Samsung Galaxy S3 Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean Firmware Leaks

The folks over at SamMobile have managed to get their hands on an Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean based firmware for the Galaxy S3. Samsung is still testing Android 4.2.1 on the Galaxy S3, and the leaked firmware is nowhere near final even though it is relatively bug-free.

The Android 4.1.2 update brought with it a lot of new features to the Galaxy S3. However, it looks like the Android 4.2.1 update will only bring minor new features including voice actions for controlling the Camera, Radio, Music playback and call.

While Samsung has included all the features that Google introduced in Android 4.2.1 including Quick Settings, Lock screen widgets and Daydreams. Notably absent is the Photosphere feature from the Camera app. However, it may be possible that Samsung will add this feature in the final version of the firmware. Samsung has slightly changed the lock screen ripple effect, along with slightly tweaking the toggles in the notification bar to accommodate Quick Settings. How useful the voice commands feature that Samsung will introduce in the final build of the firmware only remains to be seen.

SamMobile states that Samsung will be releasing the Android 4.2 update for the Galaxy S3 only after it unveils the Galaxy S4. Samsung is expected to unveil the Galaxy S4 at an event to be held on March 15th.

Google Announces The $1299 Chromebook Pixel With 2560×1700 Touchscreen Display

After releasing quite a few budget oriented Chromebook from Acer, HP and Dell, Google has unveiled a higher-end variant of the Chromebook, the Pixel. The Chromebook Pixel sports a 12.9-inches screen with a whopping 2560*1700 resolution and an aspect ratio of 3:2. The Pixel is also the first Chromebook that comes with a touch screen.

Other specs of the Pixel include a 32/64GB SSD, free 1TB of cloud storage space on Google Drive, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a miniDisplay port, a SD card reader, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, 4GB of RAM, a 1.8GHz Core i5 processor, a multi-touch glass trackpad and an front facing HD camera.

Optionally, the Chromebook Pixel comes with LTE connectivity and free 100MB of Verizon LTE connectivity for 2 years. Google states that the Pixel has a 5-hour battery life.

The only downside to the Chromebook Pixel is its $1299 price-tag and an $1499 price-tag for the LTE variant. The Pixel will be up for sale in the Play Store with the LTE variant landing in the U.S sometime in April.


Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview Build For Nexus Devices Now Available

As promised the Canonical Team has released the Developer preview builds of Ubuntu Touch for the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10. The developer preview builds are exactly that, developer preview, and are nowhere near good enough to be used as a daily driver.

Before you jump the gun and flash the Ubuntu Developer Preview build on your Nexus device, make sure that your device is supported. At the moment, the CDMA variants of the Galaxy Nexus are not supported and so is the 3G variant of the Nexus 7. If you are running Ubuntu, you can follow the installation instructions written here. If you are on Windows or Mac and/or are looking for the Fastboot flashable images, head over to this link and download all the image files for your Nexus device.

Since this a developer preview, not all features and functionality are working at the moment. Here is a list of what works according to Canonical -:

  1. Shell and core applications
  2. Connection to the GSM network (on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4)
  3. Phone calls and SMS (on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4)
  4. Networking via Wifi
  5. Functional camera (front and back)
  6. Device accessible through the Android Developer Bridge tool (adb)

You can also check out the list of device specific issues here.

SwiftKey 4 Now Available In The Play Store; Brings Flow, Additional Languages, Multimodal And More

After a couple of months of beta testing, the SwiftKey team has finally released the much awaited update to their keyboard on the Play Store. SwiftKey 4 brings with it a lot of new goodies including Flow, for a swype like typing experience. The unique feature about Flow is that it allow you to flow through words after words and construct a full sentence without the need to lift your finger from the screen.

The massive change-log of the update is below -:

