects Gorilla Glass 3 equipped devices by the middle of the year.
Samsung has started rolling out a new firmware update for the Galaxy S III in the United Kingdom that fixes the Exynos security exploit and the sudden death issue.
The Exynos security exploit was discovered in the middle of last month, and allowed any malicious app to gain root access to the RAM/physical memory of any Exynos 4 device easily. Samsung was informed immediately about the security exploit and the company announced that it will roll-out a fix for the exploit as soon as possible.
The new firmware update (XXELLA) for the Galaxy S3 is still based on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, and does not bring any new feature like the previous firmware updates brought with it.
While Samsung has not confirmed it officially, SamMobile have managed to confirm it with their sources that the firmware update also fixes the sudden death issue plaguing the Galaxy S3. Apparently, the firmware update also contains a new bootloader update that fixes the issue.
As of now, the firmware update is only live in the United Kingdom and is available via OTA or KIES. Giving how serious the security exploit and the sudden death issue is, expect Samsung to start a global roll-out of the update sometime soon.
It is a known fact that OS updates is one of Android’s key weakness. While Google has been trying its best to improve the situation with the help of Platform Development Kit (PDK), the Nexuses devices and other such measures, the harsh truth remains the same – Android 2.3 Gingerbread – an update to Android that was released at the end of 2010 is still the most used version of Android out there.
In the latest Android platform distribution chart from Google ending on January 3, 2013, Android 2.3 Gingerbread still remains the largest version of Android, with a share of 47.4%. The good news is that compared to the last time, the adoption rate of Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean combined have seen a huge jump. Android 4.0 and Android 4.1/4.2 together are now running on more than 39% of Android devices out there. Individually, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is running on a measly 1.2% devices, while 4.1 is on 9% devices.
The huge jump in the Android 4.0/4.1/4.2 adoption rate is probably because of millions of people getting their hands on an Android tablet or handset as a gift during the holiday season.
Late last month, a thread popped up on XDA forums where many Galaxy S3 owners were complaining about their handset dying suddenly on them. For some strange reasons, many people’s Galaxy S3 died on them overnight while on charge or while it was just lying idle. And it was a total brick. The phone even refused to boot, and the only way to fix the phone was to get the motherboard replaced from a Samsung service center.
After some investigation from Elite XDA developer, Adam Outler, and others, it was found that there was some bug in the eMMC firmware of the Galaxy S3 which suddenly lead to the death of the handset.
Well, Samsung has now officially confirmed the bug and also announced that they are working on a fix. The company has not given a timeframe as to when S3 owners should expect the fix to arrive. There is nothing Galaxy S3 owners can do to prevent their phone from dying suddenly other than perhaps pray. In the meanwhile, if your Galaxy S3 dies suddenly head over to your nearest Samsung’s service center to get the motherboard replaced.
One of the key new features that Apple introduced in iOS6 is ‘Do Not Disturb’. The feature allows iPhone users to silence notifications for a certain specified time of the day including notifications from apps.
By default, stock Android does not have any feature like Do Not Disturb built in. Samsung and Motorola are the only OEMs that include a Do No Disturb like functionality on their devices. Even then, the implementation from these OEMs don’t take the full advantage of Android’s open-ness and leave a lot to be desired.
A new app in the Play Store – Silencify – aims to bring a much superior Do Not Disturb like functionality to Android devices. Along with the ability to silent your phone, the app can also switch off auto syncing, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when a specified schedule is triggered to save battery life.
Below is a list of features of the app -:
1. Silence / Quiet phone according to set schedule.
2. Silence phone for a particular meeting.
3. Turn off Sync when scheduled silence is on – Improves Battery Life.
4. Turn off Bluetooth when scheduled silence is on – Improves Battery Life.
5. Turn off Wi-Fi when scheduled silence is on – Improves Battery Life.
6. Switch in preferences for “Master Silence”.
7. Switch in preferences to immediately silence device.
8. “Always Accept” list of contacts/phone numbers to ring the phone even when its in silence.
