Last week, Apple posted a $2.6 million bond in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to ban the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet from being sold in the United States. As soon as Apple got their preliminary injunction and posted their bond, Samsung filed their appeal for a stay of the injunction. Judge Lucy Koh, the same judge who has decided many of the recent lawsuits, will hear arguments sometime soon.
Apple and Samsung are the world's two biggest makers of high-end phones including the Apple iPhone 4S, Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy S2, Galaxy Note and Galaxy Nexus. They’ve been accusing each other of copying designs and technology for mobile devices and are locked in patent battles all over the world. What’s at stake are profits from the $119 billion global tablet market.
Smartphone users who find themselves in the vicinity of dangerous weather will get a text message from the National Weather Service. The NWS’s new Wireless Emergency Alerts system is designed to get weather warnings to those not plugged into television or radio. Warnings will be delivered for impending rough weather due to tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis, flash floods, extreme winds, blizzards, and ice and dust storms.
According to Amy Storey, spokeswoman for CTIA-The Wireless Association (the trade group that helped set up the system), “These alerts will make sure people are aware of any impending danger and provide them with the information needed so they can be safe until the threat is over.”
Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile will offer the service nationwide. To start, AT&T will only offer it in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon but plans to add additional markets soon. Apple will support the service this fall. It’s not yet certain if older iPhones will get the text warnings.
The CyanogenMod blog finally announced the release of its CM9, Release Candidate 1 starting with 37 different devices. The first wave of devices that will be receiving their RC1 build of CyanogenMod 9 ROM include the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Motorola Xoom, Galaxy S2, Galaxy Note, ASUS Transformer and the HTC Sensation.
Watch the list of devices that can benefit from the build get longer quickly. The team made this commitment via its CyanogenMod blog, “As we’ve mentioned before, this release serves as the first wave of RC1′s. With the ‘core’ OS stabilized, our device maintainers will continue to work on their device trees to bring up more devices, this includes some of the newer releases as well as some from the older generations; but we’ll save that for another day,” the team said.
If you love flashing your Android device with a custom ROM, CyanogenMod is one of the most popular ROMs out there. It’s known for being one of the fastest and most stable custom ROMs available.
To see if you’re device has made the release candidate list, head on over to Get.CM now. If you don’t see it there yet, keep checking back.
The owners of Samsung Galaxy S2 devices on the AT&T network have finally received Android 4.0, and Samsung promises not to take it away again. Last week, a few AT&T customers reported that one minute they had access to the Ice Cream Sandwich update on their phone and the next they didn’t.
Samsung apparently yanked the updates from the Kies app, saying they hadn’t finished their testing. Now it looks like Samsung has already put everything back in its place because users are reporting that the update is running smoothly again.
If you’d like to see what the ICS looks like on the Samsung Galaxy S2, check out the pictures posted in the XDA Developers forum.
T-Mobile Galaxy S2 users have been enjoying their ICS since June 12. We hope AT&T is done monkeying around with theirs.
The founder of one of Europe’s leading illegal movie-streaming sites confessed and apologized for his crimes and got his sentence cut in half by a German judge. Deutsche Welle reported that 39-year-old Kino.to founder “Dirk B.” has been sentenced to 4.5 years in jail. He could have been ordered to spend 11 years in prison, but received a reduced sentence after confessing to his copyright infringement crimes.
Dirk B. will have to pay a $4.7 million fine to cover 1.1 million instances of copyright infringement. While in operation, Kino.to is estimated to have brought in as much as $8 million in advertising revenue.
Most recently, law enforcement officials in Sweden first raided The Pirate Bay in 2006, and the company’s founders were eventually sentenced to jail and forced to pay millions in fines. The service remained online, however, and it is still operational today. “The Swedish district attorney Fredrik Ingblad initiated a new investigation into The Pirate Bay back in 2010. Information has been leaked to us every now and then by multiple sources, almost on a regular basis. It’s an interesting read,” The Pirate Bay said on its blog. “We can certainly understand why WikiLeaks wished to be hosted in Sweden, since so much data leaks there. The reason that we get the leaks is usually that the whistleblowers do not agree with what is going on. Something that the governments should have in mind – even your own people do not agree.”
