HTC Thunderbolt – the Android 2.2 device that could come with a 4.3″ display, a 1.2GHz SnapDragon processor and two cameras; an 8-Megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1.3-Megapixel VGA on the front could be launching in the last week of February. This is according to rumors that also note that this Verizon-bound device could have an unnamed Samsung 4G LTE phone for company during launch.
While this latest word is not absolutely credible, we are still hopeful that the launch should happen around that time. Verizon Wireless, it is learned, has already commenced its training programs for employees who shall be working on the ThunderBolt launch. A screengrab of a training manual has leaked to the blogosphere that underlines some salient features on this new Android 2.2 handset.
Given a February end launch, we expect Verizon to open up the ThunderBolt for pre-orders in just a couple of weeks from now. Will you be going for one?
Is Samsung working on a new Vibrant 4G model that it could launch on the T-Mobile network? According to rumors, it is. Sources close to Samsung have revealed that the new Samsung Vibrant 4G with a 4″ Super-AMOLED display would run on T-Mobile’s 21Mbps HSPA+ network that will offer 4G-like wireless internet speeds.
But what’s most interesting is that the source claims the Vibrant 4G to come installed with the new Android 2.3. A screenshot of Samsung Vibrant 4G with stock Gingerbread has been leaked although there are doubts over the veracity of these leaks. Some eagle-eyed observers point out that the demonstrated Android 2.3 lock page is slightly different from the native look.
In any case, the source points out that Samsung is working on a new TouchWiz UI that will be compatible with Android 2.3. We could be seeing this interface on the Vibrant 4G whenever it is launched in the markets.
We first heard about the upcoming Galaxy S2 Android phone from Samsung back in July last year. The Korean company is expected to unveil this new device during the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona next month. But there has not been any confirmation on the features as yet. However, a new report on Korean newspaper gives us quite a few details about what this device could come equipped with as well as how it would look like.
According to ETNews, the new Samsung Galaxy S2 will be an Android 2.3 device that will come with a 4.3 inches Super AMOLED “Plus” display and will run on a dual core processor. The newspaper further claims that the device will contain an NFC chip – similar to the recently launched Google Nexus S.
The speculations are not exactly new. Our earliest report about the Galaxy S2 hinted at a 1280×720 pixel Super AMOLED display and a 2GHz processor – possibly two cores with 1GHz speed each. It will be interesting to see if these rumors turn out to be correct.
Most of the tech world may be gearing up for the Consumer Electronics Show that is set to get underway in less than a week’s time. However Samsung, it is learned, is already getting ready to showcase some upcoming products at the Mobile World Congress that will be held during the month of February in Barcelona.
According to a report on Korean newspaper Chosunilbo, Samsung is prepping to unveil the next gen models of its Galaxy range smart devices. The Galaxy S successor is reported to be equipped with dual core processors, updated gyroscope and support NFC connectivity.
It is worth noting that these are some features that are offered on Google’s latest Gingerbread platform and consequently it is likely that the new Galaxy range of smartphones could run on Android 2.3. Not too unlikely considering that the launch is at least a couple of months away and because the first Gingerbread handset is already available in the market.
Gingerbread users – that’s predominantly Google Nexus S owners as of now – who want to get hold of a more resourceful firmware can now start testing the new CyanogenMod 7 firmware. For the uninitiated, CyanogenMod is a custom firmware that is built over the Android platform that could bring features hitherto not available on the native platform to these smartphones.
The CyanogenMod team had initially reported issues with the camcorder and Wi-Fi that was however later rectified. Koush, one of the lead developers from CyanogenMod has now released an alpha version of the firmware that can now be downloaded from here.
Do note that this is an alpha version that is bound to come with a lot of bugs. That means, unless you are absolutely sure of what you are doing, you are advised to hold off from installing these updates. There is no word on when a public release is due. Nevertheless, keep looking here, we might update you on the same when that happens.
Google Nexus S launches in the UK today and you should already know, this will be the first smartphone to sport the new Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS. If you haven’t purchased a Nexus S and are contemplating a buy, you should do it soon.
