Happy New Year! It's that time again; with the new year comes our new annual prediction post. I tackled this last year, and rather than do a bunch of crazy, pulled-from-thin-air predictions, I ended up with a link-filled research-fest for the year. It worked out pretty well, so that's what's on the docket for today. First though, I'll take a look and see just how many of last year's predictions and rumors came true, and provide some updates for the more important topics.
If you're still toting Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, good news – CyanogenMod let loose a flurry of new nightlies for the device today, all carrying the CM 10.1 moniker, meaning owners of Samsung's ten-inch Tab from 2011 can enjoy a stock Android 4.2 experience with some key improvements. Among those receiving the new nightlies are the Wi-Fi only Tab (p4wifi), Verizon and T-Mobile connected variants (p4vzw and tmo), the p4, and even the p3, which is the Galaxy Tab 10.1v.
Ever since Samsung released the Note II with awesome new features like Multi-Window and Air View, owners of the original Note have been wondering if they would ever see these enhancements. Considering the Galaxy S III started receiving its Premium Suite update about a week ago, we all assumed that the Note would be next. Samsung has now confirmed that with a new microsite highlighting all of the features of the Jelly Bean Premium Suite for the phablet that started it all.
Hot on the heels of the Jelly Bean update for the Excite 7.7, Toshiba is also pushing the OTA to its larger brother, the Excite 10. Reports are scattered and details are pretty scant at the moment, but we have confirmed that it's rolling out now.
It appears that the OTA – which brings Android 4.1.1 – is being pushed in stages to both the AT300 and AT305. You can see if it's available on your device by heading into Settings > About Tablet > System Updates or by jumping directly into Toshiba's Service Station.
Given Toshiba's track record with Android updates, I thought I'd never get to write this post. Alas, here it is – Android 4.1.1 is officially rolling out to the Excite 7.7. At first blush, it looks like Toshiba did a good job on this one. It actually uses the new "hybrid UI" (like on the Nexus 7), which leads to a much better experience on smaller slates like the 7.7.
The update clocks in at a cool 348MB, so be prepared to wait for just a bit to grab this Jelly Bean goodness.
It may not be all that often that a phone over a year old will still be getting many updates, but lo and behold, it's a Festivus miracle. Users are reporting that the original Droid RAZR/RAZR MAXX is currently seeing an update roll out to Jelly Bean (4.1.2) right now. And to think, this phone launched with Gingerbread.
The update is 331.7MB, so you'll want to get on WiFi before you start the download.
Update: Right on time, it looks like US Cellular's 4.1.1 update for the Galaxy SIII is available to users, and their software page has been updated to reflect the SIII's new firmware (which, for those curious, carries base band version R53OUVXALK5).
Samsung Updates also has the SIII's latest firmware available for download here. For instructions on updating your SIII, just hit the US Cellular link at the bottom of this post.
Did you think that just because it was winter and all the major phone announcements had died down that Samsung was done releasing things? NOPE. Today, the Korean manufacturer released info on the brand new Galaxy Grand. Where "brand new" means "looks so much like the Note II that Samsung is probably suing itself for trade dress infringement." The phone will carry a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 5" 800x480 display, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of on board storage (expandable with a microSD card slot), a 2,100 mAh battery, and it ships with Jelly Bean (4.1.2)
Full specs in list form, for those who prefer it that way:
1.2GHz dual-core processor
5" 800x480 TFT LCD display
8GB storage (expandable to 64GB via microSD
2,100 mAh battery
Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean
Single- or dual-SIM models
On the spec sheet, it looks like a mid-range phone at best.
What makes a developer great is a continued commitment to a great product, and Apex Launcher dev Android Does has it in spades. Their latest in a long line of updates adds a handful of features, most of which are designed to allow the app to more seamlessly integrate with Android 4.2. There's a new shortcut to the Quick Settings menu, as well as modifications to the shortcut selection screen for 4.2 devices.
I suppose you have to give Sony credit for at least keeping its customers informed. Today, the manufacturer announced an update to its plans for bringing its phones up to Jelly Bean. If you're rocking the Xperia T, Xperia TX, or Xperia V, you should see Android 4.1 "during February and March." Of course, this will depend on what market you're in or which variant you own.
Following those flagships, the Xperia P, Xperia J and Xperia go will start to receive their upgrades starting around the end of March.