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T-Mobile Galaxy S2 receiving small OTA update, still ICS for now

The T-Mobile version of the Galaxy SII (S2) is receiving an update today, either via OTA or Samsung Kies, that keeps the device on Android 4.0.4 but brings a few needed fixes. The update, which can bring you to baseband version T989UVLI1 or T989UVLH1, is just 11MB when downloaded OTA and has a few...
Android Central

Kobo Arc review

Kobo's latest Android tablet is a marked step up from previous efforts, but does it make for a compelling purchase in an increasingly crowded space? The small tablet space is becoming increasingly populated of late. The Google Nexus 7 undoubtedly sets the bar pretty high, but recent months have...
Android Central

Initial hands on and first impressions of the Kobo Arc

Back in late August, we received an invite to a press event being held during the IFA 2012 show in Berlin. Nothing out of the ordinary there, after all, press events are the bread and butter of such shows. This one was a little different though, it came from Kobo, better known for their e-readers...
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Upload, clip and selectively crop videos originally taken outside of Instagram.

Instagram has announced today that it is pushing out the first major update to its app since the release of Instagram Video back in June, putting the app to version 4.1 and adding new features and device compatibility. First up is a new feature that lets you upload any video from your device, rather than just limiting video to what you capture from within the app. When selecting a video from your gallery you can select just the part you want to share, as well as selectively square-crop the best area of the clip.

Additionally, Instagram is expanding video capabilities down to devices running Ice Cream Sandwich, which opens up the service's latest feature to millions more devices. One new feature, "Automatic Straightening", is hitting with this update on iOS but at this point hasn't been announced for the Android app.

The app update doesn't seem to be live in the Play Store just yet, but it slated to be available today. You can grab the latest version when it propagates in the store at the link above, and in the meantime see screenshots of the new video UI at the source link below.

More: Instagram

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Sprint's developing LTE network looks to be receiving a new device in the coming weeks from ZTE. This leaked Sprint product page obtained by Engadget shows what is supposedly the Sprint Force LTE, a mid-range Ice Cream Sandwich device due to arrive March 1.

As you would expect from a mid-range device, the specs certainly won't be setting the world on fire, yet look more than capable of delivering a solid experience. Pushing everything along is a 1.5GHz as yet unnamed dual-core processor, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The 4-inch display is covered by Gorilla Glass, and inside we're looking at 1GB of RAM and 4GB of on-board storage, with a 1730mAh battery powering the Force. At $49.99 on a new 2-year-contract, it could attract those looking for some Sprint LTE on a budget.

Source: Engadget

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A week after it was confirmed, and a good six months or so since the first leak, Ice Cream Sandwich is pushing out for Verizon's HTC Thunderbolt. The update brings the 'Bolt up to Android 4.0.4 and HTC Sense 3.6, and weighs in at a little under 400MB. According to reports from the Android Central forums and elsewhere it's available now for download, so go get it! Head to Settings > About phone > Software update to see if your update is ready.

If you've stuck it out with the Thunderbolt, be sure to hit the comments let us know how you get on with this substantial software upgrade.

Source: Android Central forums

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What more can we say? (Don't answer that!) The HTC Thunderbolt has its Ice Cream Sandwich update ready, and will soon start rolling out to devices. It will be Android 4.0.4 with Sense 3.6, and the update package is about 380MB. If you still have a Thunderbolt rattling around in a drawer somewhere, dig it out, dust it off, and plug it in in preparation. This update won't fix the peeling kickstand, but maybe it can help the battery life a bit. Anyhoo, it's nice to know that the Thunderbolt was not forgotten, no matter how hard we all tried to forget it.

Source: Verizon (pdf); Via: everyone

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The T-Mobile version of the Galaxy SII (S2) is receiving an update today, either via OTA or Samsung Kies, that keeps the device on Android 4.0.4 but brings a few needed fixes. The update, which can bring you to baseband version T989UVLI1 or T989UVLH1, is just 11MB when downloaded OTA and has a few fixes on board. Apparently a Qualcomm fix is included, along with other security enhancements and Vlingo S Voice improvements.