  • SwiftKey Flow: World’s most accurate gesture input. Write by gliding your finger on the keyboard.
  • Multimodal – SwiftKey Flow can be mixed with tap input, with switching mid-word.
  • Mid-word completion: when you see the word you want just lift your finger off and the word will be inserted.
  • Flow Through Space: Gesture multiple words without lifting a finger, just by sliding your finger down to the space bar between words
  • Flow with next-word prediction: when you finish flowing a word, SwiftKey immediately shows you its best guesses for your next word
  • Three SwiftKey Flow candidates: tap backspace after completion of a flow to see three potential words
  • Easier corrections: Tap anywhere on any word to choose an alternative from SwiftKey’s three best guesses, based on the context and on your input
  • Better personalization: More thorough learning of your language and typing style – size of personal language profile increased in SwiftKey’s real-time prediction engine.
  • SwiftKey automatically detects writing style – SwiftKey predictions will tend towards completing your word or correcting your mistyping depending on your behavior – no need to select “rapid” or “precise” as in previous versions
  • Better predictions: Enhanced language engine, predictions in more text fields (as requested by our users)
  • 60 languages: Now including Albanian, Bosnian, Javanese, Sundanese, Thai, Vietnamese
  • Improved layouts for Russian and Korean.
  • Multi-colored ink: The on screen ‘ink’ that shows progress of a flow uses a multi-layered effect to show the beginning and end of a ‘flow’. Ink color complements the keyboard theme selected
  • Hold to delete: Long-press the delete key to remove the whole word. Deletion accelerates as you continue to hold. Slide to delete gesture can only be used when SwiftKey Flow is disabled.

Compared to the beta version, I think the prediction engine is much better in the final version. Flow-ing has been scarily accurate for me, something which the beta versions lacked.

The developers of SwiftKey are also celebrating the release of SwiftKey 4 by reducing the price of the phone and tablet version of the keyboard to $1.99 from the regular $4.99. SwiftKey is one of the best applications that Android has to offer, and if you are not using it as the stock keyboard on your Android device, you are missing out on a lot.

Sony Xperia S Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean Firmware Leaks

An Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean based firmware has leaked for the Xperia S, thanks to XDA recognized developer – DooMLoRD. The leaked firmware gives a sneak peek into what all new features and changes the official Android 4.1.2 update will be bringing to the handset.

Xperia S users who have already flashed the ROM on their handset report that the update brings about a noticeable improvement in the performance and smoothness of the handset. Sony has also updated nearly all the pre-installed apps including their suite of media applications to the latest version as seen on the Xperia T. Other new features include Google Now, small apps as seen on the Xperia Z, enhanced Camera app, extended Standby mode, and new themes.

One of the key changes that the JellyBean update will bring is a new 3.4.x based linux kernel for the Xperia S. This should bring about some considerable improvement in performance, stability and battery life.

The leaked firmware is still in alpha stages and crashes often, along with some screen flickering issues. If you are planning to flash the leaked Jelly Bean firmware on your Xperia S, keep in mind that you won’t be able to make calls as the functionality is not present in the firmware.

The official update for the Xperia S is still a couple of months away. The leaked firmware does make the wait exciting and worth it since Sony will be adding tons of new features with the update.

Via – XDA

HTC One Unveiled – Snapdragon 600 Processor, Sense 5, BoomSound And UltraPixel Camera

After quite a few leaks in the last few hours, HTC has finally officially announced its latest flagship – the One. The One is a typical HTC handset with an unibody aluminium fit-and-finish. The handset sports a 4.7-inch Super LCD 3 display with a resolution of 1080p (1920*1080) and a ppi of 468. The front of the handset is protected by the Gorilla Glass 2 interrupted by the dual-stereo speakers that come with their own dedicated amps for BoomSound.

Inside, the One is among the first Android smartphones to make use of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 SoC clocked at 1.7GHz and an Adreno 320 GPU. There is also 2GB of RAM, and 32 or 64GB of on-board memory. The usual bunch of connectivity features and sensors are also present, except for a microSD card slot.

On the software side, HTC has blessed the One with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and a brand new version of Sense. In its fifth version, the Sense homescreen has BlinkFeed that aggregates all your social networking updates and notification right on your homescreen. The homescreen design has definitely been inspired from Flipboard.

A few unique features of the One include a 2.1MP front-facing camera with an 88-degree wide-angle view, first seen on the 8X, an IR blaster that is integrated into the Power button of the handset, and a brand new UltraPixel camera at the back. The One ‘only’ comes with a 4MP f/2.0 camera at its back. However, the sensor is capable of capturing 300 percent more light thus allowing for some stunning pictures. It is also capable of recording 1080p videos at 60FPS, and features HTC’s ImageChip 2 along with Optical Image Stabilisation. HTC has also simplified the UI by only keeping the back and home button, and totally removing the Recents app button.

The HTC One will be available in the second half of March in silver or black across 185 carriers all over the world including T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T in the United States.

