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13 May 12 Mobile OS Madness Ahead In June

10 Ways To Get More From Your Android Device
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June is going to be a big month for iOS, Windows Phone, and Android. The progenitors of these three platforms–Apple, Microsoft, and Google, respectively–each have scheduled developer events in San Francisco throughout the month. None of the companies has tipped its hand on what to expect, but we have a pretty good idea.

Typically, these events are spread out. Microsoft typically holds its MIXX developer conference in February or March, and Google I/O is usually in April or May. This year all these events are scheduled back-to-back between June 11 and June 28.

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is set for June 11-15 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Microsoft’s event, the Windows Phone Developer Summit, is scheduled for June 20 and 21. A location has yet to be announced, though it will likely be at Moscone. Last, Google I/O is taking place at Moscone June 27-29.

In other words, we’ll learn about changes to iOS, Windows Phone, and Android in an action-packed, 17-day timeframe. It’s going to be fun. Here’s what we might see.

– Worldwide Developer Conference (iOS). Apple is likely to offer a preview of iOS 6, which is the platform used by the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Reports are mixed on whether iOS 6 will be a transformational change for Apple’s smartphone platform. Though iOS has added hundreds, if not thousands, of new features since its 2007 debut, the overall look and feel of the platform is beginning to look dated.

Possible new features on deck: a brand new Maps app and improved app compatibility with iCloud. InformationWeek‘s Tom Claburn has a laundry list of features he’d like to see in iOS. They include better or replaceable native apps, an API for Siri, and choice of browser.

Apple always manages to pull off a few surprises with its iOS revelations. Once it announces a new iOS, Apple will make a beta available to developers that will go through 10 to 12 weeks of updates before general release to the public. That aligns things pretty well with a probable October debut of the iPhone 5.

– Windows Phone Developer Summit (Windows Phone 8). Microsoft has yet to admit that Windows Phone 8 exists. It might not yet have an official name (the code name is Apollo), but it wouldn’t make sense for Microsoft to refer to the next version of Windows Phone as anything other than Windows Phone 8. In fact, Microsoft’s carrier and handset partners are already referring to Apollo as Windows Phone 8, even if Microsoft isn’t.

Windows Phone 8 will tie together all the work Microsoft has done with Zune, Windows Phone 7, and Windows 8 over the last several years. Microsoft revealed Windows 8 and its desktop and tablet components in February. Windows 8 is expected to reach general availability by this fall. Based on my experience with Microsoft’s system-level updates, a June debut of Windows Phone 8 and its developer tools points to a fall release for the final build of the software.

What sort of features will we see? Hard to say. The most important aspect will be the similarities between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. It will present a more cohesive look and feel–which could help Microsoft boost adoption of Windows Phone. Other possibilities include a zippier user interface, support for enterprise VPNs, a revamped IE browser, and platform-level Skype integration.

– Google I/O (Android 5.0 Jelly Bean). Google is delaying its Google I/O developer event by more than six weeks compared to previous years. The Android-maker didn’t provide a reason for the delay. It simply could be related to venue availability. Or, it could be because Google needed the additional time to pull together code for the next version of Android.

Looking back a bit, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was released to OEMs in November 2011. Only now are we starting to see the first wave of devices arrive with Android 4.0 on board. Based on what I saw this past week while attending the CTIA wireless trade show, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich will begin to gather critical mass in June and July when a wave of new handsets reach the market with the software installed.

This begs the question, is it too early for Android 5.0? It might be.

Google previously has said it intended to scale back new versions of Android to once-per-year updates, which keeps it on pace with competitors Apple and Microsoft. If Google doesn’t show off a brand-new version of Android, I expect it will at the very least launch major new apps, services, or components of the operating system. For example, last year’s Google I/O brought the Google Music service, which later became a part of the Google Play Store.

So, what do you think? Is June going to be the single most exciting month in the history of smartphones? It certainly has the potential to be. I look forward to all the developer events on the calendar to see what we’ll be talking about for the rest of the year.

At this interactive Enterprise Mobility Virtual Event, experts and solution providers will offer detailed insight into how to bring some order to the mobile industry innovation chaos. When you register, you will gain access to live webcast presentations and virtual booths packed with free resources. It happens May 17.

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11 May 12 Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich Upgrade Now for ASUS Eee Pad Slider in US


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ASUS recently took to its Twitter account to announce that it would be rolling out the Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade to the ASUS Eee Pad Slider in the U.S. soon.

