When on one hand, Google and Oracle are tied in a fierce battle over the use of Java in Android’s Dalvik code; a group of hobbyists has ported the Dalvik core to C#. The project is called XobotOS and it comes from the same guys who made Mono for Android.
XobotOS is a Xamarin research project that explored porting Android 4.0 from Java/Dalvik to C# to explore the performance and memory footprint benefits of C#.
The C# port is semi-automated. A major part of the codebase was created using a tool called Sharpen, that can port Java code to C# effectively. The rest of the port was created manually. You can visit the project’s GitHub page for more details. The C# port of Dalvik is released under the Apache 2 license, and the Sharpen tool is released under GPL.
Android being ported to C# is good news. It is good to see that people are hacking Android and creating their own versions of awesomeness. But wait, it gets better! On comparing the port to the actual Dalvik core, it was seen that the ported C# version had drastic performance improvements over the existing Java based Dalvik core.
XobotOS started out as a fun project and has achieved a marvelous feat. Sadly, the Xamarin team has a different focus going further. It has announced that XobotOS was an experiment, and it will not be developed any further. Nonetheless, this project has demonstrated clearly that when it comes to performance on mobile devices, C# beats Java hands down.
HTC has once again started rolling out a new software update for the international variant of the One X, that aims at improving the performance of the handset and fix some minor bugs. While HTC has not provided any official change-log for the update, one major change in the update is that HTC has enabled GPU Rendering by default on the handset.
For some strange reason, HTC had disabled GPU rendering by default on the One X previous to the 1.29 software update. Considering GPU rendering is one of the biggest under-the-hood changes in Ice Cream Sandwich, HTC really had to be insane to disable it. The company only allowed GPU acceleration in certain applications including some from Google and a few benchmarking apps. Otherwise, only those apps that specifically enabled GPU rendering in their manifest.xml were harnessing the power of the GPU instead of the CPU. There was no way to force GPU acceleration on all applications, like it is on the Galaxy Nexus and other Ice Cream Sandwich running handsets.
Thankfully, HTC has fixed this issue in the 1.29 software update. Some One X owners also suggest that the update brings about a slight improvement in the battery life of the handset as well.
Via – XDA-Developers
Late last week, we reported that owners of the newly released Sprint Galaxy Nexus were facing mobile data connectivity issues with the handset. While calls and SMS work just fine, the handset would just refuse to connect to Sprint’s 3G network. One Sprint representative confirmed the bug and stated that Sprint will try to release the update by early next week.
Thankfully, Sprint has managed to stick to its word and has started rolling out the FD02 software update for the Galaxy Nexus, which fixes the mobile data not connecting bug along with several other minor bugs. Below is the small change-log of the update -:
- Device not connecting to data services after activation
- Device not displaying correct network time after activation
- Google Wallet Update
Sprint aims at completing the roll-out of the software update in the next 1-2 days. Owners of Sprint’s Galaxy Nexus need to make sure that they are connected to a Wi-Fi network so that their handset can download the update. Hopefully, this update will fix the mobile data issues of Sprint’s Galaxy Nexus owners. Oh! and if you are wondering about the Android 4.0.4 update for the Sprint’s GNexus, then the handset runs on it right out of the box.
Back in October last year, Google and Samsung announced that the Galaxy Nexus will be coming to the United States and will remain exclusive to Verizon’s network for the first few months. This new definitely got a lot of Verizon customers happy as the big Red will finally sell a Nexus device that runs on stock Android.
Sadly, ever since the phone was released and a few minor updates were released by Google, people realized that the Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus is just another Android handset in the carrier’s range of handsets that don’t get timely Android updates. The Android 4.0.3 update never showed up for the Galaxy Nexus, and now nearly a month after the Android 4.0.4 update was released for the GSM variant of the Galaxy Nexus and a couple of other devices, Verizon has started rolling out the update for the GNexus under its network.
Considering the random reboot issue and other bugs present in Android 4.0.2, Verizon and Google should have rolled out the update ASAP, but the carrier took its own sweet time. The Android 4.0.4 update brings with it quite a lot of under the hood changes and bugfixes, including a fix for the random reboot issue, performance and stability improvements, faster auto-rotation and more. The update also contains a new radio which should improve the 4G LTE network reception and the 4G to 3G hand-off on the Verizon’s Galaxy Nexus.
Verizon is first rolling out the update for Galaxy Nexus owners on the corporate plan, and will roll out the update to other GNexus owners sometime from this week’s end.
Via – Droid-Life
The highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S3 will be announced in a couple of days from today in London by Samsung. The Galaxy S3 has become the iPhone of the Android world, and rumors about the phone are reaching an all new level. Over the last few days, quite a few pictures of the handset have leaked online from various sources, but none of them looked genuine to me and were from unreliable sources.
Today however, the folks over at SamMobile have got their hands on a couple of pictures of the Galaxy S III. From the leaked pictures, it looks like the Galaxy S III will come with highly curved corners and will use capacitive buttons instead of on-screen buttons like on the Galaxy Nexus. The pictures also suggest that the Galaxy S III will come with a notification led, which will be a first for the Galaxy S series of handsets from Samsung.
The tipster also stated that the S3 will come with a 12MP camera, and will run on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box and the model number of the handset will be GT-I9300. Finally, the tipster suggests that Samsung will be showing more than one handset at its event in London, and this mysterious device model number is apparently the GT-I9800.
