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Hands on with the Kobo Arc Jelly Bean update

Posted by wicked April - 4 - 2013 - Thursday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

Android Central

The Kobo Arc has been updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, but has it made a difference?

Flash back to our review of the Kobo Arc a moment. On the whole, the 7-inch tablet from Canada impressed, but was left lacking on the software front. Despite a Jelly Bean update in the works at launch, the Arc came to market on Ice Cream Sandwich, with the custom Tapestries UI on top. While a decent performer generally, if you've ever used Jelly Bean, going back to ICS is a tough ask. 

The Jelly Bean update for the Arc is now available though, thus removing a potential barrier to purchase. So, has it made a difference? Is the Kobo Arc now a serious contender in the tablet space? Well, we got one back in the office to take a look at how they did. 

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Motorola Electrify 2 has an official Jelly Bean update working its way around

Posted by wicked March - 16 - 2013 - Saturday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

Electrify 2

The Motorola Electrify 2 is the latest handset to get a Jelly Bean update, as Android 4.1 is currently rolling out to users in the usual slow, cautious manner. 

Motorola reminds us of a few Jelly Bean features like expanded notifications, Google Now, and voice search at their announcement page, but there's also plenty under the hood that makes Jelly Bean an incredible upgrade for any phone or tablet. Project Butter anyone?

As mentioned, the update is coming in phases. To check if it's your turn to have a crack at it, go to the settings and look for a system update. If you see one, holler in the comments and let us know how it's working out!

Source: Motorola

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Lenovo outs new Android tablet lineup, new 7 and 10-inch offerings

Posted by wicked February - 24 - 2013 - Sunday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

Android Central

Android Central at Mobile World Congress

Lenovo has outed their latest lineup of Android tablets over in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress. None have particularly inspiring names, but launched today are the 7-inch A1000 and A3000, and the 10-inch S6000.  

The A1000 is the entry level offering of the bunch. Packing a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 16GB of on-board storage which is expandable to 32GB by way of microSD card, and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It's 7-inch sibling, the A3000 is carrying a little more in the spec department by way of a 1.2GHz quad-core MTK processor and upto 64GB total storage including microSD cards. The A3000 too runs Jelly Bean, although the display is a slightly disappointing 1024×600 resolution IPS panel, but there will be a HSPA+ version of the A3000. 

The 10-inch S6000 completes the Jelly Bean toting lineup, and is also powered by a quad-core 1.2GHz MTK processor. Like the A3000 there will be a cellular, HSPA+ variant, and carries a 1280×800 resolution IPS display which promises a 178 degree viewing angle. 

One interesting addition though is the included Lenovo Mobile Access. On the cellular enabled tablets, Lenovo will be indicated as the service provider upon first powering up the tablet allowing new users to start browsing the web immediately. Once this runs out, you then have to go back to a regular data plan. No word on how much is included, but it's a nice touch nevertheless

No word at this stage on price or availability of any of these three new tablets beyond worldwide release in Q2 of this year. You can find the full press release after the break. 

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Pocket Casts 4 to hit Google Play in February, and it’s awesome

Posted by wicked February - 1 - 2013 - Friday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

Android Central

It's been a long old time since the last Pocket Casts update, but the developers, Shifty Jelly, have today published some details on the next version of their incredibly popular podcatching application. They've been working on it now for some six months — they are just a three man team, after all — and what they're bringing to the table goes beyond the realms of a minor version bump. It's a complete redesign of the app. We're currently involved in beta testing the new version, and all we can say is, it's pretty awesome. 

The redesign takes in the latest Android design guidelines, and will also include proper tablet support. Shifty Jelly has specifically targeted the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10, so it should look great on large and small tablets. Equally exciting is the cross-device syncing and remote backup promised.

Syncing will cover subscriptions, playlists and even play states on each of your Android devices. So, you're heading home from work listening to the latest Android Central podcast, but you don't finish by the time you get to the front door. Just head inside, pick up your tablet, and carry on where you left off. We're really excited for this feature. 

There's still a lot of stuff in Pocket Casts 4 that hasn't been shared yet, and won't be until it sees release. The good news is that Shifty Jelly intends to ship Pocket Casts 4 as a free update to the existing app sometime in February. We can't wait. 

