You may have heard already – AT&T is planning on shutting down its 2G network, GSM voice, GPRS/EDGE data and all. It won’t happen for a long, long time so no need to rush to the store if you don’t have a 3G-enabled smartphone – the shut down is planned for January 1, 2017.
What does that mean for regular users? Not too much for sure. AT&T estimates that only 12% of their postpaid customers still use 2G phones. Virtually all new phones (except a few sub $50 SIM-free featurephones) support 3G, but it won’t matter – how likely are you to keep the phone you have now for 4-5 more years? I wonder if it’s even necessary to wait that long. Read more »
While Android was the undisputed ruler in the smartphone world, it’s a different story when it comes to tablets – Apple’s iPad had a record quarter and accounted for 68.2% of tablet shipments during Q2 of this year.
For comparison, the biggest maker of Android tablets is Samsung and their share is just 9.6%. Read more »
So far, the Google Mobile blog has been the major source of info on Android, coming from the source. The blog, however, covers a lot of other Google mobile services (like Google’s mobile sites and apps for other mobile OSes), so when the Mountain View team received an overwhelming amount of requests for an Android-only blog, they delivered.
The Official Android blog will be the go-to place to learn what’s new with the Google mobile operating system. Read more »
Amazon unveiled a pretty major update to their Cloud Player service that launched early last year. The update makes the Player more independent from Cloud Drive and offers a free, automatic audio quality upgrade, similar to iTunes Match.
The audio upgrade program is pretty neat – music on your hard drive will be scanned and matching songs (that Amazon has the rights to) will be upgraded to a high-quality 256Kbps version and they won’t even have to be uploaded. Read more »
The BlackBerry PlayBook never gained the popularity that RIM was hoping for and rumors of a bigger 10″ version fizzled out. Vietnamese blog Tinhte however, received photos of just that – a 10″ PlayBook – right next to a PlayBook 4G (Sprint had plans to offer these but then canceled).
Interested to see what could have been? There are a few more shots after the break. Read more »
Flash may get a lot of hate, but it’s still a pretty big part of the Internet and a lot of people weren’t too pleased when Adobe announced they won’t release a Flash Player for Android versions past ICS.
If you’ve already made the jump to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and miss having access to non-HTML5 parts of the web, then XDA-Developers has your back. Read more »
The Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam is a fairly unique device with its built-in pico-projector. Samsung has put a big 2000mAh battery inside the smartphone, which is almost as big as the one on the Galaxy S III, and given that there’s only a dual-core processor and a smaller 4″ LCD to feed we expected it to fare quite well in our test.
We put the Galaxy Beam through our usual battery testing procedures and we are now ready to share our findings with you. Read more »
Huawei just announced a new 7″ Android tablet – the MediaPad 7 Lite. With Google’s Nexus 7 tablet on the market, there isn’t a lot of room for 7″ droid tablets but the Huawei offering does have a few things the pureblood tablet doesn’t.
First off, the Huawei MediaPad 7 Lite has an aluminum unibody design. Then there’s the 3G connectivity (with voice calls and SMS), along with cameras on the front and the back. The tablet seems to be running stock Android ICS, but Huawei really thrifty with the details. Read more »
Lenovo just put the IdeaTab S2110 on sale in the US – it’s a 10″ Android ICS tablet with an optional keyboard dock, a la Asus Transformer. The keyboard dock features a battery that boosts battery life by 10 hours, two full-size USB ports and a 3-in-1 SD card reader.
The tablet itself features a 10.1″ IPS LCD display, a 5MP main camera (with LED flash), 1.3MP front-facing camera and a pair of speakers with SRS TruMedia enhancement. The Lenovo IdeaTab S2110 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 APQ8060A chipset with two Krait cores clocked at 1.5GHz, 1GB of RAM and Adreno 225 GPU. Read more »
The Meizu MX 4-core is a revamped version of the ambitions MX smartphone, which challenged both the iPhone and its Android kin alike with a heavily customized OS. The MX 4-core, as the name suggests, uses a quad-core Exynos chipset from Samsung (like the one in the Galaxy S III) and also has a slightly bigger battery than its predecessor – 1700mAh vs. 1600mAh.
What other changes has Meizu done under the hood to improve battery life? The Chinese haven’t gone into specifics, but we saw improvement across the board. Read more »
LG Optimus Vu is almost a tablet, but it has voice calling functionality and qualifies for our full battery test. It’s a big device, so there’s room for a big battery but there’s also a big huge power-hungry screen to consider – let’s see how these two things balance each other out.
It’s a little disappointing to find out that the Optimus Vu has only a 2080mAh battery – even the 4X HD had a 2150 mAh juice pack. Read more »
The Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160 is in our office for the second time, and this time it will stay for a full review. The Ace 2 is part of a new breed of dual-core phones – slotted above the single-cores but below last year’s flagship dual-cores. Another example of such phone would be the Sony Xperia U.
Actually, both of these phones are based on the ST-Ericsson NovaThor U8500 chipset, but the Galaxy Ace 2 has an unusual (for a dual-core) clock speed of 800MHz. On the upside, it has more RAM – 768MB – and a microSD card slot in addition to the 4GB of built-in memory. Read more »
Samsung released an Android app that will help you feel the spirit of the upcoming Olympic games (which start on July 27). It’s called Samsung: Take Part 2012 and offers tours of the Olympic venues, info on the UK, the latest news and it will even let you participate. Of course, we are not talking taking part in the real games but at least in the augmented reality games.
Take Part 2012 features 360-degree panoramas the venues of the games and the Top 10 list of British attraction (according to David Beckham), so you can check them out in your spare time. Read more »
We received several worrying tip in our inbox – Skype isn’t supported on Nokia Belle and it won’t work properly, specifically on the Nokia N8. Sure enough, we found multiple reports of crashes on Belle and going to www.skype.com/m we were greeted with a message that our Belle-running Nokia (for the record, 808 PureView) isn’t a supported device.
A bit of Googling revealed a workaround too, but you better sit down for this because it’s going to sound silly. Read more »
Sony has freshened up its XQD card lineup – the new S series cards will launch with 64GB capacity and a whopping 168MB/s data transfer rates. The old H series maxed out at 125MB/s.
A Nikon D4 can pipe 108 RAW shots in a non-stop burst, which according to Sony is enough to capture the men’s 100m sprint final from start to finish if you set the framerate at 10fps. Read more »