Samsung Galaxy Nexus (global)
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.
Google today announced that it is now pushing the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update en masse to the HSPA+ variant of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Google said that Galaxy Nexus owners can expect their device to update within the next few days, and they will be alerted when the update is available. Google expects to deliver Jelly Bean to the Nexus S and Motorola Xoom later this month. Android 4.1 includes significantly improved user interface performance, Google Now, and a range of other tweaks.
Google today made Android 4.1 Jelly Bean available in its entirety to the Android Open Source Project. The move is meant to provide developers with a working image of the platform for use with devices other than Nexus-branded smartphones and tablets. Additionally, Google released proprietary binaries for the Nexus 7 and Galaxy Nexus, and those for the Nexus S and Xoom will follow soon. The name of the tagged release is android-4.1.1_r1, and the name of the development branch is jb-dev.
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is once again available from the Google Play Store, though shipping times are quoted at "1 - 2 weeks." The device was recently banned and then un-banned from sales in the U.S. thanks to the constantly-changing legal decisions.
Google recently finished pushing out the Android 4.0.4 system update to the unlocked, GSM/HSPA+ global variant of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The update provides mostly under-the-hood code tweaks. The bulk of other Galaxy Nexus variants have already been updated to 4.0.4.
Google confirmed to ABC News that it will resume sales of the Galaxy Nexus starting next week. The device was pulled from the Google Play Store's virtual store shelves earlier this week due to a judicial ruling related to patent lawsuits between Samsung and Apple. Google told ABC News that the Galaxy Nexus will be updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and the update will address the issue behind the sales ban. The patent in question relates to how the Google search bar parses through multiple applications on Android phones at the same time. Apple has a patent for this type of search related to its Siri service.
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.
Google has released a minor update to Google Wallet, its mobile payment tool. The updates include user interface changes, improved management of Citi Mastercards, and more flexible prepaid card top-ups. The update is compatible with the Sprint Nexus S 4G and unlocked versions of the Galaxy Nexus running with AT&T SIM cards. The updated software is free.
Google today announced that it is delivering a small system update to the GSM variants of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S, in addition to the Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi edition. Android 4.0.4 brings stability improvements, better camera performance, smoother screen rotation, and improved phone number recognition. Google said that the update will become available to other devices in the coming weeks, though it declined to name them.
Google Wallet has become visible to AT&T variants of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S. The application was previously only available to the Sprint version of the Nexus S (though unofficial workarounds for other handsets were possible). The appearance of the application means that Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S owners will be able to download, install, and use the NFC-based Google Wallet mobile payment system to make purchases at select retailers in select cities around the U.S. Google Wallet is still officially unavailable to the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus.
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.
Adobe today indicated that it will provide an update to the Adobe Flash Player 11.1 and AIR 3.1 runtimes in December in order to bring Flash compatibility to the Galaxy Nexus. The Galaxy Nexus will not support Flash at launch.
According to Google, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich does support USB Mass Storage mode for external storage, but not for internal memory. The reason for this is because all systems running Android 3.0 and up unify how they see internal memory (meaning no longer separate memory for media storage and for applications). The code for Android 3.0/4.0 uses a protocol called MTP to manage internal memory. Windows-based PCs can recognize MTP and see it as a separate drive, but Apple computers do not. This means any device that has only internal memory for apps and media — such as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus — won't support USB Mass Storage. Devices that have external memory cards (i.e., microSD cards) will still be able to support USB Mass Storage. Using the new unified view of memory allows users to access their full storage allotment for applications while keeping the operating system safe. The trade-off is that many devices will no longer have traditional USB Mass Storage support. Instead, Android users will have to rely on a third-party syncing client that supports the MTP protocol to gain direct access to their device storage.
Google confirmed that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the first Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone, does not ship with Adobe's Flash Player for Mobile. Flash is not preloaded on the Galaxy Nexus, and is not available for download from the Android Market to the Galaxy Nexus. In a statement provided to SlashGear, Google said, "Flash hasn’t been released for ICS yet so as far as we know, Adobe will support Flash for ICS." Earlier this month Adobe announced plans to cease all development of Flash Player for Mobile. Adobe later responded to the Ice Cream Sandwich issue and said, "Adobe will release one more version of the Flash Player for mobile browsing, which will provide support for Android 4.0 — expected to be released before the end of this year." After that, Adobe will move to a support-only mode for Flash Player Mobile, providing security and bug fix updates as necessary.
Google today made the source code of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich available to developers. This build of Android is the specific version that will ship on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, the first Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone, and is numbered 4.0.1. Google said that the code contains the entire Android family tree, including 3.2 Honeycomb, but Google prefers that developers ignore Honeycomb and focus all efforts on Ice Cream Sandwich instead. The source code is free to download.