A little over a year ago, before I was hired at AP, I wrote about the things I wanted my new Honeycomb tablet to be able to do in the next version of Android. Multitasking on tablets was (and still is) non-existent, and I wanted my tablet to be less of a big phone, and more of a small computer. I wanted split screen, and floating apps, and really, I wanted to just make use of this nice, big screen I had.
The T-Mobile Galaxy Exhibit 4G—formerly known as the Exhibit II 4G before a software update rebranded the device, because I guess you can do that—is receiving another update today. Sorry, it's not Ice Cream Sandwich. As a consolation prize, though, you get stability improvements and bug fixes!
The new build (T679UVLG3) will only be available via Kies, so you'll need a desktop computer to be able to download it. Unfortunately, there's not much in the way of a significant changelog, but what we do have is right here:
Android version 2.3.6 / Software T679UVLG3 - Current Version
- Android version 2.3.6 / Software T679UVLG3
- Samsung Kies Only
- Approved 8/14/12
- Device stability improvements
- Bug Fixes
- Android version 2.3.5 / Software version T679UVLE1 update
- Latest version of Kies software downloaded on PC or MAC
- At least 50% battery life
So, Exhibit 4G owners, grab your micro-USB cables and get downloading!
With a 1.4GHz single-core CPU, a majorly outdated version of Android, and a $50 price tag, the MyTouch Q is a hard sell to enthusiasts. (In fact, I'd bargain that literally no enthusiasts would buy it.) But as I explained just a few days ago, there's a lot more to the smartphone picture than devices that cost a few hundred dollars and can do everything short of make breakfast. A very large percentage of consumers have no desire to use their phone as a media streaming device or a mobile gaming powerhouse.
We'd previously heard that Play Store Gift Cards are set to arrive officially on August 26th. While that may be true for stores that are still waiting on their shipments (read: not Target), Google has decided to take the wraps off of the whole thing ahead of time. The elusive URL we've seen floating around for a gift card landing page is now live. As well as that support page we found last night.
It was only last week that Sony began to update the Xperia P with Ice Cream Sandwich, but it looks like the company is now going full steam ahead and bringing the update to no fewer than 8 more devices this week.
A post on the Sony Xperia Product Blog this morning said that the update will be coming to the arc, arc S, neo, neo V, mini, pro, active, and ray "starting from this week".
Acer's newest offering illustrates what I'm talking about. The company has launched two phones - the Liquid Gallant and the Liquid Gallant Duo - that are very low-end and amazingly low-price, checking in at just £149 (about $235). Take a look at the specs:
- 1GHz MTK6575 (single-core) CPU
- 1GB RAM
- 4GB storage + microSD slot
- 4.3" qHD display
- Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
- 5MP rear shooter
- 1500mAh battery
- 129 x 65.5 x 9.9mm, 145g
- 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0
That may not be a lot of punch, but at that price, it will be enough to pull a lot of dumb- and feature-phone users into the smartphone world.
It looks like the biggest leak of the Play Store's soon-to-launch gift cards may be coming from Google itself. A support page showed up in search indices (that has now been pulled) which confirms the cards will be US-only at launch and will come in $10, $15, $25, and $50 increments. Through some Google-fu, we've also learned your Google Play balance will have a $2000 limit and cannot be used on subscriptions or devices.
We don't normally make a fuss over budget phones, and we definitely don't readily recommend that people buy them (even when they're free). For the Pantech Marauder on Verizon Wireless, however, we'll make an exception. Its Snapdragon S4 processor, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and 4G LTE connectivity make this a budget device that stands out from the pack.
For the unfamiliar, the Marauder is a new offering from Verizon, packing some very respectable hardware (for the most part, anyway):
- Processor: 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4
- RAM: 1GB
- Storage: 4GB
- Display: 3.8" 480x800
- Battery: 1680mAh
- OS: Android 4.0
- Dimensions: 5.07" (H) x 2.57" (W) x 0.46" (D)
- Camera: 5MP rear, VGA front
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11b/g/n, WiFi Direct
The clear downside of the Marauder is its smaller-ish 3.8" display, but if you loved the OG Droid and no other phone has been able to fill that void since, the Marauder is your best choice.
It was only a couple days ago that we heard the Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Motorola Xyboard Wi-Fi models would be rolling out. Now, Verizon has announced that the same update for the LTE version of the tablet is about to rollout to customers via an OTA upgrade. The package will be about 336.4 MB, so hope you're on Wi-Fi.
Here are some of the changes you'll see with the upgrade:
While companies like Motorola and HTC promised to release fewer phones in 2012, Samsung is sticking with its "the more, the better" mantra. Its newest announcement is for the Galaxy S Duos, a dual-SIM handset for those who are tired of carrying around two phones.
At first blush, the Duos looks very similar to the Galaxy S III - it's innards, however, are not even remotely comparable:
- 4" 480x800 display
- 1GHz processor (assume it's single-core)
- 4GB internal storage, microSD card slot
- dual-SIM always on
- 1,500 mAh battery
- Android 4.0 with Touchwiz
The unique feature of the Duos is, of course, its dual-SIM card slots.