Tag Archives: Google

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Google Nexus Prime get’s a hands on preview on 4Chan

This was quite a surprise.  An anonymous user on 4Chan posted quite a detailed, albeit amateur, hands on of the upcoming and HIGHLY anticipated Nexus device.  Without further ado here are his own words (or her, no gender issues here):

Alright so these Samsung representatives dropped by work today and gave our team a heads up about their mobile division and their flagship phones coming out in the near future. Basically they came in with the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus. They said it was a beta model, but it looked like a proper retail version. They talked about that phone, their Galaxy S II, it’s success and the Galaxy S III next year which is already in R&D.

 

Samsung Galaxy Nexus:

– Samsung representatives showed a working a working model of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus but not the Galaxy S III. They passed around the Galaxy Nexus phone, and we got about an hour to play with it while they were here. The phone looks similar to the Sprint variant of the Galaxy S II, with a round-edged body, but also similar to the Nexus S with a curved screen. It’s a good size, not too big if you’re used to Android phones. It’s a monster compared to iPhones though.

– Reps said that Verizon passed on the SGSII to have an exclusive deal with Samsung to stock the Galaxy Nexus.

– The SGN will run on Samsung’s Exynos dual core CPU clocked at 1.5 GHz, 1 GB RAM, Super AMOLED Plus 4.65-inch 1280 x 720 HD display, 16 GB internal memory (with SD card slot). It’s 8.8mm thick with a metal body and a 2000 mAh battery (the same as the new one that’s being released for the Galaxy S II).

– It is heavier than the SGSII, weighing in at around 130g-140g because of the metal casing. It feels nice and has got decent weight.

– The phone is blazingly fast; I guess it’s as fast the SGS II. It has no issues with general use and opens apps, drawers, etc. instantly. No lag. I tried opening a whole bunch of apps, but it was still running smooth and would auto-kill once it got overloaded anyway, so you never feel the performance taking a hit.

Ice Cream Sandwich:

– Ice Cream Sandwich is very nice. It works like the current Gingerbread OS but has gotten a major facelift. The menus are a lot nicer and smoother, screens have a ‘glassy’ look to them. It just feels more polished with more animations (fast and smooth) when accessing things on the phone.

– On the demo unit, the Android version was 2.4.1, not 4.0 or whatever people were expecting.

– The app drawer has three sections at the top that you press and it goes to the drawer for your selection. There are sections for apps, games and widgets. The apps section is what we are all used to. Just a drawer for all the apps on the phone. The games section is just a drawer for all the games you’ve downloaded; the widgets section shows all the apps that have widgets available. The cool thing is you can click the widgets in the widgets section to get a view of what they look like. So you don’t have to screw around with applying a widget on a homescreen, seeing you don’t like it, deleting it, doing it again with a slightly different setting, etc. to see the difference. On ICS you get a visual representation of the widget, you can swap easily between the widgets the app provides, change the settings in real time, and then you can go ahead an apply it on a homescreen.

– Best of all with the drawers is that you can create and name your own app drawer if you want. I think the ICS comes with three standard drawers mentioned above (apps, games and widgets). The demo phone had app drawers created called “Sports” and “News” that contained all the sports and news related apps that you download. I’m not sure if the sports apps you download automatically go to the sports drawer (with some setting like auto push sports apps to drawer “Sports” or something) or if you have to put it there manually. Either way, it was very good and reduced the amount of searching for an app. With the Galaxy phones, if you didn’t know where the app was–which page it was on–it would take a while to search through it, because they weren’t in alphabetical order; they were just in the order you downloaded them. This is a LOT cleaner, more organized and feels more polished.

– I’m not familiar with Honeycomb, so I don’t know really what it pulled from there. I’m guessing quite a bit, because visually it’s quite different to current Android phones. I always thought that Android phone manufacturers made great phones, but the Android software lacked polish and user-friendliness. I was told the glassy look is from Honeycomb. There are a lot more blues and purples on the phone, rather than green. The icons look different, more shiny. The marketplace app is the same as the current one. Not sure if a new one is being worked on.

– The Gmail app is a lot better looking than the current one. If you flip the phone to the side, it has the preview pane, like how Outlook works, with the emails on the left and the message on the right. It looks really nice. Vertically, it works similarly to the current Gmail app, but looks a lot cleaner. In an email the reply button says “reply” rather than having that arrow. There’s a down arrow next to the reply button that has “reply all,” “save as draft,” etc. The threads are smaller (could be due to the higher resolution screen) and around 10-12 threads can fit on the screen. Other than visual tweaks, it’s the same thing.

– Calendar app is revised, a lot less cluttered, glassy bluish look. New calendar widget available.

