Update 2/9/11: Writing/transmitting via NFC is now possible thanks to the 2.3.3 update.
One thing that was very much anticipated in the Nexus S and Gingerbread in general was NFC (Near Field Communication) support, which is a feature we've never seen before on an Android device. In fact, the vast majority of us took it to mean that it will allow you to use your phone as a credit card, which would indeed be very exciting and insanely cool.
Talk about adding insult to injury - in addition to the news of the upcoming Google Nexus S missing any kind of external memory slots (microSD, etc), we’ve just found out that this supposed Nexus One successor is also missing LED notifications. What other essential system function is it going to lose next – a phone speaker?
As we've all been following the Nexus S over the last few months, inhaling every bit of news regarding its specs, nobody could have foreseen or even considered the fact that the next Nexus, announced earlier today by Google, will be lacking the microSD card slot. The absence of HSPA+, a dual-core processor, HDMI, an 8MP camera, or Bluetooth 3.0 - sure, these are unfortunate, but understandable.
However, not being able to change out one SD card for another, faster one, is beyond mind boggling.
After weeks of anticipation, leaked photos, snooped videos and widespread rumors, the next pure-Google device is official, and it's pretty much just what you expected. Bearing the title of the flagship device for the the freshly-baked Gingerbread (Android 2.3), the Samsung-made Nexus S includes:
Update: A Sprint official has just posted on the Samsung Epic forums saying that this is not the final version of Froyo for the Epic. What's more, he gave one commenter an ETA of about three weeks. Ridiculous, isn't it?
Below is a statement from the Epic Product Manager regarding the leaked release (DK28):
Sprint is working on a software package for the Samsung Epic4G that will upgrade it to the Froyo version of Android. Over the weekend, some users were able to access and download a test build (DK28) for the Samsung Epic from some 3rd party developer sites. Unfortunately, this is not approved software for Sprint production devices and we strongly recommend that users refrain from loading it.
The Samsung Nexus S has already shown off its camera once, but up until now, we haven't seen what that 5MP shooter's capable of when it comes to video recording. Well the wait is over, as a (portrait) video shot by none other than the GT-i9020 has hit YouTube:
The quality is more or less what we've come to expect from 720p video taken by a cameraphone, though it certainly won't blow any minds.
If you thought the news that Samsung shifted more than a million Galaxy Tabs was impressive, just wait 'til you hear this one: the company today announced that over three million of its Galaxy S smartphones have been sold in the US alone. This not only means that Sammy now owns 32.1% of the Android market in the US; it also makes Samsung the #1 supplier of Android devices in the US.
Holy crap, that was fast. Less than a month after being released in the US (and a bit longer in some parts of the world), Samsung has managed to move over 1 million Galaxy Tabs - which may or may not be surprising, given the range of opinions on the device (although I just thought it was super). Despite the Tab being available in 64 countries, roughly 100,000 of the sales are in Samsung's homeland of South Korea.
T-Mobile UK is certainly digging itself into a ditch on this one, and seriously pissing customers off in the process. You can't really blame people for being upset: after promising the Froyo update for Samsung Galaxy S owners by November 30 via FOTA, then reiterating just two days ago that the update was ready to roll out, they've now pushed it back at least a week. Turns out they're also not going to be able to do it over-the-air, either - rather, it's going to be installed with Samsung KIES instead.
While Galaxy S owners here in the States are still (im)patiently awaiting the update to Android 2.2, it looks like users on T-Mobile UK's network are already enjoying the wonders of Froyo. Yes, the update that was initially scheduled for September is only now rolling out.
Luckily, T-Mobile's European brother has (slightly) sweetened the deal with a nice twist - although the update was originally supposed to be made available exclusively through Samsung's Kies software for Windows-based PCs, the carrier has seen fit to add an OTA version into the mix.