New Android Vulnerability That Kills Devices Discovered

Following the discovery of the Stagefright vulnerability, another potentially dangerous Android hack has been found. The bug, uncovered by Trend Micro, can leave an Android device effectively dead, killing the screen and all communication functions, including calls, and can be found in Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) up to the current Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop). Though it was first reported late-May of this year, there has not been a patch fix released through the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code by the Android Engineering Team.

The fault can be exploited by either a malicious app or a phishing site, using a malicious MKV video file – much like Stagefright, which also used media files to compromise Android operating systems – designed to auto-start whenever the device boots.

As for the technical details, I’ll leave that to Trend Micro:

The vulnerability lies in the mediaserver service, which is used by Android to index media files that are located on the Android device. This service cannot correctly process a malformed video file using the Matroska container (usually with the .mkv extension). When the process opens a malformed MKV file, the service may crash (and with it, the rest of the operating system).

The vulnerability is caused by an integer overflow when the mediaserver service parses an MKV file. It reads memory out of buffer or writes data to NULL address when parsing audio data.

This wil cause the device to become totally silent and non-responsive. This means that:

  • No ring tone, text tone, or notification sounds can be heard. The user will have no idea of an incoming call/message, and cannot even accept a call. Neither party will hear each other.

  • The UI may become very slow to respond, or completely non-responsive. If the phone is locked, it cannot be unlocked.

Short of being careful and vigilant when downloading apps or visiting websites, the vulnerability will remain a potential threat until patched by Google.

Thank you Trend Micro for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Ausdroid.

Amazon Fire Phone Finally Recieves Android Update

Amazon, global online e-tailing giant has taken a dip into a multitude of different markets with varying success rates. Its own branded product range includes the highly regarded Kindle range, which in its own right is massive. Then you have the Fire smartphone and tablet range; the Fire Tablet was a good introduction into the market, but the Fire Phone stagnated with little input.

It started life as a high-end competitor boasting huge specs and a huge price tag to go along with it. Since then the price has dramatically dropped to around the $200 mark and still includes a year Amazon Prime subscription, which is $99 alone.

Those of you that bought the phone and whatever price point can now rejoice, the Fire Phone has its own Android skin overlayed over a previous Android version. Up until recently it used Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) and has now been updated to 4.4 (KitKat). To those who keep up to date with Android will know that it is still over a year old and massively behind the current 5.1 updated Lollipop version.

“KitKat is responsible for a bunch of the new things Fire OS picks up, including Bluetooth 4.0 support, improved accessibility, printing support, security and accessibility features, and an emoji keyboard (Amazon uses unchanged versions of Google’s emoji, the same you’d see on a Google-blessed Android phone). The Fire Phone still lacks support for Google’s closed-source apps and APIs (much to the detriment of its ecosystem), but if it ended up in the open-source bits of Android 4.4, then it should be here. A handful of Fire OS-specific features, including lock screen notification improvements and the ability to change the home screen wallpaper, have also been added.”

I’ve always stuck by what I know, I love my Samsung Galaxy S6. What phone manufacturer do you use? Did you consider the Fire Phone when it was released? Let us know in the comments

Thank you to ArsTechnica for providing this information.

Lenovo IdeaTab S6000 10.1″ Android Tablet Review

Introduction


Since the launch of Apple’s world-renowned iPad a few years ago, the way in which we interact in our digital lives has been revolutionised to the point where we now feel lost if we can’t get online; whether it be for social or entertainment purposes or for business use in multitude of ways. Before tablets were around with such a presence as they are today, laptops and desktop computers was the only real way of getting online as even the world of smartphones was in its infancy, just before the iPhone was released.

Since those historic days when the first iPhone and iPad went on sale, the work of mobile connectivity through tablets, smartphones and now today’s Ultrabooks has advanced in leaps and bounds taking us into a world that only a few people could have imagined before. In today’s world and within the marketplace there is are so many different tablets and smartphones on offer, it is almost impossible to list all of them; from the market leading models right down to the rock bottom basic devices that cost very little to get hold of. It’s easy to say that if you want to get a tablet or smartphone, the chance of getting a device that suits your taste is very strong and this is why they are now more popular than we would have thought only a few years ago.

Like every other part of the technology world, the tablet market has devices at virtually every price level and whilst there are loads of people who are willing to buy the latest iPad for upwards of $500 / £400, this price is way over the top for another large group of users and this is where the Android based tablets come steaming through. At only a fraction of the cost, but still offering some of the best features on the market, it is no surprise that the Android operating system is the OS of choice on a large number of top-selling products out there.

