Google Voice, unlike other Google services, is not as tightly integrated with Android devices as people would hope for. While Google Voice has replaced messaging (SMS) for many, the lack of a unified messaging inbox has been bugging Android users since quite sometime. ShortFuse of the Super One Click fame has released a new app in the Play Store – Fusion Messenger – that brings a single unified inbox for your normal messages and Google Voice, for now.
This is the first public beta of the application and the developer aims to add support for other messaging services such as Facebook messenger, Google Talk and other such services.
The app uses Holo UI but does not look that good. However, the app is blazing fast and nearly every option of the app can be customized to your liking. While the app may not be that great in its present state, it is backed by a talented developer who has been continuously taking public feedback, and it is just a matter of time before the app evolves into a must have app for every Android device.
AT&T and HTC have finally started rolling out the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update for their variant of the One X, the One XL. HTC rolled out the Jelly Bean update for the international One X back in December last year, but AT&T took its own sweet time to certify the update and release it for the One XL.
The Jelly Bean update brings with it Google Now, Project Butter, enhanced notification bar, improved stability and battery life, along with minor UI changes. The update also bumps the Sense version on the handset to 4+ that brings minor usability improvements, slightly enhanced Camera application, removes quite a few animations and brings major performance improvements.
AT&T has also pre-loaded its ISIS mobile wallet app and a suite of applications for its cloud services with this update. AT&T and HTC expect to roll-out the update to all One XL users in the United States over the next couple of weeks.
It has hardly been a week since Mobile World Congress got over, but LG is not yet done announcing new handsets. The Korean company today unveiled a new LTE enabled smartphone for its home market, and the successor to the Optimus LTE and Optimus LTE II, the Optimus LTE III.
The Optimus LTE III sports pretty mediocre specs including a 4.7-inch 720p IPS HD display inside a 9.6mm thin body, and is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Krait processor. Other specs include 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage space, microSD card slot, NFC, GPS with A-GPS, Wi-Fi b/g/n, and Bluetooth.
The rear of the Optimus LTE III sports an 8MP camera with an LED flash, and is accompanied by a 1.3MP snapper in the front. On the software front, the Optimus LTE III runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean with LG’s own custom skin on top of it. The handset will be available in Korea on S K Telecom network begging from tomorrow in black and white colors.
HTC today held an event in Kolkata, India giving bloggers and enthusiasts in the city a chance to play around with the One. HTC marketing folks did a remarkable job at the event, and it was for the first time I heard a marketing PR actually talk sense, rather than boast about the quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM or the 1080p display.
One of the talking point about the One has been its 4MP ‘UltraPixel’ camera. I managed to click a bunch of pictures from the One, and even ran Google’s Octane benchmark on the handset.
I am no expert in photography here, but the One definitely has an impressive camera. Even in the dimly lit room, the One has done a remarkable job of capturing decent amount of details and light. However, the 4MP camera definitely shows its limitation with some pictures appearing grainy.
I also ran Google’s Octane benchmark on the HTC One, along with my Nexus 4 running CM10.1 and Franco Kernel. Surprisingly, my Nexus 4 scored higher than the One. Keep in mind that I used Google Chrome (v25) on my Nexus 4, and the stock HTC browser on the One.
The first thing that strikes you about the One is how sleek it is. After using only Samsung branded Android devices and the Nexus 4, the One felt so remarkably premium to hold and feel. The stereo speakers in the front are remarkably loud as well.
Overall, the HTC One is a really decent smartphone, and if priced right and marketed properly, can definitely help in HTC regaining some market share from Samsung and Apple.
Over the weekend, Verizon started the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean soak update for the Galaxy Nexus. As the norm is, it was just a matter of time before the download link of the update made its way on XDA. The OTA update package is now available for all advanced Verizon Galaxy Nexus users to flash on their phone.
Before you jump over and start flashing the OTA file on your phone, make sure that you are running 100% stock Android 4.1.1 on your Galaxy Nexus. This is an OTA update package, and not a full ROM, so you need to be on stock. If you are on stock but with root access, you can simply flash the OTA update package using CWM or TWRP recovery.
Apart from the usual Android 4.2.2 improvements including lock screen widgets, quick settings, and a new gesture keyboard, Samsung and Google have also included a new radio. Early reports on XDA suggest that the new radio has helped in increasing the 4G LTE signal for quite a few folks out there.