Intel’s first Android cell phone, the Orange San Diego (once known as the Santa Clara), performed quite well for a debut device from a first-time smartphone manufacturer. Packed with a (1024 x 600) 4-inch LCD, 8-megapixel camera with flash, micro-HDMI port and 1GB of RAM, the San Diego appears to be a solid, mid-range Android device. During its pre-launch, Intel didn’t over-promise on the San Diego, but focused on a few priorities: good web browsing performance, a high-quality camera and maximum battery life.
Watch the following insightful video on the Intel smartphone
The Orange San Diego’s look like a smartphone should. The cell phone case is durable but is a pretty ordinary design. Its black body is ringed by a silver border. There’s nothing special about the finish or any of the other body parts. The soft-touch backing is a nice feature for such an inexpensive phone, but it will still need the protection of a skin or a case to keep it blemish-free.
Along the right side of the 10mm edge are the volume rocker, micro-SIM slot and two-stage camera button. The micro-USB port is at the bottom. The mini-HMDI output is along the left side. All of the buttons are responsive. The camera button even quick launches the camera.
The Orange San Diego resembles a Samsung Galaxy S2 or an iPhone 3GS, but the prominent bezel below the screen gets in the way of it being as user-friendly as those two devices.
That the San Diego has a 4-inch screen is a nice surprise. While there’s no Super AMOLED Plus or Super LCD 2, the contrast is sharp and the colors are rich, although there is a little discoloration on the edges. The 1024 x 600 is screen is ample. When turned up to full brightness the screen was almost readable in full daylight.
There’s almost 11GB of storage space, but no expansion slot. The whole phone is sealed, so the battery is not removable, so a quick reset by removing the battery is not a possibility.
The camera can be controlled by the physical button or the touchscreen. The rear-facing camera can record 1080p video. The four capacitive buttons can be read in daylight. They also illuminate if lighting is too low.
This is probably the biggest disappointment. While the camera is an 8-megapixel / 1.3-megapixel camera duo, you can’t judge this phone’s performance by its specs. Those 8-megapixels don’t live up to their reputation with this phone. While it is capable of burst capture, images are blurry and colors are washed out. Overall, photos appear dull and images aren’t very detailed. Color reproduction indoors was no better. Problems seem to improve a bit when operating in macro mode.
You’ve got a lot of camera control options including capturing multiple photos at differing exposures. The camera doesn’t have an HDR mode, but you can download your images, and turn them into HDR on separate hardware. The camera does have several auto exposure modes (including aperture and shutter priority), shutter-speed adjustment, anti-banding options, RAW mode, ISO settings (800 maximum) and a burst-mode capable of 15 frames per second for up to 10 shots, but you might not have much use for them given the overall mediocre performance of the camera.
Video produced the same ho-hum results. White balancing helped with fuzziness, but also washed-out whites. Autofocus performed well but slowly.
The San Diego’s OS is Android Gingerbread. The phone should be Android 4.0-capable, and that will be available later this year. It's hard to tell what was customized in the Orange San Diego’s OS. There are gesture features that could be useful. Drawing a symbol with your finger across the home screen or with any app acts as a shortcut that will take you to your pre-identified location. You can assign up to 27 shortcuts to apps, contacts, playlists and even Foursquare places.
Popular apps like Orange Wednesday come pre-installed but so do less-useful apps like the Orange Assistant, a redundant user guide and an NFC tags app. The presence of the NFC app doesn’t make much sense. The phone is NFC-capable, but it doesn’t come with taggable cards, and it’s not connected to Orange's existing payment service.
The display keyboard is one of the most responsive of any Android device, regardless of price. Swype is offered as an option as well. The web browser performs comparably to other dual-core Android devices. Even dense websites download easily and with little stutter.
Most apps were compatible with the new chipset, and only two didn’t work out of many tested.
