Last year, AT&T announced the powerful HTC Vivid smartphone. This device comes with a 4.5 inch LCD qHD display as well as a 1.2GHz Snapdragon S3 processor. The HTC Vivid originally runs on the old Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) Operating System. However, last week HTC announced that HTC Vivid and 15 other smartphones will get the Android 4.0 update in the coming weeks.
We have good news for the HTC Vivid customers. AT&T has finally started rolling out the much-awaited Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update for the HTC Vivid smartphone. The latest update comes with Beats Audio, Face Unlock, advanced voice and text input, UI improvements and much more. Check out the complete changelog after the break.
Beats Audio – Enhance your music and video experience with Beats Audio. Whenever a media file is played using the default media players or most third-party applications, the Beats Audio indicator will appear in the notification bar. Simply tap the notification to enable or disable Beats Audio. You can also turn Beats Audio on or off in the Settings menu. Note: Beats Audio will only work when headphones or an external speaker is connected. This is to ensure the best possible audio quality.
Face Unlock – Face Unlock is a new screen-lock option that lets you unlock your device using face recognition. It takes advantage of the device’s front-facing camera and state-of-the-art facial recognition technology to register a face during setup, and then to recognize it again when unlocking the device. Just hold your device in front of your face to unlock, or use a backup PIN or pattern.
Improved email – Easier to send, read and manage through recipient auto-completion, stored text, and nested sub-folders. For enterprises, the Email app supports EAS v14. It supports EAS certificate authentication, provides ABQ strings for device type and mode, and allows automatic sync to be disabled while roaming. Administrators can also limit attachment size or disable attachments.
Bluetooth Mouse and keyboard – Use a Bluetooth mouse and/or keyboard with your device and adjust its settings.
UI Improvements – Access the notification bar on the lock screen. Drag apps/shortcuts on top of one another to create folders. New fully customizable Launch Bar at the bottom of the screen. Resizable widgets.
Advanced Voice and Text Input – More robust and can be used to dictate an entire email. Intelligent enough to recognize pauses, breaks and punctuation. Advanced Spell Checker.
HTC Vivid owners can download and install the update directly from the phone using Wi-Fi. It is advised to backup all you data before updating the device. You should also make sure that your battery has at least 50% charge. If you find something new, please let us know in the comments section below.
Samsung and Verizon will soon start rolling out a new software update for the Korean company’s first ever 4G LTE compatible Android handset, the Droid Charge. While the update does not bump up the Android version to 4.0 or even to 2.3.x, it does contain some minor bug fixes and UI changes.
Below is the full change-log of the update -:
+Updated User Interface.
+Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System
+No longer receive a promotional notification popup when using Mobile Hotspot.
+Device allows for USB tethering while in Wi-Fi mode.
+No longer lose data connectivity when the USB cable is connected or disconnected.
+Easily view data activity with the Wi-Fi icon located in the status bar.
+Resolved “no tones” dial pad issue, allowing for easy access to voice mail and other automated systems.
Applications & Widgets:
+Receive enhanced customer support with the Verizon Remote Diagnostics (VRD) application.
+VZ Navigator is now updated to version 220.127.116.11.
+The Google Mobile Services package includes updated Google Books, Market and GMail applications.
+ Default browser landing page is www.google.com
+Updates protect device from data loss caused by some 3rd party Android Market applications.
The choppy audio bug was introduced in the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update for the Charge, which was released late last year. 5 months after that, Verizon and Samsung finally have the time to fix the bug.
The update is already being rolled out in stages via OTA, and weighs in about 85MB. To manually check for the update, go to Settings-> About Phone and then select the System Updates option.
Bad news Samsung Galaxy Note owners! Samsung has today officially announced that it won’t be updating the Note to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich until sometime in Q2. Samsung is however making up for the delay by including some ‘Premium Suite’ of apps along with pre-loading more applications that will be optimized to take advantage of the S-Pen on the Note.
“GALAXY Note continues to delight customers all over the world with its incredible versatility and unique user experience. With the Premium Suite upgrade, we wanted to add features that enrich users’ Note experience even more, including the great advantages of Android 4.0 and innovative applications for S Pen,” said JK Shin, President of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “We are committed to providing extraordinary experiences for consumers, and we will continue to provide new features and upgrades to enrich our offering.”
The Premium Suite of apps include S Note, Shape Match and Formula Match applications. Along with this, the Galaxy Note will also come pre-loaded with the latest version of Angry Birds – Space – with exclusive access to 30 challenging ‘Danger Zone’ levels.
The Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Galaxy Note will include a new task switcher, Face Unlock, improved copy and paste, new and improved Google apps and much more. Hopefully, Samsung will also make the ICS update for the Note less TouchWIZ-y, unlike the ICS update for the Galaxy S2.
Motorola and Verizon have started rolling out a new software update for the Droid X2. Sadly, its not the Ice Cream Sandwich update that Droid X2 owners might be expecting. The Droid X2 won’t be getting a taste of Ice Cream Sandwich, even though it sports a dual-core processor. Blame Motorola and Verizon for this!
This new software update for the X2, which is also probably its last, fixes some bugs including a security patch fix from Google. Verizon like always has also taken this opportunity to add more bloat to the handset.
Below is the full change-log of the update -:
Verizon Video and VZ Navigator 3D City are now pre-loaded.
A Google security patch has been added to improve the security level.
Purchased ringtones can now be saved and set.
Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
Shortcut names can be updated and saved.
The keyboard of Input Auto Error Correction settings defaults to off.
The update is already live on Verizon’s server and is being rolled out via OTA, so if you have not already got the update you can get it by manually checking for it. To update manually, go to Settings-> About Phone and then select the Software Updates option.
