Verizon Announces Its Galaxy Note Competitor – LG Intuition

LG and Verizon have teamed up to announce the U.S variant of the LG Optimus Vu, the LG Intuition. The Galaxy Note competitor from LG sports a 5-inch True HD IPS display with 720p resolution with excellent viewing angles and color reproduction.

Other specs of the LG Intuition include a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, Adreno 220 GPU, 1GB of RAM, an 8MP camera with an LED flash at the back, a 1.3MP camera in the front, Bluetooth 3.0 + HS, Wi-Fi b/g/n, NFC and GPS with A-GPS. LG will also be bundling two NFC tags, which can be re-programmed using the pre-installed LG Tag+ app.

The handset-cum-tablet hybrid will run on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box with LG’s own custom skin on top of it. LG have added some useful features with their skin including the ability to click a picture via voice commands, a Notebook app that will allow users to take virtual notes on the Intuition, and a suite of Amazon apps.

The LG Intuition will be available from September 6th on all Verizon stores and website for $199.99 on a two-year contract. Buyers who order the phablet between Sept. 6 to 10th will also receive a free LG Tone Stereo Bluetooth headset.

Motorola Droid Xyboard 10.1 Wi-Fi Gets The Android 4.0.4 ICS Update

Last year, Motorola launched the Droid Xyboard 10.1 Wi-Fi tablet in the US. It is nothing but the Verizon’s variant of the Motorola Xoom 2 tablet. This device was shipped with the Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) Operating System. Back in March, Verizon announced the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update plans for 14 Android powered devices, including the Droid Xyboard 10.1 Wi-Fi.

After waiting for nearly 5 months, Verizon finally started rolling out the much-awaited Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) update for the Droid Xyboard 10.1 Wi-Fi. The latest update is numbered 11.11.27.MZ61 and it brings the usual Ice Cream Sandwich goodies including the new data usage monitor, face unlock, direct access lock screen, redesigned gallery app with photo editor, new system font for improved readability, resizable widgets and so on. Check out the complete changelog after the break.

Changelog:

  • Direct Access Lock Screen: The direct access lock screen takes you directly to Camera, Browser, Gallery or Unlock
  • Create Folders: Easily create folders by dropping one app on top of another. You can also add a name to specify the folder contents.
  • All Apps Screen: Add Widgets and Apps to your homescreen panels via the All Apps Screen and the Widget Screen.
  • Notification Bar: Enhanced notifications window includes access to settings menu, and the new swipe feature to dismiss individual notifications.
  • Data Usage Monitor: Monitor your data usage all in one place. Set warning levels, check individual app usage or turn off data completely.
  • Includes the latest Motorola USB driver to allow Xyboard to connect to a computer to transfer files.
  • Securely refresh your Corporate Email account with the native email client.
  • Faster Browsing Experience./li>
  • Improved network connectivity.

The size of the update is 336.4 MB and it will be available via Over-The-Air (OTA). You will be automatically notified when the update is available for your device. If you have not received the update, then just go to Settings > About Device > System updates and check for the update. To learn more, check out this PDF file.

Verizon Galaxy S3 Bootloader Unlocked Thanks To A Leaked Unsecure Bootloader

Verizon is known for locking down bootloaders on its handset to prevent users from flashing, rooting or modifying the handset in any way. The Samsung Galaxy S3 was no exception to this, and came with a locked down bootloader angering many of its early owners. While Verizon and Samsung did announce a developer edition of the Galaxy S3, it made little sense since it came without any warranty, and had to be purchased outright.

The Verizon Galaxy S3 developer community through its hard work had managed to gain root access, and even flash a custom ROM including CM9/10 on the device. Now, in a major break through, AdamOutler has managed to unlock the bootloader  of the Verizon Galaxy S3. He managed to unlock the bootloader via an unsecure bootloader leaked by an “African-Canadian Sock Monkey”.

If you ever flash this unsecure bootloader on your Verizon Galaxy S3, make sure you never install an update from Samsung or Verizon. Doing so might just brick your device. Flash the unsecure bootloader only if you are willing to run custom ROMs on your Galaxy S3 for life.

Head over to this thread on XDA for more information and how to flash the unsecure bootloader on your Verizon Galaxy S3.

Kudos to AdamOutler for doing an excellent job and the “African-Canadian Sock Monkey” for the leaked bootloader!

