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Editorial Prediction: Android's Next Iteration May Emphasize Hybrid Card Layouts, Other Subtle Design Shifts

Yesterday, we finally decided to get to the bottom of Google Keep's new font, Roboto Slab. Shortly before that, however, we had an internal discussion about Keep's strange UI/UX. The app is beautiful – there's no denying that – but weird when considered alongside Google's other in-house apps. What's more, I'm of the opinion that the app isn't just a one-off in terms of design – I think that Keep, along with a few other hints, could give us some insight into what we'll see in the next version of Android (which we might see in May at Google I/O).

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Closer Look: Google Keep Actually Shipped With A New (Serif) Font – Introducing Roboto Slab [Download]

Google Keep, the app that Goog sprung as (almost) a surprise recently, is interesting. Its functionality is undoubtedly handy, and – if Google chooses to pursue the service in earnest – it could actually be a decent competitor to other note taking apps like Evernote.

Something else has had us interested though, and that's Keep's UI and UX. There are a few weird things going on, but one stuck out: what is that serif font?

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AT&T Announces Jelly Bean 4.1 Update For The Samsung Galaxy Express

Released last fall, Samsung's Galaxy Express is a plucky mid-range handset with – for those who don't know – a 4.5" Super AMOLED display (constrained by an underwhelming 480x800 resolution), a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, and a gig of RAM.

If you happen to be carrying around a Galaxy Express, listen up – AT&T, in a post to its Consumer Blog, announced today that an Android 4.1 update has begun rolling out to users, bringing with it everything you'd expect, from Google Now and rich notifications to Samsung-specific enhancements like Easy Mode, Blocking Mode (to keep unwanted calls and texts at bay), and a lock screen news ticker.

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ASUS Releases An Update For The PadFone With Jelly Bean 4.1.1 And Other Improvements

The PadFone 2 may have received its Jelly Bean update at the end of last year, but original PadFone owners haven't been so lucky. Fortunately, ASUS has decided to level the playing field again, releasing an update for the original device with Android 4.1.1.

In addition to the OS upgrade, the latest update also provides some improvements to other areas of the phone. Here's the full changelog:

PadFone Firmware: V10.2.1.9 (Android 4.1) improvement:
1.

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Bell, Rogers, And TELUS Pushing Jelly Bean 4.1.2 Update To LG Optimus G; SaskTel Trailing Close Behind

We have some good news to share with our neighbors to the north: the Optimus G is getting an update to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. Right now, this only includes customers on Bell, Rogers, and TELUS. LG says that SaskTel users will receive the OTA in "late March", which suggests it should begin shipping only a few days behind the other carriers. This version bump will bring support for Google Now, offline speech recognition, expandable notifications, and several other goodies.

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Google May Be Working On Another Wearable – Android Team Reportedly Developing Smartwatch

There's no denying that wearable tech seems to be where it's at among industry analysts. Indeed, the concept of wearable devices separate from smartphones and tablets has piqued the interest of many would-be users. Pebble's smartwatch drew some pretty significant attention, and rumors of more advanced watches from both Samsung and Apple have fueled buzz for several weeks.

We've also, of course, heard rumblings about a Google smartwatch (remember that watch patent the PTO granted Google late last year?).

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AT&T Offering Free Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, Sonos Play:3, Or Xbox 360 To Customers Packaging U-Verse Internet With TV Or Voice

If you're a new AT&T U-Verse internet customer (or considering becoming one), listen up – the service provider announced yesterday that it is now offering a selection of devices free when new customers package internet service with either U-Verse TV or Voice. Customers can choose between a Nexus 7, Kindle Fire, Sonos Play:3 (with WiFi bridge), or an Xbox 360. What's more, customers will get access to AT&T's WiFi network free of charge.

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Samsung Publishes Open Source Kernel Files For Galaxy Note 8.0

Maybe it's just me, but it seems like Samsung is getting even faster with open source file releases. Today, the Korean manufacturer dropped open source kernel files for the Galaxy Note 8.0, Samsung's first foray into the tablet-that's-also-a-phone market. Both international and North American variants are represented, so those interested can take their pick.

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Jelly Bean (Android 4.1.2) OTA Approved For Verizon Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 And 10.1

Even though Verizon is not known for having a speedy update approval process, owners of the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 are finally about to win the Jelly Bean lottery. The OTAs will bring each device up to Android 4.1.2.

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Samsung: Galaxy S III, Probably Note II And Others Will Be Updated With Many S4 Features

According to PCMag (I apologize for the awful floating ads in advance), Samsung will be issuing a software update to the Galaxy S III that will incorporate many of the new Galaxy S4's features.

Nick DiCarlo, a Samsung VP, said "Anything that we can do that's not dependent on hardware like infrared, we'll definitely bring to all the flagship devices."

So, I take that to mean the Galaxy S III, Note II, and possibly a couple other devices that might support some of the features in the S4 - perhaps the Note 8.0 and Note 10.1.

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