Google Nexus One And Nexus S Get An OTA Update To Fix The SMS Bug

Remember the SMS bug in the Android OS which erroneously sent your text message to the wrong contact and all the hype surrounding it? Few weeks ago, Google said that they have managed to re-produce the bug in their test lab and are trying to fix the bug. The big G promised to roll out an update to fix the bug ASAP as well.

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Well, today Google has rolled out the Android 2.2.2 and Android 2.3.2 OTA update for the Nexus One and the Nexus S, respectively. However, the change-log of the update does not mention whether it fixes the SMS bug or not. However, we are guessing that these two updates are aimed at fixing the SMS bug only.

Nexus One owners can download and install the update manually from their handset from here. Hopefully, other manufacturers will also soon start rolling out this small but important update for their Android based handsets.

Nexus One owners must be feeling disappointed as they are still impatiently waiting for the Android 2.3 update to roll out for their handset. At the beginning of this month,   Google had promised to release the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Nexus One in the coming weeks’.

Sadly, since then Google has not mentioned anything about the update. Hopefully, Google will release the Android 2.3 update for the Nexus One before the end of this month.

Samsung Gem, Another Budget Android Revealed

Samsung has published some images and specifications of the Samsung Gem, another budget Android phone, on its website.

It has dimensions of 4.48 x 2.18 x 0.48 inches and weighs 3.85 ounces. It will have a 3.2 inch capacitive touchscreen display with a WQVGA resolution. It will be powered by an 800 MHz processor and will likely come with 256/512 MB RAM. It will also have a 3.2 MP camera and will come with the Android 2.1 Eclair OS with Swype for text input. We don’t know whether or not it will be upgraded to Android 2.2 Froyo or Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It also has Bluetooth 2.1, Wi-Fi, GPS and 124 MB internal storage with 16 GB microSD card support.

The Samsung Spica i5700 was one of the most popular budget Android phones in its time. However, it was soon superceded by the LG Optimus One. The Samsung Gem will compete with the Optimus One and the newly launched Optimus Me. Going by the hardware specs, it definitely offers a better deal. But it runs an outdated OS – Android 2.1 Eclair while the Optimus One and Optimus Me come with Android 2.2 Froyo. The Gem may be officially unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in February 2011.

Check out these images of the Samsung Gem:

Samsung Gem

Samsung Gem

Source: Samsung SCH-I100 Features

LG Optimus Me P350 Unveiled by LG

LG has just showcased one of its newest budget Android smartphones on Facebook. It’s the LG Optimus Me P350, a cheaper version of the Optimus One P500, which is the best budget Android smartphone currently available.

The LG Optimus Me will supposedly be more stylish than the Optimus One, but will offer almost similar hardware specs.  It will have a 3.2 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels, a 600 MHz processor and most probably, 512 MB RAM. It also has 140 MB internal storage and supports up to 32 GB microSD cards. The specifications are almost the same as the Optimus One, which is quite good.

It will have a 3 MP camera and should come with Android 2.2 Froyo. LG has promised an Android 2.3 Gingerbread upgrade for the LG Optimus One, so the Optimus Me will probably get it too. It will also sport all basic connectivity options – GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 and GPS. It will be available in 5 different colors and should be priced lower than the LG Optimus One P500, at about 10000 INR or $220. It will be launched in Q1 2011 and should be officially unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in February 2011.

Check out these images of the LG Optimus Me P350 on Facebook:

LG Optimus Me

LG Optimus Me

LG Optimus Me

Best Mobile Apps Of the Week for iOS, Android and Symbian – #6

Welcome to the sixth edition of Best Mobile Apps Of the Week for iOS, Android and Symbian. In this edition of BMATW, we will introduce our readers to a clock application for the iOS platform, along with a very popular messaging client for the Android platform. Also, we will introduce our Symbian users to an application which will change the wallpaper of their phone by simply shaking it.

Night Stand (iOS)

Night Stand is the most popular third’ party clock replacement app on the Apple App Store. The app features nine visually stunning clocks including a digital and a retro one. The app also features the usual clock’ functions like Alarm and Stopwatch. Night Stand is also able to display the local weather information, if the user so desires to.

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Users can also use any song from their iPod library as the alarm tone as well. The Alarm function of the app has a very nice feature as well Math Puzzles. When users will try to stop the alarm on their iTouch device, they can do so only by solving a math puzzle. Users can setup multiple clocks for their convenience as well.

A Pro as well as a Lite’ version of Night Stand is available on the App Store. The paid version of the app costs $1.99. Here is the link to download Night Stand.

