Google Pushes Android 4.2 To AOSP; Releases Factory Images As Well

The Android engineers over at Google must be having a busy day today. After rolling out the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OTA update for the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 7, and releasing the new Nexii devices, Google has also released the factory images of Android 4.2 for the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10.

The company along pushed Android 4.2 Jelly Bean to AOSP. This means that developers can start working on integrating Android 4.2 in their ROMs.

There is a bad news, though. Android 4.2 Jelly Bean will not be available for the Nexus S and the Motorola XOOM. Both these devices will remain on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, and will not be supported henceforth in future AOSP releases.

Apart from all this, Google has also made the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean SDK and NDK available for download for app developers. Last, but not the least, Google also updated the Device Art Generator to add support for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10.

 

HTC DROID DNA Unveiled; Comes With A 5-inch 1080p Screen!

HTC and Verizon have teamed up to announce the first Android smartphone — Droid DNA — in the United States that will sport a 5-inch S-LCD3 display with a mind-numbing full HD (1920×1080) resolution.

Inside the Droid DNA is a beefy 1.5GHz Quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro Krait processor, 2GB of RAM, an Adreno 320 GPU and more. Other features include the same 8MP BSI F/2.0 camera on the back, a Smart LED flash, an ImageSense chip, and a 1.3MP camera in the front. All the usual features that are present in HTC phones like GPS, bunch of sensors, NFC, non-removable battery, no microSD card slot are all present.

Like all other HTC’s, the Droid DNA runs on Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean with Sense 4+ on top of it. The handset also sports the Beats Audio logo, and thankfully, beefed-up amps for the rear speaker and handset.

HTC Droid DNA will be coming on Verizon’s LTE network on the 21st of November for $199 with a two-year contract. The handset will go on pre-order from today itself.

Google Nexus 4 Sold Out In The U.K And Europe; Goes On Sale In The U.S.A At 9AM PST

The Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 went on sale today via the Play Store and sold out within 20 minutes of the ordering page going live. The handset and the tablet first went on sale in Australia and sold out in exactly 20 minutes. In other regions of the world, including the United Kingdom and Europe, the ordering page of the handset was hardly live for 5 minutes.

Interested buyers who tried to purchase the Nexus 4 or the Nexus 10 usually ended up getting “an error occurred while processing your order” when they tried to purchase the devices using Play Store. However, later on, most of them got a confirmation mail from Google saying their order has been successfully approved and their credit card charged.

It is not yet known whether there was actually so much demand for the Nexus 4 or Google grossly under-estimated the demand for the handset. Even then, most buyers were not at all pleased with how the Play Store behaved when they were purchasing the new Nexii devices from Google.

The Nexus 4 is, however, yet to go on sale in the United States. The handset, along with the Nexus 10, will be available for purchase from the Play Store at 9AM PST/12PM EST as confirmed by Google.

 

Google Rolls Out Android 4.2 Jelly Bean Update For Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7

Earlier today, Google started rolling out the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean update for the Nexus 7 and the takju variant of the Galaxy Nexus i.e. the handsets that were purchased directly from Google via the Play Store. .

The Android 4.2 update will bring with it quite a lot of minor yet much-appreciated changes including quick settings in the notification bar, multiple user profiles for tablets, an updated Clock app, Gesture typing for the keyboard, pinch-to-zoom in GMail and much more.

Google is rolling out the OTA update only in certain regions of the world and to limited number of Nexus 7s and Galaxy Nexus out there, so don’t expect the OTA update to be available immediately for you. The final OTA update also includes lock screen widgets that was missing in all the Nexus 4 review unit.

Google usually keeps a new version of Android exclusive to the Nexus handset for a couple of weeks before it pushes the update to other devices and the code to AOSP. However, this time Google has decided otherwise, and pushed the Android 4.2 OTA update on the same day it released the Nexus 4 in a bunch of countries.

From A CM Developer – ‘The “Superbrick” Nightmare’ Or How Samsung Screwed All Galaxy Note Owners

At the beginning of this year, when Samsung started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy Note (N7000), a serious issue was found in the kernel level of the firmware. If any Note owner used the Factory Reset option or wiped the internal storage of his or her device using recovery, the eMMC chip inside the device would die. The issue was present in all the previous leaked ICS firmware for the Galaxy Note, and the community had promptly informed Samsung about the issue after Note owners started bricking their devices left, right and center. The issue was termed as ‘Superbrick’ in the XDA community, since there was no way to bring back these affected devices to life.