The company confirmed that the OTA update to Android 4.0 should be available for the device in the very near future, so all who own the Slider should be checking their update button on a regular basis.

ASUS’s complete line of tablets are already running Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. All four of them, that is.

The Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade should be coming to the Samsung Galaxy Note in the U.S. quite soon.

At a recent media event, ATT displayed the device running the new software.

“ATT is currently holding a little shindig at CTIA in New Orleans,” said 9to5 Google. “During the event, the company put a Galaxy Note on display running Ice Cream Sandwich.”

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Android Central was in attendance and filmed a short video of the Galaxy Note running the new software.

“The only real difference seems to be in the menus,” added 9to5 Google. “At any rate, if you have held off for ICS on your Galaxy Note, it looks like the update is in the pipeline.”

Rumors of the Android software coming to the tablet-smartphone hybrid have been surfacing on the internet since December of last year, and now it seems like it is finally time for the major U.S. carriers to begin rolling it out.

Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades have begun to roll out for many of Samsung’s devices overseas, including the Galaxy S2. However, the U.S. seems to be last on the company’s priority list.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 will launch at the end of this month in Europe and will come with Android 4.0 pre-installed.

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11 May 12 Sprint: Android 4.0 hitting HTC EVO 3D and HTC EVO Design 4G in June

By (@jr_raphael) G+

HTC EVO 3D HTC EVO Design 4G Android 4.0 Sprint

Got an HTC EVO 3D or HTC EVO Design 4G phone on Sprint? Good news: You’ll be getting the Android 4.0 upgrade next month, according to the carrier.

During an interview at the CTIA mobile tech show in New Orleans this week, Sprint VP of Product David Owens casually mentioned the phones’ upgrade plans while discussing their newly launched counterparts on Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile.

The prepaid versions of the EVO 3D and EVO Design 4G are launching with Ice Cream Sandwich, Owens explained, while the original Sprint versions of both phones will receive their ICS upgrades “in the June time frame.” The phones will have HTC’s Sense 3.6 interface, however, not the newer Sense 4.0 seen on the One X and One S devices.

(The EVO Design 4G discussion starts at about 6:25 into the video; the EVO 3D discussion starts at the 8:20 mark.)

Android Power TwitterFor a closer look at some of the changes Android 4.0 will bring to your phone, click over to my Android Ice Cream Sandwich FAQ. And remember, you can find the latest upgrade status for any phone or tablet in my Android 4.0 upgrade list; it’s always kept up to the date with the most current info available for all devices.    

JR Raphael writes about smartphones and other tasty technology. You can find him on , Twitter, or Facebook.

Article copyright 2012 JR Raphael. All rights reserved.

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07 May 12 CTIA 2012: AT&T, Verizon Debut LTE Phones

10 Ways To Get More From Your Android Device
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) wireless trade show kicks off in New Orleans this week and already two 4G smartphones have been unveiled. The Samsung Focus 2 for ATT brings Windows Phone on a budget, while the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE adds to Verizon’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich roster. Here are the details.

Both phones work on the respective carriers’ LTE 4G networks, which means fast mobile broadband connections. They also support mobile hotspots so other devices can connect to the speedy networks, too.

— Samsung Focus 2. As the name implies, this Windows Phone 7.5 Mango smartphone is a follow-up to last year’s Focus. It runs the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system, but the specs date from 2010.

It has a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, which is limited to 480 x 800 pixels. It is powered by a single-core 1.4-GHz processor. If you’re worried that won’t be fast enough, relax: single-core processors are all Windows Phones need for plenty of speed. The camera is 5 megapixels and records 720p HD video. The Focus 2 also has a VGA user-facing camera for video chats.

[ Read Why Apple Must Enable FaceTime On LTE. ]

The device is being offered only in “pure white,” so if you prefer a darker color, you’ll have to use a case. It measures 10.98mm thick, which is rather beefy for a modern smartphone, but it weighs just 4.3 ounces.

The best feature? Probably the price. The Samsung Focus 2 will be available May 20 for $49.99 (with two-year agreement).

– HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE. Verizon subscribers somehow have been blocked from the beautiful One X and One S handsets from HTC and will instead have to settle for this smartphone. The good news is it shares a lot of features with the One X and One S.