Nvidia Unveils The Tegra 4i – Quad-Core Cortex-A9 Clocked At 2.3GHz And 60 Cores GPU

Nvidia today announced a new addition to its Tegra family of mobile processors – the Tegra 4i. The Tegra 4i uses the same 4-plus-1 architecture that Nvidia used on the Tegra 3 and Tegra 4. However, the company has replaced the Cortex-A15 cores on the Tegra 4i with four Cortex-A9 cores clocked at 2.3GHz.

“NVIDIA is delivering for the first time a single, integrated processor that powers all the major functions of a smartphone,” said Phil Carmack, senior vice president of the Mobile business at NVIDIA. “Tegra 4i phones will provide amazing computing power, world-class phone capabilities, and exceptionally long battery life.”

On the GPU side, Nvidia has bumped the numbers of “cores” from 12 to a whopping 60. The T4i also boasts of the same Chimera camera technology that the Tegra 4 has. This allows the Tegra 4i to shoot and record videos in HDR in less than a second, and even capture HDR panoramas.

One advantage that the Tegra 4i will have over its faster sibling, Tegra 4, is an inbuilt i500 LTE modem. Nvidia showed off the Tegra 4i in its reference Android platform, the Phoenix, that sports a 5-inch 1080p display, 2GB of RAM and an 8/13MP camera sensor from Sony or Aptina.

Nvidia Tegra 4i powered Android smartphones and tablets should hit the retail shelves sometime in the second half of Q2, 2013.


Samsung Galaxy Note Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean Update Rolling Out Now

Samsung has started rolling out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy Note. The update comes nearly a month after the company started rolling out the update for the Galaxy S2.

The Jelly Bean update for the Korean company’s first phablet brings a lot of new features including many of the software gimmicks that are present on the Galaxy S3 and Note 2. Samsung has completely ditched the older TouchWIZ UI on the Note in favor of the new nature inspired TouchWIZ UX as seen on the Galaxy S3 and Note 2.

Other features that the Galaxy Note gets from the Note 2 and Galaxy S3 include Smart Stay, Multi-Window multi-tasking, Pop-Up Play, Direct Call, Page Buddy and an updated Gallery app. The usual Jelly Bean features like Project Butter for buttery smooth UI performance, Google Now, and enhanced voice-to-text input with offline mode are also present.

The update is being rolled out in batches and is currently only available in Hong Kong and Taiwan, with a wider push expected to happen soon. The Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update is in all likely going to be the last major Android update for the Galaxy Note, which is now nearly 1.5 years old now. Samsung definitely made sure that the Galaxy Note reaches the end of its life in complete style with the Jelly Bean update.

Via – SamMobile

HTC One ‘M7′ Leaks In Black

It is all but confirmed that HTC will be releasing the its flagship ‘M7′ handset at an upcoming event on February 19th. The specs of the handset are all but known, and an alleged press render of the phone also leaked last week.

Today, @evleaks has once again leaked a press release render of the M7 in black. The pic once again shows the unique ‘HTC’ home button on the M7, along with the new Sense 5 home screen.

HTC is the only Android OEM that has consistently set the bar with top-notch build quality and unique design. The M7 actually looks like a step back in that direction with a design that resembles the iPhone 5.

The M7 is expected to arrive on all the four major U.S carriers soon after HTC unveils the handset on February 19th. The rumored specs of the handset include a 4.7-inch 1080p screen, a 13MP ‘Ultrapixel’ camera, 32GB of on-board storage, and a quad-core 1.7GHz Krait processor.

Google Now Gets An Update – Brings A Widget, And A Couple Of New Cards

Google today released a new update for Google Search on the Play Store for Android 4.1+ devices. The new update brings with it a handy lock screen and desktop widget for quick access to Google Now cards, a slightly re-designed Google Now weather card, and a couple of new cards.

Using Zillow, Google Now will automatically show you the prices of real estate nearby along with more information about a specific listing. Another new card is the Movies card that now shows you the ratings of the movie from Rotten Tomatoes. Also, if you buy the tickets from Fandango, the Movies card will automatically pop-up the ticket when you arrive at the movie hall.

Lastly, with this update Google has also added the ability to display the latest Google Doodle instead of the usual Google Now cover page for your city.

The official change-log is below -:

– Google Now widget for home screen or lock screen
– Movie passes from Fandango
– Movies now includes ratings from Rotten Tomatoes
– Real estate listings from Zillow when in the market for a home
– Music button when a song is playing in voice mode (US only)
– Support for US college sports

The widget is definitely a bit clunky but should come in useful for quick access to the Google Now cards. The addition of US college sports to the Sports card will also be appreciated by a lot of sports lover in the United States.