Samsung is busy showing off its three Galaxy S4 variants and incredibly ugly glasses onstage in London, but one of the biggest announcements of the day was almost glossed over in the introduction of the premiere event: the much-rumored Galaxy NX. This Android-powered version of Samsung's dSLR and Micro 4/3 camera competitor is aiming to bring Android integration to the higher end of the consumer camera market. While Samsung is still talking it up at the event, at least one random YouTube user has managed to do a full video review of the device.
The Galaxy NX is exactly what it sounds like: a mix of the software features of the Galaxy Camera and the hardware of the Samsung NX series.
Sony Mobile is moving the Xperia ZL up to Android 4.2.2, making this the first non-Nexus handset to get updated to (instead of ship with) this particular version of Jelly Bean. The latest firmware build, version 10.3.A.0.423, also ushers in updates to Sony's Media apps, expands widget functionality on both the lock screen and the home screen, and introduces support for 64GB microSD cards. This is a big plus for users who shun cloud storage and prefer to carry their media the new-old fashioned way.
Huawei announced the company's first real superphone this morning in London, and it's called the Ascend P6. Catchy.
This device has been leaked an absurd number of times in the last few months, so it's not exactly a shocker, but seeing it in all its press-ready photoshopped glory is a lot more impressive than through the lens of a mediocre smartphone camera in a dimly lit room. The P6 is undoubtedly the nicest looking handset Huawei has ever produced.
The selling points for this phone are definitely the more superficial aspects, however. Its mostly-metal body and exceptional thinness (just 6.18mm) are clearly gunning at out-iPhoning the iPhone.
We know Blackberry isn't the most popular name around here, but it is a name that continues to pop up at some interesting times. Developers, in particular, may remember when the company - then known as RIM - launched Playbook OS 2.0 with the ability to run specially packaged apps developed for Android 2.3.3. Since that time, events and promotions have been run to encourage developers to bring their apps to the platform, but the aging requirement to target Gingerbread has become a burden. Despite rumors that the runtime would eventually be updated to support apps targeting Ice Cream Sandwich, there has been a growing belief that the Android runtime would be phased out, favoring applications written in C++, HTML 5, or Adobe AIR.
One of the very few issues with the HTC One is that it still runs Android 4.1, whereas the Galaxy S4 started out on 4.2. A new report on what's to come with HTC's OS update includes some apparent screenshots of Sense 5 on 4.2.2, and there is some good stuff on the way.
First up, there is finally an option to have the battery percentage in the status bar. This is activated in the power settings. The native Android quick settings have been implemented with some slight tweaks. There are a few more toggles, including power saver mode which is no longer taking up space at the top of the notifications.
The ASUS Transformer AiO is a strange sort of beast – it's half desktop computer, half massive Android tablet. Here's the thing, though: it's surprisingly cool. I've been using one for the last week or so (review coming soon), and have been extremely surprised at the amount of utility I've found in this mix-n-match device, as well as how well thought-out it is. But I'm getting ahead of myself here – you'll have to wait for the review for the full skinny.
Up to this point, my main problem with the Android side is that it was running 4.1, and 4.2 would be perfect for the unit since it brings multiple user accounts (because this is a fantastic family machine).
Good morning, Galaxy S III users. Want to start off your week with a spiffy new software build? Then the folks at SamMobile are happy to oblige. They've got their hot hands on a leaked build of the Android 4.2.2 (JDQ39) update for the S III, packing the standard Jelly Bean 4.2 upgrades and more than a few features back-ported from the newer Galaxy S4. The flashable ROM posted to the site isn't exactly official - it's cobbled together from dumped files - but flashing it via Samsung's Odin software won't void your warranty.
Some of the features already spotted in the leaked ROM include the lockscreen, driving mode, Voice Controls, an updated Settings app, gallery, S-Voice, new screen modes, and a bunch of other software and visual tweaks from the TouchWiz build first seen on the Galaxy S4, as well as a host of new settings and the Smart Watch widget.
Google TV is the project no one in Mountain View likes to talk about. It was announced with much fanfare, but the platform has languished on an ancient version of Android 3.2 Honeycomb for far too long. Well, Google didn't see fit to mention it at the keynote, but Google TV is getting a fresh coat of paint with an Android 4.2.2 update.
The update should appear on compatible Google TV devices in the next few months and bring new core functionality and support for newer builds of Google Chrome. Google says the update to Jelly Bean will allow OEMs to build updates for Google TV devices in weeks rather than months.
We heard some last-minute rumors that Samsung's shiny new flagship, not even released in every market, is getting a special Google Edition. Well it's true, boys and girls: the Galaxy S4 Google Edition is real, and it's going to feature the same stock Android experience as Nexus devices. The GS4 Google Edition will be sold through the Google Play Store with the same AT&T and T-Mobile bands as the Nexus 4, plus LTE support.
Aside from the software, it's the same great GS4 hardware you're used to, complete with 1080p Super AMOLED screen, 16GB of storage and the coveted SD card slot.
Hey HP, we know you're new to the Android game, so here's a tip: if you've got a hot new piece of hardware, the absolute worst time to announce it is a few hours before Google I/O. That said, the new SlateBook x2 might garner some interest thanks to its internals alone - it's one of the first devices after NVIDIA's own Shield to use the Tegra 4 SoC. Throw in a 10.1-inch 1920x1200 screen and a very familiar-looking keyboard dock, and you've got the makings of a serious competitor. Well, you might, if it weren't for the high price tag and cheap-looking build.