When first seeing that an update was available for the Galaxy S2 we instantly jumped to conclusions, thinking that this may be the Jelly Bean update. The update started rolling out for the international S2 yesterday, but unfortunately T-Mobile's model is on ICS for just a while longer. Have you received the update via OTA or Kies? Head to the forums and chime in, as some users are already reporting seeing the update arrive on their devices.

Source: T-Mobile Support; More: T-Mobile Galaxy S2 Forums

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Back in late August, we received an invite to a press event being held during the IFA 2012 show in Berlin. Nothing out of the ordinary there, after all, press events are the bread and butter of such shows. This one was a little different though, it came from Kobo, better known for their e-readers and their e-book store. Kobo has ventured into the Android world before, with the less than impressive Vox. Despite gaining Google certification during its life, the Vox was a little limp as an Android tablet. 

What Kobo had to show us this time though was something quite different. The Arc was immediately noticable as a huge leap forward from the Vox. A 7-inch device, with a 1280x800 resolution display, front facing stereo speakers, Android 4.0 and the full Google suite of applications this time straight out of the box. Underneath, a 1.5GHz dual-core OMAP 4470 processor, 1GB of RAM and 16, 32 or a whopping 64GB of storage. Click on past the break for some first impressions and hands on with the device.

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The AT&T Galaxy S II got updated to Ice Cream Sandwich this past June, but tonight there are reports of users getting a slight version bump to Android 4.0.4. The LK3 update can be retrieved from Kies, but luckily users are saying they downloaded it OTA as well.

There is no change log available, and so far nobody has found much difference from 4.0.3. We doubt that the Exynos patch is included, but we'll have to wait until more people get it installed so someone can check. Of course even the smallest bug fixes and security adjustments are appreciated.

Source: XDA. Thanks, Matt!

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If you're rocking a U.S. Cellular Samsung Galaxy S II, your long wait for Android 4.0 is finally at an end. The update is available for download, although it doesn't look like it's going out OTA. Hit the source link at the bottom of this post for more, but basically you'll need to download the update and install via your computer. 

While still Touchwiz'd up, the jump from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich is a sizeable one. New ICS features like Face Unlock are baked in, and it opens up a whole new world of applications to take advantage of, like Google Chrome. Also built in to this update are 'additional apps' with Google Play Movies and Slacker being installed as part of the package. Jelly Bean hasn't rolled out to any worldwide models of the Galaxy S II, so this at least brings the U.S. Cellular variant up to date with it's compatriots. If you've snagged the update, be sure to shout out in the comments and let us know how you're finding it. 

Source: U.S. Cellular

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Remember Android 3.0 Honeycomb? Well, if you have an AT&T-branded Galaxy Tab 8.9 (SGH-i957) you're likely all too familiar with the software. Fortunately, AT&T and Samsung are ready to bring you an update to Ice Cream Sandwich today, which is long overdue even when compared to the other models of the Tab 8.9. AT&T's variant will sadly only be updated via Samsung's Kies desktop software, however. There's no indication at this point that an OTA is coming either.

A quick bit of warning for those updating, several different settings and apps will be reset in the update. Samsung's support documentation indicates that homescreen placements will be reset, contacts stored on the device may be erased and the music app's playlists and settings will also be reset to default.

We really wish that AT&T would just push these updates OTA. Most people won't have Kies installed or want to go through the trouble to install the update manually in this manor. We saw this same scenario with the recent Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy SIII (S3), and we just don't care for it.

Source: Samsung; Via: Android Police

More: Galaxy Tab 8.9 Forums

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It's been a long journey to bring Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich onto the LG Optimus 2X. First the update was rumored to have been canceled, then un-canceled, then delayed, then released, but just in Korea, followed by a source code drop a month or so ago.

