Update: We just confirmed that the update is rolling out now. Hit Settings > About phone > Software update to see if it's available on your device!
Fascinate owners, you've been waiting for a long, long time for the update to Android 2.3, and it's finally here. The Gingerbread update is ready to go according to Verizon's support documents, and it could begin rolling out in full force as early as today.
The update brings the expected enhancements and bug fixes:
We're starting to hear reports that this update could be on its way out now, but will update when we get some solid confirmation.
If you're a Verizon Wireless customer and concerned about Carrier IQ, it looks like you can leave your worry at the door. Verizon's Jeffery Nelson confirmed via Twitter to The Verge's Joshua Topolsky that Verizon phone are free of CIQ, and that this "was made clear two weeks ago."
So, if you're on Big Red and have been feeling panic-ey thinking about CIQ or digging through your running processes looking for IQRD, you can rest your weary mind - Papa VZW has your back. The only thing that could make me happier now is an official Galaxy Nexus release date.
Last week, Samsung showed off the white variant of the T-Mobile Galaxy S II, which will be available sometime before the holidays. T-Mo isn't the only one getting a white GSII, though - Sammy just announced white version of the Galaxy S II Skyrocket on AT&T. The white Skyrocket will share the same specs as the black variant:
4.5-inch 480x800 Super AMOLED Plus display
1.5GHz dual-core processor
16GB built-in storage, microSD card slot
8MP rear shooter, 2MP front
Android 2.3.x with TouchWiz
The white Skyrocket will be available on December 4th and should be going for the same price as the exiting model.
Good news for owners of LG Android devices as they have partnered with popular cloud storage provider Box to offer 50GB free storage for personal accounts.
If you wish to claim the 50GB of free storage, simply download the free Box Android app and login before March 31, 2012. The promotion is valid on all LG phones and tablets in the US running Android 2.1 and above. Once claimed, your account will have 50GB of free, secure file storage and sharing forever.
Offering free cloud based storage seems to have become a trend for device manufacturers, as HTC recently partnered with Dropbox to offer 5GB of free storage on all Sense 3.5 handsets.
According to a group of computer scientists at North Carolina State University, a vulnerability exists within many Android devices that would allow hackers (or malicious apps) to bypass the permissions request process and tap into audio and location, wipe apps and data, or send unauthorized SMS messages, all without the user knowing.
This news may sound a bit sensational, but the researchers have created and tested a dummy app which effectively demonstrates the exploit:
Among the eight phones tested with the researchers' diagnostic app (Woodpecker), HTC's Evo 4G seemed to be the most vulnerable, able to "leak" eight different capabilities to their dummy app, which was not explicitly granted appropriate permissions by the user.
Adding to the heap of Transformer Prime mania, ASUS has revealed to us the official release date for one of the most hotly anticipated Android tablets to date.
ASUS tells us that the Transformer Prime, (the world's first Tegra 3 tablet), should be available starting December 19th in North America (the previous estimate of December 12th has been ruled out, in an update from ASUS), with a rumored December 1st release date in Taiwan. European and Asian markets are expected to formally announce availability soon. ASUS also mentioned a 3G model headed for the US, but did not specify a release date just yet.
Around midday yesterday, I received my review kit for the Transformer Prime, complete with dock, wireless gamepad, and HDMI cable - meaning I'm well equipped to take a deep dive into the hottest new tablet to hit stores. But to be completely honest, an in-depth review on a product this brand-spanking-new requires more hands-on time than can be had in two days. The full review will be up on Friday, but in the interim, enjoy the initial impressions and gadget porn below.
1.3GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 Processor with 12-core GPU
32GB or 64GB internal storage with microSD card slot
8MP F2.4 rear shooter with continuous flash for video recording, 1.2MP front camera (1080p camcorder!)
586g (1.29 lbs.)
12 hour battery life playing 720p video, 18 hours with keyboard dock
Metallic spun finish
Two available colors: Amethyst Gray and Champagne Gold (show below, respectively)
Android 3.2.1 - will be updated to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) as soon as possible after release
$499 for 32GB model, $599 for 64GB, and $149 for the dock
North American availability is expected to begin the week of 12/19 - this is straight from Asus's mouth in the Prime details that were sent to us (and again confirmed a few hours ago), contrary to the other "official" date of December 8 that we heard earlier today.
Giving would-be Transformer Prime owners one more thing to drool over, the first Tegra 3 tablet has made an appearance on Nenamark's site, alongside just about every other Android device in existence. For those not in the know, Nenamark is a graphics performance benchmark for Android, and maintains a great reputation for accuracy.
As you can see, the Transformer Prime's nearest tablet competitor is Samsung's GT-P6210, aka the Galaxy Tab 7 Plus. The original Transformer tablet is far down the list, making it clear that the Transformer Prime is an absolute beast in terms of graphics performance.
Of course, benchmarks don't always translate perfectly into real-life performance, but until we have our full review published, check out our hands-on look at the Transformer Prime to find out what kind of impression this slender tablet makes.
Built using Unreal Engine 3, Da Vinci THD is the first full game to appear for Tegra 3 devices, and seems to be packing some serious online FPS gameplay. The game is set during the Renaissance, just after Da Vinci's death, when "heroes of [the] Renaissance" begin battling to capture a mysterious machine created by the famed inventor and artist. The real story, though, is Da Vinci's gameplay.
Players can explore beautifully crafted environments, and utilize powerful weapons while battling with (or against) other players online. What's interesting about Da Vinci, is that there is a PC version in the works as well, which will open up a much larger opportunity for rich online play.
Apparently, this and Nyan Droid are both part of a new screensaver feature Google called "Android Dreams" that was disabled by them before Ice Cream Sandwich was released (presumably because it wasn't ready for prime time yet). Here is a picture of the re-enabled feature in CM9, courtesy of Steve Kondik who stopped by our G+ post.
We're not sure whether what you're about to see is yet another Easter egg in Ice Cream Sandwich (remember the Nyan Droid?) or the next amazing launcher that will do your dishes and fly you into space, but it turns out the stock ICS launcher actually has another launcher buried inside.