It's going to be a long time yet before devices like the Galaxy S III and Acer's Iconia Tab A700 get Jelly Bean 4.2, and the Samsung Captivate and Galaxy S II probably won't ever get another OS version update. That's why we love us some custom ROMs, and the CyanogenMod team has released nightlies of CM10.1 to all of these devices, including the MetroPCS and US Cellular variants of the GSIII.
One of the biggest frustrations of dealing with Verizon, if you're someone who likes to tweak their phone, is that the carrier insists on locking the bootloaders on its phones that otherwise would not be locked. Samsung has offered Developer Editions of its phones in the past, including the Galaxy S III, largely to avoid that problem and appease the dev crowd. Today, that tradition continues with the Galaxy Note II which has now appeared on the company's site in a similar hacker-friendly model.
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.
There's some disturbing news today on the Android security front: an vulnerability has been discovered for Samsung's Exynos 4-powered devices. While the related exploit is useful for the mod scene in that it can be harnessed to gain superuser permissions and root pretty much any device running on an Exynos 4 chip, it's also got some rather disturbing implications. According to an XDA member with the handle "alephzain", who developed the exploit, using this security hole can also grant an app access to all physical memory on a given device - basically, anything stored in RAM is fair game.
Say what you will about the sorry state of broadband in the US, we were one of the first to have large-scale LTE networks available to the public. It took about a year for mainland Europe to catch up, and the UK is still in the very early stages of getting their high-speed networks started. Everything Everywhere (EE) has taken the lead on the tablet front, offering the very first LTE tablet to United Kingdom wireless users: Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1.
Samsung, continuing its habit of timely code releases, today let fly open source kernel files for a handful of devices including Verizon's newly announced Galaxy Camera (EK-GC120), AT&T's Galaxy SIII Jelly Bean update (SGH-I747), and last but not least, AT&T's Galaxy Tab 8.9 Ice Cream Sandwich release (SGH-I957).
If you've been waiting to get your hands on a fresh batch of kernel source for these devices to tweak, develop, or ogle, now's your chance.
If there's one thing you can say about Samsung, it's that the company is at least trying to push out updates, with a sizeable number of devices already running Jelly Bean. Sure, it's 4.1 and about six months behind the Nexus baseline, but the company is better than most manufacturers about rolling out updates lately. As if to demonstrate this, the Wi-Fi Galaxy Note 10.1 (N8010) has started to receive Jelly Bean 4.1.1 (JRO03C) in Germany.
AT&T has already launched its version of the Galaxy Camera, so now it's Verizon's turn. Arriving in both white and black options, the nation's largest carrier will be offering the high tech point and shoot for $550 without a contract. This is a little bit steeper than AT&T's $500, but to make up for it, the carrier is allowing customers to add this device to their existing shared data plans for $5/month.
I have to say, Samsung is on a roll with the updates lately. First, they started pushing 4.1.2 to the international variant of the GSIII in Poland, and now 4.1.2 is on its way to the unlocked international Note II (GT-7100) and Note II LTE (GT-7105). According to SamMobile, this update brings quite a few new features to the Note II, including:
- New notification toggles
- Customizable notification toggles
- Brightness slider can now be disabled
- The ability to disable Multi-View
- Browser improvements
- Status bar is now black
- Continuous input keyboard
- New ink effect on lockscreen
- New Group Cast app
Like the SIII's update, this one is starting in Poland for the GT-7100, and it looks like users in Sweden will be the first to get it on the GT-7105.