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]

Sony To Release A Direct Galaxy S3 Competitor Next Year; Fails To Realize The Galaxy S4 Will Be Around The Corner By Then

Sony has been struggling with its mobile division for quite sometime now. The company has failed to release remarkable handsets that woo in customers. Sony, however, aims to change all that with its next flagship Android smartphone that will be competing directly with the Galaxy S III and the iPhone 5.

Sony CVP of Sales & marketing, Dennis van Schie said “We will create in the near future a flagship model that can compete with Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S III”.

In all probability, Sony is talking about its already leaked smartphone – the Yuga – which will sport a 5-inch 1080p display, 2GB of RAM, a 1.5GHz quad-core Krait processor, Adreno 320 GPU and more. Sony expects to unveil this handset sometime at CES or MWC early next year.

What Sony fails to realize here is that the Galaxy S III has already been in the market for nearly 6 months, and by the time Sony actually releases its Galaxy S3/iPhone 5 competitor to the general consumer, the iPhone 5 would also be nearly 6 months old.

People would be eagerly waiting for the One X successor from HTC and the Galaxy S IV will just be around the corner. By then, no one would be interestedin this Galaxy S3 competitor from Sony. The company’s phone has been consistently behind HTC and Samsung in terms of both software and hardware, which has what led to its downfall.

Even now, the latest and greatest phone from Sony — the Xperia T — comes with a dual-core Krait processor and 1GB of RAM, while Samsung and HTC phones are coming with quad-core Krait processors and 2GB of RAM. Before you guys jump in and say that hardware is only one part of the story, let me tell you Sony is not really doing well on the software side. The company expects to roll out the Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update to the majority of its devices only in early-2013. By that time, Samsung and HTC would have already updated their flagship handsets to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

Via – PhoneArena

Official Twitter and Facebook Apps For Android Updated; Still Sucky As Ever!

Last night, the official Twitter for Android app and the Facebook for Android app got major updates. The Twitter For Android update brings with it quite a few changes aimed at improving the ‘tweeting’ experience of Android users. Sadly, the app’s UI is still nowhere near the Holo guidelines laid down by Google.

 

Even then, the update adds support for Photo Streams, inline preview of photos, videos and articles and more. Below is the full change-log of the update -:

See what’s popular on Discover.
– Tweets now appear right in the stream
– These Tweets show photo, video, and article previews so you can engage easily
Get a new perspective when you search.
– Photo streams show what’s happening
– Results also show media previews
Manage your account with ease.
– Reset your password in a few simple steps
Other improvements and fixes.

The latest update for the Facebook app also brings quite a lot of new features. Sadly, the update does not bring the native version of the app that Facebook promised it is working on, quite sometime ago.

The most important change brought about by the update is the ability to share any news feed item on your timeline with your friends, which has been long requested by both Android and iOS owners. Other changes include the ability to create an album from the Photos tab on Timeline, and some other bug fixes.

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

Samsung Galaxy S2 First Jelly Bean Firmware Leaks; Brings Tons Of New Features

Along with the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean firmware for the Galaxy S3, the first Jelly Bean firmware for the Galaxy S2 has also leaked online, thanks to an XDA member — izap .

The leaked firmware – I9100XXLSJ – is surprisingly bug-free and stable, which means that Samsung is in the final stages of finalizing the Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S2. While Samsung has not included the Multi-view multitasking feature of the Note 2 on the Galaxy S2, there are still a lot of new features and enhancements onboard.

The list of features include the new TouchWIZ Nature UI/UX, Google Now, enhanced notification bar, butter-y smooth performance thanks to Project Butter, new widgets, Direct Call, Smart Stay, Pop-Up Play, two different homescreen modes and more.

Samsung did not really add any new features to the Galaxy S2 when it rolled out the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the handset. However, the company kept adding new features to the Galaxy Note with continuous software updates, thus making S2 owners feel left out. Thankfully, with the Jelly Bean update, Samsung is finally showing some attention to the S2 owners out there.

Head over to this XDA thread for more information about the firmware and the download links.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.1.2 Firmware Leak Brings Multi-View And More

A new Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean based firmware for the Galaxy S3 has leaked online that includes quite a lot of new features. Most importantly, the leaked firmware includes Samsung’s unique multitasking implementation as seen on the Note II, Multi-View.

Other new features in the ROM include Page Buddy, the ability to customize the notification toggles/panel, Smart Rotation, Continuous Input in Keyboard like on Android 4.2 or Swype, Paper Artist App, and the new Gallery app. More information about the firmware, along with the download link can be found here.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 is the Korean company’s flagship handset for 2012 and has been selling like hot-cakes all over the world. No wonder the software updates for the Galaxy S3 is the top priority.

