Now that Android has matured to the point of being solid in its own right, manufacturer skins don't rely so much on fixing the problems with the OS as they do creating their own platform. In order to differentiate from the competition, the new Galaxy S needs to do things the One series doesn't. While HTC focuses on improving its audio and visual performance, Samsung is attempting to boost its wow factor by improving on its eye-tracking technology.
It's not Jelly Bean yet. Well, I mean it is. It's the older Jelly Bean. Not the newer Jelly Bean. I'm sure this isn't confusing. However, Verizon is getting ready to roll out an update to the Galaxy S III that will bump the phone from 4.1.1 to 4.1.2. Unfortunately this isn't the 4.2 upgrade most users were likely hoping for. Among the listed improvements are a better keyboard and the ability to take pictures while on a call.
At this point in the smartphone wars, it's not enough to build an awesome handset. You need to market it. That's the trouble that the One X had last year and the One faces this year. Well, so far the One has opened with its initial shots of BoomSound®, Ultrapixels and Zoe. So, what is Samsung returning fire with? A small, blonde-haired boy named Jeremy.
For those unable to watch the video at work (thanks for spending your time with us instead of doing your job), here's the gist: a young boy's butler drives him to a board room where he is told he will be the "secret messenger" for the Galaxy S IV by a title screen.
Samsung seems to have gotten the hang of updating phones besides the major flagships. While it's still coming about nine months after the release of Jelly Bean and nearly six months after the release of the handset, the Galaxy Stellar will be upgraded to 4.1 "soon", according to these Verizon support docs. The OTA will bring the much-beloved Google Now as well as expandable notifications and all the other goodies of the newest tasty treat.
Earlier this month, The Now Network pushed an update to its version of the Samsung Galaxy S III with a few small fixes in it. That update was build L710VPMA6. Today, the company is sending another update to the Galaxy S III that is essentially the same update, plus one addition: 3rd party software licensing. This one's build L710VPMB1, will hit your device regardless of whether or nor you installed the previous update.
Its smaller 8-inch cousin is getting all the attention at Mobile World Congress (for better or worse), but the plus-sized Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 still has a few fans. At least one of them works at regional carrier US Cellular, because the device is now their second 4G LTE tablet, behind the original Galaxy Tab 10.1. The Galaxy Note 10.1 is available now from US Cellular's website and retail stores for $499.99; it requires a 2GB data plan, but not a long-term contract.
Passbook is one of the few features on iOS that I feel a bit envious of (even if it doesn't do payments like Google Wallet). Apparently Samsung had similar thoughts when it was announced, because the company unveiled a brand-new in-house platform this morning called Samsung Wallet that does basically the exact same thing.
Samsung didn't provide a launch time frame for the service, but we're guessing this was just a taste of the new software features we'll be seeing in the Galaxy S IV announcement on March 14th.
If you have an aging-but-not-yet-dead Epic 4G just waiting to be upgraded, maybe now's the time to slap a good ol' dose of CyanogenMod on it. Why now? Because it just got its first official CM10.1 nightly. Sure, you could've been running CM10 for some time, but now you can have the latest build that AOSP has to offer.
With CM10.1 – which is based on Android 4.2.x for those who may not know – you get fun things like lockscreen widgets (so you can finally get in on the DashClock action), Quick Settings, and a few other, less obvious tweaks.
It's been a week or so since Samsung decided to release some source code, so I guess it's time for a fix. The company just dropped the Jelly Bean source for the international variant of the original Galaxy Note, which received the 4.1.2 update back in mid-February.
You know the drill: download, tinker, enjoy. Hit the link to grab it.
We may be knee-deep in MWC coverage right now, but if you just can't stop thinking about how much you want a Galaxy Note 10.1, eBay's got a deal for you. For $380 with free shipping (taxes only applicable in NJ – sorry guys!), you can score Sammy's stylus-packing ten-incher, brand new in the box – meaning this one's not a refurb.
The Note 10.1 packs all sorts of nice tweaks on the software side that makes Android better on the whole, like multi-window, as well as numerous added functions thanks to the S-Pen.