Samsung: Galaxy S II Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 Upgrade On March 10th (update: recalled)

Big news! Finally the Samsung Galaxy S II will see Android 4.0 via a Kies 2.0 desktop update, however and over-the-air (OTA) will take longer, so to make this quicker and perhaps more convenient, does the desktop upgrade. Owners of the United States variants of the Galaxy S II will have to wait longer due to the usual carrier tests and delays.

Sadly, Samsung just recalled the update saying it was not the right schedule.

Via: Samsung, Upgrade FAQ

The Next iPad Announced: LTE, A5X CPU, Retina Display, And iOS 5.1 On March 16th

This is the next-generation iPad. It is marvel of a tablet: it uses 4G LTE technology on AT&T or Verizon Wireless in the United States (plus 3G support worldwide and portable hotspot), a 2048 x 1536 Retina display of 9.7-inches (with 264ppi), a new quad-core GPU system-on-a-chip called the A5X (with dual-core processor), a strong auto-exposure, auto-focus, 5 megapixel backside-illuminated sensor with 1080p stabilized video (the same camera as the iPhone 4S), 10 hours of battery life like the iPad 2 and 9 hours on 4G, with a thicker and heavier body: 9.4mm thick and 1.4 pounds. It also features a new Dictation feature will allows the user to speak to the iPad to type, as you do with Android.

The new iPad will also launch with iOS 5.1 and iPhoto (which is a built-in photo-editing app with extreme maneuverability) and will retail for $499 for the 16GB Wi-Fi model and $629 for the 16GB 4G model, with 32GB and 64GB sizes adding an extra $100 and $200, each. It’ll reach stores on March 16th, but pre-orders start today in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan — and it’ll hit 100 more countries on March 23.

Great stuff, indeed.

Via: Apple

Google Play: Android Apps, Movies, Books And Music Into One, New Store

This is one of Google’s recent bigger moves: Google Play. It is described as an “evolution of the Android Market”, where apps, Google Books, Google Music, and movies would all be compressed into one major store, with apps for both phones and tablets being upgraded in the next couple of days. As Google puts it:

With Google Play you can:

  • Store up to 20,000 songs for free and buy millions of new tracks
  • Download more than 450,000 Android apps and games
  • Browse the world’s largest selection of eBooks
  • Rent thousands of your favorite movies, including new releases and HD titles

It’s a very large room, but with all of the evolution I’ve seen the Android Market go through since the days of Android 1.5, I can agree that Google PLay will allow for improved app discovery, if not better content.

Via: Google Play, Google Mobile Blog

Android Market Now Allows For Direct 4GB App Downloads

Oh, thank goodness. The Android Market has been plagued by a two-step app download process for any application that exceeded 50MB. Today that all changes, as apps up to 4GB can be downloaded in 2GB increments. While this will not change the average app’s capability or design, this is a very welcoming sign to game developers who can finally get some really 3D-intensive games on all of the new quad-core and dual-core Android devices that are being launched so quickly it may as well be raining press releases.

Also, just to note, not all devices can take advantage of this capability, however it was made clear that “most newer devices” can download the 4GB files directly, whilst older ones can do the same, but through Google’s servers once the app launches for the first time. It’s complicated, but good news.

Via: Android Developers