Headlines

2 years ago

Samsung Israel says Galaxy S II ICS update coming Mar. 15

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Rumors of a March launch for the Samsung Galaxy S II's Android 4.0 upgrade have been circulating for a while, but now it seems we may have the first official word on when the update will land. Samsung Mobile Israel has today made a statement on its official Facebook page, saying it expects ICS for the Galaxy S II to roll out on unlocked and carrier-branded handsets in Israel from Mar. 15.

Roughly translated, the post reads --

We promised we were working on it. You waited patiently. And on 15 March it'll arrive: Android version 4, ICS, to tens of thousands of GALAXY S II devices purchased from cellular companies in the country or directly from us. We are very excited for the launch, hope you are too :)

While this is great news for Galaxy S II owners in Israel (as well as those with the unlocked international version upon which it's based), other territories may have a little longer to wait. We'd expect this to be particularly true for the U.S., where hardware differs from carrier to carrier.

So far, the steady trickle of leaked ICS ROMs for the Galaxy S II have shown Samsung making progress towards stable builds over the past couple of months. We'll keep you posted with any further announcements, while we cross our fingers for a Mar. 15 launch.

Source: Samsung Mobile Israel; Thanks, Orenium!

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2 years ago

Sony Xperia S hands-on video and initial review

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It's been just days since we wrapped up Mobile World Congress, but we're already seeing the first flagship phone launch of the year. The Sony Xperia S was released unexpectedly at the Sony Store in Barcelona last Sunday, and it'll go on sale across Europe over the next couple of weeks. For 2012, Sony -- formerly Sony Ericsson -- has made a clean break with the appearance of earlier models, adopting a new design language based around the trademark clear bar below the screen. Sony's also introduced some impressive new hardware in its latest high-end device, which includes the new 720p HD Reality Display and a 12-megapixel EXMOR R camera.

We'll have a full review written up in the next week or so, but in the meantime you can click past the break for our hands-on video, along with more photos and some first impressions.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy Beam - hands-on with pico projecting goodness

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Phil got his mitts on the Samsung Galaxy Beam at Mobile World Congress 2012, but it's definitely worth seeing the built-in projector in action.

Just to recap, the Samsung Galaxy Beam is running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, has a dual-core 1 GHz processor, 768 MB of RAM, 8 GB of local storage, 4-inch WVGA display, and a 2000 mAh battery to keep the projector humming along.

Outside of professionals that need to do a lot of presentations in the field, I could see the Beam being a good choice for those that tend to watch video before going to bed; just plug it in, prop it into a stand, and project some sleepy videos onto the cieling. It's still a pretty specific niche, though; are any of you guys particularly excited about a fresh device with a projector? The last time we saw a smartphone remotely like this was the LG Expo

Video after the jump!

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S3 is/isn't coming, Part VII

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If you wonder why we scoff at all these rumors regarding phones that haven't been announced, it's because of things like this: A day after ZDNet cited some marketing sources as saying the Galaxy S3 would be released in April after being announced in March, Korean website MT is now quoting Samsung as saying that ain't gonna happen, at least not before the summer.

In other words, nobody knows when the hell it's coming, except maybe Samsung (and quite possibly it hasn't even decided yet).

Source: MT (translated); via Unwired View
More: Rumored devices forum

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2 years ago

Hands-on with ZTE's two Android 4.0 LTE phones - PF200 and N910

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Prior to Mobile World Congress 2012, ZTE had announced two LTE phones running Ice Cream Sandwich, and we got a chance to play with at least one working unit in Barcelona. A rep at the ZTE booth told me that both of these phones are due to drop in North America, but considering the sizable language barrier, they may have been mistaken. 

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2 years ago

HTC releases new APIs for Beats, Sense lockscreen, device management and MediaLink

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HTC has announced that they are opening up a bit more of the OpenSense SDK, and including APIs for Beats Audio, the Sense 4.0 lockscreen, Mobile device management, and the MediaLink HD system. This opens many new features to application developers, and apps can include these calls so that they are differentiated on HTC Sense phones, yet function on all phones with the same software build. 

In layman's terms, this means the people who build apps can now include things like Beats Audio support, lockscreen widgets and shortcuts, remote control through websites like htcsense.com, and leverage the media streaming ability of the MediaLink HD docks. If you have a Sense 4.0 phone, you'll get all these perks, and the apps can be written so users without a Sense 4.0 phone get the same exact app, without the Sense features and functions. That's less work for developers and it means faster and better updates -- something all Android junkies love.