– The internet browser is leaps and bounds better than what you currently get. It has a completely revamped interface, and the icon is no longer the blue earth icon. The icon is now an Android behind the earth, which is green and blue. Name is still “Internet.” But it’s really easy to use. I personally hated the stock browser for Android, but I’d actually consider using this. It has its tabs at the bottom of the screen now, similar to Opera Browser mobile. The pinch to zoom is better than before, the rendering is excellent, no checkerboards. Zoomed out the text is pristine. Really liking the browser app.

ANONYMOUS4Chan

 

All in all it’s shaping up to be quite a device but I, personally, can’t help but feel that this is more of a Nexus S than a Nexus One.  Meaning, this is going to be an upgraded and rebadged Galaxy SII, a product that has already been proven to be a runaway success in the US of A.  The Nexus One was a Google Phone first, an HTC Desire later.  Still, only time will tell, right?

Oh, and you can check out more on the Nexus Prime here and here, more on Ice Cream Sandwich here, here and here and more on possible Ice Cream Sandwich devices at HTC’s next event here.

Ice Cream Sandwich

Eric Schmidt confirms Ice Cream Sandwich for October or November

Things seem to be going well for Google’s development team as their latest iteration of Android is on track for that Q4 release date promised four months ago.  Rather surprisingly, given the excitement for ICS, only four screenshots have been leaked which don’t really show much in terms of fresh UI.  Even these screens, upon closer examination seem to be fake as some key elements from the UI are taken straight from Cyanogenmod and one of its many themes.   You can read more about the leaks here.

We still have no idea of what’s coming other than that Ice Cream Sandwich shall unite elements from Gingerbread and Honeycomb together in a one size fits all OS.  ICS should also have special dev tools which will allow them to scale their apps for different screen sizes, resulting in little or no different between tablet and smartphone versions.

Samsung’s Legal Team Confirm The Nexus Prime

When it comes to manufacturer’s faux pas it doesn’t get any bigger than this.  Samsung’s legal department sent a Cease and Desist letter to a person claiming to be in possession of leaked Nexus Prime firmware.  Sammy, quite rightly of course, wants its property back as it is indeed Samsung’s unique property and hasn’t yet been released to the public.

So there you have it.  The Nexus Prime is indeed being made by Samsung, dashing dreams of a newborn Nexus One everywhere.  At least, judging by the Nexus S’ success, it’ll sell well this time round.  You can find details of the initial rumours here with more evidence to support the purported 4.5″ HD screen here.  You can also take a look at the letter right here, down below.

 

Google-Motorola

Google Have Bought Motorola Mobility

Google have just finalised the purchase of Motorola’s newly founded Mobility unit, the division in charge of creating the highly successful Droid line up for Verizon and for bringing into existence the Xoom, Honeycomb’s launch device.

Now, what we’ve got to see is that Motorola was one of the very Android OEM’s that stuck to the platform and did not participate in Microsoft’s Windows Phone reboot. Ultimately their loyalty seems to have worked out as Google purchased the company for $12.5 billion thus giving them a solid hardware platform for their own dedicated devices, so far the Nexus range.

The news has been welcomed by Google’s partners who see this as an opportunity to revitalise the eco-system and bring about a fresh perspective to Android hardware.  What does this mean for us?  Google will now be designing and manufacturing their own devices, not just one a year we assume, thus resulting in quicker updates for current Motorola owners and the Android ecosystem in general.  All in all good news.

UPDATE: Google’s acquired over 17,000 patents from this purchase.  These patent wars are going to get hotter!

Google+ App now available on the iPad and iPod

The Google + App is now available for iOS devices, bringing with it for an update for the iPad and iPod touch, on which it was previously unavailable. The updates include aggregated circle add notifications, huddle settings, and the usual “Performance and stability improvements”.

Unfortunately, this iPad support is not completely native as the app will just be a pixel-doubled iPhone application. This choice by Google is still better than no iPad support at all, though. You should be able to update the app now via the App Store.

 

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First Glimpse Of Ice Cream Sandwich

And here they are! Round about two months ahead of launch we have our first glimpse of Ice Cream Sandwich. These leaked images come from a T-Mobile Samsung Nexus S. From what we can see Ice Cream (short for Ice Cream Sandwich from now on) ditches Gingerbread’s black for a dark and rather AMOLED-unfriendly blue. It also seems o be an evolution of Honeycomb in this aspect, with the holographic design cues more having a more mature, modern and coherent form. Much of the images is blacked out, but the source did give some extra info about what Ice Cream Sandwich shall entail.  Read on past the break for more info.

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Hitachi Reveal 4.5″ 3D 720p Mobile Display

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Thought the Nexus 3 rumors were nothing but stoner’s conjecture? Did you think some drunk techie was having a laugh after one too many shots? Think again.

Hitachi have revealed a new IPS display that does glasses free 3D and has a 720p resolution. Same as the Nexus 3 (or Prime)’s rumoured “massive” 720p display. It’s become quite believable now, hasn’t it? And how does this work, I hear you ask. Take a look at the image above. Starting from the bottom we find the backlight, IPS display and a lenticular lens barrier instead of the parallew tech used in the 3DS. Want to drool some more? The resolution is 1280 by 720 pixels. That’s more pixels than my laptop and a pixel density on par with the iPhone 4’s Retina Display as it matches the iPhone’s 326 dpi.

