Well, it's official - the "project" Xoom owners have been waiting for is an update to Ice Cream Sandwich, meant as a soak test, expected to last through the weekend. Moto has begun pushing the new software as of 9pm PST. An anonymous tipster has provided us with shots of a private section of Motorola's official XOOM support forum, which confirm that the update is going live to those lucky enough to join the test group.
The tour de force Asus Transformer Prime (which I reviewed in early December and came away highly impressed by) is listed at HH Gregg for just $400 - that's both in store (if you can find it one available, anyway) and online, too. That may not seem like seem like a bargain for the uninitiated who are more accustomed to the $400 price tag of the original Transformer, but keep in mind that this is the newer, much sleeker, and much more powerful Tegra 3-touting Prime model, which normally retails for $500 .
Sony unveiled a couple of new handsets at CES this week - one for the US market (Xperia Ion) and one for the international market (Xperia S). Both are powerful devices and should be the first to be released under the Sony name (not Sony Ericsson), and the latter is now available for pre-order from Clove UK for £467.99 with an expected release at the beginning of March.
If you happen to own an HP TouchPad and have been waiting patiently for a proper Android port, you'll be overjoyed to see a sneak peek of what CM9 brings to the table. If you recall our announcements for the CM7 Alpha 1 and Alpha 2 builds, you probably remember an overwhelming indication that neither build was all too stable, and running them was not for the faint of heart. Alpha 3 is a bit better, but still has a laundry list of issues.
Late yesterday, we got a chance to spend some time with the Motorola DROID 4 over at the Verizon booth here at CES, and we have to say - It sure seems like Motorola has done it again. The DROID 4 will likely once again set the bar for QWERTY slider phones, and thanks to the addition of 4G LTE and a snappy TI OMAP 4430 dual-core processor (the same one found in the DROID RAZR), it's also going to be the fastest DROID yet.
Owners of the HTC EVO 3D on Sprint may find themselves hitting the install button on an OTA update today. The update brings a few minor tweaks to the device:
- Updated Peep client (to align with Twitter)
- Battery life improvements
- Security update
It began rolling out earlier today and should hit all devices over the next five days.
To see if it's available on your device, hit Settings > System Update > HTC Software Update > Check Now.
Pay-as-you-go carriers have never had the latest and greatest handsets, but many are trying to offer more higher-end devices than ever before. Thus is the case with Boost Mobile, which just announced it would be getting the LG Marquee, a modest mid-ranger for anyone on a budget, on January 23rd for $280. While there is no sort of contact involved, users who buy this device are required to purchase an "Android Monthly Unlimited" plan for $55 a month.
Reports from CES 2012 indicate that Windows Phone 7 may be a competitive mobile platform, however Microsoft has decided to hedge its bets and continue making money from Android by signing a patent-licensing agreement with LG. The terms of the agreement will likely require LG to pay Microsoft royalties for all LG tablets, phones, and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome OS platform. This deal likely mirrors Microsoft's ten previous patent-licensing agreements with Android and Chrome OS manufacturers, including Samsung, HTC, Acer, and ViewSonic.
ASUS isn't the only one upgrading their tablets to Ice Cream Sandwich in the beginning of February - we were running around the South Hall at CES 2012 and ran into Archos, which, among other things, manufactures a whole series of G9 tablets (various combinations of 101 and 80).
Guess what - all of the G9 tablets are scheduled to receive ICS starting the first week of February (they did let everyone know it would happen "in the near future" a few days ago, but we were able to get the most up-to-date timeline today).
That's the phrase Larry Page used to describe Google's recent shut down of underperforming products. Stop flooding the market with crap, and focus on fewer, higher quality products. Now it seems Motorola has somehow gotten the exact same idea.
AllThingsD reports that Motorola "plans to release fewer new models this year, in an effort to concentrate its marketing dollars." I hope they are concentrating their design, polish, and update efforts too.