But Optimus 2X owners can rejoice this morning, as it seems the ICS update for their phone is now going out to devices outside of Korea, indicating a widespread international launch for the upgrade. According to reports from XDA, the  Android 4.0.4-based v30a firmware is now available to download via LG's PC update utility.

The long-awaited ICS should bring a performance boost to the the world's first dual-core smartphone, which we first saw way back at CES 2011. The ICS upgrade will also allow Optimus 2X owners to run the latest Google apps, including the new versions of Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Chrome. It's also likely the update will include LG's latest Optimus UI 3.0, as previous LG ICS updates have, however we haven't been able to specifically confirm this.

Anyone still rocking an Optimus 2X? Let us know how you get on with the latest firmware update.

Source: XDA; via: PhoneArena

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ADW Launcher, once a staple in the Android community, mysteriously stopped being updated some time ago. While updates to Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean started to come out, ADW still looked like something of the Gingerbread generation. Then, all of a sudden, ADW received an update that made it into something more 2012-appropriate.

So what happened that led to such a big gap in development? Wonder no more. Our pal JR Raphael  at ComputerWorld talked with developer Ander Webbs about ADW, 2011 and the crazy ride that led to the eventual updating of the app. Its quite a story, and is worth a read at the source link below.

Source: ComputerWorld

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Perhaps a little late to the party, but arriving nevertheless, eReader maker Kobo has brought their latest creation to market today. The Kobo Arc, based on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich -- with a Jelly Bean update already in the works -- is on sale today in Canada and the UK, and will arrive in France starting Monday. In the UK the Arc is exclusive to high street retailer WHSmiths -- available online only until November 21 -- and will cost £160 or £190 for the 16GB or 32GB versions respectively. In Canada these two run for $200 and $250 Canadian. 

Differentiating from the competition somewhat though, there is a 64GB version of the Arc too. This one doesn't seem to be up for sale in the UK just yet, but in Canada costs just $300 Canadian. 

We first saw the Kobo Arc back at IFA 2012 in Berlin, and while running in direct competition with the Amazon Kindle Fire and even Google's own Nexus 7, there is a lot of potential appeal for a casual tablet user. The custom Kobo UI, known as Tapestries, aims to provide a content focused experience. And, unlike the Amazon offerings, the Arc runs 'regular' Android, and as such has full access to the Google suite of applications and the Google Play Store. Full press release can be found after the break. 

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AT&T this morning announced that the Samsung Captivate Glide -- the 4-inch QWERTY we first saw about a year ago -- will get its update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich starting this Sunday. It doesn't look like it'll be made available over the air -- it's still 2012, right? -- and instead you'll have to go to a Samsung update page, which at the time of this writing still says the update is on hold. 

Source: AT&T

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Panasonic may have all but pulled out of the European smartphone market, but that hasn't stopped it pushing out Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for its ill-fated Eluga. The Eluga, which saw a limited launch in June with Gingerbread, can now benefit from standard ICS features like improved multitasking, a redesigned lock screen and various UI enhancements.

Panasonic has chosen a somewhat odd upgrade path for the Eluga, however. The upgrade package must be downloaded from the Google Play Store (check the link above), after ensuring that you've got the required 150MB of SD card space and are running the latest Gingerbread ROM, version 07.5315. It's a little convoluted, but we suppose it's better than no upgrade at all.

The Eluga isn't the only Gingerbread phone getting updated to ICS via a long-winded manual upgrade process. Earlier today Vodafone and Huawei posted details of how Ascend G300 owners can upgrade to Android 4.0, using a similarly complex method.

Anyone actually buy a Panasonic Eluga? If you're out there, fess up down in the comments. Full 22-step upgrade instruction procedure is detailed at the source link.

Source: Panasonic

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Vodafone UK and Huawei have begun pushing out an update to Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich for the budget-friendly Ascend G300. The update is available as an over-the-air download, but Voda advises G300 owners that the update will delete all person data on the device, and so the carrier's offering a step-by-step walkthrough on its forum.

