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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Imagine, if you will, that every man, woman, and child in Europe owned an Android device. That still wouldn't account for every device that's been made, sold, and activated, according to the latest blog post from Google CEO Larry Page. In the same message that revealed Andy Rubin would be leaving his position as the head of Android development, Page mentioned almost in passing that Android had surpassed 750 million activated devices, including smartphones, tablets, and various other gadgets.
According to Android developer Jared Rummler and a number of other sources, Google has begun purging known ad-blocking software from the Play Store today.
Got a notification from Google and it looks like all Ad Blockers were removed from Google Play today.
— Jared Rummler (@jrummy16) March 13, 2013
Popular app AdAway was among those removed, and received notice that its app was in violation of section 4.4 of the Play Store Developer Distribution Agreement.
Update: Here's Andy Rubin's farewell letter to Android partners. (via The Verge)
In November of 2007 we announced the Open Handset Alliance with 34 founding members. Today, I'm grateful to the over 85 OHA members who have helped us build Android and drive innovation at such an incredible pace. The Android ecosystem has seen tremendous growth since the launch of the very first Android device in October 2008.