Whilst I can spend all day talking about the best devices out there to go for, cost is still an issue to a number of users, and even £300 is bit over the top and this is also the case fo devices that are just over the £200 barrier. Fortunately this is where Android comes through once again with devices even available for around the £100 mark. The tablet that I’m having a play with today falls in to the entry-level to mid-range group of devices and at around £170-180 it is considerably cheaper than the latest iPad mini, but it still has all the features that we would expect to see on a tablet on offer, just for a more bite-size price.

As highlighted above, Lenovo are one of the biggest names out there when it comes to tablets and the band is also well know throughout the laptop market, with the ThinkPad being one of the most successful product lines that they have ever had. More recently Lenovo have been brought right into the limelight with the release of the Yoga 2 Pro  – a touch screen laptop that has four different modes in which it can operated, as demonstrated on a series of TV commercials. Besides the ThinkPad product family, the IdeaTab group of products has been created to offer users the best games, music and video whilst staying very much affordable. The IdeaTab family is then split into two smaller groups with the A-series for totally entry-level devices with the most affordable prices and the S-series for a slightly higher price with enhanced multimedia features, sleeker designs and better displays.

The IdeaTab S6000 as one will easily guess is part of the higher performing products in the IdeaTab range, although it is still an entry-level to mid-range product. As seen on the specifications below, the S6000 has all the key assets that we expect to see on a tablet and starting at £179 for a 16GB model, is considerably cheaper than some of the top selling tablets.

Inside the box alongside the tablet we get a typical set of accessories for a mobile device such as the S6000 with a micro-USB cable and mains power adaptor for charging the tablet – although any powered USB port is enough to charge the IdeaTab from. On top of that there is a couple of bits of paperwork for reference by the way of a quick start guide and warranty manual.

On the back of the box, Lenovo list the full specification of the S6000 and we can see that it comes with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 with a variable clock speed of up to 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of flash storage topped off with 802.11b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth v4.0 and a 1280×800 10.1″ IPS panel to seal everything in. The IdeaTab also comes with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean as standard.

Sony Announces Dual USB Drive For Android Devices

Sony announced a 2-in-1 flash drive, and just in time for holiday season too . This would make a great present to receive or give due to the SA Series device’s special feature, which is providing a normal USB 2.0 connector on one end and a microUSB connector on the other end.

“Consumers want to let a friend see the photo they just took or share a video easily with as few steps as possible,” said Viviano Cantu, director of consumer media marketing, Sony Electronics. “These new drives combine convenience, peace of mind and performance and are perfect for mobile multi-tasking.”

The flash drive will be available starting from January in 8 GB, 16 GB and 32 GB capacities. This new drive would be ideal for moving video, music and pictures off a smartphone and onto a computer’s hard drive. To help with this, Sony will provide a File Manager app on Google Play, allowing users to move, delete, sort and playback files.

“Consumers can also use the drives as additional or temporary storage for their smartphones and tablets, a storage option that’s ideal for enjoying large data files like feature-length movies or personal music libraries,” reads the press release.

The File Manager is said to be compatible with Android 4.0.3 to 4.3 Jelly Bean only. Supporting operating systems include Windows 7 and Windows 8, Windows Vista, Mac OS 10.4 or later, and the same Android builds as previously mentioned. A locking cap protects the connectors from dust, debris and damage, and the devices’ metal body is durable enough to withstand everyday mobile use.

Thank you Tom’s Hardware for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Digital Trends

Three Out Of Four iPhones Now Run The Latest iOS 7 Firmware

Apple released the statistics gathered through the App Store usage tracking feature. The result gained were that devices running iOS 7 have a 74 percent share, and given the short amount of time the iOS 7 has been on the market, its adoption rate is astonishing. Apple first released the latest iteration of its mobile platform on Sep. 18 in concert with the iPhone 5s and 5c launch.

The adoption rate continues to rise every day, and while having only 22 percent running the older iOS 6 running on other active devices, we can very well see the iOS adoption hitting 96% as early as Q1 2014. To be noted here is that the iOS 6 is only one year old, and this points out that users are more and more inclined to keep their gadgets up to date as much as they can.

