After quite a few months of testing, AT&T has finally started rolling out the official Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for its variant of the Galaxy S II. The European Galaxy S II got its Android 4.0 update back in March, and considering the similarities between the European and AT&T Galaxy S II, the update for the former should not have taken so long.
AT&T was however busy testing the update and making sure it delays it by at least a couple of months. Anyways, the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the AT&T Galaxy S II brings with it lots of new features including an inbuilt data monitoring tool, a slightly new jazzed up TouchWIZ UI, new Google Apps, improved copy and paste system, and the usual performance and stability improvements.
The update is not being rolled out via OTA though. AT&T Galaxy S II owners need to use Samsung’s KIES software to install the update on their handset.
Tip – If you have not already, go ahead and install CM9 on your AT&T Galaxy S II. Not only is the performance much better than the official stock firmware, it will also give you a taste of stock Ice Cream Sandwich.
When HTC unveiled the One X, it also announced that all One series owners are going to get 25GB of free space on Dropbox for Twitter. Samsung up’d HTC when it announced that all Galaxy S III owners will be getting 50GB of free space on Dropbox for two years.
Sadly, it looks like this offer from Samsung won’t be valid for the U.S variants of the Galaxy S III. Quite a few people in the United States who have already managed to get their hands on the Galaxy S III in the United States complained about not getting the free storage space after signing up on the Dropbox forums. This is when a Dropbox forum moderator chimed in and announced that some of the U.S carriers have opted out of this promotional offer.
For some unknown reason, Verizon and AT&T have both opted-out of this promotion offer with their variant of the Galaxy S III. It is still not confirmed whether Sprint or T-Mobile have also opted-out of this promotional offer or not. I am not really sure as to why AT&T and Verizon opted-out of this offer, when the promotional offer is still valid for the HTC One X in the United States.
Via – Droid-Life
HTC and AT&T have started rolling out a new software update for the One X that bumps up the software version to 1.85.502.3. The update is a pretty minor one that fixes some of the Wi-Fi related issues plaguing the handset.
Below is the full change-log of the update via Android Central -:
- Wi-Fi Connectivity Improvement – improves operation when a device leaves Wi-Fi coverage.
- Wi-Fi Throughput (Speed Increase)
- AT&T Address Book fixes – Contacts formatting when synced to AAB
The update is being rolled out in batches and via OTA and is around 65MB in size, so make sure that you have a stable Wi-Fi connection before downloading the update.
Apart from the AT&T One X, Verizon and LG have also rolled out a minor update for their budget based 4G LTE Android phone, the Lucid. The new update does not bring any major changes, but instead fixes some bugs and enhances some of the existing ones. Below is the official change-log of the update -:
- Weather Widget syncs correctly for more precise location coordinates
- Improved Dialer Widget
- Added “Instant Search” and “Add to Contacts” functionalities
- Successfully dial VZW “#” shortcuts
- Improved GPS Widget
- Navigate Google Maps successfully
- Threshold of battery temperature improved, so user will not see ‘over-heat’ when using Google Navigation
This 49MB VS840ZV6 software update is already being rolled out in batches by Verizon to Lucid owners.
Yesterday, first Samsung announced that its latest Droid powered handset, the Galaxy S III, is coming to the United States in June on five major carriers. Soon after, four out of the five major carriers (Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S Cellular) announced their pre-order and release dates along with the on-contract pricing of the handset. AT&T was the only one left to announce the pre-order and release date of the Galaxy S III under its network.
The blue carrier finally announced the pre-order date of June 6th for the handset, with an on-contract pricing of $199 for the 16GB version and $249.99 for the 32GB version. AT&T has however managed to get exclusive access to the red version of the Galaxy S III, which will be available sometime this Summer. The company did not announce a release date for the handset but that should not be far away as well.
The AT&T variant of the Galaxy S III will pack in a Qualcomm S4 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD, a 2100mAh removable battery, a microSD card slot, and will also support the carrier’s HSPA+ and 4G LTE network.