After Samsung rolled out the Multi-View multitasking to the Galaxy Note II, rumors started floating around the Internet that it will be bringing the same feature to the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S3.

Via – XDA

T-Mobile Galaxy S3 Gets The Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean Update

Samsung and T-Mobile have started rolling out the Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update for the carrier’s variant of the Galaxy S3. This makes T-Mobile the second major U.S carrier, after Sprint, to roll-out the Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S3 in the United States.

The Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S3 brings with it Project Butter for a lag-free UI experience, slightly updated UI, re-organized Settings menu, ‘Blocking’ mode, Google Now, enhanced notification bar, two homescreen modes, some bug-fixes and more.

The update is being rolled out via OTA and should be available to all T-Mobile Galaxy S3 owners within a couple of weeks.

Via – SamMobile

Nexus S and Motorola XOOM To Remain On Android 4.1; No AOSP Support For Nexus 4

Yesterday, Google released the Nexus 4 in quite a few countries of the world, pushed the Android 4.2 OTA update for the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 7, released the updated binaries and Android 4.2 factory images for all the devices, and lastly, pushed the latest version of Android to AOSP.

Google’s lead AOSP engineer – Jean Baptiste Quèru – also announced that beginning with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, Google will be ending support for the Nexus S and the Motorola XOOM. This means that both these devices will not be getting any future updates from Google including the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update. This should not really come as a surprise since both these devices have been in the market for nearly 2 years or more. Even then, both these devices are actually running a much more newer version of Android compared to majority of the Android devices out there.

The surprising news, however, is the lack of support for the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 7 3G variant in AOSP. It was initially presumed that the Nexus 4 lacks LTE so that it could be AOSP-compliant, but it looks like Google is yet to convince Qualcomm to open-source its secret sauce! Or, Google might be facing some issues with open-sourcing the GSM stacks used in the Nexus 4 or the Nexus 7 3G variant.

Hopefully, whatever the issue be, Google will be able to solve it and support the Nexus 4 in AOSP.

Google Pushes Android 4.2 To AOSP; Releases Factory Images As Well

The Android engineers over at Google must be having a busy day today. After rolling out the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OTA update for the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 7, and releasing the new Nexii devices, Google has also released the factory images of Android 4.2 for the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10.

The company along pushed Android 4.2 Jelly Bean to AOSP. This means that developers can start working on integrating Android 4.2 in their ROMs.

There is a bad news, though. Android 4.2 Jelly Bean will not be available for the Nexus S and the Motorola XOOM. Both these devices will remain on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, and will not be supported henceforth in future AOSP releases.

Apart from all this, Google has also made the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean SDK and NDK available for download for app developers. Last, but not the least, Google also updated the Device Art Generator to add support for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10.

 

HTC DROID DNA Unveiled; Comes With A 5-inch 1080p Screen!

HTC and Verizon have teamed up to announce the first Android smartphone — Droid DNA — in the United States that will sport a 5-inch S-LCD3 display with a mind-numbing full HD (1920×1080) resolution.

Inside the Droid DNA is a beefy 1.5GHz Quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro Krait processor, 2GB of RAM, an Adreno 320 GPU and more. Other features include the same 8MP BSI F/2.0 camera on the back, a Smart LED flash, an ImageSense chip, and a 1.3MP camera in the front. All the usual features that are present in HTC phones like GPS, bunch of sensors, NFC, non-removable battery, no microSD card slot are all present.

Like all other HTC’s, the Droid DNA runs on Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean with Sense 4+ on top of it. The handset also sports the Beats Audio logo, and thankfully, beefed-up amps for the rear speaker and handset.

HTC Droid DNA will be coming on Verizon’s LTE network on the 21st of November for $199 with a two-year contract. The handset will go on pre-order from today itself.

Google Nexus 4 Sold Out In The U.K And Europe; Goes On Sale In The U.S.A At 9AM PST

The Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 went on sale today via the Play Store and sold out within 20 minutes of the ordering page going live. The handset and the tablet first went on sale in Australia and sold out in exactly 20 minutes. In other regions of the world, including the United Kingdom and Europe, the ordering page of the handset was hardly live for 5 minutes.

Interested buyers who tried to purchase the Nexus 4 or the Nexus 10 usually ended up getting “an error occurred while processing your order” when they tried to purchase the devices using Play Store. However, later on, most of them got a confirmation mail from Google saying their order has been successfully approved and their credit card charged.

