Google Nexus S Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread Update Rolling Out Now

Google has started rolling out a software update for its second Nexus branded phone, the Nexus S. The software update will bump the Android version to 2.3.6, and mainly aims at fixing some bugs with the current software build.

The main purpose of this software update is to fix the  horrendous  voice search bug, which plagues all Nexus S owners. When a Nexus S owner will be in a low-signal zone, the voice search app will automatically get activated. This software update from Google finally fixes this bug, after months of complaints from the Nexus S owners. Other than fixing the voice search bug, the update also brings some NFC improvements.

However, not all is rosy with the update. Nexus S owners who updated their handset to 2.3.6 are reporting that tethering does not work for them, post the update. So Nexus S owners, who need tethering should stay away from this update.

The update is being rolled out via OTA, and will hit Nexus S owners across the globe in the coming days. Alternatively, Nexus S owners can manually pull the update from Google servers by keying in  *#*#checkin#*#*.

 

Samsung Galaxy Note Announced; Blurs The Line Between A Handset and Tablet!

Along with the Galaxy Tab 7.7, Samsung also unveiled a new phone…err…tablet…umm…something in between, the Galaxy Note.  Samsung calls the Galaxy Note a handset, and this device comes with a gigantic 5.3-inch display! The 5.3-inch Super-AMOLED display has a WXGA (1280×800) resolution. With a 5.3-inch display, the Note successfully manages to blur the line between a handset and a tablet.

The Note is powered by a 1.4GHz dual core processor (Exynos SoC), and packs 1GB of RAM. The handset is also pretty thin and light at just 9.65m thick, and weighing in at 178 grams. The usual Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS with A-GPS, HSPA+, microSD card slot, FM radio, 3.5mm audio jack and a bunch of sensors are all present.

Being called a handset’ by Sammy, the Note runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with TouchWiz 4.0 on top of it. The back of the device sports an 8MP camera with an LED flash, and a 2MP camera resides in the front of the phone. A beefy 2500mAh battery powers the Galaxy Note.

The highlight of the Note is the S-Pen, which comes with the Note. This pressure sensitive stylus will help Note users to easily take down notes on their handset. Samsung will also release the S-Pen SDK to developers, to that more applications can make use of this feature.

With the Galaxy Note, Sammy is trying to open a new segment, residing between the handsets and tablets market. The Note will be ideal for businessmen’s and college going students, for taking down quick notes. While some people may like the Note, I highly doubt it’s going to be a major success. Nonetheless, it is still nice to see Sammy innovating, instead of just releasing run-of-the-mill Android handsets and tablets.

 

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S Announced; We Wonder Why!

Sony Ericsson has just announced a new addition to its Xperia branded of Android handsets, the Xperia Arc S. As the name suggests, the Arc S is similar to the original Arc, except that a faster processor powers it.

Instead of the 1GHz Snapdragon chip found on the Arc, the S sports a faster 1.4GHz single-core processor, with the same GPU (Adreno 205) and the same amount of RAM (512MB). Other than the faster processor, the Arc S is a blatant copy of the Arc, which includes its slim waistline of 8.7mm. Like the original, the S sports the same 4.2-inch FWVGA (854×480) Reality Display, with the Mobile Bravia engine. The original Arc was always praised for its 8MP Exmor R camera, and the S retains the same camera. The S is also capable of recording videos in 720p HD resolution with stereo recording.

Other key features of the Arc S include Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS with A-GPS, FM radio, microHDMI port and a bunch of sensors. The Arc S will come with the latest version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread. It will also include the software enhancements announced by Sony last week, including 3D Sweep panorama and the ability to play 3D content on a 3DTV using the micro-HDMI port. The Arc S will be available in a variety of colors including white, black, blue, silver and pink.

I am still trying to figure out why in this world did Sony Ericsson announce the Xperia Arc S. Except for the faster single core processor, the handset is same as the Arc. The Arc will get all the new 3D features via a software update in a couple of months, so there is no real point in buying an Arc S.

The Arc and the Arc S pack the  same  processor, with it (processor) only being clocked higher by 400MHz on the latter. Arc users, who have already rooted their handset, can easily overclock their handset to 1.4GHz and beyond! In fact, one of the custom kernels for the Arc enables users to overclock up to a whopping 1.9GHz!

Frankly, every other Android manufacturer has released a dual-core powered handset, and its high time Sony Ericsson does the same. There is absolutely no point in wasting money and re-releasing old products with a new name, and minor differences.

 

AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy S II Announced

AT&T has also announced its own variant of the Samsung Galaxy S II, at the on-going event in New York.  Unlike the Sprint’s Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch, AT&T’s Galaxy S II will be known as the Galaxy S II only.

