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2 years ago

How to manually update your GSM Nexus S to Ice Cream Sandwich

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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:

  • Grab the OTA package here
  • Rename it to update.zip.  This isn't needed for the Nexus S bootloader, but it makes things easy, if that's how you prefer them.
  • Copy it over to the internal storage on your Nexus S.
  • Power off, then hold volume up and power to reboot to the bootloader.
  • Using the volume key to navigate, select recovery, then use the power button to confirm
  • When you see the warning triangle and arrow, hold the power button and tap volume up.  You'll see a menu.
  • From the menu, select "apply update from /sdcard", and choose update.zip from the list.
  • Let it do its thing and update your system, radio, and other partitions.  When finished, choose "reboot system now"
  • Enjoy!

That simple! Now you've got the all new Android 4.0.3.

More: Nexus S forums
Big ups to Koush and Beezy for the download location!

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2 years ago

Google starting to push Ice Cream Sandwich for Samsung Nexus S

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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?

Source: @GoogleNexus

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2 years ago

Android 4.0.2 update now rolling out to GSM Galaxy Nexus

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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?

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2 years ago

Android 4.0.2 is so yesterday -- say hello to Android 4.0.3!

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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'.

Source: Android Developers Blog; more: Platform Highlights

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2 years ago

Sprint says it's no longer collecting analytics via Carrier IQ

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Sprint today told Android Central that it is no longer using Carrier IQ to collect diagnostic data from its devices. The statement comes in response to our asking Sprint about an anonymously sourced report on Geek.com under the headline "Sprint orders all OEM’s to strip Carrier IQ from their hardware." Said Sprint spokeswoman Stephanie Vinge-Walsh:

"That report does not appear to be accurate."

Vinge-Walsh did go on to tell us that Sprint has "weighed customer concerns and we have disabled use of the tool so that diagnostic information and data is no longer being collected. We are further evaluating options regarding this diagnostic software as well as Sprint’s diagnostic needs.

"At Sprint, we work hard to earn the trust of our customers and believe this course of action is in the best interest of our business and customers."

HTC, also cited in Geek.com's report as an anonymous source, had no comment and referred us to Sprint.

Not collecting data is a far cry from "stripping" the Carrier IQ code out of its phones, but it also makes far more sense, at least in the short term. Flipping a switch to cease collecting data undoubtedly is easier (and cheaper) than rewriting ROMs for the 17 or so devices it told U.S. Sen. Al Franken contained Carrier IQ. That's not going to make the die-hard Android hackers happy, but chances are they're already stripped the ROM anyway. Not including Carrier IQ software in future updates and new releases would make sense as Sprint's not collecting the data anymore anyway.

As for the causal (read: normal) Android user, you can rest easy in knowing that Sprint's no longer using Carrier IQ to collect its analytics data. We've got Sprint's full statement after the break.

More analysis

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2 years ago

HTC: 6.3 million devices with Carrier IQ -- including some that shouldn't have it

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Now here's where it gets interesting. In HTC's response to questioning from U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., it listed some 6.3 million "active devices" that have Carrier IQ installed. They include:

  • Sprint: Snap (Windows Mobile), Touch Pro 2 (Windows Mobile), Hero, EVO 4G, EVO Shift 4G, EVO 3D, EVO Design 4G
  • AT&T: Vivid
  • T-Mobile: Amaze 4G

However, HTC also disclosed that "components of the Carrier IQ solution" are on the HTC Merge, Acquire, Desire, Wildfire, Flyer and a variant of the Hero. But, the components on those phones "are not requested by the wireless service providers who sell these devices. HTC is currently working on an update to remove these software components from these devices.

HTC, in its response, reiterates that it neither receives nor stores any data the Carrier IQ software collects because the carrier, not HTC, is Carrier IQ's customer. And that's repeated in the bulk of the responses.

