The last few years have been really exciting. Heck, the whole last decade. The explosive proliferation of broadband brought about a whole new world of possibilities for mankind, and the mobile revolution, even moreso. From about 2007 to the present, we watched as Apple and Google, as well as a host of phone manufacturers, turned the world upside down by putting powerful, location-aware, internet-connected, touchscreen mini-computers in the hands of everyday consumers for a price that is relatively affordable.
Verizon Galaxy Nexus users, you finally have the Android 4.0.4 OTA update coming your way. You were one of the first to own a Galaxy Nexus (see our detailed review) and experience Ice Cream Sandwich, and yet now you're one of the last to receive updates (after GSM and Sprint LTE). Yup, the previous update, ICL53F, was in... December of last year. I know how bitter it makes you, and I don't really have excuses on Verizon's behalf, so let's just get down to business.
One of the most surprising things about the Galaxy Note 10.1's appearance at MWC was not that it included Samsung's magical S-Pen peripheral, but the fact that the device lacked a slot to store the advanced stylus.
Those familiar with the original Galaxy Note will remember that it features a convenient slot to house the S-Pen, ensuring that the stylus would always stick with the device, thereby encouraging users to, well, use it.
Last we heard, CyanogenMod 9's interaction with the Galaxy Tab 10.1 line was limited to the variants shackled either to T-Mobile or to WiFi. However, the CM team has been hard at work, and as of yesterday, the following three editions of the 10-inch tablet have been granted access to the CM nightly kingdom:
- Verizon's Galaxy Tab 10.1 (SCH-I905) - Download: p4VZW
- Unlocked WiFi + 3G Galaxy Tab 10.1 (GT-P7500) - Download: p4
- Galaxy Tab 10.1v (GT-P7100) - Download: p3
Definition: A "nightly" is a cutting-edge release that is built on a daily basis, usually at night after a full day's worth of new code has been committed.
Though voice control apps have been around for quite some time, it took Apple's release of Siri to bring the functionality to the mainstream. Now, competing manufacturers are trying to push out similar services. Samsung's first to the punch with a Vlingo-based "S Voice" service, though it remains to be seen how well it works.
S Voice is Samsung's entry into the fledgling "virtual assistant" market currently occupied by Siri, Evi, Speaktoit Assistant, Vlingo, and a handful of others. The Galaxy S III rom leaked earlier today, and while most of the stuff in it is broken and completely useless without the version of Touchwiz it's meant to run on, S Voice is a perfect combination of being interesting AND working. So we're going to take a look at it on my Galaxy Nexus, which is currently running vanilla (well, AOKP) 4.0.4.
Hey kids! Looking for an early taste of the new Touchwiz? Well you're in luck! A leaked Galaxy S III ROM is out in all it's bandwidth crushing glory! A whopping 800MB download awaits those eager to get their hands on Samsung's latest.
The Galaxy S III and its new version of Touchwiz will make about a million additions to Android. Somewhere in this download are things like S-Voice (a Siri-style virtual assistant), Pop-up Play (a floating video window), and Smart Stay (which uses the front facing camera to refresh the screen timeout), just to name a few.
Even though the device hasn't even hit the street, noted Android developer Chainfire has obtained root on the Samsung Galaxy S III. Chainfire doesn't actually have the device in hand, so don't start berating him with questions on that matter. Rather, he got root on a firmware build that was leaked to him, and has a few juicy tidbits to share with everyone.
It appears that the Galaxy S III isn't going to be locked down in any significant way.