Lenovo has just announced its latest Android tablet running Ice Cream Sandwich, the IdeaTab S2109. Beside its complex name, the tablet sports a 9.7-inch IPS LCD with a 4:3 aspect ratio. The resolution of the tablet is known, but considering it has a 4:3 aspect ratio, the resolution should ideally be 1024*768. Compared to the Full HD (1920*1080) resolution in the upcoming Android tablets, and the Retina display on the new iPad, the resolution is quite a disappointment. The tablet is a mere 8.9 mm thin, and will have a unibody gunmetal finish for a premium feel in the hand.
The S2109 will be powered by a TI OMAP SoC, either the 4430 or the 4460, which is again inferior to the Tegra 3 in benchmarks. Other specs of the tablet include 1GB of RAM, a microSD card slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS, FM radio (!), micro-HDMI, micro-USB and the usual bunch of sensors. Lenovo also states that the tablet comes with quad (!) speakers for a true SRS Trumedia experience. Whether the tablet really manages to fit in four quality speakers in such a slim body, or is this just a marketing gimmick from Lenovo can only be found once it hits the retail market. Lenovo also promises up to 10 hours of battery life for the tablet.
Thankfully, the IdeaPad will run on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich right out of the box. The company is yet to send out a a press release about the launch of the tablet, along with more details about its pricing and release date though.
Last weekend, the folks over at BriefMobile had leaked the official Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich version of the Nexus S 4G. If you own a Nexus S 4G, and have not yet installed the leaked update on your phone until now but are planning on doing so, wait! Beginning from today, Sprint has officially started rolling out the Android 4.0.4 update for the Nexus S 4G.
The NS 4G never got the original Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update, so quite a lot of users will be jumping directly from Android 2.3 to Android 4.0.4. For the unknown, the Android 4.0 update is possibly the biggest update ever in the history of this open-source mobile OS.
The ICS update includes a new and polished UI, GPU rendering, a new launcher with a sliding menu drawer, the ability to monitor data usage of individual apps, Android Beam, Holo theme for apps, a new and enhanced notification bar, new lock screen, a new camera app, an enhanced version of the Contacts app known as the People’s app, a new multi-tasking UI and a magazine like swipe UI throughout the OS.
If you have not already received the OTA update from Sprint on your handset, it should pop-up on your handset in the next few days.
Back at MWC, HTC re-invented itself and tried to regain its lost marketshare by announcing the HTC One series. The One series from HTC consists of three handsets, the One X, One S and the One V. All the three phones cater to the different needs, budgets and sizes of people, but have three things in common – an amazing camera, authentic sound with Beats Audio and an awesome build quality.
The One X and the One V have already hit the retail stores of quite a few major markets in various regions of the world. The early reviews of the One X also suggest that the phone is a very decent handset, with a stellar SLCD2 screen that runs circles around the HD Super AMOLED screen on the Galaxy Nexus, and that is saying something!
Nevertheless, like the previous two flagships from HTC, it looks like Sprint is all set to launch its EVO version of the One X. While the final name of the handset is still not known, the folks over at Droid-Life managed to spend sometime with the handset and they came impressed with it. The EVO One from Sprint will sport similar specs as the European version of the One X, except that it will come with a LTE radio to support Sprint’s upcoming LTE network. The EVO One is going to the first phone from HTC to support’s Sprint’s upcoming LTE network. Like the EVO 4G, the EVO One will also sport a kick-stand at its back, and will come with red accents to give the handset a sporty look.
The Motorola Droid RAZR is perhaps the perfect example of a decent phone announced at the wrong time. The handset was announced just hours before Samsung and Google unveiled the Galaxy Nexus, along with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The RAZR is a decent Android handset with a sub-par 4.3-inch qHD Super-AMOLED Advanced display, a 1.2GHz dual core processor and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU, 1GB of RAM, 8MP camera, 4G LTE and an insanely thin waist line of 7.1mm which packs a 1780mAh battery.