The numbers coincide with those of ad network Chitika, which on Wednesday released data regarding iOS device Internet traffic. According to the analytics, iPhone version distribution stood at 74.1 percent for iOS 7 and 22.4 percent for iOS 6 during the three-week period between Oct. 25 and Nov. 18. As for iPad users, some 9 percent were still using iOS 5, though the number can be attributed to the tablets’ longer lifespans.

The ad firm also compared the Android competition, which saw just over half of all users running the last-generation 4.1 to 4.3 Jelly Bean. Google’s current Android 4.4 KitKat is only operating on 1.1 percent of devices, while 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and 2.3 Gingerbread account for 18.6 percent and 24.1 percent, respectively.

Thank you Apple Insider for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Apple Insider

HP Launches Two New Tegra 4 Tablets

The Nvidia Tegra 4 processor is kinda rare on the market compared to the widely spread Tegra 3. Things are likely to change in the future it seems, as HP has already launched two new tablets featuring the Tegra 4 processor, and quite covertly too, since there has not been any word on the tablets before their release.

One of the tablets is the HP’s Slate7 Extreme, selling for $199.99. It features the Tegra 4 with a 7-inch 1280×800 display, 1GB of DDR3 RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, HDMI out, a 5-megapixel back cameras and a 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera. The device comes with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, is rated for 10.5 hours of battery life having a 4100 mAh lithium polymer battery, and features an integrated stylus.

For those who want a bigger tablet, the HP Slate8 Pro is here and has a $329.99 price tag. Having a 8″ 1600×1200 display, the Slate8 Pro also has a more squared-off design, a white back and bezel, and a larger battery that’s rated for 11.5 hours of run time and comes stock with the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. Other than that, though, the device’s specs resemble those of the Slate7 Extreme.

Thank you Tech Report for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of HP

Android Jelly Bean To Go Past 50% Share

In recent Android news, it seems like the Android 4.x Jelly Bean takes up half of the android share with over 50% of devices running on the Operating System on devices such as smartphones, tablets, phablets, etc.

As shown above, the 4.3 Jelly Bean is marked at 2.3% while growing in number each day, the 4.2.x Jelly Bean comes right after with 12.5% of android users running it and still growing in number, followed by the 4.0.3 – 4.0.4 Ice Creat Sandwich which takes up 19.8% of the share and last but not least, the most common 4.1.x Jelly Bean taking up the majority with 37.3% of the share.

Other news includes screen size and density shares, with the majority of users having a Normal screen size (with a share of 79.6%) and having a hdpi compatible screen (with a share of 33.4%). Only 8.8% users prefer the ultra high dpi, the xxhdpi, and not far from hdpi are the xhdpi users, taking up a share of 22.2%. The chart below represents the full screen size and density shares representations.

In terms of graphics and 3D modelling, Open GL Version 2.0 takes the lead with a whooping 98.3% of the share compared to version 1.1 and 3.0, which only represent 0.1% and 1.6% of the total. You can find the chart below.

Thank you NextPowerUp and Android Developer for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Android Developer

Three New ZTE Dual-Core Handsets Announced

ZTE has announced three new devices, Blade Q Mini, Blade Q and Blade Q Maxi in the Blade series for European market. The Blade Q Mini has a 4-inch capacitive touch screen display with a 480 x 800 pixels resolution, Blade Q has a 4.5-inch capacitive touch screen display with a 480 x 854 pixels resolution display and the Blade Q Maxi has a 5-inch capacitive touch screen display with a 480 x 854 pixels resolution.

The trio phones are powered by a 1.3 GHz dual-core MediaTek MT6572 processor with Mali 400 GPU and run on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. They pack 1GB of RAM, 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and come with 21 MB/s 3G HSPA+ connectivity. AO Wen, General Manager of ZTE Handset European Operation Office had this to say about these new Blade Q series phones:

At ZTE we believe that smartphone technology should be accessible for everyone. The popularity of the Blade series across Europe proves that there is real consumer appetite for high performance smartphones at a great price. The features available across the Blade handsets redefine ‘value for money’ in the smartphone market, and we’re confident that the ZTE Blade Q range will continue to grow ZTE’s position in Europe.


In terms of software, the handsets come pre-loaded with Evernote, Dropbox and Office Suite. There has not been any word of availability or pricing at the moment, but time will reveal everything.

Thank you Fonearena for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of Fonearena.

ARM To Announce Mali-T760 and Mali-T720 GPUs


Next-generation mobile GPUs for smartphones and tablets have been announced by ARM. The Mali-T760 and Mali-T720 have been classified for the performance and mainstream market segments, respectively. The two OpenGL ES 3.0 compatible GPUs are stated to be efficient and scalable by its designers.