Now, a CyanogenMod developer – Andrew Dodd – has written his story on the ‘superbrick’ issue titled ‘The “Superbrick” Nightmare’ on Google+. The series of posts from Andrew Dodd show the real and harsh truth on how Samsung completely ignored the Superbrick issue, hardly cared about Note owners who had already bricked their devices and the meeting it setup with developers just for the sake of publicity. Worse? The ‘superbrick’ issue eventually found its way to many other Samsung devices even after Samsung knew about it and said that it was “working diligently” on it.

Some of the developers worked hard on finding the root cause of the issue, and even informed Samsung about it. Heck! They even provided Samsung with a workaround to this problem. Even then, in a somewhat shocking behavior, Samsung did not pay any heed to the Android developers and many firmware for other Samsung devices (AT&T and International SGS2) that leaked in the future were found to be plagued by the same kernel-level eMMC killing bug. Even official firmware release from Samsung had the ‘Superbrick’ issue, months after the community informed them about it.

On the flipside, his posts also shows how the Android community worked together to find the root cause of the issue and a fix for it, so as to prevent users from ‘Superbricking’ their devices and extent to which they went to try and save all those Notes that were already superbricked, The hero or the saviour of all the Galaxy Notes and Galaxy S2s out there, however, turned out to be an engineer from Google — Ken — who was later silenced by Samsung. As it turns out, independent Android developers and engineers at Google care more about your devices than Samsung itself does.

It has been more than six months since Samsung was made aware of the ‘superbrick’ issue and it promised that it was “working diligently” on it, and yet till date, the issue persists. Samsung fixed the issue on its newer devices like the Galaxy S3 that never had the issue, but has not made any effort to fix the problem on the device severely affected by it, the Galaxy Note.

Read: The “Superbrick” Nightmare

Samsung, the developers and community have played a large part in making you the largest mobile manufacturer out there. Stop screwing around with them. You are not going to stay at the top forever! HTC and Qualcomm have learnt from their mistakes and are now embrace the open-source community and its developers. Its about time you do the same!

 

 

ASUS Transformer Infinity Gets A Major Bug-Squashing Update

ASUS has started rolling out a new software update for the Transformer Pad Infinity that includes a bunch of bug-fixes. Before you start jumping with excitement, no, the update does not bring either Android 4.1.2 or Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

Anyways, the update fixes some really serious bugs which have been plaguing Infinity owners since quite sometime.

Below is the full change-log of the update via Android Police -:

Wi-Fi Direct

  • Fine-tune Wi-Fi Direct connection behavior.

Camera

  • Fix the issue that in certain “aspect ratio” and “picture size” photos, the pixel dimension of picture would be different if taken in landscape and portrait mode.

Settings

  • Fix the issue that, during HDMI output, the output screen will get cropped after user chooses “HDMI” item in “Settings.”
  • Fix the issue that there will be no items in HDMI setting page when output via HDMI Fix the issue that the screen may flicker when rotate the pad after adjust brightness bar in “Settings.”

Wi-Fi

  • Fix the issue that when user keeps on turning on/off Wi-Fi, sometimes it will stick in the “Turning Wi-Fi on… ” status for a while

Bluetooth

  • Improve Bluetooth compatibility.

App Backup

  • Fix the issue that it still shows backup success when user removes SD card during the backup process when App Backup is backing up applications to SD card.

Sound Recorder

  • Fix the issue that the file recorded via Sound Recorder cannot be played after inserted in Supernote.

Browser

  • Fix the issue that typing English after Chinese with Zuyin IME in the input field of Browser would cause what had been typed garbled.

3rd Party App

  • 高德導航Upgrade to 5.1.8001.0033.0033-20121010 (CN SKU only).
  • MyCloud Upgrade to 0.9.115.1493.
  • Polaris Upgrade to 3.5_5r14741FV06.
  • Remove掌上百度 (CN SKU only).

As of now, ASUS is not rolling out the update via OTA. Instead, users need to head over to ASUS website and download the update and install it manually on their tablet.

ASUS And Google Refunding Money Back To Less Than 15 Days Old Nexus 7 Owners

When ASUS announced the Nexus 4 and the Nexus 10, it also dropped the price of the 16GB Nexus 7 to $199 and introduced a new 32GB variant of the tablet for $249. Nexus 7 owners who got the tablet recently must have felt pretty cheated by this move from Google. There are only a few things in life worse than seeing a device that you recently purchased, get a hefty price cut.

