Perhaps you've just finally gotten your mobile devices all upgraded to the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard, and maybe Bluetooth 3.0 is enough to get you through the day. Qualcomm apparently has no intention of standing still, though. At Computex in Taiwan, Qualcomm has just demonstrated the first chip that will bring 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 to your next Android tablet. This is the chip first announced back in February, but now it's a real thing.
It's been a long time coming, particularly for the pioneer Android tablet, but the Ice Cream Sandwich update for Verizon's 4G Xoom is rolling out today as expected. The update brings the Xoom to the very latest version of Android available - 4.0.4.
An over-the-air rollout has started today, but if you are too impatient to wait for that, you have the option of installing the update manually (this method requires the use of a USB host cable):
- Download the update here.
If you own a Sony SmartWatch, you may want to ignore the impending update to the SmartWatch app on the Play Store right now. Some users are reporting that, after updating the required app, their watches are experiencing random reboots, notifications no longer working, and random disconnects. We've reached out to Sony for comment, but so far we've heard nothing back.
It appears that version 1.2.33 of the software began causing problems.
Nyko, best known for making the slightly less solid and slightly less expensive console controllers you buy to save money, is getting into the Android game. Literally. Working with mobile gaming force of nature, NVIDIA, the peripherals company aims to bring "physical and familiar controls" to tablet games that run on NVIDIA processors, including, but more importantly not limited to, the Tegra 3.
The PlayPad in a variety of colors (left), and the PlayPad Pro (right).
The last horse finally crosses the finish line, as AT&T announces that its version of the Galaxy S III will be available for pre-order on June 6th. The 16GB version of the device will be available for $199 with a two-year contract. The company is also boasting the option of a 16GB MicroSD card available in stores for $39 (which you can easily get elsewhere for much cheaper). This might mean that a 32 GB option is not available for AT&T yet.
While your average "drop test" video isn't necessarily a source for scientific durability analysis, they can be entertaining to watch. Somehow, seeing expensive devices mercilessly dropped onto unforgiving concrete or pavement feels slightly gratifying, while the process simultaneously educates viewers on the dangers of careless phone handling.
Today, Android Authority uploaded a drop test video which saw Samsung's Galaxy SIII (by all accounts the phone of the moment) and Apple's iPhone 4S faced off against an expanse of hard concrete.
HTC has given developers another treat today, in the form of kernel source code for the HTC One S. HTC's Dev Center has the downloads available, categorized by carrier and region. Unfortunately, the US variant on T-Mobile is conspicuously absent from the list. Previously, when HTC released the kernel source for the One X, the AT&T version was similarly missing and remains so to this day.
HTC hasn't explained why the US models are being left off the list, though it isn't difficult to imagine that the US carriers are simply more fussy than operators elsewhere in the world.
When we got our first look at Samsung's Note 10.1 with S-Pen at Mobile World Congress back in February, it was packing a 1.4GHz (presumably Exynos) dual-core processor and oversized S-Pen. And, unlike its little brother, it was also lacking a place to store the S-Pen in the tablet. A few weeks after that, rumors began surfacing that Samsung had taken the Note 10 back to the lab to swap the dual-core processor for a quad-core variant, as well as add a place to store the S-Pen into the chassis of the device.
The Google Play Store's "Bouncer," which Google launched back in February to protect Android users from malicious apps, is a service that scans potential Play Store apps by running them in a virtual phone environment, where the app's activities are monitored for any signs of mal-intent.
Taking advantage of that test period, security researchers Charlie Miller and Jon Oberheide have evidently found ways past Bouncer (which they will be presenting at the Summercon conference in New York this week).