“ARM Mali GPUs unit shipments have increased by more than 10x over the past two years and it is the unquestioned leader in Android devices today,” said Pete Hutton, executive vice president and general manager, Media Processing Division, ARM. “The Mali-T700 Series family builds on our industry leadership in balancing power, area and functionality while incorporating new energy-saving features at the high-end and matching the time-to-market dynamics of the low-end. This combination gives our SoC partners a competitive edge, without compromising on performance and energy-efficiency.”

The Mali-T760 is designed for high-performance, and sometimes even scalar SoCs that cover not just high-performance handhelds, but also high-density HPC environments that require a lot of parallel processing. An SoC with the Mali-T760 is scalable up to 16 cores, compared to its predecessor’s 8-core scalability, the Mali-T678. The chip also claims a 400 percent energy efficiency increase over the Mali-T604, which is the first performance GPU based on the “Midgard” micro-architecture.

The Mali-T720 is the company’s first mid-range GPU design to feature OpenGL ES 3.0 support, and is heavily optimized for Android, which received support for the API since Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. MediaTek, Rockchip, and Samsung each expressed interest in ARM’s new GPU IP.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of NextPowerUp.

Micromax Canvas Turbo with 5-inch 1080p display, 2GB RAM, 13MP To Launch In India

Micromax has launched the most expected Canvas Turbo, the company’s latest flagship smartphone in India. It has a 5.0-inch having a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, CGS (Continuous Grain Silicon) IPS display, powered by 1.5 GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6589T processor and runs on Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean. It has a 13-megapixel auto focus rear camera with LED Flash and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera similar to the Canvas 4. It has Camerazzi camera which offers a lot of features including 360 degree panorama, Cinemagraph that lets users animate still photographs (.GIF) and Object Eraser feature allows users to erase unwanted objects from still pictures that are shot with the smartphone.

The Canvas Turbo has Freewheel feature which gives access to various apps and features with one click (SMS, Call, Pop-up video player and Pop-up Browser). It has full aluminum casing and packs a 2000 mAh battery. It supports OTA updates and comes pre-loaded with BBM & Hike for Instant Messaging, Spuul to Watch Free Movies, Kingsoft Office to read, write and edit attachments On-the-Go, M!Security, M!Unlock, M!Live portal and Game-hub.

The Micromax Canvas Turbo comes in pristine white and midnight blue colors and is priced at Rs. 19,990 (MOP). It would be available from leading retail outlets across India from October 26, 2013.

Thank you Fonearena for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Fonearena

Galaxy Gear To Finally Support Galaxy S4, SIII, Note 2, and other Samsung devices

One of the Galaxy Gear’s most unfortunate drawbacks was the watch being incompatible with anything except the Galaxy Note 3. It seems that this is not the case from now on. Beginning this month, Gear will finally spread its horizons and play nicely with other Galaxy devices.

Samsung announced Wednesday that Galaxy Gear will now work with the Galaxy S4, S III, and Note II through the latest Jelly Bean update. Samsung will also extend Gear compatibility to other Galaxy devices through a separate software update beginning at the end of October. Expect Gear compatibility to make its way to the Galaxy S4 mini, S4 Active, Mega 5.8, Mega 6.3, and S4 Zoom.

In the run-up to the Galaxy Gear announcement, everyone was hoping for an open device that could work with all mobile devices, but were disappointed to learn that Samsung seemed to view Gear as little more than an accessory for the Note 3.

While this new approach may help Gear survive beyond this Christmas season, it is probably not a viable long-term strategy. With the bounty of smartwatch competition coming down the pike, the market winner will be the one that successfully embraces the largest pool of varied mobile phone spectrum, not just a narrow band.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information.

T-Mobile HTC One Receiving Android 4.3, UK Users To Wait Until Next Month

As promised by HTC America’s President, the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update for the T-Mobile variant of HTC’s flagship Smartphone for the year 2013, has begun rolling out. The Android 4.3 Jelly Bean update brings a ton of new features across the board, but not for the US. Sadly, this region’s update is limited to a new OS, some minor bug fixes and the usual Android 4.3 godies. Meanwhile, folks from across the globe get to enjoy an improved camera experience and HTC Sense 5.5, which also allows you to switch BlinkFeed off.

Meanwhile, the same update for the UK region is scheduled for next month. The reason for this delay is undoubtedly all of the internal testing being carried out by UK carriers, which frankly should be hurried up. Sad, considering international users have been toying with the new OS for weeks now.