Hefty Software Update For HTC Rezound Brings International Roaming Capabilties

At the beginning of this month, HTC and Verizon started rolling out the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Rezound. While ICS update for the Rezound brought with it a truck load of features, it did not bring world-roaming capabilities to the handset, as stated by Verizon earlier.

Now, it looks like Verizon has started rolling out a new software update for the Rezound that brings world-roaming capabilities to the handset. While Verizon has not officially confirmed the update, some Rezound owners in the United States have been reporting in various forums about a huge 104MB update being available for their handset. The hefty update does not bring Android 4.0.4, a newer version of Sense or any new features.

The OTA update might just be in the “soak” testing period from Verizon, and so all Rezound owners might not get it immediately.

Interested HTC Rezound owners, who are already running Ice Cream Sandwich on their handset, can manually install this update by following the steps mentioned at AndroidPolice.

HTC Rezound Official Ice Cream Sandwich Update Now Live!

The HTC Rezound was the first phone from the Taiwanese manufacturer to be released in the United States to sport a 4.3-inch screen with 720p HD resolution, 1GB of RAM, and the Beats Audio logo. When HTC announced the Rezound it said that the handset is “Ice Cream Sandwich” ready, and that it will roll-out the update for the handset by the end of Q1 of 2012.

Well, starting from today, HTC has finally started rolling out the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Rezound. The official OTA update comes after the company missed its its original deadline by more than a quarter, and numerous ICS firmware leaks for the device.

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

Applications & Widgets
+ V CAST Media Manager has been updated to Backup Assistant Plus with an enhanced user experience.
+ Time zone issues have been resolved and proper Timezone will display within the Clock Widget.

Device Features
+ Device is enabled with the Wireless Alerting System.
+ Cisco AnyConnect support has been added to improve VPN functionality.
+ Improved data connectivity for a better user experience.
+ Improve device stability minimizes the number of resets.
+ Improvements to Mobile Hotspot connectivity.

Email, Messaging & Web
+ Improvements to default mail application now displays all Yahoo! mail contents properly

The OTA update should hit all Rezound owners within a couple of weeks. Alternatively, they can manually pull the update by going to Settings -> About Phone -> Software Update and then selecting the ‘Check For Updates’ option.

Verizon

FCC Tells Verizon To Not Block Tethering Apps, Settles for $1.25m

FCC Tells Verizon To Not Block Tethering Apps, Settles for $1.25m

Verizon Wireless, a popular American wireless telecom, was recently told by the FCC that they cannot block tethering apps on any device on their network. Users have been using these apps to get around Verizon’s obnoxious $20 per month tethering add on fee. If you’re unaware, tethering is the act of using a mobile device such as a smartphone to provide an internet connection to another device such as a laptop or tablet.

The FCC came to the conclusion that Verizon is in the wrong because when Verizon purchased the 700MHz wireless spectrum they were told by the FCC that they had to keep this spectrum open and not filter network usage. Verizon settled with the FCC by writing them a $1.25 million dollar check and promising to only charge for tethering on unlimited data plans, not tiered plans. However, according to Gigaom, Verizon has no way of knowing if a user is using a free tethering app, so theoretically anyone can download a free tethering app to their Android device and use it to his or her heart’s content.

Unfortunately for Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile customers, this ruling does not apply to them as Verizon was breaking a deal with the FCC that was made when Verizon purchased the 700MHz wireless spectrum. However, if you’re a Verizon customer, enjoy your free tethering by using apps like PDAnet to connect your Android device to your laptops, tablets and other devices to provide on-the-go internet access.

Source: Gigaom

Verizon Announces The Developer Variant Of The Galaxy S III With Unlock-able Bootloader

When Samsung announced the Galaxy S III for the United States, it managed to do the unthinkable. The Korean company managed to launch the same phone on all the major carriers in the United States, without any internal or external modifications. Before this, only Apple had managed to pull something like this off with the iPhone.

However, all future Verizon Galaxy S3 owners got a good shock when it was found out that the carrier had managed to lock-down the bootloader on the handset. Samsung openly supports the developer community and never locks down the bootloader of its handset, so this move must have come from Verizon, since the carrier is known for locking down bootloaders on its handsets.

This news rightfully angered the Android developer community and they decided to boycott the phone until Verizon decides to unlock the bootloader of the handset. Verizon today finally responded to the developers not by unlocking the bootloader on the Galaxy S3, but by releasing a developer edition of the handset.