Source: Shifty Jelly

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Samsung posts Jelly Bean update for Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 2 in the US

Posted by wicked January - 18 - 2013 - Friday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Jelly Bean with Premium Suite

Americans who picked up a Samsung tablet in 2012 may have a surprise this weekend: the company has confirmed that it’s rolling out its promised Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update to US, Wi-Fi only versions of the Galaxy Note 10.1 and both Galaxy Tab 2 sizes. As we know by now, Note 10.1 owners squeeze the most out of the software revamp with S Pen features borrowed from the Galaxy Note II, such as Air View’s hover-to-peek functionality, Quick Command shortcuts and the ability to clip content. There’s also a tablet-specific Cascade View to see more than two apps at once. Galaxy Tab 2 users don’t get much as much in the bargain, although we wouldn’t knock the promised speed improvements inherent to Google’s OS refresh. Either upgrade should be available both through Kies and over the air, with more details at the source link. We haven’t yet heard when cellular tablets get a matching upgrade, although those who spring for the Galaxy Note 10.1 on Verizon will already have Jelly Bean from the outset.

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Samsung Releases Android Jelly Bean Upgrades for Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 2

Premium Suite Upgrade for Galaxy Note 10.1 Delivers Improved Performance, Enhanced S Pen Functionality and Fully Resizable Apps

RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J., January 16, 2013- Samsung Electronics America Inc., a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today announced the availability of updates to Android 4.1[TM], Jelly Bean for both its award-winning Galaxy Note[TM] 10.1 and its popular Galaxy Tab 2 devices for the Wi-Fi versions.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 upgrade includes all the performance benefits of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean as well as Premium Suite, a collection of new features that further upgrades multi-tasking and productivity, while enhancing personalization and offering new levels of creativity. Users will enjoy improved S Pen support and the ability to easily open and resize multiple apps, then view them across the screen layered on top of each other.

“Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 created a new category by delivering content creation capabilities in addition to content consumption,” said Mike Abary, senior vice president of consumer IT product marketing, Samsung Electronics America. “However, we always strive to deliver unexpected value to our customers. By providing not just Jelly Bean, but dramatic improvements to the multitasking and S Pen features on the devices, we’re ensuring that the Galaxy Note 10.1 remains at the forefront of innovation.”

A range of features have been introduced which aim to further boost the capabilities of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 including:

Multi-tasking & Productivity:

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 pioneered the innovative Multi Window feature which lets consumers experience a dual view, running two apps side-by-side on the screen. The new, updated Galaxy Note 10.1 enhances the experience further in a variety of ways:

Cascade View: The feature allows users to freely resize, move and pin selected applications in multiple views, running them simultaneously or while operating the home-screen. This PC-like feature will help users to be more productive, and actually do multiple tasks at one time.

Air View: Allows users to use S Pen to conveniently and quickly preview content without having to open it. This feature allows user to preview video while scrubbing, preview email attachments without opening, preview photos without opening the album, and more.

Quick Command: With Quick Command, the S Pen quickly activates applications and services that are used most often by allowing you to write command shortcuts using customized and preset S Pen strokes.

Enhanced Personalization:

Enhanced handwriting: Users can quickly and easily send personalized handwritten notes and memos to friends and family via email, as well as hand-write directly into their S Planner
Enhanced S Note: S Note now features additional ready-to-use templates; allows users to add effects to their digital content with Idea Sketch; and enables the insertion of video directly into not only Note templates but also other templates. Users can also launch S Note directly from their home-screen for added convenience.

Easy Clip: Allows users to select and clip content to save, paste or share in seconds.

Photo Note: Add personalized handwritten notes on the back of your photos to help capture the moment.


Paper Artist: Besides enabling users to enliven sketches or content with different color or pencil styles, Paper Artist enables over 30 artistic effects that can be applied to images or media. Users can also draw or write onto the content and share it with others.

A smarter S Pen: The S Pen now allows users to select writing or color modes at the touch of a button, or unlock the home-screen simply by removing the S Pen.

Both the Wi-Fi versions of Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1 and 7.0) will benefit from the core improvements of Android 4.1 which features a more intuitive user interface, faster performance and response times across applications, and an overall smoother user experience. This is also complemented by an enhanced user interface optimized for the 10.1-inch screen.