Call quality was sharp and clear. Orange provides HD voice calling between the San Diego and other HD devices. The San Diego’s earSmart voice-cancellation processing is found in higher-end phones like the Galaxy S3.
Performance and Battery Life:
These are the two most important indicators of a viable future for Intel in the smartphone market.
The San Diego’s processor can’t come near a quad-core or Snapdragon S4s, but its single-core 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2460 performs like a dual-core processor.
Battery life didn't hold up to Intel’s promise of 14 days' in standby mode. It’s primarily due to the juice drained by powering the screen. The San Diego was tested with a video loop with the screen at 50 percent brightness. The phone ran out of power around seven hours and 20 minutes. That’s a result pretty much on par with other Android devices, but not bad for a 4-inch smartphone.
Day-to-day use was a lot better than many other of the latest smartphones. The battery lasted two to three days between charges. Not using the smartphone features at all gave the battery a two-week lifespan between charges.
To sum it all up:
Overall, Intel's first Android smartphone performed admirably.
The real stand-out was its Medfield processor that met and, in some cases, exceeded expectations.
The battery didn’t live up to Intel’s claims but still held its power very well.
The camera was a big disappointment. Back to the drawing board Intel.
When compared to Samsung and HTC devices the San Diego looks cheap and somewhat fragile.
It needs Ice Cream Sandwich sooner rather than later.
Priced at $308 USD, the San Diego joins a nice variety of inexpensive entry-level smartphones in the Orange family.
Recently released figures from Google about the relative number of devices running a given version of Android are showing an interesting increase in the number of active Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich devices. The numbers, which are based on the number of Android devices that have accessed Google Play within a two week period (ending on 1st May 2012), show that just under 5% of all Android devices now run Android 4.0, of these, the vast majority run 4.0.3 or 4.0.4 rather than 4.0, 4.0.1 or 4.0.2.
Samsung has come through on its promise to release the upgrade to OS 4.0 for Samsung Galaxy S2 on May 3rd.
See an actual Samsung Galaxy S2 On OS 4.0
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OS 2.3 to 4.0 will be a terrific leap in usability... optimizing both the hardware and software for all you Galaxy S2 users. Watch for it on your devices today.
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Despite all the rumors and marketing fanfare being build in anticipation of Samsung's much-awaited Galaxy S3... we are starting to see indications that this new smartphone may simply be a mirror image of its predecessor the Galaxy S3 with very minor updates. In fact, there is mounting murmurs that these inconsequential updates may not even warrant the title of the Samsung Galaxy S3.
CNET says that one of those infamous “anonymous” sources described the difference between the S3 and the S2 as the same level of improvement that the iPhone 4S brought to the iPhone 4. As such, will the consumer's enthusiasm for the Galaxy S3 turn to disappointment when they realize that the only updates may be a boost in processing power coupled with a new, borderline useful interaction feature, but not the big deal that Samsung marketing is gearing the market for.
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Moreover, it would seem that Samsung' s Galaxy S3 specs are very similar to the HTC One X smartphone - this would probably mean that the feature wise, the Galaxy S3 would have a quad-core CPU (probably an Exynos rather than Tegra), 1GB of RAM and a 4.7" screen. Leaked images of the S3 do confirm a bigger screen than the current Galaxy S2 4.3" screen.
One of the new features of the Samsung Galaxy S3 is apparently being dubbed the “ Human Interaction”... which uses the device’s front-facing camera to keep track of where the user’s eyes are pointed. it automatically locks the screen to the image when user's look away.
We’ll have to wait until Samsung’s May 3rd event, during which time they should be announcing the details for the Galaxy S3. Until then, we can just keep speculating.
The Samsung Galaxy s3 was intended to be currently on display at the Mobile World event over in Barcelona, Spain. However Samsung later opted to decline the showing at the Mobile World Congress. In a strategic move... Samsung executives have chosen wait and give the whole world one big launch date, which is yet to be announced... although reports have it set around June of this year. While we are still not sure whether this device will be launched as an unlocked cell phone or the related accessories to help protect, personalize and enhance its mobility... we do know that the Galaxy S 3 is slated for launch in over 50 major countries.
