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What Is Isis, And Why Should You Care It's Now Partnered With A Bunch Of Payment Companies? Because It's Out To Kill Google Wallet

Mobile payment providers. Yeah, I'm already getting a little sleepy thinking about them, too. Let's face it, they're not the most exciting topic in the world, but whenever we talk about how people spend their money, you know there are lots of companies out there eagerly eying the potential of various new payment technologies with great interest. Among such companies are cell phone carriers, and the reason why should be obvious: smartphones with NFC are ideal platforms for next-generation payment systems.

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Yes, Key Lime Pie Is The Only Dessert That Starts With A "K," Jelly Bean Is Probable, And Version Numbers Are Anyone's Guess

Holy cow. The Android version name rumor-mill has been cranking at full steam for the last couple of months, and everyone seems pretty well-convinced that Jelly Bean is the chosen title for Google's next iteration of the mobile operating system. Way back in September, The Verge suggested that a "reliable source" had told them Jelly Bean was the real McCoy. Let's talk about what we know about Google's naming strategy so far with Android, and why anything but Jelly Bean would make almost no sense.

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Samsung Galaxy S II Android 4.0 Update Coming March 15... At Least In Israel

As the Galaxy S II is one of the best-selling Android devices to date, it's no surprise that many users are eagerly awaiting an update to Android 4.0. Samsung has already confirmed that it is in the works, and we've even seen a leaked build of what it could look like, but we've yet to hear an exact date that users can actually expect the update to roll out on.

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Fortunately, Samsung Israel has taken to Facebook to announce that versions of the device in Israel - both unlocked and carrier-branded - will receive the update on March 15.

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[Updated] Download: CyanogenMod 9 Nightlies Come To Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (Wi-Fi, I/O Edition, T-Mo), Galaxy S II, ASUS Transformers (Original TF101 & Prime TF201)

Last week, the CyanogenMod team launched the first CM9 nightly builds for the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and Motorola XOOM. As of today, the following devices also have CM9 nightly builds available:

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi and I/O Edition (download: p4wifi) - yay for the latter, as it seems Samsung completely abandoned it - I believe mine is still running 3.1 with no updates in sight.
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ARCHOS: Ice Cream Sandwich Updates Rolling Out To G9 Tablets "Within The Next Two Weeks" (For Real This Time)

In early January, ARCHOS let everyone know that the update to Android 4.0 would be coming "in the near future" to all G9 tablets, and a week later we saw them demoing a said update at CES. The rep at CES said the update was scheduled to roll out in the first week of February - a target which the company obviously missed. Now they've taken to their Facebook page once again to apologize for the delay and announce that "they fully anticipate deploying the upgrade within the next two weeks."

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While the "anticipate" in that sentence leaves the company some wiggle room, it's nice to see the PR-challenged little company who has a spotty past on Android devices at least try to address both shortcomings.

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[Video] The Android Team Shows Us What Mobile World Congress 2012 Looked Like From Its Point Of View

It takes a lot to put together something amazing for an event like Mobile World Congress. Countless hours of planning have to go into designing an amazing booth, and days of construction likely take place just to get everything set up. All for three days worth of mobile-packed awesomeness.

The Android team got us psyched the week before Mobile World Congress by showing off its 2011 booth; and now, in a similar fashion, it has created a video to show off what everyone who couldn't make it Barcelona missed this year.

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Ice Cream Sandwich Design Made Easy: Android 4.0 Stencils Now Available

Mid last month, Google announced the Android style guide for Ice Cream Sandwich, which was put in place to help developers make their apps blend in with the rest of the ICS UI. Since then, Google has received many requests for ICS stencils to make the conversion (or creation) process all the more simple.

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Well, turns out that it listened. A full set of Android 4.0-style stencils are now available over at the Android Developers' blog.

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[Update: New Video] Toshiba Excite 10 LE Goes On Sale March 6th, Starts At $529.99, Totally Isn't Trying To Preempt iPad Announcement

We got a look at the Excite 10 LE's at CES when it was called the Excite X10. Now, Toshiba is bringing the thinnest and lightest tablet* to the US market. The Excite 10 LE is identical to the Excite X10 aside from a couple of letters being rearranged. The slate still packs a "multicore" OMAP processor under a 10.1" LED screen. Unfortunately, the device will be launching with Honeycomb (3.2), but is "upgradeable to Android 4.0."

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Here's the spec sheet:

  • Android 3.2, Honeycomb (upgradeable to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • 10.1-inch diagonal LED Backlit widescreen Corning Gorilla Glass display with IPS technology and 10-finger multi-touch support
  • 1280 x 800 resolution, 16:10 aspect ratio
  • Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 multicore processor; 1.2GHz with 1GB LPDDR2 RAM
  • 16GB and 32GB configurations6
  • 2 megapixel front-facing camera
  • 5 megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash
  • Micro USB, Micro HDMI ports
  • Micro SD card slot
  • Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Gyroscope, Accelerometer, GPS, eCompass and Ambient Light Sensor
  • Stereo speakers with sound enhancements by Toshiba and SRS Labs
  • Built-in 25 watt-hour rechargeable lithium ion battery
  • 10.1” (W) x 6.9” (D) x 0.3” (H)
  • 1.18 pounds (535g)

  • The Excite 10 LE is set to land on March 6th.

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    [MWC 2012] Hands-On With The Huawei Ascend D Quad: Because Four Is Better

    We descended upon the Huawei booth just a short while ago here in Barcelona, and there we found a whole gaggle of Huawei's new flagship device: the Ascend D Quad. I'm calling it the DQ for short  - because who doesn't like Blizzards? Anyway, we know the DQ is packing Huawei's first in-house processor, the K3V2.

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    Basically, what you need to know is this: it's a Huawei device, so it will probably be priced pretty aggressively compared to other quad-core devices.

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    [MWC 2012] Samsung Unveils The Galaxy Tab 10.1 Again, Adds A MicroSD Slot, Tacks A '2' On The Name

    Almost a week ago, we got a peek at the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, Sammy's latest 7" iteration of the Galaxy Tab line. As expected, the Korean manufacturer has just unveiled the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 - the 7.0's bigger, badder counterpart.

    GALAXY_Tab_2_(10.1)_Product_Image_(1) (1) mid GALAXY_Tab_2_(10.1)_Product_Image_(3)

    Look familiar? The Tab 2 10.1's form factor is reminiscent of the 10.1n, with an added touch of style to the forward-oriented speaker grills. As for the Tab 2's specs, here's what we know so far:

    • 10.1" 1280x800 PLS TFT display
    • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (with TouchWiz UX)
    • VGA front shooter and 3MP main camera
    • 16/32GB Internal storage, expandable via MicroSD
    • 1GB RAM
    • 1GHz Dual-core processor
    • HSPA+ 21MBps 850/900/1900/2100 connectivity (in the non Wi-Fi variant)
    • Incredible 7,000 mAh battery

    Many of the specs above should look familiar too, as they are shared with the original Galaxy Tab 10.1.

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