Archos is a relatively unknown company that manufactures some really decent, value for money, Android tablets. The company does not sell its tablet all over the world, which limits the reach and overall sales of the tablet. Anyways, the company has announced via its Facebook page that it has started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for its G9 range of tablets including the Archos 80 G9 and Archos 101 G9Classic and Turbo models.
The Ice Cream Sandwich update for the above tablets will bring with it quite a lot of new features including a new multi-tasking bar, an improved web browser, enhanced performance and stability, updated UI icons, new camera app, a new app drawer and launcher, improved voice to text output, and surprisingly the new People’s app. Considering the Archos tablet does not have any telephony features, I wonder why the Peoples app has been included.
The update is being rolled out via OTA, so users just need to connect their Archos tablet to a Wi-Fi network and they will be automatically informed about the update. It is really commendable to see a small company like Archos beating Samsung and Motorola in updating its Android tablets to the latest version of Archos!
Remember the big MotoACTV update we talked about a few weeks ago? Well, the promised date from Motorola (7th March) came and went by without any news from the company. However, the company started rolling out the software update this last weekend for all MotoActv owners to enjoy.
If you had somehow missed the previous post, the new update for the Actv brings a lot of new features including 40 additional activities including Yoga, Pilates, Weight training and Martial Arts etc. Other usability changes include connecting the device to a Wi-Fi network without connecting it to a PC, the ability to wake up the device by simply shaking it, an improved battery life and much more. Most importantly, users will not need to connect the MotoACTV to a PC for any trivial task.
Below is a small video that Motorola uploaded demonstrating the 40 new activities the software update adds -:
MotoACTV owners can install the latest software update on their device by syncing the device to their computer. Users should then be automatically notified about the new software update. If not, well then keep trying!
Back in January, Nokia started rolling out the PR 1.2 software update for the developer only Meego handset, the Nokia N950. Considering that the N9 is the consumer version of the N950, it was only a matter of time before Nokia released the update for the former.
Now, more than a month after the N950 got the update, Nokia has started rolling out the PR 1.2 software update for the N9. The PR 1.2 software update adds a bunch of new features to the last Meego handset from the company including video calling, improved photography, an updated version of Nokia Drive and folders support for the app drawer among other things.
For all the camera enthusiasts, the N9 now supports continuous auto-focus while recording videos. The software update also reduces the shutter lag on the N9 to nearly zero, like on the Galaxy Nexus, thus snapping moments instantly!
Post the software update, users will also be able to tag their friends in a photo they will be uploading using the new face recognition technology. Using the Google Talk video call app, users can also make video calls to their loved ones. Other changes in the software update include improved web browsing history, improved copy and paste, support for five new languages – Thai, Hebrew, Persian, Vietnamese and Kazak, the ability to create playlists in the stock music player, and enhancements to Mail for Exchange.
The software update contains many other changes, which N9 owners can find in details over here. The update is already live so simply connect your handset to a Wi-Fi network, and you will be automatically notified that a new software update is available for your handset.
Motorola and Verizon have started rolling out a new software update for the Droid 2 Global. The update does not bring Ice Cream Sandwich or any other major enhancements, which quite a few Droid 2 owners would have been hoping for. The update simply fixes some bugs and loopholes, and improves the memory management on the handset.
Below is the full change-log of the update -:
Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
A Google Security Patch has been added to improve security level.
Fixed issue where the device may power ON without user interaction.
Adjusted camera settings will be saved, even after the device is powered down.
Resolved possible device resets while playing music.
Reduced Out of Memory errors.
Email, Messaging, and Data
Improved ability to access and receive Gmail messages when the Mobile Hotspot is turned on.
Addressed error that replicated thumbnails in message threads.
Applications & Widget
WAV files can be played from Visual Voice Mail.
Purchased ringtones are now able to be downloaded, saved and used where appropriate.
As it is evident from the change-log above, the update barely brings anything new. However, it is definitely nice to see Motorola and Verizon taking the effort and indulging resources in fixing bugs and security loopholes in old and forgotten Android handsets, albeit quite a months late.
Last year, when Motorola announced the Droid RAZR, it also announced a sports tracking device for fitness freaks, the MotoACTV. When Motorola had originally announced the device, the ACTV was capable of tracking only outdoor sports activities, which required the use of a GPS.
However, Motorola has now announced in a blog post that it will soon be releasing a new software update for the MotoACTV that will add support for more than 40 new activities including yoga, Pilates, Dancing and Martial arts. The software update will also bring other enhancements like the ability to directly setup Wi-Fi on the device, host your own competitions and more. The update will also enable users to enable the display on the ACTV by just a flick. Hopefully, this software update from Motorola will make the ACTV appeal to a wider range of audience.
According to Motorola, this is just a ‘sneak peek’ of what the new software update is going to bring to the ACTV. The new update for the ACTV is scheduled to go live on March 7 around the world.
None of the Android tablets from any manufacture, except for Asus to a certain extent, has been able to set the sales chart on fire. There are a number of reason behind this including an exorbitant price tag, under-equipped internal hardware, poor screens, and lack of apps among other things.
Honeycomb as a tablet OS also had quite a few issues, which thankfully Google fixed in Ice Cream Sandwich. All Android manufacturers are racing to update their tablet to Ice Cream Sandwich as soon as possible. However, it looks like Toshiba is going to take its own sweet time to update its Android tablets, the Thrive, to Ice Cream Sandwich.
Toshiba’s PR Manager, Eric Paulsen, has confirmed on Twitter that the company will be updating the 7-inch and the 10-inch variants of the Thrive to Ice Cream Sandwich sometime in…wait for it…end of Spring. This means that Thrive owners are not going to taste Ice Cream Sandwich on their tablet before June-end, which is still quite a few months away.