The Lenovo K800 is the first fully-functioning mobile phone with Intel’s bred-for-mobility Atom chipset. While some entities prefer to enter heated competitions quietly, that is certainly not the case for Intel. This phone has all the subtlety of a Lamborghini and a bit of its styling to boot.
For while now the biggest name in mobile chipsets has been Qualcomm. And of course, nVidia’s Tegra chipsets have made a significant name for themselves, especially when it comes to graphics-intensive applications. Still, I don’t know about you but when I hear the words, “central processing unit” even regarding mobile devices, I still think “Intel Inside.”
Well the Droid 4 may or may not ever actually show up, and even though it is rumored to soon be discontinued, the Droid 3 is still probably the best slider currently on the market. And to make it even better, you can now port over ICS to the Droid 3.
While this is exciting news, please be warned: this is only an alpha build that has been developed in part from CyanogenMod 9. It is obviously not an official OS update, but furthermore it is also not an official CyanogenMod update either, so install at your own risk. If you’re brave, you can get your ICS on at the source below.
xda forum member “Hashcode” released this version of ICS for the Droid 3 and it is working reasonably well for an unofficial OS build. The full list as provided by Hashtag on the xda forum is below. Most of the crucial stuff works right now—such as 3G data, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, and SD card access—but everybody’s definition of crucial is different, especially with smartphones.
We all know that we want Android 4.x Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) but how many of us actually know why? Well there are a whole plethora of reasons, especially for those making the jump from Android 2.2 FroYo. In the above video, note the presence of Time Lapse, an under-mentioned feature which will allow you to document all your full-length life experiences in a share-friendly format.
While there are Time Lapse apps available on the Android Market—such as Lapse It which is free for 240p, $1.99 for 720p recording—they are not native, nor are they perfect. The native Time Lapse welcomes your adventures without destroying your battery—though for longer time lapses, such as the above 400 mile trek, a power cord will come into play—and presents a hand-off approach to recording. This is just one more way Android is subtly making your life a little more simple.
I’m sure most of us are aware of many of the hotter features and benefits of ICS such as the ability to take screen shots, Spell Check or the never-to-be-forgotten Visual Voicemail. Like Lapse It, the features of Visual Voicemail and Spell Check can be achieved fairly well via apps such as Google Voice and Flex T9 respectively but as with Time Lapse, going native will always give you the fullest experience.
The electronics giant LG has announced that its high-end Optimus smartphones will be receiving the newest Android version, Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS). What LG hasn’t told us is when we can expect to see these phones updated. LG did state that we will receive an announcement sometime this month detailing the schedule for these device updates and at that time it will also add other models to the upgrade list.
“LG confirms today that the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) OS will be initially available for the following high-end LG smartphones which were introduced this year: the Optimus 2X, the Optimus Black, the Optimus 3D and the Optimus LTE.
We are also continuing to evaluate the ICS OS to determine whether it is compatible with the functionality, features, and performance of other LG smartphones to make the ICS OS available on as many LG smartphones as possible.”
The LG Nitro HD—which is an AT&T rebranded version of the Optimus LTE—has also been slated for an ICS upgrade, but as far as we know it will ship with Gingerbread when it hits stores on December 4.
With this release LG is following in the footsteps of Sony Ericsson and HTC. Sony Ericsson has already announced that its entire 2011 Xperia device lineup will be recieving ICS, and HTC has announced that its HTC Vivid, Sensation, Sensation XL, Sensation XE, Rezound, EVO 3D, EVO Design 4G and Amaze 4G will also be getting ICS. All three manufactures have so far been reluctant to even give us any dates for their upgrades.
“Ice Cream Sandwich” has many people excited, but the fourth iteration of Google’s successful Android platform doesn’t support Flash… yet. Adobe is, however, working on a new version of Flash for Ice Cream Sandwich, which the company believes will be released before the end of the year.
Two weeks ago, Adobe announced that it is discontinuing development of Flash for mobile devices. As a result, Ice Cream Sandwich’s Flash update will be the final one on Android, not to mention all smartphone operating systems in general. Adobe will, of course, support and provide bug fixes for Android and the BlackBerry PlayBook up through version 11.1.
Luckily, the loss of Flash isn’t all that crippling, as most websites are switching over to HTML5, a specification supported by all modern browsers. Flash used to be a big differentiator between smartphones, but it has since become a simple bullet on the back of the box, one that won’t remain there much longer. But if you just can’t wait for Flash on your Android Ice Cream Sandwich handset, look for it sometime in the next month or so.
There has been talk lately that Ice Cream Sandwich/Android 4.x (ICS) does not support USB Mass storage (UMS). The issue has been cleared up by Android Engineer Dan Morrill. ICS does support UMS, but some devices—such as the Galaxy Nexus—will not support UMS.
“It isn’t physically possible to support UMS on devices that don’t have a dedicated partition for storage (like a removable SD card, or a separate partition like Nexus S.) This is because UMS is a block-level protocol that gives the host PC direct access to the physical blocks on the storage, so that Android cannot have it mounted at the same time.”
