After a series of false starts, it appears the long-awaited Ice Cream Sandwich update for Galaxy S II (GT-i9100) owners may be about to land. Korean mobile network SK Telecom tweeted this morning that it'll begin rolling out the software update starting 10am KST tomorrow, March 13. (That's 1am GMT, or 9pm EST today, because time zones are crazy like that.) However, the tweet in question was quickly pulled down, and now SK Telecom is telling customers to check with the manufacturer for update information.
Samsung remains coy, however, saying on its official "SamsungTomorrow" Twitter account that Galaxy S II owners should make sure they're up to date through Kies, and promising an announcement "soon."
So, possibly great news for Korean Galaxy S II owners, and we're sure it won't be long before the update goes out to owners of the same hardware in Europe and other parts of Asia, too. But Galaxy S II devices in the United States will probably have a little longer to wait, due to the differences in phone hardware from carrier to carrier.
It's been a while since we last saw the Sony MT27i 'Pepper' a tantalizing mid-range (yet dual-core) smartphone which appeared in a couple of pre-MWC leaks, but failed to materialize at the show. However, in the past day or so the device, which is still known only by its model number and codename, cropped up on Sony Mobile China's website, before being swiftly pulled. The leaked image shows an official press shot of the device, alongside Sony's smart tags, indicating that like the Xperia P and S, the 'Pepper' will include NFC support.
Leaked specs place the device between the Xperia P and Xperia U in Sony's 2012 line-up, with a 1GHz dual-core CPU, a 3.7-inch WVGA854 display and 512MB of RAM. And an alleged 2012 roadmap for Sony smartphones which leaked back in January suggests a €300 price point. Interestingly, though, Sony's trademark clear element -- the transparent bit below the screen on Xperias S through U -- is nowhere to be seen on the 'Pepper.'
Based on the all the leaked info that's appeared, it looks like the 'Pepper' could be a solid mid-range contender for Sony. We'll keep you posted with any further details as they emerge.
This week's Android Central photo contest winner is Nathan Stewart, who brings us this light and healthy plate that's as beautiful on our screen as it would be on our table. Nathan used the portrait mode of the stock HTC Amaze 4G to take this one, and we can see what good camera hardware in the right hands is capable of. Thanks, and congrats Nathan, keep an eye on your inbox and I'll contact you about your prize.
Our inbox got filled with mouth-watering pictures for this past weeks photo contest, and we're still hungry from looking through them all -- you guys know good food! Some of you folks must be professional chefs, or you should be. Sorting through it all and picking the winner was difficult, but we found the best of the bunch, and you can see the runners up (in no particular order) after the break. Be sure to have a napkin handy, they all look delicious!
Mobile World Congress may be done for another year, but the pace of international Android news hasn't slowed in the past seven days. We've already seen the launch of the Sony Xperia S, the first flagship phone of 2012, and we've learned more about HTC's eagerly-awaited One series of phones. In addition, a couple of last year's high-end phones have had their prices drastically cut in preparation for the next wave of must-have Android devices.
We're all frustrated at the wait for Ice Cream Sandwich on our phones and tablets, but maybe a little Roboto on your computer can help fill that void. The Android design team has popped out some official Roboto fonts that can be installed on just about any device that can display True Type fonts, and they look great on your desktop or laptop. Getting them is easy, just download them from the Android Design page, and install according to your OS specifications.
They'll give you a fresh, clean look that's easy to read and scales great. The best part is that they're absolutely free for use and "without restriction" for use in applications, so developers can use them in things like Web apps and desktop widgets. Sure beats the Comic Sans look. See the source link for downloads and the specimen book.
Our Android phones are pretty personal things, full of personal information. Some of us can be very protective, and don't much care for other folks getting too comfortable with them. Besides the risk of breakage, there's also a chance someone will see something you'd rather they didn't. For others, it's not a problem, family and friends can feel free to pick up your phone off the table and fire it up. And of course, many fall squarely in the middle and are OK with a select few folks touching our Androids.
I'm OK with someone picking up my tablet (just don't lose my page in the Nook app please), but my phone? Between us I don't even like it when my lovely wife uses it for more than a few minutes. I can't explain it, it's just my precious. What about you folks? Sound off in the poll.
The ZTE Fury will be available March 11 for just $20 on contract, Sprint announced this morning. The Fury is being billed as a "family-friendly" Android device, though options such as Sprint's Family Locator, mobile usage controls (you can lock down text messages, for example) and Sprint Drive First all cost extra.
As for the phone itself, the Fury's got a 3.5-inch display, 5-megapixel camera with flash and can serve as a 3G mobile hotspot. It looks to be running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and is powered by a 1GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 Snapdragon processor. It's got 4GB of storage on board. It's also a Sprint ID device, so you can theme it with any number of Sprint ID packs.
We've been around the block a few times on the whole benchmarking thing that is for sure. But an enterprising German blogger, known as Caschy, has managed to run a couple of different benchmarking tests on the forthcoming Orange Santa Clara and its Intel Medfield internals. The results are interesting, but not necessarily surprising.
The other test was the "Vellamo" test from Qualcomm that brings together 11 benchmarks of features that a mobile browser depends on. This time the Santa Clara claimed the scalp of the revered Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
The bottom line is still that benchmark tests still shouldn't be taken too seriously when judging a device's performance. But, ignoring all that, what we do have is more indications that Intel's architecture is potentially bringing something special to the table.
Yesterday Samsung's Filipino site published statement announcing that the Galaxy S II would be receiving the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, starting tomorrow, Mar. 10. Since then, Samsung has stepped in via its official Korean Twitter account to say that the article was posted in error, and that any official date will come straight from them.
This isn't the first time a supposedly official date for the long-awaited update has been rescinded. Last week Samsung Israel took to Facebook to announce that the update would land on Mar. 15, and that post has since vanished. With all this talk of updates arriving in the next week or so, though, we're sure Galaxy S II owners won't have too long to wait.
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