Update: Cincinatti Bell's given us an official update on the update, saying that we might not see things push this week, but instead through January. Also, as is the case with Nexus phones, expect the update from Google itself. Here's the full statement:
Cincinnati Bell’s Samsung Nexus S is among the handsets that will be receiving the Google Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.3 update. The updates will follow Google’s OTA schedule which will be pushed out through January 2012. Please keep in mind the update requires Android 2.3.6 to work properly and will NOT work if the device hasn’t been updated from Android 2.3.4 software. Contact your local Cincinnati Bell Wireless store for information relating to updating your Nexus S to Android 2.3.6.
Original: While the Samsung Nexus S shown above on Cincinnati Bell has definitely been running the latest Android Ice Cream Sandwich update earlier than this week, that doesn't change the fact that the Ohio-based company should be officially pushing out the update starting today. Our sources tell us that the company has the latest version of Android on their servers right now and ready to roll out to its Nexus S owners over the next week, which means you had better get your fingers on that "System Updates" button. From our experience, you don't want to waste a single minute extra without it.
Some good news for those of you suffering with that little slice of sexy otherwise known as the Motorola Droid RAZR: An update's on the way (and we're told that a soak test has already begun) that's going to squash a few bugs, including that blasted SIM card error, and to improve the camera. Here's the list:
SIM error notification has been fixed
Improved camera features and quality
Improved stability of menu access, browser, phone dialer, video playback and music player to prevent force-close errors and lockups
Updated group message notification in e-mail
Improvement in 3G/4G data connectivity
Maintain network connection upon completion of a voiec call
Background color has been adjusted to improve readability in Lapdock connection UI menu items.
Good stuff. Look for the update to drop any time now.
And with all of those completely unsurprising realizations out of the day, BGR says it has word of one Android smartphone coming next year, possibly dubbed the AT&T Congressional, and possibly coming in April. ICS and Beats are a given. As are fast processors, good (or at least better) cameras, and so on and so forth. Hardware is hardware.
No, what we're really interested in for 2012 is what HTC does with Ice Cream Sandwich. Will we see the same old Sense (or, more likely, a new version of Sense) laid atop the Android framework? Will they combine UI features? That's the big question for 2012, folks. Hardware comes and goes. Very quickly.
News spread like a single spark in a mostly uncaring world this weekend over the possible death of a manufacturer that never really manufactuered much of anything. Fusion Garage's website went down on Saturday, Engadget noticed. As of Monday morning, it's slowly come back to life. Sort of. It's currently a mishmash of a single shiny landing page, broken links and security warnings.
And then there's the part that Fusion Garage was the company that had teamed up with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington to build the $200 CrunchPad, only to not ever really do it and get itself in a huge legal pissing match with the Silicon Valley bigwig. Meanwhile, the CrunchPad became the Joojoo and died a quiet death in November 2010.
Fusion Garage came back in 2011 with a wacky staged press conference, complete with recorded audience sounds, where it introduced the Grid 10 and Grid 4 devices, which featured a crazy UI over an aging verison of Android. Unofficial sales numbers are said to be in the several. Fusion Garage's purchase page says "We are running out of stock. Thank you."
Responses to the news of Fusion Garage's demise reportedly have ranged from "Hunh?" to "Who?"
I know most of you guys and gals aren't used to sitting down and reading stack traces or debugging logs (you're better off, trust me), but sometimes during Android hacking and debugging reading the logcat output is a necessary evil. When a developer asks for a log, it's usually followed by a command you don't understand with special characters, and no explanation of what you're doing. That's fine for the busy developer, but every opportunity to learn something should be taken. Android Central member JHuston456 has done an excellent job sorting out the switches and parameters used for the logcat command, and has done a fine job explaining them for normal folks. For anyone who has rooted and plans to hack away at their phone, it's required reading. Hit the forums, have a look, and thank JHuston456 when you're done.
Samsung Nexus S 4G hacker Beezy has done it again, this time porting the Android 4.0.3 OTA update for T-Mobile phones to the Sprint 4G version. There's no Wimax of course, but for the most part everything is working well -- including GPU rendering that we all have been wanting. Hopefully the real OTA for the Nexus S 4G is coming soon, and we can't wait to see what the fellas can do with it when it comes out, but for now you can enjoy the very latest version of Android as it should be on your phone with this ClockworkMod flashable version.
Fun fact: There are more versions of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus floating around, software-wise, than you're probably aware of, even when it comes to the GSM version. The basic rule here is that if you have the yakju version of the Galaxy Nexus, it's GSM, and mysid is CDMA/LTE, in the case of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. But there actually are regional differences as well, so you might see ykjuux in Canada, or there's yakjuxw, or yakjusc. Probably others. Make your head hurt? Mine, too.