The Incredible sports a 4-inch screen, but it’s a Super LCD panel with 540 x 960 pixels. It runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and also uses HTC’s Sense 4.0 user experience. Under the hood, it is backed up by 1GB of RAM and a 1.2-GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

The Incredible features an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with autofocus, LED flash, back-side illumination, and 28mm lens at f/2.2. HTC has worked hard at offering the lowest-possible aperture on its smartphones, and f/2.2 is about as low as it gets. This helps boost low-light performance. The Droid Incredible 4G LTE also features a user-facing camera for video chats, NFC for Android Beam, and Beats Audio.

It will be available via Verizon’s sales channels in the coming weeks. Pricing was not disclosed by Verizon Wireless, but I’d expect it to cost somewhere close to $199.99.

At this interactive Enterprise Mobility Virtual Event, experts and solution providers will offer detailed insight into how to bring some order to the mobile industry innovation chaos. When you register, you will gain access to live webcast presentations and virtual booths packed with free resources. It happens May 17.

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03 May 12 What Android might bring us from CTIA

Next week as wireless fans descend on New Orleans for the annual
CTIA Wireless how, we’ll get one more peek at how the mobile landscape will unfold over the coming months. Previously held in March, but moved to May for 2012, the three-day event takes a North American focus while including the wireless movers and shakersfrom aorund the world.

At previous shows, carriers have pulled back the curtain on high-profile
Android smartphones and
tablets. In 2010, for example, Sprint announced the HTC Evo 4G and last year we got the slimmed down Galaxy Tab 10.1. So considering the rapid clip of mobile development, it stands to reason that this year will be no exception, right?

Well, maybe not. I’d love to be proven wrong, but I don’t look for too much out of Android when the fun kick off May 8. In fact, in the four year history of Android products at CTIA, this may be the least eventful conference yet.

Perhaps it’s because of the show’s later time frame, but then again Samsung decided to hold a separate press event tomorrow, May 3, to announce what should be the Galaxy S III. Sammy hasn’t said why it’s holding its own party, though maybe it just didn’t want to share the stage.

Whatever the company’s reason, I will have to watch the fun from this side of the pond. But that’s not to say that there isn’t anything to look forward to in The Big Easy.

HTC Droid Incredible 2

Will Verizon unveil a successor to the Droid Incredible 2?

Josh Miller/CNET)

Big Red
Verizon Wireless may come away with the show’s biggest new Android announcement if it gives us the Droid Incredible 4G LTE. As the third release in the series, this model builds on its predecessors with a faster processor, more memory, and support for 4G LTE.

Considering just how fast Verizon is growing its network, last season’s edition looks more antiquated by the day. Specifications for the Droid Incredible 4G are said to include a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB RAM, a 4-inch qHD display, 8-megapixel camera, and NFC support. Set to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the smartphone also should feature HTC Sense 4.

Turning to handsets without launch dates, we already know that Sprint plans to offer the HTC EVO 4G LTE at some point in the near future. Recent rumors have tapped the One X variant with a May 18 debut, just one week after CTIA wraps up.

Priced at $199, Sprint’s flagship device boasts a 4.7-inch Super LCD screen, dual-core Snapdragon processor, 16GB storage, and 1GB RAM. I might look for CEO Dan Hesse to announce a shipping date as part of his keynote roundtable on day one of CTIA.

Will any one of these vendors steal the show with an Android announcement?


Keeping with Sprint, there’s a small chance that the carrier will unveil its Motorola Photon 4G successor. Known as the Photon Q 4G LTE, the details for this model are very light. Considering all that we don’t know about the handset, however, I suspect the debut could be a few months off.

Back to Samsung
I’m not holding my breath, but I’d love to see Samsung bring the Galaxy S III to New Orleans. My gut tells me that it will, but may keep it behind glass and just out of reach. Much of this will depend, of course, on when Samsung expects to ship the handset.

Since its debut in January, the Galaxy Note has been rumored to be coming to additional carriers. Whereas CTIA would be a great venue for Sprint or T-Mobile to announce support, nothing I’ve seen lately indicates there will be noise around the subject.

Given that there have not been any major “save the date” emails sent out ahead of CTIA this year, I can’t imagine any major surprises or announcements. Generally speaking, though, the conference usually acts as a smaller follow-up act to Mobile World Congress and 2012 should be no different.

Even with the later show this year, it’s only been two months since we visited Barcelona. Judging by the companies giving keynote addresses at CTIA, I’m guessing that we’ll be getting more software, services, and industry trends than products.

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