The handset has no major difference compared to the European version of the SGS II, except for the four capacitive keys instead of the one hardware and 2 capacitive keys found on the European counterpart.

The Galaxy S II, powered by a dual core application processor, paired with AT&T’s advanced 4G network, gives users fast download speeds along with a premium multi-tasking experience,said Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile. We are proud to bring our fastest selling smartphone in the world to AT&T customers, packaging it in the nation’s thinnest 4G smartphone.

AT&T’s Galaxy S II is powered by the same Exynos 4210 SoC, which includes a powerful 1.2GHz dual-core processor and an ARM-Mali 400MP GPU. The handset also sports a beautiful 4.3-inch Super-AMOLED+ screen with WVGA (800×480) resolution. AT&T’s version of the SGS II is just a tad bit thicker than its European version, at 8.89mm.

Other features of AT&T’s Galaxy S II remain the same, which include 1GB of RAM, 16GB internal memory, microSD card slot, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0+HS, FM radio, MHL port, GPS with A-GPS and sensors like Accelerometer, Gyroscope,  Ambient  light sensor and a proximity sensor.

Like all other Galaxy S II variants, the back of the AT&T’s Galaxy S II also sports an 8MP camera with an LED flash, and a 2MP front-facing camera. The handset is also capable of recording videos in 1080p HD video resolution. The handset also supports AT&T’s HSPA+ network, but does not support its upcoming 4G LTE network. A 1650mAh battery will power the handset. The handset runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with TouchWiz 4.0 on top of it.

AT&T’s version of the Samsung Galaxy S II will be released in the “coming weeks”, at an unknown price.

Sprint’s Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch Handset Announced

After nearly 3 months of its European availability, Samsung has gone ahead and announced in an event at N.Y, the U.S carrier versions of its most popular smartphone until date, the Samsung Galaxy S II.  Three major carriers in the United States will be selling the Galaxy S II, with each operator having its own slightly modified version of the European SGS II.

First and foremost is the Sprint’s version of the Galaxy S II. Unlike last time, Sprint’s Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch does not come with a slide-out hardware keyboard. The main difference between the Sprint’s Epic 4G Touch and the European SGS2 is the screen size. The Epic 4G Touch has a mammoth 4.52-inch Super-AMOLED+ screen, with a disappointingly low WVGA (800×480) resolution.

Other than the huge screen, the Epic 4G touch also comes the usual four capacitive Android keys, unlike the one physical and 2 capacitive keys on the European model of the handset. Also, the Epic 4G Touch is not as slim as its European counterpart, and has a waistline of 9.59mm.

The Samsung Epic 4G Touch packs the same Exynos 4210 SoC, which includes a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and an ARM-Mali 400MP GPU. The handset also packs in 1GB of RAM, along with 16GB of internal memory.

The back of the handset sports an 8MP camera with dual-LED flash, which is also capable of recording videos in 1080p Full HD resolution. A 2MP camera in the front takes care of all the video chatting needs of a user.

The usual run-of-the-mill features like Wi-Fi b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 3.0+HS, microSD card slot, FM radio, GPS with A-GPS, MHL port and a 3.5mm audio jack are also present, along with a bunch of sensors. The Epic 4G Touch will also come with AES-256 internal/external hardware encryption and Wi-Fi calling. The handset also supports Sprint’s WiMAX network.

Like the European SGS II, the Epic 4G Touch will run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread with TouchWiz 4.0 on top of it.  A beefy 1800mAh battery will power the handset.

The Samsung Epic 4G Touch will be available starting from September 16th for $199.99, on a 2-year contract.

 

HTC Droid Incredible Official Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Leaks

There is quite a bit of confusion regarding the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Droid Incredible. Originally, when a Gingerbread ROM leaked for the Droid Incredible, it was taken for granted that the handset will get some Gingerbread love. However, as time passed by, some HTC reps started telling Incredible users that the handset won’t be getting the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update, after all.

Things however again took a U-turn when one HTC rep confirmed that the Incredible would be getting the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update. Some documents from Verizon also leaked online, which stated that the Incredible would get the Gingerbread update. Now, a new Gingerbread ROM for the Droid Incredible has leaked online. From the look and feel of the ROM, it seems like this is the final version of the Gingerbread ROM for the Droid Incredible, which would be released to the public.

Visually, there are not many changes, except for a toggle menu and a task manager integrated into the notification bar. The Gingerbread update also brings some performance enhancements, and bug fixes. The usual Gingerbread goodies like an enhanced copy and paste functionality, and a Download Manager app is also on-board.

HTC Droid Incredible users who are interested in flashing this leaked ROM on their handset, should head over to  this link  for more information.

LG Optimus One Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Rolling Out Now

LG has finally started rolling out the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for one of their most successful Android handsets – the Optimus One (P500). Even though the Korean company missed its promised deadline, it still is better than nothing.

