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]
Apple today announced that it is giving its Retina line-up of MacBook Pros a mid-cycle refresh along with a price cut. The cheapest MacBook Pro with Retina Display, the 13-inch rMBP, sees a $200 reduction in price and will now cost $1499. The top-of-the-line 13-inch rMBP sees a $300 reduction in price ($1999 vs. $1799), and will also sport a slightly faster (2.5GHz vs. 2.6GHz) Core i5 processor.
The prices of the 15-inch rMBP remain the same, but both the variants get an upgraded processor. The base 15-inch rMBP gets a 100MHz speed boost to 2.4GHz (Core i7), while the top-of-the-line variant gets a speed bump to 2.7GHz, along with a bump in RAM capacity to 16GB DDR3L from 8GB DDR3L. The prices of updating the SSD storage options for the rMBP have also been decreased considerably.
In addition to all this, Apple also announced a $100 price cut on the base 13-inch MacBook Air model. The price cuts are already in effect at all the Apple retail stores and at the company’s online store.
Google has finally started rolling out the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean update for the Nexus 4. Google had started rolling out the Android 4.2.2 update for the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 a couple of days ago, but surprisingly did not roll out the update for the Nexus 4.
The Android 4.2.2 update is mainly aimed at fixing the Bluetooth streaming issues that have been plaguing the Nexus devices since the Android 4.2 update. Other changes include new notifications sound, improved performance and battery life on the Nexus 7, the ability to directly toggle Wi-Fi and Bluetooth from Quick Settings by long-pressing them, and tons of under the hood changes.
The update for the Nexus 4 also includes a new radio/baseband and an updated kernel that should greatly help in improving the battery life of the handset. The OTA update should be available to all Nexus 4 owners over the next couple of weeks.
If you have root access on your Nexus 4, you can download the OTA manually from here, and then flash it via a custom recovery.
One of Android team’s lead designer, Roman Nirk, has released a new lock screen widget known as DashClock. The widget aims to provide all the relevant notifications like missed calls, emails etc. on the lock screen.
As an Android user, I have always longed for a way to display relevant notifications on my phone’s lock screen, and this widget is like a dream come true for me. DashClock is one of Roman’s side project and is completely open source.
Below are the list of notifications that DashClock is capable of displaying -:
• Your current local weather
• Missed calls and unread text messages
• Your next calendar appointment
• Unread Gmail inbox or priority inbox conversations
• Your next scheduled alarm
DashClock also supports Extensions allowing any Android developer to create a new ‘Extension’ for the widget to show relevant information on the lock screen. One such prime example being the Battery extension that is already available on the Play Store.
DashClock will only work on Android 4.2 running devices, since it makes uses of the new lock screen widget feature. This limits the widget to only the Nexus devices, and other devices running some sort of Android 4.2 based custom ROM.
LG has gone ahead and announced its second-generation of L series handsets, characterised by enhanced software and updated design. Otherwise, the L II series sport nearly the same hardware as the original L series, which LG had unveiled just a few months ago.
The LG Optimus L7 II sports a dual-core Qualcomm CPU clocked at 1GHz, 768MB of RAM, and 4GB of in-built storage space. Other specs of the handset include a micro-SD card slot, a 4.3-inch IPS WVGA display, an 8MP camera with an LED flash, Wi-Fi, GPS, and the other usual bunch of sensors and connectivity features. LG has also blessed the L7 with a beefy 2460mAh battery and Android 4.1 right out of the box. The handset will also be available in a dual-SIM variant with slightly beefier and taller dimensions.
The Korean company did not mention anything about the specs or the release date of the other two L II series handsets – the L3 and L5. They are expected to be unveiled at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
A week or so after catching up with the Nexus 4 demand, Google and LG have finally released the wireless charging orb for the Nexus 4.
Google had first shown off the wireless charging capabilities of the Nexus 4 and the wireless charging orb for the handset way back in November. However, the company failed to release the orb for potential buyers until today.
As of now, the Nexus 4 wireless charger is only available in the United States Play Store for around $60, and ships in around 1-2 weeks. The final price of the device with shipping charges and tax comes to around $70, which is pretty steep for a wireless charger.
Google has finally started rolling out the Android 4.2.2 update for the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10. The .1 bump in the Android OS version denotes some under the hood bug-fixes from Google, mainly related to the broken Bluetooth stack that was introduced in Android 4.1.1.
The update also bumps the Android build number to JDQ39. As of now, only Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 owners have got the OTA update. There is no confirmation from Google whether the Nexus 4 will get the OTA update or not.
Early report suggests that the Bluetooth streaming works better now, but it is still not perfect. The OTA update also includes a new radio/modem for the Galaxy Nexus that may or may not bring about an improvement in network reception and power consumption.
Asus has officially unveiled the MeMO Pad 10 for apparently only Thailand. As the name suggests, the MeMO Pad 10 sports a 10.1-inch WXGA (1280*800) display, and is powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 SoC clocked at 1.2GHz.
Other specs of the tablet include 16GB of on-board storage, 1GB of RAM, a microSD card slot, a 1.2MP front-facing camera and a 5MP snapper at the back. The usual bunch of sensors and connectivity features are also on-board, except for 3G connectivity. On the software side, Asus has blessed the MeMO Pad 10 with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
At the moment it looks like the tablet will only be available in Thailand for the time being. Asus may announce a global version of the MeMO Pad 10 at the upcoming Mobile World Congress. In Thailand, the tablet will be available in a bunch of colors including Black, Blue and Pink for around THD 10,900 (roughly $360).
An XDA member, alephazin, has released a new application that is capable of rooting all the Exynos and OMAP running Android devices in just a single-click. The application uses a new frodo exploit to gain root access.
According to the developer, the application can successfully root the following Samsung devices -:
Until Samsung fixes the exploit, you can successfully use Framaroot to gain root access on your Samsung device. The application also works on OMAP powered devices, but until now, has only been tested on some of the Archos tablets.
Samsung devices have generally been ridiculously easy to root, usually requiring the use of ODIN and a pre-rooted kernel. Sometimes, the method is made even more easier, thanks to some exploit, like the recent security bug that was found in all the Exynos powered devices from Samsung. The exploit allowed users to root their Galaxy device by simply installing and running an APK from XDA. The exploit was patched within a few weeks by Samsung in nearly all the affected devices.
According to an XDA member, Google and LG have managed to sell more than one million units of the Nexus 4. This is no small feat considering that the handset was announced more than 3 months ago, and has been out of stock majority of the time. While both the companies have not commented about the sales figure of the handset, the excess demand for the handset clearly says it all.
Back in January, an XDA member had found a way that indicated how many Nexus 4 Google/LG have produced until now. The method involved entering your Nexus 4 IMEI number on LG’s website, and then breaking down the resulting serial number to find out the production number of the handset.
The procedure to guesstimate the production number of your Nexus 4 is as follows -:
Take your IMEI number and put it at the end of this link, and the LG site will be show up with a long string of characters like “LGE960 ACAGBK 212KPHG188745 20121206 GLOBAL/GLOBAL N N” and if the string is broken apart, you get:
LGE960 = Phone Model
US = Country where the device was sold
G = Storage Capacity
BK = Color
2 = Production Year
12 = Production Month
K = Production Country
PHG = ?
188745 = Production number
2012121206 = Production date in YYYYMMDD format
While the above method may not give us an exact figure, it should give us a rough idea as to how many units Google and LG have managed to sell. The figure also shows how LG has been ramping up the production of the handset with every passing month.