A couple of months after the RAZR was released, Motorola released a fatter version of the handset dubbed as the Droid RAZR MAXX. The MAXX is similar to the RAZR except that it is a bit thicker at 9mm, but packs in a beefy 3300mAh battery. Thanks to the beefy battery, the RAZR MAXX easily lasts a day under heavy usage while constantly using Verizon’s blazing fast 4G LTE network.
A month after releasing the RAZR MAXX, Motorola again released a new variant of the RAZR with an unlocked bootloader targeted for the developers. The handset came with no warranty whatsoever, and had to be purchased outright and was available only in the United States.
Today, Motorola has announced another variant of the RAZR MAXX which comes with GSM radios. The handset will be running on Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread out of the box, but will get the Ice Cream Sandwich update soon. The handset is expected to be available in selected markets in Europe and Middle East sometime in May 2012.
Google introduced Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich back in October in an event in Hong Kong, along with the Galaxy Nexus. The Nexus handset took its sweet time to be available to the public, along with the AOSP code of the new Android OS version. The Android 4.0 update for the Nexus S was also pushed 1.5 months after the OS was announced, and was then pulled back due to bugs. Due to all these factors, the Ice Cream Sandwich adoption rate had been pretty dismissal. When Google had released its last Android platform distribution chart, Ice Cream Sandwich had a market share of only 1.6%.
Today, Google again updated its Android version distribution chart for a two-week period ending on April 2, 2012, and things certainly look better. The latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, now has a whopping market share of…2.9%. While that number is still pretty low, it is bound to improve in the next couple of weeks thanks to the ICS updates of the HTC Sensation, Samsung Galaxy S II, and the Android 4.0.4 update for the XOOM, Nexus S and the Galaxy Nexus.
Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread still remains the most popular version of Android out there, with a 63.2% market share. While the ICS adoption rate is still pretty low, we should not forget that many of the popular Android handsets like the Galaxy S, HTC EVO 4G, Motorola Droid and the Droid X will not be updated to Android 4.0. Also, with nearly all of the Android handsets still shipping with Gingerbread out of the box, expect Gingerbread to remain the most popular Android version for quite a few more months.
Earlier this month, Engadget got tipped from a source that Google will start rolling out the Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Nexus S 4G. Last week, Google started rolling out the Android 4.0.4 update for quite a few of its devices including the Galaxy Nexus, Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi edition and the Nexus S. However, none of the Nexus S 4G users reported that they got the update on their handset.
Over the weekend, the folks over at BriefMobile managed to get their hands on the Android 4.0.4 update for the Nexus S 4G. The update includes new WiMAX radios, which supposedly improves the network reception and data transfer speed. Readers can also find a manual installation guide over at BriefMobile.
The Android 4.0.4 update brings with it quite a few changes, including performance and stability improvements, faster camera app and camera quality improvements, smoother animations, a new power menu, bug fixes and more. The whole change-log of the Android 4.0.4 update can be found here.
After more than a month of delay, Google finally pushed the Android 4.0.4 update to the Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus (GSM) and the Motorola XOOM Wi-Fi variant. Along with this, the company also pushed the Android 4.0.4 to AOSP. The kernel sources are not yet pushed, but Android developer, JB, has promised to push it to AOSP as soon as possible. The factory images for Android 4.0.4 for the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus S also available for download. While there is no official change-log available for the Android 4.0.4 update, Jean states that there are more than a hundred minor fixes in this update.
I manually installed the Android 4.0.4 update on my Galaxy Nexus, and have noticed quite a few minor but welcome changes. Firstly, after installing the update the whole phone felt a lot snappier. The animations are also faster now, and the slow auto-rotation animation and the lag for the auto-rotation to kick-in have also been fixed.