Verizon should roll out the Android 4.2.2 update officially for the Galaxy Nexus within a couple of weeks, so if you are not too keen on installing the update manually, just sit back and relax for sometime.
The download link along with the relevant instructions can be found here.
Samsung has released the first trailer of the Galaxy S4, before it officially unveils the handset on March 14th in New York. The trailer does not provide any glimpse or actual information about the handset, and instead is about a young Jeremy Maxwell, who is guarding the box that contains the Galaxy S4.
Rumors suggest that the Galaxy S4 will be packing in an Octa-core Exynos SoC that will be using ARM’s big.LITTLE architecture to provide the best of battery life and performance. On the GPU side, Samsung is expected to use PowerVR’s SGX544MP4 running at quite high speeds. Other rumored specs include a 13MP camera, a 4.99-inch 1080p (Full HD) Super-AMOLED display and 32/64GB of internal storage.
Eldar Murtazin, a popular mobile phone analyst, recently also tweeted that the Galaxy S4 will be made of plastic, killing hopes of Samsung using premium materials on the next-generation Galaxy S handset once again.
ASUS has started rolling out the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update for the Transformer Pad TF300 in the United States. This makes ASUS among the first company to roll out the Android 4.2 update for a non-Nexus device. ZTE has the honors of rolling out the Android 4.2 update first to a non-Nexus device, which is surprisingly a mid-range phone only available in China.
Android 4.2 will bring with it a lot of goodies to the Transformer Pad including multi-user support, lock screen widget, quick settings and enhanced performance and stability. ASUS is also making use of this opportunity to update some of its pre-installed apps including the keyboard and App locker.
ASUS also mentioned in its press release that it will be rolling out the Android 4.2 update for the Transformer Pad Infinity and the MeMo Pad Smart sometime in the second quarter of this year. The company did not mention anything about the Transformer Prime, which may suggest that the tablet has reached its end-of-life.
The BlackBerry team has rolled out the first OTA update for their recently released BB10 OS and the Z10 that brings a number of enhancements and optimizations.
The major improvement introduced by the update is improved 3rd party application performance. This means that all your 3rd party apps should perform considerably smoother and faster, post the update. The Camera has also been optimized to take better photos in low-light situations, and actually make the images usable.
There are more than 60 under the hood battery life optimizations in this update that should help in improving the battery life of the Z10. The Browser, Media, Phone, Calendar and Contacts app have also seen improvements in terms of bug-squashed, improved video playback handling, better conversation handling and other improvements to BlackBerry Hub. Head over the BlackBerry blog for the full change-log and other details.
The 150MB OTA update is already being rolled out by BlackBerry, and should be available to all Z10 owners soon. While the update notification will pop-up automatically on your handset, you can try to pull the update manually as well by going to Settings -> Software Updates -> Check for Updates. Carrier branded Z10s will be getting the update over the “coming weeks”.
Sony and AT&T have started rolling out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for the Xperia TL. The Xperia TL is the AT&T variant of the Xperia T with only some exterior differences distinguishing them.
The Android 4.1.2 update for the TL will bring with it quite a lot of new features including an updated suite of Media applications from Sony, an enhanced Camera application with HDR functionality, UI improvements, and all the Google related Jelly Bean enhancements like an Google Now, an enhanced notification bar, improved voice-to-text and Project Butter.
Xperia T owners who are already enjoying Jelly Bean update on their handset report an increase in battery life and camera picture quality. Xperia TL owners should also see similar results post the Android 4.1.2 update.
Sony and AT&T are rolling out the update via OTA, so it can take up to a couple of weeks for the update to hit your phone.
In a surprising move and showing its support for the Firefox OS, Sony has released an experimental Firefox OS build for one of its budget-oriented Jelly Bean running handset – the Xperia E. Firefox OS is based on the fully open web standards, and was seen running on a number of low to mid-range devices announced at MWC. The Xperia E specifications matches closely to all those Firefox OS running handset, which made it a clear candidate for the experimental ROM.
Sony clearly states that the ROM is experimental in nature and only for developers and advanced users. The company has turned off the mobile radio, which means that it is not possible to make calls, use mobile data or even use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
Other deal breakers include an unstable SD card functionality, and an uncalibrated touch screen. If you are interested in flashing Firefox OS on your Xperia E, you will need to unlock its bootloader first, which will void your handset’s warranty.
If all the above issues are not a deal breaker for you, head over to Sony’s official announcement post for the download link and instructions.