Carphone Warehouse, Google’s retail partner in the UK has announced that they are dropping the price of the Nexus S. The phone, which was earlier available SIM-free at a price of £549.99 can now be purchased for just £429.99. Also, if you are one looking for contracts, you still get it for free as you did earlier. However, the minimum data package plan that one required to sign up with has been changed from the £35 package to the £30 plan.
But do remember that new purchases shall be back-ordered which means it can take them a little while before the device is shipped to your address. In any case, if you are interested to make a purchase, head over to the Carphone website and pre-order now.
Google Nexus S, the latest Android smartphone from Google is the only one in the market to be running the latest Gingerbread OS. While other Android users continue to wait for Android 2.3 to be made available to them officially from their carriers, at least Galaxy S users have something to cheer about. Folks at XDA have managed to port the Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform from Nexus S to Galaxy S.
From what we hear, this is a near-perfect porting with few performance related issues. However do note that some features on the Galaxy S could be disabled after the update. Users have reported issues with accessing Wi-Fi, GPS and Google Voice after porting to the new Gingerbread OS.
That could be a huge deal breaker for many. But if you are one who would rather update to the latest OS than access these features from a FroYo handset, be sure to dive into this thread for instructions on the upgrade. Also, check the videos embedded below for an idea on how this works.
Unfortunately, if you are looking for a way to pre-order a phone, you are out of luck. Best Buy has issued a fresh FAQ that clarifies that the phone will not be available on pre-orders and interested customers may get the phones only on launch day.
Will Best Buy be taking pre-orders for the Nexus S?
There will be no pre-orders on the Nexus S. Units will be distributed on a first-come-first-served basis on launch day. We will use a ticketing system much like we do on Black Friday to allocate inventory and keep the process organized.
There are a number of other details that Best Buy has offered on their FAQ. You can read them by clicking here.
Here is a lesson in social media marketing – never lie to your customers. At least over a social network where you can be easily caught. A recent conversation between an LG customer and the company’s social media team may have got more publicity than the company may have wanted to. The customer simply wanted to know when his LG Optimus S would get Android 2.3. And this is the reply he got over Facebook –
“So, the Optimus line won’t be getting the Gingerbread update because they have a 600MHz processor,and the minimum requirements for Gingerbread require 1 GHz processor. In other words: it’s not possible to update the processor, unfortunately.”
Other members soon jumped in to correct LG’s statements. In fact, Dan Morrill, the Android lead at Google was quick to write on his Twitter account,
“there’s no hard minimum processor requirement for Gingerbread… trust me, if there were I’d know.”
While it is possible that the social media team had a dose of miscommunication (remember Gingerbread was initially thought to be Android 3.0 that will possibly need better hardware), it is always a good idea to verify facts before posting such communications.
As you should know by know, Google has unveiled the next generation Android platform along with the Nexus S. One of the most conspicuous features about the upcoming Android version is its new-look keyboard. If you are one of those dying to check out this new Android keyboard on your older machines, then follow the instructions below.
First and foremost, remember that you will need a rooted Android device to carry out these instructions. You may know this, but it is our duty to warn you that this is a pretty risky process where you could end up bricking your device. Also, some functionalities like autocorrect may not function properly. Thirdly, this process needs you to have Android 2.2 installed. If it is an older version of OS, sorry this feature may not work on your phone.
If you are already rooted and have taken care of the warnings, then follow these steps below.
Step 1 : Create a backup of your phone
Step 2 : Click here and download the ZIP file
Step 3 : Plug your phone to the computer
Step 4 : Copy the downloaded file on to the root of your SD card and install it in the same way you would install themes
Step 5 : If you are a user of Droid X or Droid 2, then navigate to Clockwork -> Mounts and Storage -> Mount System and then back to install the ZIP file from your SD card
Step 6 : Reboot your Android phone. Under the Input method, select Android Keyboard.
You are done. You can use this new look keyboard on your FroYo device. Check out the video below for a Android 2.3 keyboard demo.