Shake n Screen (Symbian)

Shake n Screen is a nifty application the Symbian platform which will allow users to change the wallpaper of their phone by just shaking their phone. Users first need to specify the folder where they have kept all their favorite wallpapers.

After that, users can play around with the various settings of the application including the auto start, auto hide and sensitivity option. The Sensitivity’ option will allow users to set the sensitivity of the shake’ on which the wallpaper of the phone will change.

clip_image003 (Image Source)

The app also has a Power Saving Mode’ which will automatically stop changing the wallpaper, if the phone is found to be inactive for some time. As of now, the application works only on the Symbian S60v5 and Symbian^3 based handsets. The application is available for download on the Ovi store for $1.99

GO SMS (Android)

GO SMS is an awesome SMS app for Android. For me, GO SMS is able to beat other big third party messaging applications like Handcent. The UI of GO SMS is pretty simple, fast and pleasing to the eye as well. The app also supports themes which will allow users to change the UI of the app from time to time.

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The app notifies the user of a new SMS with a popup, which also contains some nifty options like Quick Reply and delete. However, I would have personally preferred the app to use the Android style notification style instead of this popup one.

GO SMS also has other useful features like Backup/Restore, Security Lock, Batch mode and Individual contact information. Users can find out more about GO SMS here.

Samsung Galaxy S 4G Officially Announced By T-Mobile

Remember the T-Mobile branded Vibrant 4G whose specs leaked out a couple of weeks ago? Today, T-Mobile and Samsung have officially announced the device. The name of the handset has changed from Vibrant 4G to Galaxy S 4G, though.

The Galaxy S 4G will be the first handset being announced by T-Mobile which will take the full advantage of the carrier’s 4G network and offer download speeds of up to 21Mbps.

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The Galaxy S 4G is very similar to the Samsung Vibrant. The Galaxy S 4G has the same 4-inch SAMOLED screen with WVGA resolution as found on the Vibrant. The 4G sports the same internals as the Vibrant does a 1 GHz Hummingbird processor, a PowerVR SGX540 graphics core and 512MB of RAM.

The back of the phone sports a 5MP camera without an LED flash. The Galaxy S 4G also sports a front-facing camera for video calling, which the Vibrant lacks. The Galaxy S 4G runs on Android 2.2 unlike the Samsung Vibrant.

With Galaxy S 4G, T-Mobile will deliver its fastest smartphone yet on America’s largest 4G network, providing rich entertainment virtually whenever and wherever consumers want,said Cole Brodman, chief marketing officer, T-Mobile USA.   And with 4G data plans from $10 per month, we’re making blazing-fast 4G speeds and super smartphone experiences easily accessible to the millions who crave them.

Sadly, T-Mobile did not provide any other detail about the phone including its pricing and the release date. The company will provide more information about the Galaxy S 4G in the coming weeks.’

Google Android Market Policy Puts Amazon App Store Future in Jeopardy

Amazon has declared its plan for an Android app store long back. However, it seems that Google does not want any app store to be available (for download from Android Market) to Android users other than its own Android Market. This is the very reason why, it pulled another app store: the Kongregate Arcade, even though it catered only to flash games.

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A lot of development and planning goes on behind the making of an app store and Google pulling off app stores proves fatal for developers who work on this. If this is true, next in the line of fire is the Amazon Android app store. This store would act as a marketplace where apps could be bought and sold by interested parties. Amazon has already urged developers to submit their apps and if Google pulls the Amazon app store app too, it has to be installed separately.

Though, the Android market had already laid the trap when its terms says,

You may not use the Market to distribute or make available any Product whose primary purpose is to facilitate the distribution of Products outside of the Market.

The alternate route app stores can take is to make themselves available pre-installed on devices like the Samsung devices do. Another approach can be simply providing another portal for apps like Getjar does. Either way, they are missing the advantage of a wider reach through the Android Market.

(Image Via: Android Community)

Samsung Vibrant Android 2.2 Update Rolling Out Now; Epic 4G’s Update Coming Soon

There has been a lot of controversy about the Android 2.2 Froyo update for all the Galaxy S variants in the United States including the T-Mobile branded Samsung Vibrant. First, it looked like the update was being held back by Samsung so as to force’ its users to buy the upcoming Vibrant 4G.

Later on, rumors started flowing around that Samsung wanted to charge the carriers for the update and thus there was a tiff between (Samsung and carriers) them which was delaying the update. Samsung squished all the above rumors in an email and promised to release more information about the delay behind the update soon.