More: HTC's response (pdf)

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2 years ago

AT&T Galaxy S II Android 2.3.6 update pushed out

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The AT&T Galaxy S II is getting a nice little update this morning that brings its Android version number to 2.3.6. A number of people have reported that the update failed at first, but others have installed it with nary a hitch. Go to Settings>About Phone and give it a shot, then hit the link below to see how it's going for everyone else.

Discuss: AT&T Galaxy S II forums; more: Samsung
Thanks, @dmcincubus, for the tip!

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2 years ago

Verizon Samsung Galaxy Nexus extended battery -- curvy in all the right places

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A look at the extended battery on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Verizon

Behold, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus extended battery. On the left, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. On the right, also the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. Only, one of these phones has Verizon's 2100 mAh extended battery in it, and the other has the standard 1850 mAh battery that comes with the phone. A few quick thoughts on it:

  • The extended battery comes with a new battery door, which looks nearly identical to the stock door. Same logos and all.
  • You gain just a tad of thickness with the extended battery. It's not quite one of those stock-size extended batteries, but neither does it have a huge humpback.
  • In fact, we rather like the feel of the phone with the extended battery in place. Gives it more of a rounded feel, kind of like the Samsung Galaxy S II Sprint Epic 4G Touch, but a tad bigger.
  • You can not use the Verizon extended battery in the GSM Galaxy Nexus.
  • The phone fits in that Navigation Dock just fine with the extended battery.
  • Cases may vary by manufacturer.

Check past the break for some hands-on pics and video. And we'll reveal which phone in the picture above has the extended battery.

More: Verizon Galaxy Nexus forums

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2 years ago

Google releases stock images for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus

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Now that you've got your Galaxy Nexus, it's time to tinker. And tinker we shall. We've already showed you how to unlock the bootloader, which you really should do first thing if you have any thoughts at all about one day rooting the phone or using a custom ROM. So if you haven't done that already, go do it. We'll wait.

Back? OK. Now this being a Nexus phone, it's way more "open" than anything else you might have owned (other than another Nexus phone, of course). And to that end, Google has just released the factory images for the Verizon Nexus. (Google previously released the GSM images.) That means pretty much no matter what you've done to the phone, so long as you can get to the bootloader (which has that bad-ass image you see above) you can return your phone to full stock. Nice. And we would love to see every manufacturer do this. (We know, we can dream.)

Anyhoo, hit the download link below for the factory image for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus.  And once things get settled in, you'll always be able to find the latest stock factory image for the Galaxy Nexus at Google's Nexus support page here.

Download: Android Building group

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2 years ago

Verizon Galaxy Nexus hands-on

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So here we have it, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus. Same as the other Galaxy Nexus, only different. Sort of. Slightly. Here's a quick breakdown:

From the front, the two phones are indistinguishable. Both have that huge tract of Super AMOLED HD goodness (aka a 4.65-inch display), ear speaker and front-facing camera. The power button, volume rocker and charging contacts are all in the exact same spots. Or at least close enough that we can't tell with the naked eye.

Flip the Verizon Galaxy Nexus over, and it's almost identical to the GSM version. The Google logo has been traded in for a Verizon 4G silkscreen. Note that the GSM battery cover is not interchangable with the Verizon version. The tabs that hold it in place are in slightly different positions. So if you have to have that Google logo, you're going to have to work at it a bit.

Open the battery cover on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus and you find the biggest visible physical difference. It uses a different battery than the GSM version -- different shape, and it's been upped to 1850 mAh capacity. Verizon's using a micro SIM card for LTE, and it's in a different location, too. You'll also find screens and other design differences back here.

That's it for the outside. The internals, of course, are the same, only with a CDMA radio and 4G LTE radio. (Oh, and there's a subtle Qualcomm 4G sticker advertising that fact on the bottom bezel.) Otherwise, same 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 32GB of storage and 1GB of RAM.

Ice Cream Sandwich is still Ice Cream Sandwich, though the version number is slightly higher than what we currently see on the GSM Galaxy Nexus thanks to some recent bugfixes. No big deal.

We've got more hands-on video and pictures after the break, and a full review forthcoming.

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