Samsung recently announced the new Samsung Galaxy Appeal slider phone. This handset is exclusively available for the AT&T GoPhone subscribers in the US. The Samsung Galaxy Appeal is a prepaid Android smartphone, which will be first available in Walmart stores, followed by AT&T retail outlets. It runs on the old Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System. This handset is not expected to get the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update in the future.
The Samsung Galaxy Appeal is the first smartphone offered with AT&T’s GoPhone service that features a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Samsung Galaxy Appeal’s plastic parts are made of 80-percent recycled material and the phone ships with reduced packaging material compared to other Samsung devices. Check out the complete specs below.
Samsung Galaxy Appeal Specifications:
- 3.2 inch touchscreen display
- 480 x 320 pixels resolution
- 800 MHz ARM Cortex A5 processor
- 3 megapixel rear-facing camera
- Video recording capabilities
- 512 MB RAM
- 1.8 GB ROM
- MicroSD card slot
- 32GB expandable memory
- Up to 7 hours of talk-time
- Up to 300 hours of stand-by time
- 1300 mAh Li-ION battery
- GSM Quad-band: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
- UMTS Tri-band: 850/1900/2100MHz
- Dimensions: 4.41” (H) x 2.27” (W) x 0.56” (D)
- Weight: 4.3 oz
Samsung Appeal owners can get 5 GB, 10 GB and 15 GB of data for just $5, $15 and $25 per month respectively. All data packages are available on the $50 Unlimited Talk and Text nationwide plan for GoPhone smartphones. This handset will be available at Walmart from June 5, followed by all other AT&T GoPhone distribution channels from July 15.
Earlier this month, Samsung unveiled the Windows Phone powered Samsung Focus 2 smartphone. This handset is exclusively available for the AT&T subscribers in the US. Samsung Focus 2 is the successor of the popular Samsung Focus smartphone. It runs on the Windows Phone 7.5 Operating System.
Samsung Focus 2 is the company’s first 4G LTE Windows Phone. This handset is finally available for purchase at AT&T. If you are planning to buy one, then check out the complete specs after the break.
Samsung Focus 2 features a 4 inch Super AMOLED display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, Windows Phone 7.5 Mango Operating System, 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon single-core processor, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 4G LTE Connectivity, 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, HD (720p) video recording and playback and much more.
Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, MicroUSB 2.0, A-GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, 8 GB internal storage, Bing Maps, AT&T U-verse Mobile, NavigatorSM, Microsoft Office, SkyDrive, Xbox Live, up to 10.4 days of stand-by time, up to 6 hrs of talk-time and a 1750 mAh battery. This handset measures 121.7 x 62.7 x 11 mm and weighs just 122 gms.
Samsung Focus 2 is currently available in pure white color at AT&T for just $49.99 with a 2 year service agreement and a $39.99 monthly voice plan. To get this handset, head over to this page at AT&T.
This afternoon, I noticed that my Nokia Lumia 800 prompted me for a voicemail password out of nowhere. Thinking that there was some connectivity glitch, I entered the password and guess what, it took me to a visual voicemail screen! I have not seen that screen on my Lumia before, and as I was made to understand, Visual Voicemail for Windows Phone was only available if you added a 4G LTE plan with AT&T.
Before everyone gets excited, I should provide a few disclaimers: I am on my company’s corporate plan, so I don’t know what plan I am on. However, knowing that my plan is actually an “iPhone data” plan, I know it could not be a 4G LTE plan, since there is no such plan. The other thing is that the screen stays at “syncing voicemail” and does not actually show me my voicemails. At some point this afternoon, I did get a message that it was not able to connect and that I could call the traditional voicemail. I restarted the phone to see if this disappeared, and it has not, so I suppose this functionality may actually be rolling out slowly. I sure hope so.
Could this be another move by Nokia (and AT&T) to further the Windows Phone cause? We have seen that Nokia has been able to get a few exclusives and are making quite a splash in bringing the Windows Phone platform on par with iOS and Android. Could this be another move in that plan?
