Vertu, perhaps best known as a purveyor of ridiculously expensive Symbian phones, has turned its attention to the Android smartphone market with a new device, dubbed the Vertu Ti. In keeping with what you'd expect from this kind of brand, the Ti is pegged as a luxury device, as is reflected by its €7,900 ($10,000) price tag.
On the inside, the Vertu Ti isn't all that remarkable — there's an unnamed 1.7GHz dual-core processor powering the show, an 8MP rear camera with 1080p video recording, as well as a 1.3MP front-facer, a 3.7-inch WVGA screen, 64GB of storage and pentaband DC-HSDPA connectivity. Even less remarkable is the year-old skinned Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich powering the software side of things.
But Vertu's banking on its build quality and unique materials to set it apart — the chassis is constructed out of titanium, and the screen is fashioned from sapphire crystal — apparently designed to be more durable than the average plastic phone. What's more, customers get access to Vertu's "concierge" call service to help out with things like "local advice and restaurant booking." (Think of it as a little like Google Now, except with humans.)
We'll be honest here, we doubt anyone reading this will actually stump up the $10,000 to purchase a Vertu Ti, but the fact that this kind of manufacturer is embracing Android goes to show the wide appeal of the OS. If you've got 10 grand to burn, the Vertu Ti is available for sale now at the manufacturer's website.
Source: Vertu; via: BBC
Verizon Wireless is truly taking the meaning of “better late than never” to the extreme by rolling out Ice Cream Sandwich for the HTC ThunderBolt today. The ThunderBolt has been available through Verizon Wireless for nearly two years now and has been taken off the shelf for about a year now.
What was once announced as a promising 4G LTE device experienced battery issues and software upgrade troubles. Most owners of the ThunderBolt have probably upgraded to a different Android smartphone or iOS device by now, however, for those who are still rocking the TBolt, ICS is headed your way.
According to an announcement from Verizon, the update is rolling out in phases, but most owners should have it within a week or so. The update includes features found commonly in Ice Cream Sandwich such as Face Unlock and a customizable launch bar. In addition, it offers more tools to manage your data consumption.
What more can we say? (Don't answer that!) The HTC Thunderbolt has its Ice Cream Sandwich update ready, and will soon start rolling out to devices. It will be Android 4.0.4 with Sense 3.6, and the update package is about 380MB. If you still have a Thunderbolt rattling around in a drawer somewhere, dig it out, dust it off, and plug it in in preparation. This update won't fix the peeling kickstand, but maybe it can help the battery life a bit. Anyhoo, it's nice to know that the Thunderbolt was not forgotten, no matter how hard we all tried to forget it.
Source: Verizon (pdf); Via: everyone
Today, we have some good news for owners of the Galaxy Note 10.1 by Samsung. Even though it originally launched with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, we’re happy to report that Samsung finally began to roll out the latest Jelly Bean update. The update brings Android 4.1.2 to the Galaxy Note 10.1 along with several new features and enhancements.
Owners of the Samsung tablet can expect to use multi-window for multi-tasking, easy clip capability, and Air View (which allows for the S-Pen to hover over the screen to launch a dialog box. Other general Jelly Bean features and enhancements are in tow as well.
Feel free to wait patiently as the OTA Software Update will hit in waves, otherwise, you can try connecting to Samsung Kies in order to download the update.
Android Jelly Bean is the latest version of the Operating System and the most coveted version of Android available today.
Light Flow, a popular app to control notification LED's and sounds, has added support for a whole host of new apps today. In total, 62 new apps can now have their notification sound, vibration and LED flashing controlled including some notable apps like Falcon Pro. The app now also supports Ice Cream Sandwich users with multiple calendars, as well as the ability to swipe away calendar notifications to clear the LED flashing. As is usually the case, several different bugs have been squashed in this update — from black screen and color issues on the Nexus 4 to translations for Turkish and Arabic.
You can get a list of all 62 apps added, as well as the complete list of all apps supported, at the source link below. If you haven't given Light Flow a look, it's well worth your $2.49 to buy it. There's also a free version with limited app support if you just want to give it a test drive.
More: Light Flow Changelog
The PadFone 2, ASUS' successor device to that
weird interesting phone inside a tablet inside a laptop contraption, is finally grabbing an OTA to Jelly Bean starting today. We were surprised when the phone was announced back in October with just Ice Cream Sandwich on board, but it's good to see ASUS following it up quickly with an update. The device keeps the skinning present in the previous version, but new features like Google Now and enhanced notifications are all included here.
According to FoneArena, the OTA is starting its rollout in Asia — although that makes sense because the device is primarily being sold there. If you happen to have imported one of these to the states, you'll likely have a shot at receiving the update yourself with this batch.
Source: FoneArena; More: ASUS PadFone Forums
Sony Mobile has announced that it's pushing out new software updates for four of its ST-Ericsson NovaThor-based mid-range smartphones, the Xperia P, Xperia U, Xperia Go and Xperia Sola. The latest firmware is still based on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich; Xperia owners will be waiting until 2013 before Jelly Bean lands on their devices.
Bug fixes and performance tweaks are the order of the day, including stability fixes, as well as improvements to Wifi connectivity, tethering, camera, NFC and messaging.
Owners of Xperia U, Go and Sola already running ICS-based firmware should get the new update automatically over-the-air. Xperia P owners may have to wait a little longer, as roll-out will depend on carrier approval and other conditions. Sony advises anyone still running Gingerbread on one of these phones to download the PC Companion or Mac Bridge app to update manually.
All 2012 Xperia phones are due to be updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in early 2013, although Sony has not yet offered upgrade timeframes for early 2012 Xperias. An announcement regarding release timing for Jelly Bean on the Xperia S is expected in mid-December.
Source: Sony Mobile
ADW Launcher, once a staple in the Android community, mysteriously stopped being updated some time ago. While updates to Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean started to come out, ADW still looked like something of the Gingerbread generation. Then, all of a sudden, ADW received an update that made it into something more 2012-appropriate.
So what happened that led to such a big gap in development? Wonder no more. Our pal JR Raphael at ComputerWorld talked with developer Ander Webbs about ADW, 2011 and the crazy ride that led to the eventual updating of the app. Its quite a story, and is worth a read at the source link below.
Verizon has now made available their LTE enabled version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, just in case you're not satisfied with the available WiFi versions out there. We've already taken the WiFi version for a spin so be sure to check out our review Reminder of specs? Here you go:
Verizon has set their pricing for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 at $500. That's on par with the likes of AT&T but a little bit less than Sprint which sells their version for $550. If you're looking to pick one up, you can head on over to the Verizon site.