According to the Galaxy Nexus users over at XDA forums, the update also improves the camera performance of the handset. Not only does the phone take better quality pictures with less noise, it focuses properly before capturing them. The update also contains a new radio, which improves the network reception depending on your location. One of the most importantchanges in the update is a much-improved auto-brightness. On Android 4.0.2/3, the auto-brightness extremely wonky! It would turn down the brightness to almost 0, and gave the whole screen a very blueish tint. Thankfully, this issue has been fixed in this update.
There are a lot of other bug fixes as well in the Android 4.0.4 update for the Galaxy Nexus like the multi-touch bug, keyboard bug, the Android OS battery drain bug and more.
Motorola and Verizon have started rolling out the Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich (IMM76) update for the Wi-Fi variant of the XOOM in the United States. The new build of Android includes quite a few new enhancements, including stability improvements, faster auto rotation, better phone number recognition and much more.
Below is the full change-log of the update via Droid-Life -:
Quicker screen rotation
A new setting to choose whether the power button immediately locks the device or not
Microsoft Exchange improvements with additional EAS policies
Better phone number recognition
Camera and image quality improvements
The update is being rolled out via OTA and went live just a few mins ago, so users should expect the software update notification on their XOOM to pop-up sometime soon. Hopefully, Google will also release the Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus S, along with pushing it to AOSP.
An Android 4.0.4 build for the Nexus S 4G did leak last month, and it brought quite a few improvements, but since then the big-G has not shown any signs of releasing the final Android 4.0.4 build to the public.
Asus Transformer Prime owners, here is a surprise for you! Earlier today, Asus announced via its Facebook page that it would soon be releasing a new firmware update for the Prime with “awesome new features”. The company did not reveal much information as to what these awesome new features are, so it’s anybody’s guess at the moment.
The Asus Transformer Prime was released last year, and was the successor to the original Transformer. It was also the first tablet available to the public to use a quad-core Tegra 3 processor. However, soon after its launch the Prime was plagued with GPS and Wi-Fi issues which made a dent in its sale. The company however has since then released numerous software updates to improve the GPS performance of the device. The Prime was also among the first Android tablets to get updated to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, ahead of the Motorola XOOM.
Unlike other Android tablet makers, who simply release a tablet and then release either maintenance update or Android OS updates, it is nice to see Asus taking a different approach. No wonder the company is aiming to be the number 1 Android tablet maker!
I have been an Android user for more than two years now. Before jumping on the Android bandwagon, I was an un-impressed Nokia 5800 user running S60v5. Ever since I switched to an Android phone, I have absolutely love the apps and power of the OS. However, one area where I have always been disappointed with Android is the lack of a good Android twitter client.
Yes, there are MANY twitter clients available in the Google Play market including Plume, Tweetcaster, the official Twitter client, Twicca and many more. However, all of them look very clunky, unpolished compared to Gravity on Symbian or any of the iOS twitter client. Due to the lack of options, I have been using Twicca since the last year or so just because it is the best among the worst.
Thankfully, after the release of Ice Cream Sandwich with its new Holo UI, and developers looking to create beautiful Android apps, it looks like we might finally get a decent Android Twitter client. Carbon for webOS was one of the most popular apps available for that platform, and the same developers have been working hard on Carbon for Android. After the last couple of months in development, the developers have released a video of Carbon for Android in action on a Galaxy Nexus. Below is the video -:
After seeing the video above, I was left speechless. Whenever Carbon for Android hits the Google Play Market, it will be without a doubt the BEST Twitter client for the OS. The app has a stunning UI, makes use of the Holo theme, and is filled with animations as well. Whenever Carbon for Android hits the Play market, it will be available for download only for all the Ice Cream Sandwich running handsets. The developers will take a look at porting the app to older versions of Gingerbread after releasing the final version for ICS handsets.
If you are developing an Android app, or already have developed one, take the above app as an example. The developer has cried about the Android’s poor SDK tools on Twitter, but still wanted to make sure that his app delivers a polished Twitter experience and has managed to do that successfully!