I am unable to confirm if this is true with other non-Lumia or non-LTE devices. If anyone has a Windows Phone (Lumia or otherwise) and is with AT&T but *not* on a 4G LTE plan, let me know. Let’s hope things are changing at AT&T with regard to their love of Windows Phone.
Update: I never saw it on my AT&T Samsung Focus, but here’s a response I saw on twitter:
More, from twitter:
Back at CES 2012, Samsung and AT&T announced a new handset for the carrier’s 4G LTE network – the Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD. Apart from its unusually long name, the Skyrocket HD, the handset was going to pack in a 4.5-inch 720p Super-AMOLED screen, a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. Except for the 720p Super AMOLED HD screen, the Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD is similar to the Skyrocket.
Now, that more than 4 months have passed by since Samsung and AT&T first announced the handset, both the companies have decided to cancel the launch of the product. While AT&T and Samsung have not yet confirmed that the Galaxy S III will be coming to AT&T’s network, the carrier definitely fits Samsung’s statement of the largest and fastest LTE network in the United States. Thus, the decision to cancel the Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD from AT&T and Samsung is definitely a good decision.
Hopefully, the AT&T version of the Galaxy S III will not come with an absurdly long name like the AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III Quad HD LTE.
Via – The Verge
Up until now, it was a known fact that Android updates for a majority of the Android handsets in the United States was intentionally delayed by the carriers. While Google has not publicly mentioned this, one of the key AOSP Android engineer had clearly mentioned this in a post on Google+.
Now, it looks like AT&T’s CEO wants to completely change the blame game and has blamed Google for the delay in the release of Ice Cream Sandwich update for some the handsets. Here is the official statement from AT&T’s CEO Randall Stephenson -:
Google determines what platform gets the newest releases and when. A lot of times, that’s a negotiated arrangement and that’s something we work at hard. We know that’s important to our customers. That’s kind of an ambiguous answer because I can’t give you a direct answer in this setting.
This new certainly put a lot of bloggers and Android fanboys confused. Was Google really behind the delay in Android OS updates? Thankfully, before this news went viral, Google released a statement that it is not sure about what AT&T’s CEO means -:
Mr. Stephenson’s carefully worded quote caught our attention and frankly we don’t understand what he is referring to. Google does not have any agreements in place that require a negotiation before a handset launches. Google has always made the latest release of Android available as open source at source.android.com as soon as the first device based on it has launched. This way, we know the software runs error-free on hardware that has been accepted and approved by manufacturers, operators and regulatory agencies such as the FCC. We then release it to the world.
I am kind of shocked how AT&T’s CEO publicly blamed Google for the delay in Android OS updates, while Google has been pretty transparent about the whole process. It is the ‘ software testing’ from the U.S. carriers that take up more than a month or so to finish, before any OTA update is rolled out to Android handset in their network.
Via – 9to5Google
Samsung recently announced the Windows Phone powered Focus 2 smartphone. This handset is the successor of the Samsung Focus S smartphone. It runs on the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango Operating System. Samsung Focus 2 is the company’s first 4G LTE Windows Phone. This handset will be exclusively available for the AT&T customers in the US.
Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile, said,
“Samsung is the unmatched leader in offering smartphones across a variety of platforms and the Focus 2 is a powerful example of our continued commitment to Windows Phone. As our first 4G LTE Windows Phone, the Focus 2 is a fast and versatile device for productivity, entertainment and social networking.”
Samsung Focus 2 features a 4 inch Super AMOLED display, sporting a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels, Windows Phone 7.5 Mango Operating System, 1.4 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon single-core processor, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, 4G LTE Connectivity, 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, HD (720p) video recording and playback, A-GPS, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, 3.5mm audio jack, 8 GB internal storage and a 1750 mAh battery.
This handset measures 121.7 x 62.7 x 11 mm and weighs just 122 gms. Samsung Focus 2 will be available for purchase in pure white color from May 20 for just $49.99 with a 2 year service agreement and a $39.99 monthly voice plan. Are you planning to buy this handset or you would go for the Nokia Lumia 900? Let us know your views in the comments section below.