Another major enhancement we've just learned about with the announcement of Jelly Bean is called Project Butter. Butter (so named likely due to the colloquialism "smooth as butter") represents a new, more efficient processing framework for Android's latest and greatest iteration, making the OS much faster (allowing animation up to 60fps). Android 4.1 also makes apps more responsive, reducing touch latency and "anticipating where your finger will be at the time of screen refresh."
"How is such an enhancement possible?" I can almost hear you wondering.
Nearly two months ago, I reviewed the new SanDisk 64GB class 6 microSDXC (the XC stands for "eXtreme Capacity") card, and came away hugely impressed. Something the size of my pinky fingernail that can store 16 compressed 1080p BluRays, and outperforms my class 10 16GB card? Yes please.
Shortly after the card's release, the company followed up with a UHS-1 (Ultra High Speed-1) class 10 version. While the original class 6 version now rests at $72 - a substantial price drop from the $100 at the time of review - the UHS card costs just $118.
Just a few days after allegedly adding its NYC market to the list of 2012 LTE rollout locations, Sprint has evidently begun planning to light up the Los Angeles Metro area by the end of 2012 as well.
Sprint's Los Angeles Metro market currently spans all of Los Angeles County, including Avalon and Santa Catalina. According to S4GRU, Orange County, North LA, Riverside/San Bernardino, San Diego, and Lower Central Valley are included in different markets, and are expected to deploy some time after Los Angeles.
As we already know, Sprint is going to roll out its next generation 4G LTE network in four U.S. cities somewhere around mid-2012, and it would only make sense that they already have some of the towers undergoing testing. The first of such alleged tests surfaced online today:
While I can't promise you it's 100% legitimate, here's my analysis:
The device used is more than likely a dedicated LTE hotspot and not a handset (like the LTE Galaxy Nexus).
Over the past week, I've been in contact with Sprint about the demise of their network's data speeds, especially in the 3G department. As many of you were also in the same boat, we saw quite a bit of interest and started collecting information on the situation, which resulted in this knowledge dump on Sunday - read it if you haven't yet done so.
Among the tidbits of info Sprint techs let out, one was especially interesting - a round of tower upgrades that were supposed to be completed on October 31st.
Sprint has network problems. Major problems. And they've gotten a lot worse lately. Really, really bad. Not all areas are affected - and in fact some have improved already, but more and more areas are getting so bad that Sprint's 3G data is completely unusable there, especially since the introduction of the iPhone. Troubleshooting and update my phone's "profile" and PRL didn't help, as evident from the screenshot #2 you see below.
If there's one thing the iPhone 4S seems to be screwing up after its very successful debut, it would seem to be Sprint's 3G. Since the launch of Apple's newest iThing, Sprint 3G speeds have absolutely tanked for users in many areas. How widespread is the problem? Well, this 45-page (and growing) thread with nearly 700 replies over on the Sprint Community forums would seem to indicate the answer is "very."
The problem has affected everyone - as shown by lackluster results from some of our own Sprint devices of late while on 3G.
After a delay, Sprint has unveiled the much-awaitedAndroid 2.3.5 update for the Nexus S 4G, and it will start rolling out Monday, July 25th. The update brings a much needed fix for bogged-down 4G speeds on the handset, which have plagued users since the phone's release.
Additionally, some Wi-Fi bugs have been exterminated, the speakerphone should sound better, and TTY support for deaf users has been added. You'll also get a 4G toggle widget (update: maybe not), and NFC will officially be enabled.
T-Mobile's faux 4G network, also known as 3G HSPA+, is receiving a major update today in 56 more markets, which should double the maximum theoretical data throughput from 21MBps to 42MBps for compatible HSPA+ devices.
In addition to increasing connection speeds, T-Mobile is promising improved network capacity and reliability in the upgraded areas.
Come Friday, June 10, Sprint subscribers with 4G coverage will be treated to a pleasant surprise: the WiMAX uplink speed cap will increase from 1.0Mbps to 1.5Mbps.
Obviously, the 1.5Mbps upload speed won't be consistent everywhere, as reception varies (significantly, with Sprint). Also notable is that if you're using a "fixed device" (i.e. a Motorola 4G desktop modem), you won't be affected; the 1.0Mbps speed cap is on your device to stay.