After many nightlies and a couple of stable monthly builds, the team of developers behind CyanogenMod, one of the most popular custom green droid distributions, announced the first release candidate for CyanogenMod 10.1. The latest stable build is based on Android 4.2 and arrives just under six months after Google rolled out the second Jelly Bean iteration.
"The 10.1 branch is quickly approaching the point where a 'final' build is due", says the team of developers responsible for the project. "This will be one of (if not the last) milestone releases before a 10.1.0 is pushed out. These builds will appear as they complete the build process".
Little over a month ago, AT&T announced that on a two-year contract the Samsung Galaxy S4 in 32GB storage trim will be available for $249.99. In the meantime the 16GB version hit the mobile operator's stores for $50 less, but even today the 32GB Galaxy S4 is still nowhere to be seen.
On its Twitter account, AT&T sheds some light on the matter and reveals that the 32GB Galaxy S4 is available starting this Friday, May 10. In just a couple of days prospective customers will be able to purchase the smartphone for $249.99 alongside a two-year contract and qualifying plans.
US mobile operator AT&T has officially announced that starting tomorrow, May 3, the Optimus G Pro is available for pre-order from its online store. The smartphone, which was unveiled in mid-February, will go on sale a week after, from May 10, exclusively from AT&T.
The price of the Optimus G Pro falls in line with that of its fierce competition. On a two-year contract LG's Android smartphone flagship runs for $199.99, on par with Apple's iPhone 5, BlackBerry's Z10, HTC's One and Samsung's Galaxy S4. By contrast, the similarly-sized Galaxy Note II is available for $299.99 on a two-year contract.
Last month Google altered the method of collecting data for its Android distribution charts, now measuring the popularity of the operating system iterations by visits to the app store instead of check-ins to the company's servers as before. The move significantly changed the results compared to the previous month, but is there a noticeable difference that is felt in the Android distribution charts for May?
Based on the number of devices visiting Google Play during the 14 days ending May 1, Jelly Bean now ranks as the most popular Android sweet, after Gingerbread. With a combined distribution level of 29.4 percent, for Android 4.1 and Android 4.2, Jelly Bean surpassed Ice Cream Sandwich, which now runs on 27.5 percent of all droids.
On Monday, South Korean manufacturer LG announced a new Android flagship smartphone called the Optimus GK. The handset shares its underpinnings with the previously-introduced Optimus G Pro that is designed for the Japanese market.
The Optimus GK comes with a 5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1080 by 1920 and a 440 ppi (pixels per inch) density, similar to other devices like the Sony Xperia Z. There is a 1.7 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor inside, backed by 2GB of RAM and a large 3,100 mAh battery. So far, so good, but what about the rest of the specs?
You can still buy phones running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), even though Google released the last distribution, version 2.3.7, in September, 2011. In the meantime, numerous security flaws have been discovered in Gingerbread and users are vulnerable to them.
For this, the ACLU blames AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. The logic in their plea to the FTC is so shoddy that I have to suspect an ulterior motive. In whose interests is the ACLU operating here?
Be prepared to invest in some larger pants. Samsung announced two new smartphones today, part of the company's Android lineup. Both devices bear the Galaxy Mega moniker, but one comes with a fairly generous 6.3-inch display while the other features a smaller 5.8-inch screen.
There are other differences as well. The Galaxy Mega 6.3 (yes, that's its real name) comes with a 6.3-inch TFT display with a resolution of 720 by 1280, while the Galaxy Mega 5.8 sports a 5.8-inch TFT screen with a resolution of 540 by 960. Also, the former is powered by a 1.7 GHz dual-core "AP" processor while the latter is powered by a 1.4 GHz dual-core "AP" processor.
On Thursday, LG announced that the Optimus G Pro, the company's Android flagship smartphone, is now available at Japanese carrier NTT DOCOMO. In mid-January, NTT DOCOMO was the first to reveal the handset, a number of important specifications and its release date -- April 2013.
Unlike its international sibling which sports a 5.5-inch panel, the NTT DOCOMO variant of the Optimus G Pro comes with a smaller 5.0-inch IPS display. The resolution is the same -- 1080 by 1920 but the density is higher -- 440 ppi (pixels per inch). NTT DOCOMO originally revealed that the Optimus G Pro will ship with a 1.7 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, but today LG said that in fact the newer and faster, still Qualcomm-made, 1.7GHz quad-core Snapdragn 600 processor is used instead.