Regardless of this, it hasn’t stopped reporters getting their hands on all the specifications and features that the Samsung Galaxy s3 will have. The details have fans frothing at the mouth and word of Apple iPhone 4S and Window based Nokia Lumia phone lovers jumping ship is happening often, people are so impressed by the reports.
While one can argue that its only speculation, we need to consider that sources these days are never far off the money, if they are off at all.
Samsung Galaxy S3 specs are now the topic of discussion for the tech communities across the world. The perception that the forthcoming smart phone from Samsung will set the bar very high for its competitors to follow in the days to come seems to be true.
The following video is an excellent review of the Samsung Galaxy S 3 that whets the appetite for the highly-anticipated addition to the Android family
The new Samsung baby is going to be 4.8 inch 1024p HD Super AMOLED Plus display with a SXGA resolution of 1280 x 1024, a lot bigger than the Samsung Galaxy S2, but a tad smaller than Galaxy Note, the 5 inch smart phone from Samsun's own stable. Some sources claim that it will be a 3D display as well. In any event, we can see an advanced display from Samsung, the world leader in mobile display technology. Samsung should install a display that can really beat down the high definition Retina Display of iPhone 4S and the possible iPhone 5.
Driving this splendid device is a powerful 1.5 GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor zipping the process right along. There will be 2GB RAM. You read it right. Reports indicate that Samsung is to make its next gen Galaxy S as powerful as a laptop.
The hardware is encased in an ever-chic ceramic shell. For those that don’t care for the ceramic case, there is an ever growing array of protective cases and skins to personalize the device to your heart’s content. No matter your style, you will want to protect the 4.8 inch, “full HD” 1080p display to avoid damage and unsightly scratches with top brand bags, cases and sleeves.
As far as camera in the new Galaxy S3 is concerned, all indication point towards the fact that it will be substantially better than Galaxy S2 and Apple’s top selling iPhone 4S. Different sources report that Samsung will mount a 12-megapixel rear camera on Galaxy S3. The current version of Galaxy S2 has an 8-megapixel rear camera. Many recent or upcoming phones like iPhone 4S, Nokia Lumia 800, Motorola Droid RAZR and HTC Rezound are also up with 8-megapixel camera. So Samsung may make its Galaxy S3 a far powerful machine for image and video capturing.
The icing and the cherry on the cake are the 4G LTE capability and Android 4.0 OS bringing you the final touches of a smartphone that is beautifully designed and made.
There is no question that Samsung has the Android smartphone mastered at this point. With world-wide popularity and the manufacturer of the de facto line of Galaxy S 2 smartphones that are synonymous with “Android.” This set the bar high for a Samsung tablet. So far these expectations have fallen flat.
Hopefully this trajectory changes following the rumored cancellation of the Samsung Galaxy S III that was scheduled to launch at Mobile World Congress. According to Android And Me, the upcoming Galaxy Tab would be a great replacement with an Exynos 5250 processor with a 10 inch display and the Android 4.0 OS, Ice Cream Sandwich.
What gives this latest gossip credence is the prototype seen at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. And what will set this slate apart is the fact that it not only will have the Android 4.0 but will also be Samsung’s first mobile processor with ARM’s latest Cortex-A15 CPU core. This translates into double the computing power, augmented memory bandwidth, all-day battery life and a whopping five times the graphics horsepower of existing CPUs.
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These kinds of next-gen specs could be the turning point in Samsung’s quest to make a significant play in the tablet market. If they add in some innovative, top of the line accessories to the next release they can compete and incentivize customers to add another Samsung device into their homes. Whether those are docking stations, wireless attachments, or just artistic and great protective covers, these kinds of add-ons have the ability to solidify the popularity in this market for Samsung.
There are no details on when this would be made available to the general public, but we will be sure to keep you informed of what Samsung’s offering will be.