Now, T-Mobile has announced that they will start rolling out the Android 2.2 update for the Vibrant owners beginning from today i.e. 21st January itself. Since the update will be rolled out in an OTA form and in batches so Vibrant owners need to be patient for the update to hit their phones.

Hopefully, the carrier will keep its word and start rolling out the update from today itself.

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Another U.S carrier Sprint has also announced that they are working on the Android 2.2 update for the Samsung Epic 4G. The carrier and the Korean company are working hard to release the update ASAP’ but will release it only after it meets all the rigorous’ testing standard of Sprint.

Hopefully, Sprint will also release the Android 2.2 update for the Epic 4G before the end of this month.

White BlackBerry Torch Coming Soon To Vodafone UK

white blackberry torch

Back in August, RIM (Research In Motion) launched the BlackBerry 6 OS powered BlackBerry Torch 9800 smartphone. This is an amazing device, which has a touch-screen display as well as a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. BlackBerry Torch is already available in the UK, but if you were waiting for the white color variant of this amazing device, then we have a good news for you. According to Vodafone UK, the white BlackBerry Torch will be soon available, exclusively on the airwaves Vodafone UK.

BlackBerry Torch 9800 features a 3.2 inch HVGA touch screen display, 480×360 pixels resolution, BlackBerry 6 operating system, optical trackpad, slide-out QWERTY keyboard with backlighting, Bluetooth v2.1 with EDR, 3G Connectivity, Wi-Fi, 5 megapixel camera with continuous auto-focus, Image stabilization, 2x digital zoom, Light and proximity sensor, 3.5mm stereo headset jack and so on.

Other features include a 3.5mm stereo headset jack, 512 MB flash memory, 512 MB SDRAM, 4 GB internal memory, 32GB expandable memory, Built-in GPS with BlackBerry Maps, VGA (640×480) video recording, up to 30 hours music playback, up to 18 days Standby Time, up to 5.5 hours talk-time and 1300 mAHr lithium-ion battery.

The price and release date of this handset has not been announced yet. Stay tuned for more updates.

Nokia N9 Rumored Specifications Leak

At the CES 2011, Nokia did not announce any new product or services. It is expected that Nokia will announce some killer devices at the upcoming MWC 2011. One of the handsets expected to be announced by the Finnish giant is the Nokia N9 the first phone which will be running on MeeGo.

Now a Finnish website is reporting that the Nokia N9 is expected to sport some killer internal specifications. Apparently, The N9 will be sporting a 1.2GHz Intel Atom CPU. However, I seriously doubt if this is going to be true. An Atom processor will eat up the battery of the phone in no time, and the Atom processors are based on the X86 architecture.

I guess the site is talking about the Intel Moorestown platform here which is closely based on the Intel Atom processor.

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The site also suggests that the MeeGo handset will feature the same 12MP camera as found on the N8. Until the official announcement from Nokia itself, this news is too good to be true for me. The last rumor is that the N9 will sport 4G LTE antennas as well. However, the source says they are not too sure about it.

The Mobile World Congress (MWC) is less than a month from now. Only then we will know whether these rumors turn out to be true or not. Until then, I will suggest readers to gobble up all this information with a pinch of salt.

(Via)

Trojan Horse For Android Listens To And Stores Credit Card Numbers

Once again, Android is in the limelight for malware, this time it’s a trojan horse installed on the device that is triggered by outgoing calls, that has the ability to store credit card numbers that are input either via touch tone (DTMF decoding) or by analysing voice input and then converting it to text. The application, Soundminder, is a relatively small application weighing in at just over 1MB and uses minimal permissions to capture, store and analyse any information that is input via voice or the dial-pad. It takes roughly 15 seconds to convert the voice audio into actual numbers and then the information is stored to be used at a later time. Enter the partner in crime to Soundminder, Deliverer. Deliverer is a tiny application that uses network permissions to transfer the captured information to a hosted server so the attacker can view the credit card numbers.

Together, the applications use a covert method of transferring the data back and forth. Since Android uses sandboxing and separate user accounts for each running process, it is very hard for applications to share information without explicitly requesting permissions. Since Soundminder has write access to certain hardware, it can adjust device settings such as LCD timeout, ringer volume and other seemingly innocuous values. Deliverer can then read the values, obtain the information and send the stored credit card numbers to an attacker.

Soundminder has less invasive permissions than other applications in the Android Market, so it would be extremely easy for a user to assume it to be safe and install it. Hopefully Google can find a way to list permissions on a lower item level, so users can see exactly what API calls an app has access to.

See below for the video.