The new OpenSense SDK will be available in the coming weeks, in the meantime we can prepare for things like a video player that uses Beats Audio, with a lockscreen widget or Web app to control it, streamed to your television via MediaLink. I think we're ready.

Source: HTC

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2 years ago

NSA builds Android phone for 'Top Secret' communication

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The NSA (National Security Agency) has developed an Android phone that meets "Top Secret" criteria using off-the-shelf components. Dubbed the fishbowl phone, 100 units were built and deployed by IAD (Information Assurance Directorate) and division head Margaret Salter says that anyone can recreate the phones using the specs published at the NSA website.

The plan was to buy commercial components, layer them together and get a secure solution. It uses solely commercial infrastructure to protect classified data.

 -- IAD Department head Margaret Salter

The new phones, which even have their own secure enterprise application store, mean that users no longer have to speak in code when talking about government secrets. Using IPSEC VPNs, and having voice sessions use Datagram Transport Layer Security and the Secure Real-time Transport Protocol means that calls are safe from prying eyes, and this was published because Salter thinks the voice application security specification would be useful to everyone. Voice calls are encrypted twice, and all go through the NSA enterprise servers to maintain control and keep communications safe between only the parties involved. 

It appears that choosing the components was a bit difficult, and Salter urges her colleagues to "demand vendors improve unified communications interoperability". The parts weren't chosen by brand, and instead were chosen for the way they supported the required functionality. This means that a part from one vendor had to work well with a part from another vendor, which proved difficult. None of the compromises that had to be made reduced the security of the phone. In addition, a "police app" was designed to monitor all operations of the device in case any portion was compromised. 

'Droid does top secret.

Source: SC Magazine; via Android Central forums

Thanks, DenverRalphy!

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2 years ago

German court says enough is enough, throws out two patent cases between Samsung and Apple

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A Manheim regional court in Germany today threw out two patent disputes between Samsung and Apple: the first regarding Apple's infrigement on Samsung's 3G/UMTS technology, the second regarding Samsung's use of slide-to-unlock gesutres on its devices. The ruling against Samsung is the third in a row in Germany, while the ruling against Apple is the first of two, the second scheduled for a March 16 hearing.

The court decision comes just a few weeks after a Munich court ruled that Motorola had indeed infringed upon Apple's slide-to-unlock patents, resulting in alterations being made to Motorola's unlock feature. 

Today's ruling is just a drop in the bucket, as there is upwards of at least 14 disputes between Samsung and Apple pending in Germany, with more waging around the world. Samsung has already promised to appeal today's decision, while Apple will likely do the same. 

The back-and-forth between Apple and other manufacturers is far from over, though it is refreshing to see a judge as fed up with it as everyone else is. With Apple, Samsung, Motorola and HTC all slated to release some heavy-hitting devices in the coming months, we'll be sure to keep you posted as the war rages on.

Source: FOSS Patents

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2 years ago

Huawei launching Ascend D LTE and P1 LTE in Europe and Asia by July

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Huawei has announced that it'll launch the 4G LTE versions of its Ascend D series and Ascend P1 smartphones in Europe and Asia by the middle of the year. The two smartphones will be joined by a range of new LTE network cards and Mifis, as LTE networks continue to expand across both continents.

The Chinese manufacturer showed off its latest super high-end smartphone at Mobile World Congress this week -- the Ascend D Quad. However, Ascend D LTE will be powered by a Snapdragon S4 chip, compared to the Huawei-designed quad-core chip in the D Quad. For more on Huawei's upcoming flagship device, check out our hands-on preview from MWC.

We've got Huawei's press release after the break.

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2 years ago

Samsung Galaxy S III to be released next month after it's announced this month, says ZDNet Korea

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The Samsung Galaxy S III (or now, apparently, the Galaxy S3) will be released in April, after it's announced in March, says ZDNet Korea, citing marketing sources. Could well happen. Or not. Of course, Samsung has to announce the phone, and then release dates will roll out worldwide as they always do -- slowly and gradually. And those of us here in the United States will have to wait for the carriers to make their own announcements. ZDNet's sources say it'll all revolve around some heavy Summer Olympics marketing, which would make sense.

We'll let you know when we actually see announcement invites or something ... what's that word ... official.

Source: ZDNet Korea

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