Here is the official tweet regarding the UK update release: “@JasonMacHTC @IvanSolyara @HTC_UK Hi Ivan, we are expecting to release 4.3 update in the UK in 3–5 weeks. Thanks for your tweet!”

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Stable CyanogenMod 10.1 Port Available For Xperia SP

The CyanogenMod for Sony’s mid-range Xperia SP has been finally made available, although not officially…yet. A couple of Android ROM developers took it up to task to port the zippy and light custom ROM over to the Xperia SP, and have met with great success. Almost every bug has been fixed and nearly everything is working, save for FM Radio. If you don’t use that feature, this ROM is good to go as your daily driver.

Here is the post by one of the developers, Brinly Taylor:

“So here it is +CyanogenMod 10.1 for the Xperia SP
This port was done by +Adam Farden(adfad666) +Giulio Cervera(Kali- for his awesome fixes once we got it booting) +Brinly Taylor (your’s truly aka uberlaggydarwin) in no particular order.

Sources are on github.com/XperiaSP-AOSP/ but more details on that later 😀

Everything works now  (including RIL – eagleeyetom’s simcard is in his other device)

Thanks +Tomek Kondrat(eagleeyetom- the mod on XDA) for the screenshots and the encouragement and motivation and organisation on IRC.
Some details coming up later 😀 ”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VGVOxYQEBQ[/youtube]

CM10.1 brings Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean to a phone that is still stuck on the now ancient Android 4.1.2. And looking at the leaked Xperia Android update schedule, it doesn’t look like the device is slated to receive any official software update to a new version of Google’s OS anytime soon. There’s a video which shows just how stable and smooth the port is running on the device. Interested users should definitely give this a try if you’re looking for some stock Android action.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image and video courtesy of NextPowerUp.

Nexus 7 2013 To Arrive Next Month, Former Nexus 7 Priced At Rs. 8,999 In India

It appears that Nexus news is in the top of it all this week, and here’s another one that is more specific to the Indian sub-continent. Sources close to The Times Of India have revealed that the new Google Nexus 7 2013 tab will be launched in India early next month. Running on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, the new Nexus 7 features an impressive 7-inch Full HD display having a 1920 x 1200 resolution, a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8064 SoC, 2 GB of RAM, 5 MP rear camera with 1080p recording, 1.2 MP front camera, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, Wireless Charging, 16 or 32 GB of internal storage and a 3,950 mAh battery. According to the publication, Google is currently testing local apps on the tablet, which will come pre-installed with the tablet. The retail pricing is expected to fall between the range of Rs. 16,000 to Rs. 18,000 for the 16 GB WiFi variant.

In other news, online retailer Flipkart is selling the first-generation Nexus 7 16 GB for an irrestibly attractive price of just Rs. 8,999. For all those who have been looking for a quality budget Android tablet, look no further. The Nexus 7 will serve all your needs, and more. Better yet, it actually costs lesser than many Chinese and local Indian branded tablets.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of NextPowerUp.

LG Announces G Pad 8.3 On The US Market

LG announced US availability of G Pad 8.3, its comeback attempt at a flagship tablet, in the interesting size category of 8-inch class, that sees the likes of iPad mini, Galaxy Note 8.0. The US market gets the WiFi-only variant, available through popular electronics stores, such as Best Buy, where it will be in stock nationwide, starting from November 3rd.

The G Pad 8.3 builds on the design scheme of the LG G2, it features an 8.3-inch IPS LCD screen with WUXGA (1920 x 1200 pixels) resolution, which converts to 273 ppi of pixel density. Its primary camera features a 5-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor. Under the hood is Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 SoC, with a quad-core Krait 400 CPU clocked at 1.7 GHz; wired to 2 GB of RAM, up to 16 GB of storage that’s expandable, and a 4600 mAh battery. It runs Android 4.1.2 “Jelly Bean,” with the same UI as the LG G2.

LG didn’t reveal US Pricing of the G Pad 8.3, so we have to wait a bit. Thank God it’s not the end of the world.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with the information.

Samsung Galaxy Light Announced by T-Mobile

T-Mobile US has announced plans to launch the Samsung Galaxy Light, a new entry-level 4G LTE handset. Looking like a cross between a Galaxy S3 Mini and Galaxy S4 Mini, the Galaxy Light packs a 4-inch WVGA display, a quad-core 1.4GHz processor and 1GB of RAM, and runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. There’s 8GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD card, and the phone ships with a 1800mAh battery and a 5-megapixel camera.