And with that has come great debate over whether the various verisons are updated directly from Google, or from Samsung, or from some magical neckbearded update gnome deep in the forest. As I've said on Google+, so long as the updates come in a timely manner and aren't borked (not that they should be), I couldn't care less whose servers they come from.
But if you are worried about that sort of thing, there's a little tool called "GN Official Update Checker" that makes it easy to figure it out. All it does it check the ro.product.name line in your phone's build.prop file and tell you whether it's updated by Google or not updated by Google.
Whether it keeps you up at night is entirely up to you.
Update: Turns out the CDMA/LTE mysid variant (that's the Verizon Galaxy Nexus to you and me) does actually get its updates from Google after all, according to Googler Jean-Baptiste Queru. So that's that. JBQ also says thatyakjuxw and other yakju variants signed by Samsung have only "really small region-specific tweaks".
Note that this is for stock phones, and for people who want to update without really doing any real hackery but don't mind a little command line work. Nothing we do here is permanent, other than the update itself. If you've already flashed CWM, then you probably already know what you're doing anyway. And with that ...
If you're like me and have yet to actually pick a Galaxy Nexus, Amazon is making it awful hard to resist. Despite the device sitting in backorder status on their site -- the $150 price tag they are offering it for is pretty tempting. That's 50% off Verizons $300 price tag and during the holidays, saving on big ticket items such as the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is a good thing.
If you don't like the sound of backorder and want to have your Galaxy Nexus wrapped and sitting under the tree, you can also pick it up from the ShopAndroid Phone Store. Be sure to order by December 20th to have it in time for Christmas. Click here for details.
Googler Jean-Baptiste Queru has just announced the push of Android 4.0.3 to the Android Open Source Project tree. This build is for the Motorola Xoom (U.S. Versions), the Nexus S (all versions), and of course the mysid and yakju builds of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Yes, one set of sources and build number for several different devices -- that's a first for AOSP and if it's pulled off well (I'll bet it is, these fellows know their schtuff) it's a big leap in Android development. As JBQ mentions, this is the first time AOSP works for a tablet, the first time it works on a device that's neither a Nexus or an Android Developer Phone, and the first time it works for devices on Verizon. Mr. Queru also has this to say:
Over the years, I've released 50 different versions of Android in AOSP, not counting the SDK and CTS, and I think that this is the best release ever.
Those are the kinds of words we all love to hear. Wait for the announcement that it's ready for syncing, then prepare yourselves -- this is going to be one helluva ride.
Want Ice Cream Sandwich on your Samsung Nexus S but down't want to wait on the update to push out over the air? The dowload location has been found, and we've got your update instructions. We've already updated our Nexus S, and it takes just a couple minutes.
Again, folks, this is the GSM verison. And, specifically, the T-Mobile version. If that's not your phone, keep out. Now, instructions:
We've had unofficial builds of Ice Cream Sandwich on the Samsung Nexus S for a number of weeks now. But today Google announced that the GSM version of the Nexus S will see its Android 4.0 update push out over the next month, starting today. Not a bad turnaround. Now let's see some carrier-branded phones get some love, shall we?
The GSM (international) version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has just received its update to Android 4.0.2, hot on the heels of the Verizon version, which got the update on its launch day. Several GSM Nexus owners are now reporting that they've received the new version of Android, which carries the build number ICL53F.
The update weighs just 8.7MB, and according to the update message contains "important bug fixes", most likely the same fixes detailed in Verizon's latest update statement (excluding the LTE-specific stuff, of course).
To see if your phone is ready to receive the update, head to Settings > About phone > System updates. If it's still telling you you're already up-to-date, you may have to wait a few days before it's your turn to be updated. Don't want to wait? If you're comfortable with unlocking bootloaders and fiddling around with command-line stuff, once the files URL is located you'll be able to download them from Google and use Jerry's clever manual update method.
Now we get ready for Android 4.0.3. Isn't having a Nexus phone grand?
Know that Android 4.0.2 update the Verizon Galaxy Nexus owners were so proud of yesterday? It's old news today. Google just announced Android 4.0.3 and an increase in API level (it's now 15). So what's new? Google gives us the big strokes:
Social stream API in Contacts provider: Applications that use social stream data such as status updates and check-ins can now sync that data with each of the user’s contacts, providing items in a stream along with photos for each. This new API lets apps show users what the people they know are doing or saying, in addition to their photos and contact information.
Calendar provider enhancements. Apps can now add color to events, for easier tracking, and new attendee types and states are now available.
New camera capabilities. Apps can now check and manage video stabilization and use QVGA resolution profiles where needed.
Accessibility refinements. Improved content access for screen readers and new status and error reporting for text-to-speech engines.
Incremental improvements in graphics, database, spell-checking, Bluetooth, and more.
So the next question is when will we start seeing it on the Galaxy Nexus? Time to start those fingers a'tappin'.
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