What else can we squeeze from this bit of new? The chances of Samsung being the manufacturer are significantly slimmer as Samsung is famous for its in-house tech and AMOLED displays. I very much doubt they’d throw it all away and use a competitor’s display in Android’s flagship phone. My perwonql bet is on HTC, whose Nexus One was a far better and better loved device than Samsung’s rehashed Galaxy S, the Nexus S.

So, an Android phone running Ice Cream Sandwich, a 720p HD glassesless 3D display? A a 720p HD glassesless 3D ‘Retina’ display? Yes please.

Gingerbread For The HTC Desire Z Rolling Out Now

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HTC have recently announced that the Gingerbread update for the Desire Z, their venerable Froyo messenger. Fortunately there seems to have been none of the Gingerbread update nonsense that has been plaguing the original Desire, and HTC say that the Desire Z update is currently in heavy testing in the field.

An excellent bit of news thoughis that while HTC have it in testing carriers all over the world have started pushing the OTA update to their devices, mainly in Australia and Germany.  This update carries none of the Sense 3.0 updates that have been promised, but updates the underlying Android heart to 2.3.4 Gingerbread.

Did you receive an update? Let us know how it went and what changes you’re experienced in the comments section below!

Samsung Allegedly The Manufacturer For The Nexus ‘Prime’

BGR are again quoting sources with info about Google’s upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich (that’s Android 4.0 to you and me) flagship. BGR had previously reported this new Nexus device as having a “monster” display with 720p resolution, a 5 megapixel camera of supposedly astounding quality and a 1.2 or 1.5GHz Dual Core CPU.

Now, BGR are saying that Samsung have been pegged as the manufacturers using a Texas Instruments OMAP 4460, pure Android 4.0 and a Super AMOLED HD display, whatever that is. Google are allegedly using the ‘Prime’ code name internally, and BGR’s source says that the name might stick to retail.

Now, I personally am not too happy about Samsung making the device. I believe that the Nexus One had was of better build than the Nexus S, and HTC are trusted more by Android’s fans than Samsung. But it’s easy to see why Google would go for Samsung as their OEM. Firstly, their hardware is indeed out of this world, with their Super AMOLED technology blowing the competition out of the water. Their silicon chips are also great, delivering blistering performance regardless of clock speed, with the Galaxy S and the Galaxy SII being a case in point. Some would also argue that the Nexus S sold much better than the Nexus One, which it really did, making it better for Google to stick with the manufacturer. But then again, the Nexus One was the victim of Google’s experiment with retail, bypassing carriers in the US in favour of an online store, something that really did not go down well with the average consumer.

Will Samsung truly be the OEM? Will the ‘Prime’ have a Super AMOLED HD display? Only time, and Google, will tell.

Google IO is happening right now, and we’re got some very juicy information!

Google I/O is currently underway over at San Francisco, and this evening (or morning over there) they revealed a healthy dollop of great news at the opening keynote.  First off, Android 3.1 and Ice Cream Sandwich (possibly Android 2.4) have been revealed, but no more info was given.

Some more news is a selection of new services.  Here’s a run down:

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Google’s preparing a Nexus tablet?

The good folks at GSMArena.com are reporting that Google is planning to expand it’s Nexus family of devices with a tablet, obviously running Honeycomb (that’s Android 3.0 to everybody else out there).  The device shall allegedly be manufactured by LG, but LG won’t be able to sell the same device under their own name as HTC did with the Nexus One (they resold it as the Desire) and as Samsung did with the Nexus S (it was based on the i9000 Galaxy S).

So what will this mean for the Android world? This will obviously be Google’s developer’s tablet, and obviously the device will get Android updates before others. But is it really necessary? And will it go the same way as Motorola’s Xoom? Only time will tell I’m afraid, but let us know what you think in the comments below.

HTC announces that the Incredible S, Wildfire S, Desire S, Desire HD, Desire Z and yes, the original Desire will be running Gingerbread by June

HTC are keeping up their routine of keeping their devices up to date after announcing that the majority of their current line up will be getting the latest iteration of Android for smartphones, Gingerbread.  This mysteriously ties in with a comment Google’s Eric Schmidt made about a 6 month upgrade cycle, but anyways.

The Incredible S is shipping in the UK now, but running Froyo.  That should change by end of June, while the Desire S and Wildfire S will be launching with Gingerbread pre-installed.  This means that these two hotly anticipated devices will be launching somewhere around that time.  But HTC isn’t leaving it’s older devices in the mud.  The Desire Z and Desire HD – both launched in September last year – will be getting Gingerbread.  And HTC are even reaching down to the original Desire, making Gingerbread the 2nd major update the legendary smatphone’s seen.