Ascend G300 owners are told to first download an update to the older Gingerbread-based ROM, then use a "quick backup" utility to save all personal data to their SD card. Later, after the ICS update is done installing, this can be restored from an SD card. It's not the most elegant ICS update procedure we've seen, but there are many entry-level phones that aren't getting ICS at all, so we'll concede that a messy ICS update is better than no update at all.

Full instructions can be found over at the source link.

Source: Vodafone eForum

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Yesterday we got official word that Verizon would soon be pushing the Ice Cream Sandwich OTA to the LG Spectrum, and tonight we have confirmation that it's happening now. 

The update process comes in two packages, with a 26MB package to prepare the phone (it's a big jump from Gingerbread to ICS), then a second 390MB OTA complete with ICS and LG's touch from the Optimus UI. When things are done, you're running firmware version VS920ZV7 and Android 4.0.4.

Since it's a big change, Verizon and LG have dropped a few hints in the OS, specifically about the app drawer layout and finding widgets with the new system. Our tipster tells us "The update is pretty nice so far", and he may just start carrying this device again. Those are the kind of update stories we like to hear! Hit the break to see what we're talking about here.

If you haven't been already, start hammering the check for updates item in settings, then hash it all out in the forums!

Thanks, Tim!

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Long-suffering Motorola Droid Bionic owners, your Ice Cream Sandwich update has finally arrived. The Bionic, which has languished on Gingerbread since its release last fall, is today being bumped up to Android 4.0.4 via an over-the-air upgrade.

Reports from the Android Central forums indicate that the Bionic ICS update is now being sent out the masses, following a short soak test.

Unfortunately, it looks like the phone isn't on Motorola's Jelly Bean update roadmap, so Bionic owners will be running 4.0.4 for the foreseeable future. Regardless, ICS is a significant step up from Gingerbread, so Bionic owners will want to grab it right away.

If you're still rocking a bionic, hit the comments let us know how you're getting on with today's update.

Source: Android Central forums

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Verizon has announced that they're rolling out Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to the LG Lucid and LG Spectrum. We had already heard that the Spectrum would be getting an update soon, so this doesn't come entirely as a surprise. If the details are hazy on those devices, you can check out our reviews of the Lucid and the Spectrum when they still had Gingerbread. 

Of course, owners might be a little sour that the update isn't for Jelly Bean, but one can only imagine that LG and Verizon a little busy trying to make sure the latest devices have the newest updates. Any Spectrum or Lucid owners out there get their update yet? Will ICS be good enough to tide you over until your next phone, or are you going to find a custom JB ROM to stay with the times? 

Source: Verizon

More: LG Spectrum forums

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One of Verizon's many mid-range LTE phones from early this year, the LG Spectrum (remember that one?), is poised to receive an update to Ice Cream Sandwich soon. The update to software version VS920ZV7 will bring the device up to Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, and include many of the features and design that we've seen on other recent LG devices. The support page notes that a couple Verizon "enhancements" will be coming with the update as well -- Verizon Remote Diagnostics and a Viewdini app.

The Verizon support PDF doesn't indicate a specific date for when the update will be rolling out, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the users in the forums will be talking about it the moment it starts.

Source: Android Central Forums; Verizon (PDF)

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Remember when we started hearing about a Droid Bionic soak test? Yeah, that's happening now. Verizon has just put up official documentation on its support site for the update -- software version 6.7.246 -- with the label "Coming soon!". The software update will be a whopping 368MB download, and will bring the device up to Android 4.0.4 with many of the recent software customizations people have come to enjoy on the latest Motorola handsets.

From its official @VZWnews Twitter account, Verizon has also confirmed that the ICS update will be rolling out for widespread availability tomorrow. This will certainly be a good start to many Bionic user's weekends.

Source: Android Central Forums; Verizon (Support) ; Verizon (Twitter)

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