Samsung Galaxy Nexus (LTE)
Google today began pushing Android 4.2.1 to the Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and other Nexus-branded devices. The minor update fixes a bug that eliminated the month of December from the contact application. The update is being rolled out gradually over the air.
Samsung has notched another victory in its on-going patent war with Apple. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit today reversed a preliminary injunction that would have banned U.S. sales of the Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The Federal Court said the California court that allowed the injunction "abused its discretion." The injunction had been stayed pending the outcome of the appeal.
Verizon Wireless has detailed the Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean update for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The Jelly Bean update, which is being delivered over the air, hits the Verizon Galaxy Nexus weeks after the Sprint version and months after the international version. It adds features such as Google Now, improved voice search and dictation, more useful notifications, a better keyboard, and many others. The system update is free for the Galaxy Nexus.
Sprint filed an amicus brief with the Federal Court overseeing the Apple vs. Samsung patent trial bemoaning the use of preliminary injunctions to halt device sales. Sprint argues that "bringing a device to market takes hundreds of people approximately 9-12 months" and that "an immediate preliminary injunction against a device substantially and irreparably harms Sprint by leaving a void in its device portfolio." Sprint was forced to delay the launch of the HTC EVO 4G LTE earlier this year due to such a ban. Sprint officially opposes the court's current ban on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which it also sells. Apple and Samsung are in the middle of a protracted war over smartphone patents, and the Galaxy Nexus is the focus of preliminary injunction request by Apple. The judge overseeing the case issued a preliminary injunction banning sales of the Galaxy Nexus, but then stayed it pending appeal.
U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh on Tuesday rejected Samsung's request to lift an injunction imposed against it that bans it from selling the Galaxy Nexus device in the U.S. Judge Koh granted Apple a preliminary injunction ahead of the patent-related trial between the two companies, but required Apple to post a $95 million bond, which will be used for reparations to Samsung should Apple eventually lose its case in court. Samsung was hoping Judge Koh would stay the decision until after it has a chance to appeal. In response to the decision, Google and Samsung revealed that they have a software patch in the works that should allow the Galaxy Nexus to avoid the sales ban. The software patch has to do with the search bar that's usable from the home screen. The patch, which is to be distributed to all variants of the Galaxy Nexus, reduces the power of the search bar to searching only the web and not the device as well. For example, Galaxy Nexus owners will no longer be able to use the search bar to scour through their email or contact apps. Google didn't say when the patch will be delivered. Last, Google has apparently ceased offering the Galaxy Nexus for sale via the Google Play Store. The device was available for purchase throughout the day Tuesday, but beginning Tuesday evening was listed as "coming soon." Google didn't say why the device was no longer available for purchase. The Galaxy Nexus is still available from Verizon Wireless's web site.
A judge in San Jose today granted Apple a preliminary injunction banning sales of Samsung's Galaxy Nexus phone in the U.S. However, a hearing is already scheduled for Monday to decide whether to put the injunction on hold pending appeal. The injunction, if upheld on Monday, will remain in effect pending a trial in July. The injunction is related to an Apple patent on a universal search function that searches multiple sources from one interface. The overall case involves several other patents, such as one on slide-to-unlock.
The latest version of Android offers a lot of performance upgrades and some new whiz-bang features. Phone Scoop takes it for a spin on the Galaxy Nexus. Read our hands-on impressions of the new notification tools, camera app, and more.
Google today announced version 4.1 of its Android OS for smartphones. Nicknamed "Jelly Bean", the new OS is designed to be faster overall, and revamps keys parts of the interface. The new pull-down notifications shade lets users interact with notifications without leaving the notifications area. Interactive widgets are now easier to place on home screens, automatically resizing to fit available space. Android's voice recognition features have been improved to work offline and deliver faster results when searching. Also in search, Google Now delivers search results that are location-specific and up-to-the-minute, including information such as transit schedules, flight status, sports scores, and your personal schedule. Google search results also have a new, more visual look. The camera and gallery apps have also been revamped to make it easier to browse photos you've taken. Android Beam has been updated to make it easier to share photos and pair devices by tapping two NFC-enabled devices together. The new Google Play app store can now update apps by only downloading changed code - instead of the whole app - saving time and bandwidth. Android 4.1 will be available in mid-July for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and Motorola Xoom.
Samsung today announced the availability of TecTiles, small, programmable near-field communication stickers that can be used to activate certain actions on NFC-equipped smartphones. Using a separate Android application, the tags can be programmed to change device settings, such as join a Wi-Fi network or set the phone to silent; to initiate communications, such as a text message or a phone call; as well as to interact with social networking sites, such as to set Facebook status updates or send a message to Twitter. Users hold the phone against the tag, and it registers with a quick vibration, letting the user know that the phone read the tag. The TecTile tags can be programmed multiple times. The TecTiles work with a number of Samsung phones, including the Galaxy S III on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon; the Galaxy S II on T-Mobile; Galaxy Nexus on Verizon, Sprint and global; the Nexus S 4G on Sprint; and the Galaxy S Blaze 4G on T-Mobile. The TecTiles are sold in packs of five for $14.99, and can be purchased at AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA, and Verizon Wireless retail stores. The TecTile Android application is available for download from the Google Play Store.