Thankfully, ASUS has announced that Nexus 7 owners will get a free ₤25 coupon via which they can purchase anything from the ASUS Shop online store. The offer is only valid for Nexus 7 tablets purchased by October 29th from either retail stores or from an online website. ASUS does not state as to which variants of the tablet are eligible for the offer or the purchasing date. Anyways, head over to this website if you live in Europe or the U.K to register for the offer.

For Nexus 7 owners who got their tablet directly from Google’s Play Store, things are even better. The Play Store actually has a Price Protection policy, which states that if Google reduces the price of a device on Google Play, it will actually refund the difference in price to the user. The  Policy, however, is only valid for devices purchased within 15 days since the price reduction took place. Also, users will need to apply for the price protection policy within 15 days of the price reduction taking place.

This means that if you purchased a Nexus 7 from Google’s Play Store on or after October 14th, you are currently eligible for a refund from Google. Head over to this page to register for the policy and get your money back!

Via – Droid Life

Humble Bundle For Android 4 Goes Live; Includes Six Cross-Platform Games

We all love Humble Bundle, don’t we? Not only can users get a bunch of games at an uber-cheap price, they can also donate certain amount of money to charity as well. And to top it off, the games you purchase will be cross platform i.e. if you purchase an Humble Bundle for Android, you also get copies of the all games free for Mac, Windows and Linux.

Today, Humble Bundle released their fourth bundle for Android devices. As of now, the bundle contains six popular Android games including Crayon Physics Deluxe, Eufloria, Splice, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, and Waking Mars. The sixth game i.e. Machinarium will only be unlocked if the users pay more than average.

The total bundle originally costs around $119, but thanks to Humble Bundle, users can get all these games for whatever price they wish. All these games are DRM-free, and users can also redeem these games from Steam or from Ubuntu’s Software Center.

The Humble Bundle is for Android is there for the next 13 days so users have a lot of time to decide whether they want to purchase the bundle or not. Humble Bundle usually adds a couple of more games to their bundle for people who have already purchased the bundle for free, so do keep that factor in mind.

Head over to the Humble Bundle website to purchase the bundle.

New Horizontal Menus in Google Search Results

Earlier in June, Keith had first reported that Google is testing out a new layout for it’s search results page by moving the vertical menu on the left over to the top. It looks like Google has permanently implemented the change as several numbers of users have started to see the new look for Google’s search results pages.

However, I find the new Google search horizontal menu completely unnecessary, or the old menu which was on the left hand side served better. There is also the dark horizontal navigation menu on top, which is pretty much same as the new one, just that the options (services) are shuffled. This makes the new menu redundant.

New Google Search Layout

Google should have at least the made the position of one of the navigation bars fixed, so that the bar sticks to the top when the user scrolls down, and does not have to scroll back to the top when they want to change page.

Jon Wiley, Lead Designer, Google Search says that,

“You’ll notice a new simpler, cleaner design on the search results page – we’ve been working on ways to create a consistent search experience across the wide variety of devices and screen sizes people use today. We started with tablets last year, got it to mobile phones a few weeks ago, and are now rolling out to the desktop.

With the new design, there’s a bit more breathing room, and more focus on the answers you’re looking for, whether from web results or from a feature like the Knowledge Graph”

There’s a whole lot of space on the left hand side and we’re not clear whether how Google will make use of it. Google also enhanced the search results page by adding several new features including Knowledge Graph and a dedicated application search for Mobile, PC & Browser Apps.

Sprint Rolls Out A Minor OTA Update For Photon Q

Sprint has started rolling out a minor software update for the Motorola Photon Q. Before you jump with excitement thinking its the Jelly Bean update, read the last statement again. The update is only a minor one and brings some bug-fixes, improvements and enhancements.

Below is the full change-log of the update -:

  • Improved text messaging when requesting usage and upgradeability through Sprint Zone
  • Select number of users to access Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Random power cycle when using Wi-Fi Direct
  • Manually send or auto-sync emails from outbox
  • seamless international text messaging
  • Faster launch and playback using the YouTube application
  • Improved browsing with Google Chrome for Android Mobile Browser
  • Improved MMS functionality

Well, Photon Q owners need to content themselves with this OTA update until Motorola and Sprint prepare the Jelly Bean update for the device. Considering that Motorola has not mentioned any exact timeframe as to when the Android 4.1.1 update will be available for the handset, the wait might just be a long one.

The OTA update will be available to all Photon Q owners within a couple of weeks. Alternatively, Q owners can keep tapping the Check for updates option under About Phone to manually pull the update from Sprint’s server.

Via – Sprint