Steve Kondik A.K.A CyanogenMod Posts His First Impression On The Galaxy S4, Quits Samsung As Well

Steve Kondik, the founder of CyanogenMod, has given his first impression on the Galaxy S4, and has also announced that he is no longer working for Samsung.

Like the Galaxy S3, Steve’s impression on the Galaxy S4 is mostly positive with near instant GPS lock, its hovering touch screen, the IR blaster, the blazing fast performance (40K score in Quadrant), and the decent cameras.

cyanogen-steve-kondik

Regarding TouchWIZ, this is what Steve had to say -:

TouchWiz has become a bit more consistent with the latest upgrade. There are no more jarring mismatches in different parts of the OS, and it’s been lightened up a bit and has a clean “flat” feel. Unfortunately, it feels like it has been sent a few years back in time to the Froyo days. Say goodbye to all of the nice touch-friendly ViewPagers and say hello again to a fully tabbed UI. You’ll also enjoy the seemingly endless onslaught of popup windows and modal “Loading…” dialogs. UI performance is average. It’s better and worse at the same time, depending on your viewpoint I suppose.

On the features side, it’s absolutely loaded with stuff. Some of the new features are very useful like the “hover” preview where you can just point at an email message without touching the screen and it shows a preview of the message. The multi-window feature is present here, and is nice to have around when you need it. The camera app has seen some significant upgrades too, with live previews of the postprocessing effects and a new UI. My least favorite new feature is “Smart Scroll” which is supposed to scroll based on face detection + tilt, but it mostly serves to anger me into disabling it.

You can read Steve’s detailed impression on the Galaxy S4 over at his Google+ page.

Steve did not explicitly say as to why he has left Samsung or where he is current employed, except  that he will reveal his new employer in a couple of months.

Via – +Steve Kondik

Samsung Galaxy S II Plus Goes On Sale In India For Rs.22,900

Back in January, Samsung announced the Galaxy S II Plus smartphone. This handset packs almost same specs from the original Galaxy S II, except the fact that this device will be shipped with the newer Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) Operating System and Samsung’s latest Touchwiz Nature UX out-of-the-box. It also comes with a popup video feature which allows you to play a video anywhere on the screen in a resizable pop-up window while simultaneously running other tasks.

There are no changes in the design of this device, however the mesh like back cover is replaced with the glossy back cover. Samsung has also reduced the internal storage from 16 GB to 8 GB. Infibeam, a popular online retailer has already started selling this device in India. Even the price of this device is similar to the original Galaxy S II. Check out the specs below.

galaxy s 2 plus

Samsung Galaxy S II Plus features a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) OS, TouchWiz 4.0 UI, 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus and LED flash, full HD (1080p) video recording and playback, 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 3G Connectivity and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, Stereo FM Radio with RDS, 8 GB internal memory, microSD card slot, 64 GB expandable memory, Samsung Media Hub, Samsung Kies Air, Google Play Store, full HTML web browser, DLNA, HDMI out, Bluetooth 3.0 with EDR, 1 GB RAM, NFC (Near Field Communication), Wi-Fi Direct, up to 610 hrs of stand-by time, up to 8 hrs 40 mins of talk-time and a 1650 mAh battery.

Samsung Galaxy S II Plus comes with a price-tag of Rs.23,999. However, Infibeam is currently selling this device for just Rs.22,900 (approx. $420). If you are planning to buy one, head over to this page.

Original ASUS Padfone Getting Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean Update

ASUS has started rolling out the Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update for the first-generation Padfone, which the company had unveiled at last year’s Mobile World Congress.

asus_padfone

The Jelly Bean update for the original Padfone will bring with it Project Butter, Google Now, enhanced voice recognition with offline voice-to-text support, and minor UI improvements. ASUS has also taken this opportunity to tweak the camera performance and application, and bundled in an improved File Manager and support for NTFS and FAT formatted microSD cards.

ASUS is not really known for rolling out software updates to its devices via OTA, and the hefty Android 4.1.1 JB update for the original Padfone needs to be downloaded from the Taiwanese marker’s website.

It was only last month that ASUS had unveiled the PadFone Infinity at MWC in Barcelona. While the Padfone coupled with its docking accessory, now known as the FonePad, is really a nice idea, ASUS has consistently failed to execute it properly with limited availability of the handset(s) and extremely high prices.

Via – Android Central

A Location Sharing App with an Unfortunate Name Goes Viral in Brazil

A couple of days back, a small Spanish firm called Makalu Interactive launched a new location bookmarking app called Rego on the iTunes app store. Rego is a simple app which allows you to save places you have been to, along with associated notes and images. Although Rego is primarily designed to serve as your own personal journal of favorite and memorable places, it features smart social integration, which enables you to share selected places with your friends and family.

