14
Dec
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If you're still toting the US Cellular-connected Galaxy SII, good news – it seems the device's update to Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 is ready to go and can be installed using USC's "Simple Upgrade Tool" any time now.

The update, which carries software build number FK19, brings with it all the Ice Cream Sandwich goodness some other carrier variants already enjoy including Face Unlock, TouchWiz improvements, and more.

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Image: US Cellular's Ice Cream Sandwich Promo Document

While US Cellular's Galaxy SII may be a bit late to the Ice Cream Sandwich party, it's nice to see continued support for the device, 10 months after it first debuted on the carrier.

13
Dec
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Mobile advertising is an unavoidable part of the Android experience - in fact, some would make the case that it's the whole reason for Android coming to exist in its current form. But that doesn't meant that it can't be improved. So Google's AdMob team has been looking at ways of making delivered ads both less intrusive and more functional, namely by cutting down on unwanted activations.

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According to the post on Google's Mobile Ads Blog, accidental and non-intentional taps on the ad space are one of the biggest problems they've had to deal with.

13
Dec
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Samsung, continuing its habit of timely code releases, today let fly open source kernel files for a handful of devices including Verizon's newly announced Galaxy Camera (EK-GC120), AT&T's Galaxy SIII Jelly Bean update (SGH-I747), and last but not least, AT&T's Galaxy Tab 8.9 Ice Cream Sandwich release (SGH-I957).

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If you've been waiting to get your hands on a fresh batch of kernel source for these devices to tweak, develop, or ogle, now's your chance.

13
Dec
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After putting up the accompanying support documentation yesterday, Verizon just announced that the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) update for the Galaxy S III will be rolling out within the next week, making it the last of the major carriers to apply it. The update will start pushing to devices tomorrow, December 14th.

The update includes Google Now, expandable notifications, ISIS mobile payment support, an enhanced camera app, and more. You can find the details on the Galaxy S III support page.

13
Dec
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Update: Verizon has since removed the document (maybe to fix the typo we pointed out, though who knows), and changed it back to the document for the last update to the GS3. We'll let you know if that changes.

Update #2: The document is back, this time correctly identifying Google Now as Google Now instead of Google Plus.

Verizon has posted up the official support documentation for the Android 4.1 update to the Galaxy S III, meaning an update should be on its way in the next week or two (typically - there are cases where delays happen).

13
Dec
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Update: Sprint's posted the official changelog, here it is:

HTC EVO 4G LTE Software Update  - 3.15.651.16

Enhancements/Fixes:

- WiFi Authentication Improvement
- Personalized ringtones
- Calendar event description hyperlinks and calendar reminder improvements
- Addition of Sprint Connections Optimizer
- Upgrade to Android 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean) with HTC Sense 4+
- Improved Browser performance
- Face Unlock Improvement
- Application Improvements to YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Maps, and more
- Improved Camera including Auto Portrait and Sightseeing Mode capabilities
- Improved Gallery with ability to display photos and video albums according to when or where taken
- Tap and Go function to connect the phone to select Beats Audio speakers
- HTC Get Started support to allow device set up from a computer

Important Notes:

- Software version is: 3.15.651.16
- Updates may be released in stages.

12
Dec
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According to a photo taken of an internal Sprint page by an anonymous tipster, the EVO 4G LTE is finally scheduled to receive an update to Android 4.1 - starting tomorrow.

Now, we should clarify two things. First, this tipster isn't one we have particular reason to consider reliable, though there is a link to DARA in the leaked image, an internal Sprint web portal. It's certainly a real possibility that this is from inside Sprint.

12
Dec
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Looking for yet another SoundHound or Shazam alternative? The Android Sound Search widget that was introduced as part of Jelly Bean is now available for all Android 4.0 devices, in the form of the Sound Search for Google Play app.

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The limitation of Google's app, of course, is that it only recognizes songs from the Play Store - though that's still a substantial library. Hit up the link below to grab it.

12
Dec
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Lenovo might not be the most prodigious maker of Android tablets around, but it's got its followers. Those who bought the 9.7-inch IdeaTab A2109 model, check your Tablet Settings: users on Lenovo's official forums are reporting that their hardware is being updated to Android 4.1.1 (A2109A_A411_03_13_121126_US) today. So far only American users have confirmed the over-the-air download or the WiFi tablet.

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If you're not getting your update, there's a flashable US ZIP hosted on Lenovo's servers, ripe for the taking.

11
Dec
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Looking to "rebalance the relationship" between humans and their smartphones, Moscow-based Yota Devices has announced the YotaPhone, a smartphone with an LCD display on one side, and an e-ink screen on the back.

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The reason behind (between?) the dual screens, Yota says, is to deliver the information users want, right when they want it, without disengaging from the real world by pressing a power button and unlocking a screen. Users can choose to see information ranging from news stories to social media updates, calendar entries, and more.

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