So nothing much to write home about, but T-Mobile should be targeting a low price point for the device when it launches at some undisclosed point in the future. Since not everybody in the world can buy the Galaxy S4, or do not want to buy it and want something cheaper, the Light version could satisfy their needs. It will also be the latest tech, not Galaxy S3 Mini or later versions of mini devices, so if the Galaxy S4 is too high-tech, the Galaxy Light could be the answer for you.

Meanwhile today sees the launch of Alcatel’s affordable OneTouch Evolve on T-Mobile, which can be yours for $28 down payment, and afterwards a 24 monthly subscription payments of $3.

Thank you Android Central for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Android Central.

Argos Launch Own-brand Budget Tablet Called MyTablet

Argos are quite late to the Android party, but that hasn’t stopped them from producing their own budget friendly device in time for the holiday season. This is just weeks after another UK retailer, Tesco, launched their own android tablet.

The 7″ device will retail for around £100, will run Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 and come pre-loaded with apps such as Angry Birds and BBC iPlayer. It will be available in both pink and silver, and the specs and style of the device are targeted right at the 8-13 year old market, as the devices also come pre-set with parental controls enabled.

While it may not be the best performing device ever with a 1.6GHz dual-core processors, a 1024 x 600 resolution LCD glass screen, 8GB of memory, Wi-Fi and BlueTooth, it isn’t exactly garbage either and it’s certainly a cheaper and likely more responsible option as a Christmas gift for a child than something like an iPad.

Branding is everything on this device as while it maybe targeted at a younger audience, it is still a capable device that falls in line with similar price products from the likes of Asus, Amazon, HP and more.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechRadar.

Sony Xperia Z1Rumored To Get Android 4.4 KitKat Update On November 7th

The most anticipated android update, which is the Android 4.4 Kit-Kat, will hit the Sony’s latest flagship that was launched at the IFA 2013 in Berlin Xperia Z1. Rumors are that Sony is working on its update platform and will roll out Android 4.4 updates in November to its devices. November the 7th is the date for the Xperia Z1 and after that, Sony will release this new update to its other Smartphones as well and there is a chance that after the Xperia Z1, Xperia Z and Xperia Z Ultra will be powered up with the Android 4.4 Kit-Kat.

The rumors also tell us that the Android 4.4 Kit-Kat will be bundled with many changes and will include some great enhancements and features, so probably this update is supposed to be big and could bring huge changes to the Sony Xperia flagships.The update will also bring security and bug fixes and optimized X-Reality Engine will also be bundled with this update.But unfortunately there is no official words on it so consider this news as the rumor.

To sum it all up, Sony will most likely skip Android 4.3 update for its latest flagship Xperia Z1 like Samsung recently do with the Galaxy S3 and its other Smartphones as Samsung have skipped Android 4.2.2 update.

Thank you Android SAS for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Android SAS.

HTC Sense 5.5 Screenshots Leaked

HTC Sense 5.0 has been on the market for some time now and in the past few weeks this, considered by many as the best Android UI, also has been released for HTC One X and HTC One X+.

There has been some speculations for months now that HTC has already been working on the next version of their famous UI – HTC Sense 5.5. Some of the Sense 5.5 features are already present in the latest HTC One Android 4.3 build, however they are currently disabled in the framework since they are not yet fully compatible.

Today, the HTC Sense 5.5 interface has been leaked and detailed screenshots of the UI have emerged on the internet. The HTC Sense 5.5 UI can be seen in detail below:

HTC’s beautiful and minimalism focused Sense 5.5 user interface update is scheduled to arrive soon with the upcoming HTC One Max phablet.

The new images have revealed that BlinkFeed can now be switched off, which is a major plus for those who were annoyed by this feature and did not want to use it at all.

Additionally, the camera app will get two new features titled Panorama+ and Dual Capture. In the notifications toggle, a new option called “Do Not Disturb” has been added, but it will most probably be a type of Flight Mode implementation.

Thank you Android Revolution HD and NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images  courtesy of Android Revolution HD.

Galaxy Gear To Work With Other Android Devices Besides The Note 3

When they unveiled the Galaxy Gear, Samsung announced that it can exclusively pair with only the newly released Galaxy Note 3, and other devices such as the Galaxy S4 after receiving a software update. There has not been any word about any update for android devices, especially Samsung android device, to make the Galaxy Gear compatible with something else rather than the Galaxy Note 3.