It is not yet known whether there was actually so much demand for the Nexus 4 or Google grossly under-estimated the demand for the handset. Even then, most buyers were not at all pleased with how the Play Store behaved when they were purchasing the new Nexii devices from Google.

The Nexus 4 is, however, yet to go on sale in the United States. The handset, along with the Nexus 10, will be available for purchase from the Play Store at 9AM PST/12PM EST as confirmed by Google.

 

Google Rolls Out Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Update For Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7

Earlier today, Google started rolling out the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update for the Nexus 7 and the takju variant of the Galaxy Nexus i.e. the handsets that were purchased directly from Google via the Play Store. .

The Android 4.2 update will bring with it quite a lot of minor yet much-appreciated changes including quick settings in the notification bar, multiple user profiles for tablets, an updated Clock app, Gesture typing for the keyboard, pinch-to-zoom in GMail and much more.

Google is rolling out the OTA update only in certain regions of the world and to limited number of Nexus 7s and Galaxy Nexus out there, so don’t expect the OTA update to be available immediately for you. The final OTA update also includes lock screen widgets that was missing in all the Nexus 4 review unit.

Google usually keeps a new version of Android exclusive to the Nexus handset for a couple of weeks before it pushes the update to other devices and the code to AOSP. However, this time Google has decided otherwise, and pushed the Android 4.2 OTA update on the same day it released the Nexus 4 in a bunch of countries.

From A CM Developer – ‘The “Superbrick” Nightmare’ Or How Samsung Screwed All Galaxy Note Owners

At the beginning of this year, when Samsung started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy Note (N7000), a serious issue was found in the kernel level of the firmware. If any Note owner used the Factory Reset option or wiped the internal storage of his or her device using recovery, the eMMC chip inside the device would die. The issue was present in all the previous leaked ICS firmware for the Galaxy Note, and the community had promptly informed Samsung about the issue after Note owners started bricking their devices left, right and center. The issue was termed as ‘Superbrick’ in the XDA community, since there was no way to bring back these affected devices to life.

Now, a CyanogenMod developer – Andrew Dodd – has written his story on the ‘superbrick’ issue titled ‘The “Superbrick” Nightmare’ on Google+. The series of posts from Andrew Dodd show the real and harsh truth on how Samsung completely ignored the Superbrick issue, hardly cared about Note owners who had already bricked their devices and the meeting it setup with developers just for the sake of publicity. Worse? The ‘superbrick’ issue eventually found its way to many other Samsung devices even after Samsung knew about it and said that it was “working diligently” on it.

Some of the developers worked hard on finding the root cause of the issue, and even informed Samsung about it. Heck! They even provided Samsung with a workaround to this problem. Even then, in a somewhat shocking behavior, Samsung did not pay any heed to the Android developers and many firmware for other Samsung devices (AT&T and International SGS2) that leaked in the future were found to be plagued by the same kernel-level eMMC killing bug. Even official firmware release from Samsung had the ‘Superbrick’ issue, months after the community informed them about it.

On the flipside, his posts also shows how the Android community worked together to find the root cause of the issue and a fix for it, so as to prevent users from ‘Superbricking’ their devices and extent to which they went to try and save all those Notes that were already superbricked, The hero or the saviour of all the Galaxy Notes and Galaxy S2s out there, however, turned out to be an engineer from Google — Ken — who was later silenced by Samsung. As it turns out, independent Android developers and engineers at Google care more about your devices than Samsung itself does.

It has been more than six months since Samsung was made aware of the ‘superbrick’ issue and it promised that it was “working diligently” on it, and yet till date, the issue persists. Samsung fixed the issue on its newer devices like the Galaxy S3 that never had the issue, but has not made any effort to fix the problem on the device severely affected by it, the Galaxy Note.

Read: The “Superbrick” Nightmare

Samsung, the developers and community have played a large part in making you the largest mobile manufacturer out there. Stop screwing around with them. You are not going to stay at the top forever! HTC and Qualcomm have learnt from their mistakes and are now embrace the open-source community and its developers. Its about time you do the same!

 

 

ASUS Transformer Infinity Gets A Major Bug-Squashing Update

ASUS has started rolling out a new software update for the Transformer Pad Infinity that includes a bunch of bug-fixes. Before you start jumping with excitement, no, the update does not bring either Android 4.1.2 or Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

Anyways, the update fixes some really serious bugs which have been plaguing Infinity owners since quite sometime.

Below is the full change-log of the update via Android Police -:

Wi-Fi Direct

  • Fine-tune Wi-Fi Direct connection behavior.

