Less than a month after its last firmware update (to build 10.4.9.6), ASUS' Padfone 2 is getting another incremental bump. The Padfone 2, which we know as the turducken of the mobile world, already got Jelly Bean 4.1.1 in December, so updates hence have naturally focused on the usual performance, stability, and other enhancements. Today's update to build 10.4.11.13 brings, among other things, new camera firmware, improved navigation, and a handful of optimizations.
Can we get a show of hands as to who's interested in the upcoming ASUS MeMO Pad? Great. This post is for you. Bulgarian site tablet.bg has gotten its hands on this understated Android tablet and taken the liberty of giving it a full review. The conclusion? It's still pretty meh. But you know, it's meant to be a budget device, and will compete wonderfully with Acer's new B1 tablet.
Update: This whole situation ended up being resolved just a couple of weeks after this story was published, with HTC backing off on its assertion that the stock and custom HTC ROMs couldn't be distributed. It did request that the HTCRUU.com domain be handed over, but the ROMs that were hosted there previously will now be available at ruu.androidfiles.org. It's good to hear HTC isn't cracking down on the custom software community, though whether this resolution came about because of a legitimate misunderstanding, or simply as PR damage control, isn't clear.
Well, it's a start. While the Skype app for Android still has a bizarre and uncomfortable habit of forcing landscape mode, today's update at least allows users to use the portrait orientation if they're making a call. That's nice. Especially since the positioning of front-facing cameras on devices like the Nexus 7 make landscape video chats extremely awkward. Now if only we could get this for the rest of the interface, that would be great.
One of the neatest things that the mobile revolution has brought about is an increase in intelligent fitness apps and accessories. Everything from belt clips that can tell how far you've run to zombie-augmented 5K training. The Amiigo bracelet and shoe clip combo may be one of the coolest projects, though. The company behind it promises that, between the two pieces, the system can track any workout you do. If it performs as advertised, this could be amazing.
This is the time of year when we expect two things to surface in droves: leaks and rumors. With CES fading in our taillights and Mobile World Congress just around the corner, it's an interesting time for device manufacturers. And while some have already gotten their early-year announcements over with, there are those who have chosen to wait for Barcelona to unveil their newest flagships to the world.
Take Huawei, for example.
I have a confession: I like things to be simple and convenient. Older generations may refer to this as "being lazy," but I think I just want things to work the way I want them to. I see nothing wrong with that, and I know I'm not alone. Ergo, when I caught a glimpse of Satechi's new Bluetooth Smart Pointer ($45), I knew I had to check it out. Why? Because when I'm streaming a movie from my tablet to the TV and I need to pause it, I'd rather grab a remote and hit "pause" instead of walking over to the device and doing it manually.
We originally covered the kind-of-ridiculously-awesome MyScript Calculator last year back in July, but it's received a significant update today that should have you checking out this amazing app if you haven't already.
The premise is simple: write out your math equations just like you would on paper, and presto-amazo, MyScript converts them to text and solves them. Now, though, it does even more. Like portrait mode, which is sort of a weird thing to just now get around to adding (eh, eh?), but at least it's there.
We've been hearing more than a few rumors about a new member of Samsung's popular Galaxy Note series, supposedly due for a Mobile World Congress reveal in February. Italian site DDay.it has posted leaked shots of the device in question, and there's no longer any doubt that the Galaxy Note 8.0 is indeed real. Most interestingly, it's laid out more like a super-sized smartphone than a tablet, breaking from the Galaxy Tab design of the 10.1-inch version from last year.
A small, 11MB over-the-air update is on its way to T-Mobile's variant of the Galaxy S II this morning, which brings a few minor enhancements to the year-old device. Among those, you'll find a "Qualcomm fix," along with Vlingo S Voice improvements, and some general security enhancements.
As usual with Samsung devices, there are a couple of different ways you can apply the update to your device. First – and probably the easiest – is to just pull it via OTA; you can either wait until the automatic notification shows up letting you know that an update is available, or head into Settings > About Phone > System Updates to manually check.