It comes to no surprise that the Korean electronics company lied about that. But who would not try to hide the compatibility options available for the device if you are a company like Samsung which wants to sell its newly released toys. Recently, a developer from the  XDA Developers forums was successful in modifying and then installing the Galaxy Gear compatibility app onto his HTC One, which was running on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean. He reported that every single feature was working, except for S-Voice.

However, after installing the same app on a HTC One with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, the Galaxy Gear remained incompatible. To mention here is that the app installed on the Android 4.2.2 HTC was installed by another developer and it is not yet clear if the issue is the app itself or the Android version. But of course, the results of the first test still remain valid.

It comes to the conclusion that Samsung has intentionally restricted the Galaxy Gear to be compatible only with the Galaxy Note 3. But since the Android platform is open-source and developers can easily “play” with the software, it is a matter of time until an unofficial version of the app that is compatible with multiple Android devices surfaces.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of NextPowerUp.

 

Android 4.2.2 Rolling Out To Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Handsets

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 owners can now update their tablet to Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, either via Samsung Kies or using the inbuilt OTA updater functionality. The new software update is only for the WiFi variant of the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0.

Just like the LTE version before this, Android 4.2.2 brings a host of improvements in terms of battery optimizations and performance tweaks. There’s your usual DayDream, lock screen widgets and quick-setting toggles, which are standard goodies with the newer Jelly Bean operating system. Also, Samsung has made some changes to many of their S Apps, like S Planner and other inbuilt apps like Contacts and E-Mail.

If you are a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 owner haven’t already updated it, head onto either Kies or OTA updater in order to download the new 4.2.2 update.

Thank you AndroidCentral for providing us with this information.

Android 4.3 Jelly Bean Available for HTC One Handsets

Great news for HTC One users as the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updated has started to be available for OTA download. It is reported also that the HTC One will run smoother and faster with the new 4.3 OS than the Samsung competitor, the Galaxy S4.

The update started to become available to unlocked HTC One devices on the 28th of September and carrier locked phones will soon be given the update later on (if not already received). It is worth noting that Android 4.4 KitKat will soon be available in October, so updates are on the roll for android users.

The main improvements that users will see in the new Android 4.3 update for HTC One are:

  • Improved colour contrast in low-light environments using the camera
  • New battery charging animation in power-off state
  • Video highlights can now feature soundtracks
  • New radios
  • Several bug fixes
  • Improved overall system performance

Aside from the modifications and improvements provided by HTC to the One smartphone, the new firmware features several Jelly Bean goodies from the Android 4.3 version.

Some features owners should expect from the new software update are as follows:

  • OpenGL ES 3.0 version for realistic and high performance 3D graphics rendering
  • Virtual surround sound powered by Fraunhofer Cingo – Beats Audio technology may have overridden this
  • Bluetooth Low Energy and compatibility with Bluetooth Smart accessories
  • Improved dial pad functionality with Autocomplete
  • Better keyboard and text input
  • Wi-Fi only location scanning
  • Disabled apps tab found in the “Settings > Applications”
  • Additional language support
  • Enhanced photo daydream
  • Faster switching from the lock screen

Thank you Gadget.ro and IBTimes for providing us with this information.

 

Pricing and Launch Date Revealed For the Gionee Elife E6

The monolithic 5-inch handset is expected to launch on the 3rd of October, at a launch event held in New Delhi, India. Any pre-orders for the device will begin at that date and the shipping is expected to start on October 11.

Gionee has a monolithic design focus on the Elfie E6 which gives it a solid cuboid with less rounded edge look. It will be available in glossy black and white colour trims, having a 5-inch IPS LCD screen with full HD resolution ( 1920 x 1080 pixels ), a 13-megapixel BSI CMOS camera with 5 piece lens systems optimized for low-light photography and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera capable of 1080p video calls.

In terms of specs, the Elife E6 features an unknown SoC that is comprised of a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU @ 1.5 GHz, 2GB of RAM, 32 GB of Flash Memory (non-expandable sadly) and a 2000mAh battery.

The handset is said to be running the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system and is priced at roughly $350 ( £217 ).

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of NextPowerUp.

Amazon to Roll Out Kindle Fire HDX in November

Amazon have launched two new Kindle Fire tablets; the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX and the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX 8.9. Amazon has also upgraded the software so that the core is now based upon Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.