9.”Always Reject” list of contacts/phone numbers to always silence the phone from those numbers.
10. Backup of application data.
The biggest advantage of Silencify over Do Not Disturb and other such implementation is that it can switch to silent mode depending on a user’s location. The app also reads your calendar entries and can switch to silent mode based on certain keywords.
Silencefy can be downloaded for free from the Play Store. The developer is working on adding more features to the app including Driving mode, a widget to quickly silence your phone and more.
P.S. – The developer seems to be confused about the name of his app. While the Play Store listing shows the app name as ‘Silencefy’, post installation the app showed up as ‘Silencify’ on my app drawer.
Samsung has started rolling out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for its first Android powered camera – the Galaxy Camera. The update does not really bring any new features except for some bug fixes, and slight improvement in performance and stability.
For the unknown, the Galaxy Camera from Samsung packs in a 4.8-inch Super Clear LCD with 720p HD resolution, a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, 3G and all the other usual bunch of sensors and connectivity features. The 16MP sensor on the Galaxy Camera is accompanied by a 28-48mm (35mm) optical lens which allows for up 21x optical zoom.
Samsung released the Galaxy Camera with Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean and its own nature inspired TouchWIZ UI. As of now, Samsung has started rolling out the update only in the United Kingdom. Galaxy Camera owners can update their device either by using Samsung’s KIES software or via OTA.
WebOS never really met with the success it deserved. While Palm’s handsets consistently failed to provide a decent webOS experience, HP killed the mobile OS soon after it acquired Palm. The company did, however, open-source the OS as “Open webOS” for the developer community to tinker with it.
Due to this, “Open WebOS” has been ported to some devices including the Galaxy Nexus albeit in barely working condition. Today, joining that list is the $199 tablet from Google and Asus — the Nexus 7.
Below is a video of the Open WebOS in action on the Nexus 7 -:
It took the developer – Simon – around a week to port Open WebOS to the Nexus 7. Most of the work has been borrowed heavily from the Galaxy Nexus port, which made his job slightly easier. The port is by no means complete with the web browser and Wi-Fi being the only features that barely work. There is also a slight UI lag here and there, but this is a given considering the port is still in alpha stages.
Head over to the source link for more information and the download link.
If you are an Android user and an avid Twitter user, you will clearly know that there is a serious lack of a beautiful yet functional Twitter app for Android. The official Twitter client for Android is nothing but a mess, while Plume, Tweetcaster and other similar Twitter clients look absolutely horrible.
A relatively new Twitter client – Falcon Pro – however, has the potential of becoming the best Twitter app for Android. The app was recently released on the Play Store and has been steadily updated by its developer adding new features and squashing bugs. As a new year gift, the developer released a major updated for Falcon Pro that brings with it some basic features that were missing earlier, bug fixes and some minor new features.
Below is the massive change-log for the update -:
– Added YouTube api integration
– Added option to Enable double tap on tweets
– Added logout button
– Added hide keyboard on RT
– Added report for SPAM
– Added mute mangement from settings
– Added hashtag auto fill when searching for tweets
– Added slider for refresh rates
– New “More Actions” dialog design
– Removed retweets from search results
– Set back mentions of followers in timeline
– Enhanced conversation view with private accounts
– Changed reply icon in profile view
– Faster user profile loading
– Fixed the rotation problem on tweet writer with pics
– Fixed orientation change on main view
+ other fixes
Falcon Pro is among the first few apps in the Play Store that take advantage of the new YouTube API integration from Google. The new API integration will allow Falcon Pro users to directly watch YouTube videos when they come across a YouTube video link on their timeline without the need of opening the YouTube app.
While this update in no way adds all the missing features that Falcon Pro has compared to Plume or Twicca, they still help in improving the overall usability and experience of the app.