Camera

  • Fix the issue that in certain “aspect ratio” and “picture size” photos, the pixel dimension of picture would be different if taken in landscape and portrait mode.

Settings

  • Fix the issue that, during HDMI output, the output screen will get cropped after user chooses “HDMI” item in “Settings.”
  • Fix the issue that there will be no items in HDMI setting page when output via HDMI Fix the issue that the screen may flicker when rotate the pad after adjust brightness bar in “Settings.”

Wi-Fi

  • Fix the issue that when user keeps on turning on/off Wi-Fi, sometimes it will stick in the “Turning Wi-Fi on… ” status for a while

Bluetooth

  • Improve Bluetooth compatibility.

App Backup

  • Fix the issue that it still shows backup success when user removes SD card during the backup process when App Backup is backing up applications to SD card.

Sound Recorder

  • Fix the issue that the file recorded via Sound Recorder cannot be played after inserted in Supernote.

Browser

  • Fix the issue that typing English after Chinese with Zuyin IME in the input field of Browser would cause what had been typed garbled.

3rd Party App

  • 高德導航Upgrade to 5.1.8001.0033.0033-20121010 (CN SKU only).
  • MyCloud Upgrade to 0.9.115.1493.
  • Polaris Upgrade to 3.5_5r14741FV06.
  • Remove掌上百度 (CN SKU only).

As of now, ASUS is not rolling out the update via OTA. Instead, users need to head over to ASUS website and download the update and install it manually on their tablet.

ASUS And Google Refunding Money Back To Less Than 15 Days Old Nexus 7 Owners

When ASUS announced the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10, it also dropped the price of the 16GB Nexus 7 to $199 and introduced a new 32GB variant of the tablet for $249. Nexus 7 owners who got the tablet recently must have felt pretty cheated by this move from Google. There are only a few things in life worse than seeing a device that you recently purchased, get a hefty price cut.

Thankfully, ASUS has announced that Nexus 7 owners will get a free ₤25 coupon via which they can purchase anything from the ASUS Shop online store. The offer is only valid for Nexus 7 tablets purchased by October 29th from either retail stores or from an online website. ASUS does not state as to which variants of the tablet are eligible for the offer or the purchasing date. Anyways, head over to this website if you live in Europe or the U.K to register for the offer.

For Nexus 7 owners who got their tablet directly from Google’s Play Store, things are even better. The Play Store actually has a Price Protection policy, which states that if Google reduces the price of a device on Google Play, it will actually refund the difference in price to the user. The  Policy, however, is only valid for devices purchased within 15 days since the price reduction took place. Also, users will need to apply for the price protection policy within 15 days of the price reduction taking place.

This means that if you purchased a Nexus 7 from Google’s Play Store on or after October 14th, you are currently eligible for a refund from Google. Head over to this page to register for the policy and get your money back!

Via – Droid Life

Apple Rolls Out Software Update For June-2012 MacBook Airs and Retina MacBook Pros

Apple has started rolling out a new software update for all the Macs that it had introduced in June 2012, including the MacBook Air and the 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina.

The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Update 2.0 weighs in at 127MB and the change-log from Apple suggests that it includes “graphics performance and reliability improvements and improves compatibility with some USB devices”.

Apple recommends this update to all the June 2012 MacBooks, so do update if you own one of them. Early reports suggest that the update has fixed the freezing issues that many people experienced for around 30 seconds when they plugged in a USB drive to their Retina MacBook Pro(s). It, however, does not fix the image burn-in issues on the Retina MacBook Pro(s) with an LG display panel, or the flickering issues that have plagued rMBP owners since quite sometime.

AT&T Captivate Glide Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Update Now Live

Here is some good news for AT&T Captivate Glide users. Beginning from tomorrow i.e. the 10th of November, AT&T and Samsung will start rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for your handset.

The update comes more than a year after Google had originally announced Ice Cream Sandwich. Anyways, the good news is that the Ice Cream Sandwich update brings with it quite a lot of new features including a data monitoring tool, face unlock, a re-designed People’s app, enhanced lock screen, the ability to dismiss notifications by swiping them, an updated Recents app UI and much more.

The sad part is that the biggest change introduced by Google in Ice Cream Sandwich — the updated UI with the introduction of the Holo theme — will be missing in action, all thanks to Samsung’s TouchWIZ UI.

AT&T and Samsung are not rolling out the software update via OTA. Instead, users will need to use the traditional method of using their PC to install the update on their handset. Head over to this website for instructions on how to update your Captivate Glide to Ice Cream Sandwich.