In terms of performance, both HDX models are equipped with a staggering 2.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, the Adreno 330 graphics chip and 2GB of memory.

The Kindle HDX and HDX 8.9 resolutions have also been enhanced to 1920 x 1200 (323 ppi) and 2560 x 1600 (339 ppi) respectively. Aside from the increase in performance and pixel density, both new tablets provide significantly better battery life.

In addition the new tablets come with more storage options, faster Wi-Fi and an optional 4G connectivity feature as well as front facing HD cameras. The HDX 8.9″ however offers customers a 8MP rear-facing camera for the enthusiasts that want to capture that right picture at the right moment.

An upgraded version of Amazon’s custom Android Fire OS called “Mojito” has also been added, along with the “Mayday” feature deemed a “revolutionary on-device tech support system” by Amazon.

The Mayday service is available 24/7, 365 days a year at the touch of a button. You will be able to contact an Amazon Tech Advisor within 15 seconds with any of your tech inquiries. The assistant can “co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you – whatever works best”. This feature has been added, according to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, because “You shouldn’t have to be afraid of your device”.

The Kindle Fire HDX models will be available for customers starting November the 7th. More about prices and specs can be viewed below.

Thank you Hexus for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of Hexus.

LG Reveal G Pad 8.3 Tablet

In the run up to IFA 2013 LG have revealed their latest tablet creation – the G Pad 8.3. Unsurprisingly the 8.3 denotes the screen size in inches, 8.3 inches, and the screen uses a 273 PPI 1920 by 1200 display using an LCD panel and 16:10 resolution. The G Pad 8.3 is powered by Qualcomm’s quad core Krait 300 CPU clocked at 1.7GHz with 2GB of LPDDR2 RAM. This means it is part of the Snapdragon 600 series. The unit has a rear firing 5MP camera, a 1.3MP front facing camera and 16GB of internal flash storage.

LG will provide the G Pad 8.3 with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and it will be equipped with LG’s “QSlide” multi-tasking software and their “Knock On” display power on software. LG have also added “QPair” which lets the tablet pick up calls and messages from any other Jelly Bean smartphone. The whole device is powered by a 4600 mAh battery which should give good battery life of at least 5 hours but LG did not state any specifics.

Pricing and availability is TBA but $450+ seems like a reasonable guess. More will be revealed at IFA 2013 in Germany from June 5th.

Image courtesy of LG

Android 4.3 WiFi Updates Detailed

While Android 4.3, the next revision of Google’s mobile operating system, has yet to be revealed we are hearing more details of what the update will bring. The main change, according to Android Police, is that their will be new WiFi power settings. This will allow applications to search for a WiFi connection even if the WiFi is turned off.

“To improve location accuracy and for other purposes, Google and other apps may scan for nearby networks, even when Wi-Fi is off. If you don’t want this to happen, go to Advanced > Scanning always available”

Of course what’s interesting is that the new feature can be completely turned off if users don’t agree with apps being able to do this kind of thing.

Furthermore Android 4.3 shows an updated Roboto typeface with an additional 15 glyphs. These will be up to 30% larger in size and will just give the typeface a more refined, balanced and dynamic look than before. We aren’t sure when Android 4.3 is coming but with more and more leaked details being revealed expect it within a month or so.

Image courtesy of Google

Sony Announce Mammoth 6.4 Inch Xperia Z Ultra Smartphone

Sony’s Xperia Z smartphone has been hugely popular in the android smartphone market thanks to its fancy 1080p screen, high performance hardware and waterproof design. Today Sony have taken the Xperia Z to the next level by unveiling the Xperia Z Ultra which boasts a 6.4 inch touch screen display with the same 1920 by 1080 full HD resolution of the Xperia Z. At 6.4 inches it really does fall in between that Tablet/Smartphone divide and the Xperia Z Ultra is designed to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy Mega that has as 6.3 inch display.

Under the hood of the Xperia Z Ultra is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz quad core processor along with 16GB of internal storage, a microSD expansion slot, 3000 mAh battery, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS, IP55 and IP58 certifications and all this is just 6.5mm thick. The Xperia Z Ultra has support for 4G LTE and Pentaband HSPA.

Sony have also packed in other Sony-specific features such as ClearAudio+, Xloud loudness enhancement and STAMINA Mode for improved battery life.  Sony has stated that this brand new handset will arrive in Q3 of this year in white black or purple. Specific network carrier availability and pricing details will be released nearer the time on a market-by-market basis.

Images courtesy of Sony