Google has an odd definition of "soon." For example, five of the countries that just received access to Google Play gift cards were first told that they were coming "soon" almost five months ago, and the last one has been waiting a further six weeks. Oh well, I suppose it's best not to look a gift card in the mouth. Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Norway, and Sweden have been added to Google's gift card system, and merchants should have gift cards in stock well before Christmas.
Update, December 16th: Google Play gift cards are now available in all five countries. Good things come to those who wait.
Good news, European readers: physical gift cards for the Google Play Store are coming to more of you soon. Google updated its list of supported countries for gift cards today, marking Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden as "coming soon." We can't say exactly when - a few other countries like Greece, Poland, and Portugal got the same treatment earlier this month, and they're still marked as coming soon instead of linking to the relevant page.
Good news, everyone! Well, everyone in four very specific European countries, anyway. After stretching the Movies section of the Play Store today, Google is also spreading Play Music to Greece, Norway, Slovakia, and Sweden. Users in these countries should now be able to purchase songs and albums starting today.
Even better, all four new territories can access the all-you-can-eat All Access music subscription service. That's generally been the way it works - currently all twenty-five countries supported by Google Play Music also have access to All Access.
At this point, the LG Nexus 4 is the most-leaked phone since, well, that other phone. Today a video from the carrier 3 in Sweden has popped up on YouTube with a near two minute look at the device, showing us around Android 4.2 a bit. The phone itself looks just like all the pictures we've seen. The video also confirms the Quick Settings menu Ron found. Conveniently, users will access it via a button, not a second pull-down shade.
Samsung is definitely on a roll with the Galaxy S III updates - not a day goes by without a massive rollout of Jelly Bean to devices all over Europe, and now the Middle East as well. The company began sending Android 4.1.1 OTAs to the following territories:
- Austria (T-Mobile)
- Germany (O2, T-Mobile)
- Middle East: Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, UAE
- Greater Middle East: Afghanistan, Mauritania, Pakistan
- Nordic countries (NEE): Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Greenland, Iceland
Thanks to Eivind for the screenshot
Here's the history of the Jelly Bean updates for the Galaxy S III so far:
- October 25: Sprint in the United States.
The pace at which Samsung is pushing out Galaxy S III Jelly Bean updates is picking up steam in Europe with the much anticipated arrival of Android 4.1.1 for unbranded UK handsets. The Brits aren't the only ones getting it today - in fact, the list is quite sizeable. Here, check it out:
- UK unbranded
- Switzerland unbranded
- Luxemburg unbranded (update: supposedly, Belgian S IIIs use the same version too)
- Denmark (Three)
- Bulgaria (Mobiltel)
- Romania (Cosmote)
- Ireland (Meteor, Vodafone)
- Czech Republic (O2)
- Sweden (Tre)
- Croatia (Vipnet)
Not bad at all - looks like the next platform distribution update won't be as depressing.
The European Galaxy S III Jelly Bean update first turned up in Poland about three weeks ago. At the time, we were hoping it was a good indication that the rest of Europe would follow soon after, but that's about the last we've heard of it until today. In the meantime, Samsung did fire up the update in Korea and reiterated it would soon show up in the States.
So when a Swedish headphone company by the name of Nocs got in touch with me, I was a bit surprised - because I didn't know they existed. And there's a good reason for that (sort of): Nocs has specialized in making solely Apple-friendly headphone products.
Among high-end Android phones, Samsung's Galaxy S II pretty much takes the cake. The combination of powerful specs, thinness, and Android 2.3 give it a very competitive edge. But not everybody needs all of that, which is why Samsung is launching the Galaxy Z on Three Sweden. Basically, the Galaxy Z is the same as the Galaxy S II but with slightly toned down specs. Even so, it still puts many other Android phones to shame:
- 1 GHz dual-core processor (possibly Tegra 2)
- 4.2" WVGA Super LCD display
- Android 2.3 with TouchWiz 4.0
- 8 GB internal memory
- microSD card slot
- 5 megapixel camera with LED flash
The phone is currently available for pre-order at the source link below for 3995 SEK, which comes out to around 630 US dollars.
We often report on things that only affect us here in the US, but other areas of the world aren't out of our realm of coverage, either. Thanks to a tipster, we have reason to believe that the Gingerbread update for the Scandinavian variant of the LG G2x/Optimus 2X/LGP990 has been delayed from Summer to Fall of 2011 - if the Swedish LG site is correct, that is.
Translation courtesy of Google
The Swedish LG site doesn't seem to be the only one reporting this timeline change - the Danish and Norwegian sites are also reporting the same thing.