Verizon Wireless has posted documentation to the support site for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus detailing the Android 4.0.4 system update. These documents generally appear just prior to the update's availability. According to the documentation, the update brings with it a significant number of bug fixes and feature enhancements. Some of them include fixes to a text messaging bug, better Wi-Fi responsiveness, improved call audio, and fewer display freezes and device crashes. The update will also improve the performance of the camera. Verizon hasn't said when it will distribute the system update.
Sprint is distributing a software update to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus that corrects a bug preventing some users from accessing Sprint's cellular data network.
Sprint today announced that it will begin selling the Samsung Galaxy Nexus on Sunday, April 22 for the price of $199.99 with a new contract. Sprint is pitching Google Wallet as an incentive with the device. Galaxy Nexus owners who activate a Google Wallet account within one week of purchasing the device will receive a $10 credit in their Google Wallet account immediately, followed by another $40 credit after three weeks. The Galaxy Nexus runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and has a 4.65-inch display, 5-megapixel camera, and 1.2GHz dual-core processor.
All of the Long Term Evolution 4G devices released by Sprint this year will use only its 1900MHz spectrum, said Sprint spokesperson David Owen in an interview with Phone Scoop. Right now, Sprint doesn't have access to Clearwire's spectrum nor LightSquared's spectrum for LTE services, so it will repurpose its 1900MHz spectrum assets to handle both its current CDMA voice/data network and future LTE data network. Sprint plans to launch the LTE network, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and LG Viper at approximately the same time, but couldn't commit to a specific date. Sprint believes its LTE roll-out will be complete by the end of 2013, though Owen wouldn't say how Clearwire and LightSquared's spectrum and LTE networks will play a role in that final 4G picture. Clearwire will not, however, expand its WiMax network beyond what it already covers and will eventually transition to LTE. Owen said that Sprint's goal is to offer smartphones and mobile hotspots that provide good battery life and fast internet speeds, no matter what network technology is being used. The new tri-network (CDMA, WiMAX, LTE) mobile hotspot offers that for data-hungry customers. Owen said that tri-network phones are cost prohibitive, so it will offer CDMA/WiMax and CDMA/LTE devices at the same time as it completes its transition from WiMax to LTE 4G networking technologies.
Sprint has published a web site talking up its forthcoming Long Term Evolution 4G network. As part of the site, it revealed that it will sell the Samsung Galaxy Nexus device with LTE support. Sprint's LTE network is expected to go live in a handful of markets before the middle of 2012.
An advertisement briefly appeared on CNet's web site today announcing a version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus with LTE for Sprint's network. The ad, which has since been pulled, revealed that the Sprint version of the Galaxy Nexus has a 1.5GHz processor, rather than the 1.2GHz processor on the global and Verizon variants. Other specs appear to be the same across versions. The mistakenly run ad showed up shortly after Sprint CEO Dan Hesse announced the company's first LTE markets, which will go live by June.
Verizon Wireless has re-confirmed that a software update is on the way to fix a signal problem being reported by some users of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Verizon Wireless spokesperson Brenda Raney told Computerworld that the update "will adjust the signal strength indicator to more closely match other Verizon Wireless devices." During Phone Scoop's tests of the Galaxy Nexus, Phone Scoop confirmed that the device has a hard time connecting to Verizon's 3G/4G networks, and voice call performance and data sessions are choppy as a result. Raney insisted "there is no issue with the performance of the device." Verizon has not said when the software update will be rolled out
Once of Verizon Wireless's official twitter accounts as acknowledged an issue affecting the Galaxy Nexus's signal performance and call quality. "The signal strength issue is currently being investigated. We don't have an ETA, but a software update is being developed," said the company. Phone Scoop gave the Galaxy Nexus poor marks for voice quality and signal capabilities in its full review.
Adobe today released an updated version of its Flash Player for Mobile. The new version is compatible with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which became available today in the U.S. on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
Verizon Wireless today announced that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus will go on sale Thursday, December 15 for $299.99 with new agreement. The Galaxy Nexus runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and can use Verizon's Long Term Evolution 4G network.
Google confirmed to CNET that its Google Wallet mobile payment service will not be included on the Galaxy Nexus, which is due to launch on Verizon's network later this month. "Verizon asked us not to include this functionality in the product," a Google spokesperson told CNET. Google Wallet is available on the Nexus S, and lets users make payments from their phones based on near-field communications technology at participating retailers. Google did not provide a reason for Verizon's request, but Verizon is a primary member of the Isis joint venture with AT&T and T-Mobile USA. Isis is a competing mobile payment service that aims to bring a different type of NFC-based payments to AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless devices. Isis has yet to launch, though Google Wallet is available in a handful of markets.
Verizon Wireless will sell the Galaxy Nexus smartphone for $299.99 with a new contract, reports the Wall Street Journal. Citing sources familiar with Verizon's plans, the device will go on sale later this month and will require a two-year commitment in order to get the subsidized sale price. Verizon Wireless has charged $299.99 for most of its Long Term Evolution 4G smartphones at launch. The Galaxy Nexus will be the first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone to officially go on sale in the U.S. when it finally becomes available. Verizon Wireless declined to comment on the Journal's story, and has yet to announce availability for the Galaxy Nexus.
Verizon Wireless today announced that it will carry a Long Term Evolution 4G version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus — the first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone — later this year. Verizon didn't provide pricing or an exact launch date.