Filed under: Tablets, Samsung


Source: Samsung

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Acer Iconia B1 pictured in the wild ahead of any official announcements

Posted by wicked January - 5 - 2013 - Saturday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

Android Central

We saw the first official looking news of a new budget tablet from Acer, the Iconia B1, just yesterday. Expected to be shown off at CES, and coming to market as just the Iconia B, it looks to be a budget Jelly Bean tablet that so far we've heard is heading to India. A Bulgarian tech site called has laid their hands on one of the pre-release versions of the tablet and has put it through its paces. 

Android Central @ CES

As you might expect, the Iconia B doesn't set the world on fire. We'd already seen from Acer's website listing for the tablet that it would be a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, with 8GB of on board storage, 512MB of RAM and a 1024×600 resolution display. According to the software on board is Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, so not the latest version, but not far off and it looks pretty much like stock Android too. The front facing camera is a 2MP shooter capable of 720p video, so potentially not bad for video chat. 

While the reasonably low end specs might scare some away, the review goes on to praise the software performance. They say it works perfectly smoothly, and there's no noticeable lag. The low RAM will no doubt become an issue in some regards, but it sounds like Jelly Bean's enhancements in the form of Project Butter may not be lost. 

The price in Bulgaria doesn't look that favorable when converted to Dollars or Pounds, as it looks to be the same price as the Nexus 7. However, we should remember that this may well be targeted at markets where devices like the Nexus 7 aren't available, or are extremely expensive due to importing costs.

Source: (Translated)

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Jelly Bean updates ahoy for many Motorola phones in Q1 2013

Posted by wicked December - 7 - 2012 - Friday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

Android Central

As part of its new OS upgrade strategy, Motorola has published another update on the progress of new Android 4.1 Jelly Bean (and ICS) firmware for its fleet of phones and tablets.

It's an extensive list, with a complete breakdown of phones by territory, however, we've picked out a few of the biggest upcoming upgrades for readers in the West –

  • RAZR i Jelly Bean update now scheduled for Q1 2013
  • Verizon Droid RAZR HD/RAZR MAXX HD still due Jelly Bean update before 2013
  • AT&T Atrix HD due Jelly Bean update before 2013
  • 3G/LTE Xoom Jelly Bean update delayed to Q1 2013
  • Canadian Atrix HD + RAZR HD due to get Jelly Bean in Q1 2013
  • Euro RAZR HD Jelly Bean update scheduled for Dec. 2012

No word on Android 4.2 for any Motorola devices just yet, but at least Jelly Bean part one should be on the way for a great many Moto phones early next year.

If you want to look up a particular phone or territory, you can do so at the source link below.

Source: Motorola Android Software Upgrade News

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Daily news roundup: December 3, 2012

Posted by wicked December - 4 - 2012 - Tuesday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

LTE  Phil's gift guide

Sony Xperia line  Gmail

Nobody likes Mondays, expect Android news junkies! It's always a busy day, and today was no excpetion. Have a peek and see what you might have missed.

Jelly Bean all up in here

  • Sony makes an announcement about an announcement for Jelly Bean [beanception]
  • SwiftKey and Android 4.2 just can't play nice
  • Jelly Bean for the RAZR MAXX and HD now pushing
  • 4.1.2 shows up for the Galaxy Note 2 LTE
  • Jelly Bean on 6.7% of all devices
  • AT&T Galaxy S3 finally gets Jelly Bean

Apps, apps, apps!

  • SwiftKey Flow video leaks
  • Now that you have the new GMail app, here's how to use the new features
  • Have a large mocha Holo with the new Starbucks app update
  • All kinds of new APIs from Google Play Services
  • Gmail 4.2 now available in Google Play

All the phones

  • Samsung to keep selling phones and tablets
  • Sony updating Xperia devices
  • Oh, Can-a-dah, you can buy a Nexus 4
  • Have a look at the Verizon Note 2
  • A lot of buzz about the Nexus 4's noisy earpiece

Other stuff you don't want to miss

  • New ATT LTE cities
  • Let AC help stuff your stocking
  • Polk Audio bringing Android branded headphones
  • Phil's 2012 holiday gift guide

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N2A Cards Brings Jelly Bean And All Android Apps To B&N’s Nook

Posted by wicked October - 31 - 2012 - Wednesday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:


Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color and Tablet are capable and affordable media tablets, but they run an old and locked-down version of Android. If you are fairly technical, you can obviously use CyanogenMod to bypass B&N’s firmware and install a new version of Android on your device.

