Perhaps you've heard of an upcoming phone called the Galaxy Nexus. It's just a little piece of awesome sent down from the Android Gods to bring in the newest version of Android: Ice Cream Sandwich. Ever since it was officially unveiled on Tuesday night, there have been rumors flying around that Big Red may not be the network that will get this oh-so spectacular device -- but, thankfully, we can now put all that crap to rest, because Verizon just officially announced it.
If there was one that the OG Galaxy Tab 7 had going for it, it was portability. Still, while the device was revolutionary for Android at the time, it was still little more than a glorified phone. Not willing to let a potentially good thing die, Sammy took it back to the lab, infused it with an operating system meant for tablets and a more powerful processor.
While the Galaxy Note still hasn't made its way to US shores (and possibly never will), that hasn't stopped this gargantuan beast from making a name for itself in other areas of the world. It's big, powerful, comes with a built-in stylus, and has an amazing display. What more could you want?
How about a little hack action.
For devs out there looking to work some magic on this tablet-meets-phone hybrid, Sammy just released the kernel source code to the Open Source Developers Center.
Uh-oh. Sounds like Samsung's lawyers heard about Samsung Mobile President Shin Jong-kyun's little statement that the Galaxy Nexus was designed such that no "known" Apple patents were used or infringed on by the phone. This was probably, to be frank, a very stupid thing to say. Aside from basically challenging Apple to take a closer look at the Galaxy Nexus, there's also the fact that, if Jong-kyun's statement was actually correct and Samsung did design the Galaxy Nexus to avoid Apple patents, that Apple's lawyers would love to quote it at various patent infringement trials around the world.
This could be introduced to a jury as evidence that Samsung had reason to believe, at the point the Galaxy Nexus was designed, that their other products could be infringing on Apple patents.
Since last night's announcement, there has been a lot of speculation surrounding the Galaxy Nexus. One of the most mysterious features of Samsung's latest Nexus device is its onboard barometer. Many have been questioning why Samsung would include a barometer in the Nexus' sleek chassis, citing possibilities from more accurate weather prediction to simple altitude detection (which is partially true).
In a Google+ post today, Android Engineer Dan Morrill gave us the scoop on what the barometer is actually for, and it's more interesting than you might think.
Since I'm seeing questions inquiring about Android 4.0's source code drop every 5 minutes here and there, I thought it would be a good idea to point out this blurb in a recent post by an Android engineer Dan Morrill, aka morrildl:
It seems that these days, Samsung must constantly be on alert for new entries in the ever-growing list of patent disputes with Apple. Sensing this, Samsung's Mobile President, Shin Jong-kyun (who we heard from at last night's presentation) took a moment to stress the fact that the Galaxy Nexus was designed with patents in mind - specifically, it was designed to avoid trouble with Apple. While it is a rectangular device with a touch screen, not much else seems to put it in danger.
Are you worried about your ice cream melting before it reaches the UK? According to a press release from Three UK this morning, it should arrive on your doorstep still tasting nice and fresh in the shape of Samsung's newly announced Galaxy Nexus.
Although no specific dates have been given by the network, it's certainly encouraging to see an announcement so shortly after the phone's unveiling in Hong Kong.
During the unveiling, Samsung said that the phone will hit the market "in November" and see a worldwide distribution, so there is a good chance that the phone could come to the UK as soon as next month.
While I was tapping away on my laptop trying to keep up with the Ice Cream Sandwich event earlier today, the desktop machine was happily recording it for future reference. This should hold us over until Google posts the official HD version - the video is about 1 hours long, but almost every minute of it is totally worth it (at least once you get to the juicy ICS bits):
Update: The official HD video has now been posted:
Engadget managed to get some face time with Google's Gabe Cohen and he has confirmed that Ice Cream Sandwich will definitely be coming to the Nexus S. According to Engadget, both he and Matias Duarte are of the opinion that most Gingerbread devices (e.g. the Samsung Galaxy SII) will receive the upgrade.
They said that Google is "currently in the process for releasing Ice Cream Sandwich for Nexus S" and that in theory it "should work for any 2.3 device."
Unfortunately, there is no word yet on when ICS would be coming to the Android 2.3 devices and there is also no clear plan on whether ICS will ever come to older devices such as the Nexus One.