Like the developer edition of the RAZR that Verizon had launched earlier, the developer edition of the Galaxy S3 will come with a fully unlockable bootloader, but will still be network locked to Verizon. The handset will come with no warranty whatsoever, and interested buyers will need to purchase the phone outright for $599.

Considering that all other operator variants of the Galaxy S III come with an unlocked bootloader, it would make more sense to shift to another carrier instead of buying a developer edition of the Galaxy S III from Verizon.

Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean Hits AOSP; Verizon Galaxy Nexus Gains AOSP Support

Good news for all Android ROM developers out there. Google has released the source code of Jelly Bean in AOSP under the branch ‘jb-dev’. Considering that the OTA update for Jelly Bean is still not out, it is nice to see Google release the source code before that. Also, the Jelly Bean version pushed to AOSP is slightly newer than the preview build that Google had released back at I/O 2012 – Android 4.1.1 vs 4.1.

The release of source code means that owners of Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S and XOOM can create a stock Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean build right from AOSP, and install it on their phone. Most importantly, source code will allow developers to work on Jelly Bean based custom ROMs. The CM team has already confirmed that CM10 will be based on Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean, and will support all the devices that ran Ice Cream Sandwich. The CM team also stated today that CM10 nightlies will not start rolling out immediately. They will start rolling out once the CM team manages to merge all the changes in Jelly Bean properly, without breaking anything.

Last week, Google confirmed that the Nexus S 4G is now fully supported in AOSP. Today, Google has posted all the binaries for the “toro” Galaxy Nexus a.k.a the CDMA variant of the handset. This puts the CDMA variant of the Galaxy Nexus at the same level of support in AOSP as the GSM version.This does not mean that Verizon will roll-out OTA updates quicker for the phone. Instead, users can always compile a build themselves from AOSP and install it on their phone.

Verizon’s Samsung Galaxy S III Comes With A Locked Bootloader

Bad news for future Verizon’s Galaxy S3 owners. The carrier has shipped some SGS3 units to the folks who had pre-ordered the handset, and to their horror, it looks like the handset comes with a locked down bootloader. While the bootloaders of the Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile variants of the Galaxy S III are fully open, Verizon has somehow managed to convince Samsung to lock-down the bootloader on its variant of the Galaxy S III.

The whole community over at XDA is seemingly angry over this, and ace developer supercurio has suggested everyone on the forums to return their Verizon locked SGS3 and get a full-refund.

A locked down bootloader means that gaining root access on the handset is going to be tough, custom ROMs will be limited, and there will be absolutely no way of flashing a custom kernel. While sometime in the future, a developer might find a way of unofficially unlocking the bootloader on the Verizon’s Galaxy S III, it won’t solve the problem altogether. Future firmware updates from Verizon will definitely try to patch any security hole via which developers managed to unlock the bootloader.

Samsung has been known to support the Android modding community by providing them with devices, and always releasing their devices with unlocked bootloader. Looks like Samsung ultimately did had to pay a price for releasing a non-modified variant of the Galaxy S III under Verizon’s network.

If you want Verizon or Samsung to unlock the bootloader on the Galaxy S III, head over to this thread and sign the petition. Don’t get your hopes up though! Verizon is known to have a tough stance on not unlocking the bootloader on its devices.

Verizon Droid Incredible 4G Coming On July 5th For $149

After unveiling the Droid Incredible 4G LTE more than a month ago, Verizon and HTC have finally announced a released date and price-tag for the handset. The Incredible 4G LTE, which is a re-branded HTC One S, at least from the inside.

Like the One S, the Droid Incredible 4G LTE packs in a 1.2GHz Qualcomm S4 processor, an Adreno 25 GPU, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory. Unlike the One S though, the Incredible 4G LTE packs a smaller 4-inch qHD (960*640) resolution touting LCD screen. Other features of the Incredible 4G LTE include a microSD card slot, GPS with A-GPS, NFC, 3.5mm audio jack, an 8MP Backlit Sensor with F/2.2 aperture size and 28mm lens aided by a Smart LED flash along with a front-facing camera.

The Droid Incredible 4G LTE might not be sporting HTC’s One tag or a ImageSense logo, but it will be sporting a Beats Audio logo, which definitely goes with the handset’s red-ful look. The handset will be hitting Verizon’s 4G LTE network on July 5th, and will cost $149 after a $50 mail-in rebate on a two-year contract.