If you’re not that technical, though, the easiest way to get Jelly Bean on your Nook tablet is to buy one of N2A Cards’ pre-loaded cards for $29.99 (available online and at Fry’s) or $19.99 to download the software and install it on your own microSD card.

Once you have the card – or have the software installed on your own card – you just plug it into your Nook and the device will automatically boot into a stock Jelly Bean install without ever touching the B&N firmware. Want to go back to the regular Nook experience? Just take out the card and reboot. The advantage of running the N2A Cards install, of course, is that you can run any app, including Amazon’s Kindle app and other e-book apps. These apps are also often cheaper in Google’s official Play Store than on B&N’s own store. N2A Cards co-founder Dave Vinzant told me earlier this week that the project uses CyanogenMod to make its own project work.

Because the Nook boots from the microSD slot before looking for firmware in its built-in memory, this is the easiest way to multi-boot on the Nook. This same trick will also very likely work with the new Nook HD tablets. These will use Ice Cream Sandwich by default, so N2A Cards will also be the easiest way to bring Jelly Bean to them as well.

N2A Cards gives 20 percent of each sale generated from CyanogenMod’s site back to the project and currently makes a $monthly 500 donation to it, too. This donation is about to be increased to $1,000 per month and will increase again as sales increase with the new cards.

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Android Central international round-up – October 20, 2012

Posted by wicked October - 21 - 2012 - Sunday Comments Off

Android phones and tablets news:

Android Central

We're less than two weeks away from one of the biggest Android events of the year, where it's possible we'll see a new version of Android, and new phones and tablets. We've already seen just about all there is to see of the LG Nexus 4, and rumors suggest a possible Samsung Nexus 10, as well as a new 32GB Nexus 7. But in amongst all the rumors, leaks and speculation, we've also had a fairly busy week of news for existing devices.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean finally hit UK Galaxy S3 phones, bringing with it a host of Samsung-specific improvements to the TouchWiz UI. O2 and Three are already pushing out the update, with Vodafone set to follow in the near future.

In Japan, we saw the announcement of what's arguably the most high-spec'd Android handset yet, in the form of the AU-exclusive HTC J Butterfly. With a 5-inch, 1920×1080 (yes, 1080p) display and a quad-core Snapdragon S4 CPU, this device should set the standard for high-end smartphones as we move into 2013. The J Butterfly itself won't be released outside of Japan, but we wouldn't be surprised to see a close relative of this phone land on Verizon in the U.S. before the year's out.

And finally, ASUS launched its second-generation Padfone, the Padfone 2, at glitzy events in Milan, Italy and Taipei, Taiwan. At the Milan event, ASUS' energetic chairman Jonney Shih was on hand to reveal the device, which like its predecessor can be docked with a bundled tablet accessory for a larger-screen tablet experience. Like the J Butterfly, the Padfone 2 runs a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC, which looks set to become the new standard chip for high-end Android phones and tablets.

Check out a selection of the highlights in international Android news below. If you've got news, be sure to tip us at the usual address.

Special feautres:

  • HTC Desire X hands-on


  • Acer reportedly looking to launch Intel-powered smartphone
  • LOVEFiLM details how service will integrate into UK Kindle Fire
  • Samsung Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update arriving on Three UK
  • ASUS Padfone 2 headed to the UK in early 2013
  • Netflix now welcoming mobile viewers from Scandinavia
  • O2 blames 'central user database' for recent outage
  • Brown Galaxy S3 arrives in the UK at Phones4U
  • HTC J Butterfly video round-up
  • 32GB Nexus 7 coming to the UK for £199.99
  • HTC One S Special Edition launches in Taiwan with 64GB on-board
  • ASUS Padfone 2 announces — quad-core S4, LTE phone/tablet dockable
  • 32GB Nexus 7 tipped for imminent UK launch
  • Samsung restarts European Galaxy S3 Jelly Bean update roll-out
  • SoftBank confirms 70 percent Sprint acquisition for $20bn

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