After all the rumored release dates, and Verizon's best efforts to sweep this phone under the carpet, the Galaxy Nexus for Verizon is real. It's real and I have one.
I picked it up on launch day at 8am, at a pretty busy Verizon store. I went on a long Ice Cream Sandwich bender, and now I'm here to report my first impressions.
First off, forget all that technical Pentile stuff. I want to hate Pentile, I really do, but the screen is just gorgeous. I'm normally the type to complain about Pentile's checkerboard layout, but the pixels are so tiny I just can't see it.
Looks like the incremental updates for Android 4.0 are rolling along nicely at this point - the VZW Galaxy Nexus received the update to Android 4.0.2 yesterday, and now Google has announced version 4.0.3. As you may expect, it crushes many bugs that have been found in current builds, along with throwing some optimizations into the mix.
This update will also bring some new goodies to the table for developers in the form of new APIs:
Social stream API in Contacts provider: Applications that use social stream data such as status updates and check-ins can now sync that data with each of the user’s contacts, providing items in a stream along with photos for each.
Following up on last week's editorial, I decided it may be interesting to take a look at the other side of the story – that is, what effect has Google's 10 Billion App promotion had on the developers who were invited to participate?
To begin with, I think it would be wise to take a look at just how developers were invited, and how Google ran the promotion overall. We've heard from a handful of developers about this, so we've got a pretty clear picture of how things went.
Google began approaching developers in October, offering few details about the promotion, other than the fact that each developer's chosen app would sell for $0.10 on a predetermined day during the promotion.
Google Android software engineer Jean-Baptiste Queru has just let loose a factory image of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, meaning developers now have an official software build to recover from bricks and to tinker with to their hearts' contents. You can find the image, ITL41D, here. The post also indicates more Verizon Galaxy Nexus goodies will be coming later, so we'll keep you updated as more is released.
First off, this is all in good fun. Any intelligent person could draw the conclusions this author did based on what was happening at the time, and with the limited information available about Google's plans for Android. We're posting this because it's funny to look back on it with some hindsight.
Back in 2009, Android's fate was anything but decided in the eyes of the tech journalism world, and many took a dismal view of Google's purchase of the young upstart open-source mobile operating system. What could Google, a website, possibly do with a mobile phone OS? This 2009 PCMag article, titled "Has Android Already Failed?" has some real gems, including speculation that Android is doomed, and, in what is news to us, headed to netbooks:
Android's proponents, including Google CEO Eric Schmidt, now seem to be turning their attention to netbooks.
An early version of the Ice Cream Sandwich ROM built by Samsung itself and complete with TouchWiz has been leaked today to the folks at SamMobile. They've quickly put together this video to demonstrate exactly what Samsung has been cooking up for the upcoming update - and that would be a whole lot of TouchWiz on top of the beautiful ICS UI we've been admiring so far:
Ever since I got the SGS II in the U.S., I don't mind TouchWiz as much (though those click sounds make me cringe every time), but it's kind of starting to look and feel old compared to Ice Cream Sandwich itself.
If you're currently using a Samsung Galaxy S II on T-Mobile's network, keep an eye out for a software update KL1 with Android 2.3.5 that will be heading your way starting today, December 14th.
The update brings caller ID, battery, and Wi-Fi calling enhancements and will arrive over-the-air, although you Kies Mini may also be used for installation (starting December 15th). T-Mobile says that it is being rolled out over the coming weeks, so you may have to be patient or wait for it to be available via Kies Mini.
Beginning December 14, a software update will be available for the Samsung Galaxy S II.
Google has started pushing out a new Market update with version 3.4.4, which upon quick inspection operates faster than before and brings a setting for auto-adding of widgets to your home screen.
If you missed the changes in the previous major update v3.3.11, read about them here. A minor update v3.3.12 is here.
Note that I did say widgets, not app icons, though according to early tests, it's still icons that are being added and not widgets. This option appears in place of "auto-add shortcuts" that is present in the current Market and not in addition to it.
HTC Amaze 4G users should be expecting an over-the-air update to roll out soon, according to T-Mobile's support documentation. The update carries software build 1.43.531.3 (still Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread), adding IMS WiFi calling, Google Music compatibility, and various stability/functionality enhancements.
Users can check for the update manually by hitting Menu > About Phone > HTC Software Updates > Check. Otherwise, you have only to sit back and wait for an OTA notification before you can begin enjoying WiFi calling on your Amaze 4G.
In one of the the more recent weekend polls, we asked what is your ideal tablet screen size? - most users went for 9.51" - 10.5", which ended up taking about 50% of the overall votes. This is not much of a surprise since 10.1-inch is the most common size of Android tablet.
For those who don't already own a tablet, though, trying to decide what size to get can be somewhat of a task. Today we're going to take a closer look at a couple of different tablet resolutions to give you a better idea of how they compare to one another.