The HTC One X is the Taiwanese handset maker’s “hero” device for at least the first half of 2012. The One X checks in all the requirements for a super phone including a massive 4.7-inch SLCD2 display with 720p display, 1GB RAM, a blazing fast 8MP camera and a quad-core (technically 5) processor from Nvidia.
The handset has been getting ravishing reviews from critics all over the world, but nearly every reviewer has complained about HTC’s Sense 4.0 skin. Sense 4.0, like the previous versions of Sense, still looks extremely beautiful and HTC has even made it feel less bloated this time. However, Sense 4.0 is still no match for all the visual good ness introduced by Google in Ice Cream Sandwich.
Thankfully, one developer – TripNDroid – took matters in his own hand and started working on porting CM9 to the HTC one X. After working hard for a few days, the developer has managed to get a pretty stable build of CM9 working on the handset. All the major hardware of the phone works just fine under CM9, except for the Camera and Wi-Fi Hotspot functionality. The Mobile data feature is also a bit buggy, and takes time to connect after a reboot every time. However, once it gets connected it works perfectly fine.
Considering that HTC still has not released the kernel sources for the One X, the developer has done a darn good job! Except things to improve even more once HTC releases the kernel sources for the handset.
Interested One X (Tegra 3 version) owners should head over to this link for more information. A very early snapshot build of CM9 for the HTC One S was also released a few days ago.
Back at CES, Sprint announced that it would soon be selling the Galaxy Nexus officially in the United States, and will be the second carrier after Verizon to do so. After a few months of complete silence, Sprint finally released the handset on April 18th for $199 along with a $50 credit in Google Wallet. The Galaxy Nexus sold pretty well, and was sold out within hours of its pre-order going live.
However, not all is rosy among Sprint’s Galaxy Nexus owners. Reports sugest that the Sprint’s version of the Galaxy Nexus is also suffering from network reception issue. The phone, apparently, has a very hard time connecting to the carrier’s 3G network.
The good news is that a Sprint’s community moderator has already confirmed that Sprint and Samsung are aware of the problem, and are working hard on rolling out a software update sometime next week. Below is the official statement -:
Sprint/Samsung are aware of this problem and will be releasing a software update to resolve the issue. Can’t commit to a date yet, but they are trying really hard to get it released early next week. Sorry for your troubles.
So yeah, if you own a Sprint’s Galaxy Nexus and are not able to connect to the carrier’s 3G network, just be a little patient for the software update to be available.
Motorola had promised to release the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Droid RAZR sometime in late Q1 or early Q2. However, there are just a couple of days left before April ends and Motorola misses its promised roll-out timing. Motorola is the only Android device maker that still has not updated any of its phone to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, other than LG.
A couple of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich firmware did leak for the Droid RAZR back in early March, but they were clearly a work-in-progress. Today, the folks over at DroidRzr.com have managed to get their hands on a new Ice Cream Sandwich build for the Droid RAZR, which is a ‘near’ final build. The build could have very well been the final build, but it has some minor bugs, due to which Verizon will not release it to the general consumers.
Anyways, interested Droid RAZR owners should head over to DroidRZR forums for the download link and installation instructions. Please make sure you have the latest OTA update (v6.12.181) installed, otherwise you won’t be able to install this leaked ICS update.
Via – Droid-Life
Acer, one of the world’s largest PC maker, has started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for its Tegra 2 packing Iconia Tab A500. Acer had initially stated that it will start rolling out the ICS update for the A500 28th April, but it looks like someone inside the company plugged the plug on the update a couple of days early.
The ICS update bumps the Android version to 4.0.3, and not Android 4.0.4, so technically Iconia A500 users will still not be running the latest version of Ice Cream Sandwich.
Reports from A500 users over at XDA forums suggest that the ICS update is still not yet available for the “Gen2″ variant of the handset. Also, if you own the A501 variant of the Iconia Tab instead of the A500 variant, there is some bad news for you. Acer does not plan on updating the A501 variant to Ice Cream Sandwich. The A501 variant of the Iconia Tab is sold by AT&T in the United States, and is also available in Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Latin America.
It is surprising to see that small tablet makers like Asus, Sony and Acer have already updated their tablet to Ice Cream Sandwich, while there is still no ICS in sight for Samsung’s popular Galaxy Tab series.
Via – XDA
Beginning from today, Sony has officially started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Japanese company’s first ever Android tablet, the Tablet S. Along with the bump in the Android OS version to Ice Cream Sandwich, Sony has also added some new features like a single motion panorama photo mode and the ability to directly access any SD connected to the tablet.
Below is the full change-log of the update -:
- Enhanced lock screen
- Direct access to Notifications
- Unlock direct to camera
- New panoramic camera mode
- Enhanced Gallery media viewer
- Direct SD card access + photo editing tools
- Exclusive “Small Apps’ for multi-tasking
- Calculator, Browser, Remote Control
- Move to screen edge for reduced clutter
- New Home Screen actions
- Drag icons together to create folders
- Add names to folders
- Enhanced web browser
- Switch from mobile to desktop web sites
- Save pages for offline viewing
- Access files directly from SD card
- Native screenshot capture
- Press “power” and “Volume –“
The OTA update is already live, and an update notification should automatically pop-up the next time users connect their Tablet S to a Wi-Fi network. Sony is also celebrating the ICS update by giving a $50 instant rebate along with a desktop cradle free to anyone who picks up a Tablet S until May 12th.
Via – Sony Blog