Rego-Location-Bookmarking-App

It’s not easy for a new app from a little known development firm to make it big. However, Rego has gotten off to a great start. Soon after its launch, Rego was added to the “New and Recommended” section by Apple, which undoubtedly helped the freemium app. Rego requires a $0.99 in-app purchase to remove the 10 places and 1 photo filter limitation present in the free version. However, the app has gone viral in Brazil, largely due to an unfortunate co-incidence. I’ll let Malaku’s director Matt Henderson explain exactly why it went viral.

Rego in Portuguese means ‘butt crack’. With that bit of info in mind, Rego’s app description makes for a hilarious read. Here’s a sampler — “Rego’s private. Nobody sees what you add to Rego.” No wonder then that Gizmodo Brazil had a field day with it’s “not hands-on” review of Rego. To its credit, Makalu intends to capitalize on its unexpected popularity in Brazil by releasing a Portuguese translation of its location bookmarking app soon.

[ Download Rego ]

AT&T HTC One X Users Now Recieving Jelly Bean Update

HTC One X users on AT&T are finally receiving the long awaited Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update. Users can download this update by heading into the Settings app on their HTC One X and tapping on the ‘About phone’ option and then tapping on the ‘Check for updates’ button. After following these steps, you should be able to download the Android 4.1 update.

Android Jelly Bean brings a whole slew of new features to the HTC One X on AT&T. The update brings the addition of Google’s new Siri-competitor, Google Now. Google Now can be used for voice commands and other types of information delivery. The update also brings Google’s new ‘Project Butter’ to the One X and  is reported to speed up all transitions and animations on the smartphone.

AT&T has also thrown a few new and updated apps into the One X’s Jelly Bean update as well. Once you’ve updated your One X, you’ll notice that AT&T Messenger, AT&T DriveMode and AT&T Locker have all been added to your smartphone. AT&T Messenger allows you to sync texts, calls and voicemail messages across your smartphone, tablet and computer. AT&T DriveMode is an app that is supposed to help stop texting and driving. When enabled, your smartphone will send auto-reply SMS messages to people attempting to message you telling them that you’re unable to respond. Finally, AT&T Locker is a cloud storage service by AT&T that lets you save photos and other documents to the cloud.

Source: Android Guys

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini Leaked Pics And Specs Emerge

Samsung recently unveiled its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S4. I’m sure most of you might be eagerly waiting to get your hands on this device. However, we have a new surprise for you. The guys at SamMobile recently spotted the leaked pics of the less powerful Galaxy S4 variant. Yes, you guessed it right! We are talking about the upcoming Galaxy S4 Mini. This handset looks strikingly similar to its big brother.

galaxy_s4_mini_leaked

Unlike Galaxy S4, this handset will feature a slightly smaller 4.3 inch Super AMOLED qHD display with a pixel density of 256 ppi. Samsung has also packed a less powerful 1.6 GHz dual-core processor instead of the 1.6 GHz Exynos 5 Octa-Core processor. The complete specs of this device is still unknown.

galaxy_s4_mini_leaked2

The Galaxy S4 Mini will ship with the Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean) Operating System. As usual, this handset will be skinned with the Samsung’s TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0 over Android. The Galaxy S4 Mini will be available in both single-SIM and dual-SIM variants. This handset is expected to launch during summer in June/July.

HTC One To Be Available In All Major Markets Before End Of April

Today, HTC has released an official statement regarding the availability of the One in major markets and its delay. The company states that it “has seen unprecedented demand for and interest in the new HTC One” and will be making the handset available in the UK, Germany and Taiwan next week. Other major markets including Europe, North America and most of Asia-Pacific will get the One “before the end of April.”

HTC_One

“HTC has seen unprecedented demand for and interest in the new HTC One, and the care taken to design and build it is evidenced in early reviews. The new HTC One will roll out in the UK, Germany and Taiwan next week and across Europe, North America and most of Asia-Pacific before the end of April. We appreciate our customers’ patience, and believe that once they have the phone in their hands they will agree that it has been worth the wait.”

When HTC had unveiled the One back in Feb, it had hoped to make the handset available in most markets by March. However, things have not really gone as the Taiwanese maker had planned with delays due to shortage of supplies of the handset’s camera components.

By the time the HTC One will be available in nearly all the major markets, the Samsung Galaxy S4 would have also hit shelves in the major markets, which will definitely make things tough for the Taiwanese maker. While the HTC One may have a better in-hand feel and other nice features compared to the Galaxy S4, it lacks the marketing and brand presence that Samsung’s Galaxy S series enjoy nowadays.

Verizon Motorola Droid 4 Gets The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Update

Last year, Motorola launched the powerful Droid 4 smartphone exclusively for the Verizon Wireless subscribers in the US. This device features an amazing slide-out QWERTY keyboard along with a 4 inch qHD display, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 8 megapixel camera and much more. However, the device was shipped with the old Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System. As promised, Motorola has already rolled out the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update during the Q3 of 2012.