The Android 2.3 Gingerbread for the Optimus One brings an improved copy-and-paste mechanism, a Download manager and an overall improvement in performance and stability of the phone. Sadly, not all is rosy with the update. Most Optimus One owners over at XDA forums are reporting major problems with the update. Majority of the owners complained that the phone felt sluggish after the update. They also encountered lots of bugs with the Gingerbread firmware.

The list of bugs is also pretty long, and contains some serious issues like the microphone of the phone not working for the first 2-3 seconds of a call or Apps2SD not working properly. The growing list of bugs can be found on  this  thread on XDA forums.

LG would soon start rolling out the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the world’s first dual-core powered phone, the Optimus 2X and the Optimus Black. Hopefully, unlike the Optimus One Gingerbread update, the quality of the final firmware of the Gingerbread build of these two handsets would be much better and less buggy.

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab Gets The Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update In India

samsung galaxy tabThe original Samsung Galaxy Tab is one of the most popular Android tablet device. Samsung managed to sell more than 2 million units of the Galaxy Tab in just 4 months. It was launched in India last year during November. Samsung Galaxy Tab originally runs on the old Android 2.2 (Froyo) Operating System. Galaxy Tab owners in the US and most of the European countries has already got the Android 2.3 update in May. Last month, Samsung rolled out the Gingerbread update in UK. Now, after waiting for almost 3 months, Samsung has finally started rolling out the much-awaited Android 2.3 Gingerbread for the Galaxy Tab in India.

Samsung Galaxy Tab features a 7 inch TFT LCD touchscreen display with 1024×600 pixels resolution, 1GHz processor, Android 2.2 OS, TouchWIZ 3.0 UI, 3.2 megapixel camera, HD (720p) video recording, 1.3 megapixel front facing camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, 3G Connectivity, 512MB RAM, 16GB of internal memory, 32GB expandable memory and a 4000mAH battery.

Samsung has not released the official changelog, but it is expected to come with Skype videos calls, improvements in camera and battery life, etc. The Android 2.3 Gingerbread update is available only via Samsung Kies. You cannot update the device using the OTA (Over-The-Air) feature. You will need to connect the device to the computer and then update it using the Samsung Kies desktop software. If you find something new in this update, please let us know in the comments below.

HP TouchPad Running Android 2.2 and Android 2.3 Videos Surface

The HP TouchPad is currently the number 1 selling tablet in Amazon, and across all the retail stores in the U.S. Even though the tablet and webOS is dead, the $99 price is too tempting to give this tablet a miss.

As we had reported earlier, developers all over the world have already started working on porting Android to the TouchPad. There is even a $1500 bounty up for grab for anyone who manages to port Android to the HP’s dead tablet.

Now, two mysterious videos have surfaced on YouTube, which shows the TouchPad running two different  flavors  of Android.  In the first video, the TouchPad is running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and the owner of the video promises to publish a tutorial on August 24th, which will allow other users to install the OS on their $99 tablet as well. In fact, the owner of the video goes ahead and states that he will release a working Honeycomb port for the TouchPad on August 26th. Sounds quite dubious to me, considering Honeycomb’s source code is still not available to the public.

Below is a video of the TouchPad running Android 2.3 Gingerbread –

In the second video, the TouchPad is shown running on Android 2.2.1. The owner of the video claims that his friend’s TouchPad shipped with Android 2.2 pre-installed. Yes, pre-installed! The most interesting part of the video is that the TouchPad’s boot logo is that of Qualcomm’s. Quite interesting huh? The second video can be seen here.

Hopefully, by the end of this month, we should see some partially usable Android ports for the TouchPad.

 

 

TELUS Fascinate 3G Android 2.3 Gingerbread Update Rolling Out Now!

TELUS Fascinate 3G owners, here is some good news for you. Sammy has started rolling out the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for their handsets. Considering that the Verizon’s Fascinate is still stuck at Android 2.2 (FroYo), TELUS Fascinate owners should consider themselves very lucky!

The Android 2.3 Gingerbread update will bring with improvements in the performance and stability of the phone, improved battery life, and an enhanced copy & paste  functionality. The poor GPS performance is still present, post the update though. While some have noticed an improvement in GPS signal stability, some reported that, after installing the update, the GPS performance became totally horrible. The usual lag’ associated with the Galaxy S series of phone, due to the RFS FileSystem has been greatly reduced in this Gingerbread firmware as well.

However, majority of the Fascinate 3G owners who tried updating their handset to Android 2.3 via KIES ended up bricking up their phone.  Users, who have already installed this update, can follow  this  method to get root access on their  handset.

Readers can find more information about the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Fascinate 3G over at  TELUS support page.