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]

Samsung Galaxy S2 I9100G Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean Update Rolling Out

Samsung has silently started rolling out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for the I9100G variant of the Galaxy S2. Visibly, the I9100G and I9100 variant of the Galaxy S2 may look the same, but internally, the I9100G sports a slightly weaker OMAP4430 SoC (CPU+GPU).

The Jelly Bean update for the I9100G brings all the goodies that Samsung introduced on the I9100 including Smart Stay, a new version of TouchWIZ as seen on the Galaxy S3 and Note 2, updated Gallery app, Project Butter for silky-smooth UI interactions, and Google Now. Other changes include slight UI changes, a new lockscreen, Samsung’s Suite of Cloud services, gesture based features as seen on the Galaxy S3/Note 2 like Direct Call, Pop-Up Play and two new homescreen modes.

The update is available via OTA as well as via Samsung’s KIES application in several regions of the world.

The Jelly Bean update literally breathes a new life in the Galaxy S2, which is nearly two-years old now. Android OEMs rarely release such a huge software update for an aging handset so late in its lifetime. Kudos to Samsung for the update!

Via – SamMobile

Plume and Falcon Pro For Twitter Get Updated; Bug-Fixes Galore

LevelUp Studio has released a major update to Plume today that bumps the version number to 5. The update brings with it new re-designed widgets, Facebook timeline support for the widgets, new Profile viewer, improved scrolling performance, stability and bug-fixes. The update also includes changes needed for Plume to support the new Twitter API v1.1.

– add support for columns for a single account (app and widgets)
– refresh the look of the widgets
– add support for Facebook in the widgets
– display the Twitter profile banner
– propose to resend a tweet when a picture upload fails
– smoother scrolling
– handle URL redirection on wifi hotspots that require a login
– add support for Twitter API 1.1 (off by default)
– fix issues with the Pull To Refresh
– fix issues with the picture cache
– fix issues with the event logger

While the update does make Plume more bearable to use, the app is still nowhere close to Falcon Pro or Carbon for Android in looks. The default theme is a complete mess with multiple colors making the app look like it has been designed by a kid. The dark theme is much better, and is my go-to choice. While Carbon and Falcon Pro definitely look much better than Plume, the latter absolutely trumps the former(s) in terms of features.

Falcon Pro, the current favorite Twitter app of the Android community, also got a bug-fixing update. The developer has also added subtle animations to the app, probably inspired from Carbon for Twitter.

The bug-fixes include improved timeline position handling, fixed rotated images on Sony/Samsung devices, and brings an option to load inline images on timeline on 2G/EDGE connections.

 New option to get inline previews on 2G/EDGE
– New live streaming stays on top of the TL
– New screen transition animations
– New error dropdown when API limit reached
– Improved position holding
– Fixed rotated pics on Samsung/Sony devices
– Fixed auto refresh stopped on reboot
– Fixed tweetmarker
– Fixed in & out sharing

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

Sony Xperia T And Xperia V Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean Update Rolling Out

Today, Sony announced via a blog post that it has started rolling out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for the first batch of Xperia devices, which includes the Xperia T and the Xperia V. The Xperia TX will get the update from sometime next month.

In addition to all the goodness that Google introduced in Android 4.1, Sony has also added a lot of new features including an enhanced suite of media apps (Walkman, Album and Movies), a new launcher, and an enhanced camera app.

The official change-log of the update from Sony is as follows -:

  • Updated, more intuitive versions of Sony Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies 

A slick, easy-on-the-eye library that lets you view and access all your snaps, videos and tunes in one place – not to mention the signature Sony audio and imaging tech that makes your content stand (and shout) out!

  • Increased options for personalization

A revamped homescreen experience for handling widgets, apps and shortcuts… With up to 7 desktop panes, widgets that auto-resize and actionable notifications, you have complete flexibility to create the interface you want / need with a few simple touches!

  • Improved app organization and search 

Application tray sorting is that bit breezier – just press and hold on any app – move, add it to your desktop or create a folder within the tray by dropping it on top of another!

We’ve also added a new search function within the application tray that makes it easy to locate your local apps.

  • Improved camera functionality 

One for both the budding photographers and all-action snappers amongst us – we’ve added a more intuitive viewfinder with the addition of auto scene setting, and the option to switch between front and back camera with a single touch.