One month after the company updated the Transformer Pad TF300 to Android 4.2, ASUS has announced that the Transformer Pad Infinity is also poised to receive the second Jelly Bean iteration.
On its Facebook page, ASUS posted a picture which lists the Android 4.2 update as coming to the Infinity, with the roll-out started yesterday. So what do you get from the upgrade?
Jelly Bean may be the newest sweet in the family, but it is steadily gaining ground against its older brothers. Combined, Android 4.1 and Android 4.2 reached a 25 percent distribution level in the green droid realm, based on the number of devices accessing Google Play during the 14 days ending April 2.
Starting this month, Google has decided to alter how the data is collected. Google says: "Beginning in April, 2013, these charts are now built using data collected from each device when the user visits the Google Play Store. Previously, the data was collected when the device simply checked-in to Google servers". Why? Because the company considers the new collection method to be more accurate and that it best represents "users who are most engaged in the Android and Google Play ecosystem".
On Tuesday, U.S. mobile operators AT&T and Sprint revealed important details concerning the availability of the HTC One. Starting Thursday, April 4, the device is offered for pre-order on AT&T, while Sprint subscribers have to wait another day. At both carriers sales start April 19.
Pricing is conservative, as on a two-year contract the HTC One in 32GB trim runs for $199.99 at both AT&T and Sprint, similar to the BlackBerry Z10 (on AT&T) or the 16GB Apple iPhone 5 -- both of which come with half the storage capacity. Available colors for the HTC One include black and silver. On AT&T, customers that pre-order the device also get an HTC Media Link HD wireless HDMI adaptor for free.
One month after Android 4.2.2 started to roll out into the wild for Nexus devices, the latest treat in the candy jar has also arrived on the Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy Nexus. To complete the cycle, Google also updated the factory images for the handset to the latest green droid iteration.
The factory images can be used by Galaxy Nexus users to update their handsets to Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, restore the software to the factory default settings, return to the stock green droid flavor after running a custom distribution, or update the radios, among other purposes.
US mobile operator Verizon has announced that Android 4.1 Jelly Bean will be rolling out in stages for the Motorola Droid 4, starting Tuesday. The smartphone, which was released in February 2012, originally shipped with Gingerbread and was upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich in mid-August, last year.
The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean upgrade bears the "98.72.18.XT894.Verizon.en.US" name and comes in at a massive 356 MB in size. According to the big red, the software update takes between 35 to 60 minutes to download and approximately 15 to 20 minutes to install on the Droid 4. So what can you expect from Google's first Jelly Bean iteration?
When I was expecting an exotic dish that would blow my mind just by looking at it, Samsung yesterday served up a plain, simple and frankly overdone spaghetti Bolognese. The new Galaxy S4 might just be the best Android smartphone that Samsung has ever made, but it's not as "awesome" or "innovative" nor filled with "innovation" as the company would lead us to believe. It's a wife with some nip and tuck instead of a hot supermodel.
Instead of being smitten by the Galaxy S4 I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth: Haven't I seen some of those features already in older smartphones? Admittedly, there are some impressive ones out there -- like Dual Camera and Dual Video Call -- but generally speaking Samsung appears to have focused more on delivering a huge number of features rather than focusing on fewer truly innovative ones.
Intel Open Source Technology Center has released an Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean developer preview build of "pre-alpha quality", which is also "buggy and not highly optimized", albeit one that has a major trick up its sleeve. Unlike the common version of the green droid operating system, which mostly runs solely on the ARM architecture, the aforementioned developer preview build -- dubbed Android-IA -- is designed to work on Intel's x86 processor architecture used on Windows-compatible devices.
So what would you need to run this "buggy and not highly optimized" Android 4.2.2 build? Intel says that Android-IA can only boot with UEFI mode enabled within the BIOS, which straight off the bat narrows down the list of compatible devices and therefore the ability to run this green droid build, and includes support for dual-boot alongside Windows 8. The chip maker also warns that even if your device is theoretically compatible, in order to dual-boot with Windows 8 onboard there are certain aspects to be considered beforehand.