After tasting the Ice Cream Sandwich, most of the Droid 4 users were eagerly waiting for the Jelly Bean update. Nearly 7 months after the last major update, Verizon has finally started rolling out the much-awaited Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) update for the Droid 4 smartphone in the US.

motorola droid 4

This update comes with the usual Jelly Bean goodies such as Google Now, enhanced notification panel that displays missed calls and emails, voice search, smart keyboard and more. Check out the complete changelog below.

Changelog:

Additional Jelly Bean Enhancements:

  • Move between Home screens with intuitive graphics and smooth transitions.
  • Enjoy reactive and uniform touch responses.
  • Personalize home screen easily by placing widgets directly on the screen.

Device Enhancements:

  • Improved voice and data connectivity.
  • Calendar settings have been improved for a better user experience.
  • Improved reliability and connectivity of Back Up Assistant Plus & Visual Voicemail.
  • Mobile Hotspot data connectivity has been improved.
  • Sling and MOG application preloads have been removed.

The latest update is numbered 98.72.18.XT894 and it can be easily downloaded via OTA (Over-The-Air). You will be automatically notified once the update is available for your device. If you have not yet received the update, then just go to Settings > About Device > System updates and check for the update. To learn more, head over to this page.

Samsung Launches The Galaxy Express Smartphone In Europe

Samsung recently launched the Android powered Galaxy Express smartphone in Europe. It is basically the same device which was unveiled last year for the AT&T subscribers in the US. Samsung Galaxy Express comes with the S Beam feature which allows you to easily touch and transfer your favorite movie or the latest songs just by touching another device. This handset will be shipped with the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) Operating System. There are no major changes in the specs of this device.

samsung galaxy express

Samsung Galaxy Express features a 4.5 inch WVGA Super AMOLED Plus display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) OS, TouchWiz UI, 5 megapixel rear camera with auto-focus and LED flash, HD (720p) video recording, full HD (1080p) video playback, 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls and much more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, FM Radio with RDS, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, GPS with A-GPS, Samsung Hub, Samsung Apps, Samsung Kies, S Beam, Google Play Store, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 4G LTE Connectivity, Wi-Fi hot-spot, Wi-Fi Direct, MHL, NFC (Near Field Communication) and a 2000 mAh battery.

Samsung Galaxy Express measures 132.2 mm x 69.1 mm x 9.3 mm and weighs just 139.1 grams. This handset will be available only in white color. Ironically, the Galaxy Express comes with a price-tag of €489 (approx. $630), while the powerful Galaxy S III is available for around €410 (approx. $530). If you are planning to buy the Galaxy Express, then we would suggest you to give it a miss and get the cheaper yet powerful Galaxy S III.

Blackberry 10 World App Store Pulls in 100,000 Apps Before US Launch

BlackBerry-10 The jury is still out on the BlackBerry 10; however, the struggling Canadian phone manufacturer is making good strides in filling up its app store. The BlackBerry World now has more than 100,000 apps, with 30,000 new apps being added over the past seven weeks.

“The response to the BlackBerry 10 platform and applications has been outstanding. Customers are thrilled with the applications already available, and the catalog just keeps growing, now with more than 100,000 apps,” said Martyn Mallick, Vice President, Global Alliances at BlackBerry. “Top brands and application providers are joining us every day and are seeing the benefits of being early supporters of the new platform. We constantly hear from developers that the BlackBerry 10 tools are easy to build with and that we provide opportunities for app differentiation that they do not see on other platforms.”

The good news for BlackBerry is that it has managed to persuade some of the most popular mobile app developers to develop apps for its new operating system. Some of the big names that BlackBerry is touting are 8tracks, Angry Birds Star Wars, ATP World Tour Live, BBC Top Gear News, Bloomberg Anywhere, CBS Sports, Delta Air Lines, F1 2013 Timing App CP, Facebook, Foursquare, Jetpack Joyride, Keek, LinkedIn, Navita Translator, Need for Speed, NHL GameCenter, N.O.V.A. 3, The New York Times, PressReader, Slacker, Songza, Twitter, UFC, USA TODAY, Waze, WhatsApp, and Zara. Apps from Amazon Kindle, OpenTable and The Wall Street Journal will launch today, while apps from CNN, The Daily Show Headlines, eBay, eMusic, Maxim, MLB at Bat, MTV News, Pageonce, PGA, Rdio, Skype, Soundhound and Viber will be added in the coming weeks.

Having a vibrant and rich app store is critical for the success of any platform. BlackBerry seems to have gotten off to a good start. However, BlackBerry World still has a long way to go before it can even think of competing with Android and iOS app stores. While reaching the hundred thousand mark even before launching in several key markets is impressive, it’s worth keeping in mind that a significant chunk of the 100,000 apps are Android ports created using the BlackBerry Packager. These apps are generally fully functional, but they don’t leverage the unique strengths of the new BB 10 platform, and feel out of place visually.