  • Google Now 

Combining the power of Google search and user profiling, Google Now helps you accomplish daily tasks more efficiently.

It brings you just the right info at just the right time – cards appear throughout the day as prompts or reminders, and appear as a notifications when they’re flagged as important! Now there’s no excuse to miss that all important meeting…

Once the update is available in your region, a notification will automatically pop-up on your Xperia handset. You can update the phone either via OTA or use Sony’s PC Companion software.

Twitter For Android And Carbon For Twitter Updated; Brings Usability Improvements And Bug-Fixes

Twitter has rolled out an update for the official Twitter app for Android. The update mainly brings usability improvements to the Discover, Connect and Search features.

Below is the full change-log right from Twitter -:

  • Discover: Now all the content in Discover — Tweets, Activity, Trends and suggestions of accounts to follow — appears in a single stream, on both iPhone and Android. You can also dive into Activity and Trends from new previews at the top of the Discover tab.
  • Search: Search results now surface the most relevant mix of Tweets, photos, and accounts, all in one stream (similar to the stream in Discover). We’ve also added a new search button to Twitter for iPhone, letting you search from anywhere within the app. (This button was already available in the Android and iPad apps.) Look for the magnifying glass icon next to the button you use to compose a Tweet.
  • Connect: To provide a simpler experience in the Connect tab, the default view is now Interactions, which shows you new followers, retweets and mentions. If you prefer to view only your mentions in Connect, you can adjust the default in settings – find the “Connect tab” option and select “Mentions only”.
  • Links: Click a URL in a Tweet to go directly to that website from any timeline and get to content highlighted on Twitter faster. (Previously, when you tapped any part of a Tweet, it would first expand and then a second click was required to get to the website.)

The update does not bring any graphical or UI improvements which the official Twitter client for Android badly needs. The app still does not follow the Holo guidelines, and looks like an iOS port.

On the other hand, Carbon for Twitter, the recently released absolutely stunning Twitter client also got a bug-fixing update last night.

The change-log is as follows -:

Bug Fixes:
– Notification bug that crashed after tapping
– Repeat Notifications
– Notification bug that crashed app when Avatar couldn’t be loaded
– Direct Messages Delete bug wasn’t saving changes
– Long press bug on Messages
– Composition Screen Account Selector bug
– User Profile Bio: tapping on Mentions & Hashtags bug.
– Timeline duplicated tweets on concurrent refreshes
– Compose bug that didn’t allow tweeting at 140 characters
Additions:
– Verified & Private badges
– Quick mentions

If you are an avid Twitter user, and have not already tried Carbon for Twitter, you are missing out on a lot. The app lacks a lot of features, but the developer is working on adding them soon. The app is also going to run out of its 100k Twitter token limits after which new users won’t be able to use the app, if they have not already reserved a token.

Apple Seeds iOS 6.1.1 Beta 1 To Developers

Days after Apple released iOS 6.1 to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch owners, the Cupertino based company has released iOS 6.1.1 beta for developers. Apple states that the first beta of iOS 6.1.1 brings with it major enhancements to the Maps app along with the Maps data for Japan.

Below is the full change-log of the update from 9to5Mac -:

  • Improved pronunciation of roads during turn-by-turn navigation
  • Optimized directions to more strongly prefer highways over narrower roads
  • Now indicates upcoming toll roads during turn-by-turn navigation
  • Added labels for junctions, interchanges, on-ramps, off-ramps, and intersections
  • Added indicators for transit station buildings, subway lines, and traffic lights
  • Updated freeway color to green
  • Updated icons for some location categories including fire stations, hospitals, and post offices Added 3D buildings including Tokyo Station, Japan Imperial Palace, and Tokyo Tower

At the moment it is unknown whether Apple has patched the exploit on which the latest jailbreak – evasi0n -was based on. Either ways, if you have jailbroken your iOS 6.1 running iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, stay away from installing the beta firmware on it.

 

HTC M7 To Redefine The Camera Experience In 2013

HTC is all set to unveil its latest high-end flagship for the first half of 2013 at an upcoming event on February 19th. Rumors and leaks have already confirmed that the M7 will sport a quad-core Krait processor clocked at 1.7GHz and a 1080p display.