“What we will probably do eventually is add an import/export concept to removable storage. So the Camera will always save to internal-16GB, and when you pop in an SD card (or insert a thumb drive on USB host devices) you can start a migration or import/export dialog.”
So if your device has Honeycomb or ICS, and does not have two or more separate partitions, you will not be able to use it as a USB mass storage device. However, if you are using a Windows PC you will be able to use the Media Transfer Protocol (MTP) to move files back and forth, using Windows Explorer in much the same way as you otherwise would with UMC. Mac OS and Linux do not natively support MTP yet, but Dan Morrill is hopeful that we’ll see better support for MTP from both in the near future.
Galaxy S II owners, rejoice! On November 16, Samsung announced via the @samsunguk Twitter feed that the Galaxy S II will, in fact be getting Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS), Android’s latest version. As of the time of this posting we have no information on when we can expect this to happen, and it was specifically said in the tweet that, “there are no dates confirmed as yet.” They also said that they will keep us posted, so I for one am subscribing to the @samsunguk feed.
One thing that we all need to remember in the midst of all this joy is that Samsung doesn’t exactly have a perfect track record when it comes to giving those of us in the US updates at the same time as our tea-drinking counterparts in the UK. The rest of Europe however will probably be seeing their updates at about the same time as those in the UK.
Google has announced that Android 4.0.1, codenamed “Ice Cream Sandwich,” is now available for developers. It’s only the source code, and it is only compatible with Google’s official Android phone, the Galaxy Nexus, which is scheduled for release in a few days.
Jean-Baptise Queru, a software engineer on Google’s Android Open Source Project (AOSP) team, made the announcement in the Android Building group. The Ice Cream Sandwich source code weighs in at a hefty 6GB, but it also comes with “the full history of the Android Code.” It’s available right now from Google’s GIT servers, but there might be a slight delay as it finishes the upload process.
Those waiting for the consumer version of Ice Cream Sandwich to reach their existing devices will have a bit of a wait. HTC won’t be delivering Ice Cream Sandwich until early next year, and other carriers are expected to ship their respective updates around the same time. That being said, it’s nice to know that Ice Cream Sandwich is almost there.
Google detailed Android 4.0, codenamed “Ice Cream Sandwich” (ICS), a few weeks ago, but it’s up to the individual hardware manufacturers to decide whether or not to update existing devices. It’s a daunting task for the OEMs, thanks to the wide range of devices and customizations, and Android enthusiasts are anxious to learn if their device will be updated. Those in the Windows Phone and iPhone ecosystem might be surprised to learn that some Android devices are up to three major versions behind.
Thankfully, HTC has confirmed that the Sensation, Sensation XL, Sensation XE, Rezound, EVO 3D, EVO Design 4G, and Amaze 4G will be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich in early 2012. Of course, this is just the first wave of devices. Updates for additional handsets are expected to be announced in the coming months.
HTC is off to an excellent start, as most of its most popular devices are included on this list. It’s by no means comprehensive, but we’d like to hope that this list will swell to include most of HTC’s products over time.
Samsung announced its latest flagship Android handset, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, on Wednesday. The behemoth was announced in Hong Kong alongside Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich,” which will be included on the phone. Google gave Samsung an exclusive head start on Ice Cream Sandwich, so the Galaxy Nexus will be the first Android 4.0 device on the market.
Prospective customers will be able to look forward to a 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED screen–just a fraction of an inch smaller than the HTC TITAN–at a resolution of 1,280 x 720. The Galaxy Nexus will also pack a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. Best of all, customers will have a choice between 16GB and 32GB of internal memory. This is what all smartphone manufacturers, especially those aiming for the high-end side of the spectrum, should strive for. The device also includes an NFC chip and the usual sensors, wireless standards, and ports, as well as a barometer.
The sole disappointment is the camera, which is a mere 5MP. It will, however, have LED flash and support 1080p video and the new panorama mode found in Ice Cream Sandwich. A 1.3MP camera will grace the front of the handset.
Pricing and availability for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus are still under wraps, but we expect it to launch around the same time as Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich.”
The beautiful Nokia Lumia 900 is manufactured from a single-piece injection-molded polycarbonate shell and features a 4.3-inch AMOLED ClearBlack Display (CBD), 1.4GHz processor, 16GB of internal memory, 512MB of RAM, and a 1830mAh battery. Performance-wise, it can best nearly every device on the market. The 8MP Carl Zeiss camera takes fantastic photos, and the quality of the 1MP front-facing camera is astounding. The intuitive Windows Phone OS, support for AT&T’s 4G LTE network, and $99 price tag are just icing on the cake.
Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX
The Motorola DROID RAZR was easily one of the best Android phones of 2011. It was one of the first seriously thin phones and it had the best specifications, durability, and styling to come out of Motorola in a long time. Now, with the introduction of the MAXX variant, it's almost irresistible, even to those currently locked into a contract. With Verizon’s 4G LTE, a 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage, and a 3300mAh battery pumping out over 21 hours of talk time, the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX is ecstasy wrapped in Kevlar.