As much as I complain about how ridiculous the monthly price of a good wireless plan is, I have to admit it does have its upsides. For AT&T and Verizon especially, that means that when they take in those huge profits, they pay part of it back out in the form of network upgrades and advancements. That's a big chunk of why their 4G (LTE) rollouts are ahead of the other two carriers, and part of why they're ahead of their European counterparts (the other big part, at least compared to Europe, is spectrum).
A new version of the Android Play Store (formerly Android Market) with version 3.5.19 is now rolling out, replacing 3.5.16. We haven't seen a new Play Store for over a month, but what changes it contains compared to its predecessor is not clear at the moment. I've examined all the menus I could think of and didn't find anything new, so improvements are either under-the-hood or so subtle it'll take a whole AP community to find them.
If you were to come up with your ideal phone, the specs would probably look like those rumored for the mysterious LG LS970 on Sprint. This phone will reportedly have the Qualcomm APQ8064 (Snapdragon S4) at its heart. This is a quad-core 28nm Krait chip with the next-generation Adreno 320 GPU. Since this is an "APQ" chip, that means a separate LTE data modem will be used, currently listed in the leaked profile as the MSM9615.
One of the biggest downfalls of major third-party ROMs is that often they miss out on features added by manufacturers. OpenDESIGN is an attempt to rectify this problem, spearheaded by XpLoDWilD of TeamHacksung, a subgroup of the CyanogenMod team. Ultimately, the goal is to rebuild popular and useful manufacturer features and build them into CM9 for all to be able to use.
The site's FAQ says that these features will be "written from the ground up and will be opensourced early on." This should be extremely helpful for the community as a whole.
Sony, you really confuse me sometimes. The US is just about to get the Xperia Ion on AT&T, supposedly the Sony-branded flagship smartphone. The problem is that the Xperia GX just took that crown from the Ion - before it even came out. I'm not sure what Sony's grand master plan here is, but looking from the outside in, it seems like the company (that lost $5.7 billion last year - most of it in the fourth quarter alone) is flying completely and utterly blind.
Can you believe that it's already been a year since NVIDIA launched the Tegra Zone - the go-to place to find Tegra-optimized games? Neither can I. Since its release, we've seen numerous new devices hit the market with Tegra Zone support, including a handful of devices with the monstrous Tegra 3 superchip. Not only that, but we've seen even more Tegra Zone games show up, and watched them get more and more console-like along the way.
Do you own an Eee Pad Slider? Time to hit the check update button (if you're in the US, that is), because ASUS just dropped via Twitter that the device is receiving an OTA update to Android 4.0:
UPDATE. #Android ICS release v220.127.116.11 hits the Eee Pad Slider SL101 today in the US.
— ASUS (@ASUS) May 10, 2012
As far as I know, that means ASUS's entire line of Android tablets are now running Ice Cream Sandwich (though admittedly, there's only four of them), a track record I'm sure we'd all like to see other tablet manufacturers match (*cough* Samsung *cough*).
At a time where phone networks in the UK are fighting over 4G spectrum, it's easy to forget that not everyone is willing, or able, to spend £40 a month on a fast mobile phone - just ask those public sector workers who are striking over pensions today.
With this in mind, it shouldn't come as a surprise that O2 is attempting to broaden its smartphone lineup by adding Huawei's Ascend Y100 into the mix.
The update for devices running Gingerbread to the latest Ice Cream Sandwich have been erratic at best. Although Samsung has promised updates for its smartphones and tablets, the overall rollout has been quite unpredictable with different markets getting upgrades before others.