A new info graphic from HTC now suggests that the company’s M7 flagship might pack in some new camera and audio technology. Dubbed “Ultrapixel” by tech bloggers online, it is rumored that the M7 will pack in 3*4.3MP cameras in a technology similar to Nokia’s PureView to provide pictures with stunning clarity.

The infographic from HTC does not use the word “Ultrapixel” anywhere, but only states that “HTC kicks off a new sound and camera experience in 2013″. The HTC One X had a decent 8MP snapper and  stellar camera software, but was overshadowed by the likes of Galaxy S3 and the PureView 920. Hopefully, with the M7, HTC will be able to bring about a major evolution in camera image quality.

Regarding the “sound” part? I just hope it is not a stupid marketing gimmick from HTC once again. With HTC struggling to make any profit and its stock prices plummeting, the Taiwanese maker has laid all its hopes on the M7.

Via – Droid Life

Sony Xperia T Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean Update Rolling Out

Sony has started rolling out the Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for the Xperia T in certain regions of the world. The company had promised to roll out the Jelly Bean update for the Xperia T sometime in early-2013, and has been somewhat successful in keeping its word by releasing the update as soon as February started.

The Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean update for the Xperia T brings with it some UI modifications, improved performance and stability thanks to Project Butter, a new baseband/modem, and the other Jelly Bean goodness like enhanced notification bar, improved speech-to-text recognition with the ability to work without a data connection and more.

Besides some UI changes, Sony has also updated its media suite of applications, a new launcher, some new audio related features, enhanced camera app with more features such as Burst mode and a totally revamped lock screen among other things.

The update is available via OTA as well as via Sony’s PC Companion software in certain regions of the world. The FTF file of the update is also available for download, so that advance users can manually flash the update on their phone.

Via – Xperia Blog

HTC Thunderbolt Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Update Is Finally Available

In a surprising turn of events, Verizon and HTC have started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the HTC Thunderbolt. Yes, you read that right. Verizon and HTC have finally got their act together and rolled out some ICS love for the poor Thunderbolt owners out there.

The ICS update will bring with it lots of new features to the Thunderbolt including Face Unlock, a new lock screen, updated UI, improved speech-to-text recognition, inbuilt data monitoring tool and much more.

The Thunderbolt was the first phone to hit Verizon’s network that supported the carrier’s blazing fast 4G LTE network. The handset was released way back in early 2011, and was slated to get the ICS update sometime in 2012. However, HTC and Verizon kept pushing back the ICS update for the handset for performance and stability reasons.

The 320MB+ OTA update should go live within a week or so, and should be available to all Thunderbolt owners within a few days after that.

Via – Verizon

Sprint Galaxy Nexus Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean Update Now Available

Sprint has started rolling out the Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean update to the CDMA Galaxy Nexus in the United States. The update comes nearly two-and-half months after Google rolled out the Android 4.2. update for the carrier-free variant of the Galaxy Nexus.

The Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean update will bring with it minor usability enhancements including a new camera app, the ability to click a Photosphere, lock screen widgets, Daydream and more.

On the bright side, Sprint managed to roll out the Android 4.2.1 update to the Galaxy Nexus before Verizon. The Big Red is yet to update its variant of the Galaxy Nexus to Android 4.1.2, forget Android 4.2.

Along with the update, Samsung also released the updated kernel source code for the Sprint Galaxy Nexus, for custom ROM/kernels developers to tweak around with.

Via – AP

Koush’s Releases Carbon – App Sync and Backup; Allows You To Backup All Your App Data Without Root Access

One of Android’s biggest weakness is the inability to backup all the user installed apps and its data without root access. That changes today with the release of Carbon – App Sync and Backup from Koushik Dutta.

Carbon will work on all Android 4.0+ running devices, and can backup all your installed apps and its data without root access. The app can backup the data either to your phone’s SD card, PC or to cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Box and Google Drive. You can also setup a schedule at which the app will automatically take backups of your installed apps and app data, and upload it to the cloud.

The only catch here is that before you can start using the Carbon app, you are required to use the desktop client of Carbon. Otherwise, users without root access won’t be able to use the app.  Users with root access can directly use the app without the need to use the desktop client of the app. Non-root users are also required to use the desktop client of Carbon each time they restart their device.

Carbon is available as a free download in the Play Store with an IAP (In-App Purchase) of $4.99 to unlock the premium features of the app.

P.S. – Carbon will not work on Motorola devices due to a bug that breaks Google’s Backup and Restore service.