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Android 4.1 Jelly Bean review: a look at what’s changed in Google’s mobile OS

Android 41 Jelly Bean review a look at what's changed in Google's mobile OS

Google's next iteration of Android wasn't quite the full-point release jump that many of you were perhaps anticipating. Rather than using Google I/O 2012 as the launching pad for Android 5.0, we're being formally introduced to v4.1 -- a mere 0.1 ahead of where Ice Cream Sandwich placed us around six months ago. Aside from grabbing a name change, the minor numerical bump also provides Jelly Bean the opportunity to usher in a few new features for Nexus owners to enjoy.

If you missed yesterday's keynote, Google revealed that Android 4.1 would arrive on Nexus devices in "mid-July," but there's no clear word on when partner companies will begin pushing it to their products. Moreover, pundits are quick to point out the legions of Android products that still haven't made the leap to 4.0, leaving us to wonder if those Froyo and Gingerbread laggards will simply take the fast track to 4.1 now that it's (almost) available. Care to see if the latest and greatest will live up to your expectations once it lands in a few weeks? Head on past the break as we discuss some of the larger changes that Jelly Bean has to offer.

Continue reading Android 4.1 Jelly Bean review: a look at what's changed in Google's mobile OS

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean review: a look at what's changed in Google's mobile OS originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 28 Jun 2012 10:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darren Murph

June 28th

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Google includes Jelly Bean easter egg in Android 4.1: yes, it’s cute (video)

Google includes Jelly Bean easter egg in Android 41 yes, it's cute video

In Gingerbread, those tapping repeatedly on the version number with Android's "Settings" menu were greeted with a picture of "zombie art" by Jack Larson. In Honeycomb, a bee found its buzz. In Ice Cream Sandwich, we saw an image of the Android robot dressed up in an Ice Cream Sandwich, which grows in size when you long-press it until it transforms into a Nyan Cat-style animation. Today, we grabbed hold of a Galaxy Nexus equipped with Jelly Bean (Android 4.1), and sure enough, the tradition continues. This time, we're graced with a cutesy bean, and when long-pressed, you're presented with a game that encourages you to flick candy around a gravity-less location... for eternity. Care to see for yourself? There's a video just past the break.

[Thanks, Jarrett]

Continue reading Google includes Jelly Bean easter egg in Android 4.1: yes, it's cute (video)

Google includes Jelly Bean easter egg in Android 4.1: yes, it's cute (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 27 Jun 2012 21:36:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darren Murph

June 28th

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Editorial: Windows Phone 8 looks good, but can it uproot those entrenched in other ecosystems?

Editorial Windows Phone 8 looks good, but can it uproot those entrenched in other ecosystems

At the tail end of Microsoft's marathon Windows Phone Summit keynote, the company's own Kevin Gallo said the following: "Everyone in the Windows ecosystem benefits." He was waxing poetic about the myriad new features coming to the outfit's latest and greatest mobile operating system, and nothing about his quote was incorrect. Developers will adore the shared codebase. Users will adore the new additions to the software framework. Carriers probably won't shun the opportunity to push yet another platform this holiday season. But the one word in there that sticks out most to me is this: "Windows."

I've been wrestling with the ecosystem issue for some time, but the gravity of it has never been so evident. Starting in 2008, one could argue that it stopped being purely about hardware. Purely about design. Purely about software. Purely about partnerships. Particularly when it came to smartphones. Slate-style handsets were en vogue years ago, with design changing extremely little and software becoming ever more of a factor. But it wasn't just software in the simplest sense -- it was how the software was interconnected to every other piece of the digital ecosystem. Phones were no longer standalone devices; they were simply the most convenient entry into a rabbit hole that Microsoft's going to have a tough time digging people out of. Allow me to explain.

Continue reading Editorial: Windows Phone 8 looks good, but can it uproot those entrenched in other ecosystems?

Editorial: Windows Phone 8 looks good, but can it uproot those entrenched in other ecosystems? originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 21 Jun 2012 12:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darren Murph

June 21st

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Editorial: Windows Phone 8 looks good, but can it uproot those entrenched in other ecosystems?

Editorial Windows Phone 8 looks good, but can it uproot those entrenched in other ecosystems

At the tail end of Microsoft's marathon Windows Phone Summit keynote, the company's own Kevin Gallo said the following: "Everyone in the Windows ecosystem benefits." He was waxing poetic about the myriad new features coming to the outfit's latest and greatest mobile operating system, and nothing about his quote was incorrect. Developers will adore the shared codebase. Users will adore the new additions to the software framework. Carriers probably won't shun the opportunity to push yet another platform this holiday season. But the one word in there that sticks out most to me is this: "Windows."

I've been wrestling with the ecosystem issue for some time, but the gravity of it has never been so evident. Starting in 2008, one could argue that it stopped being purely about hardware. Purely about design. Purely about software. Purely about partnerships. Particularly when it came to smartphones. Slate-style handsets were en vogue years ago, with design changing extremely little and software becoming ever more of a factor. But it wasn't just software in the simplest sense -- it was how the software was interconnected to every other piece of the digital ecosystem. Phones were no longer standalone devices; they were simply the most convenient entry into a rabbit hole that Microsoft's going to have a tough time digging people out of. Allow me to explain.

Continue reading Editorial: Windows Phone 8 looks good, but can it uproot those entrenched in other ecosystems?

Editorial: Windows Phone 8 looks good, but can it uproot those entrenched in other ecosystems? originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 21 Jun 2012 12:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darren Murph

June 21st

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Sprint Guardian now available, allows parents to limit texting and keep tabs on a kid’s location

Sprint Guardian now available, allows parents to limit texting and keep tabs on a kid's locationSprint Guardian has been in the oven for some time now -- we actually heard about it during our interview with John Tudhope and David Owens at CTIA 2012 -- but now, at long last, the service is available. Concerned parents nationwide can locate Guardian on "many" Sprint Android-powered phones through the Sprint Zone. The program itself features apps from Safely and Lookout, enabling parents to "protect their phone-carrying children through location checks and limits on texting while driving or at school." In other words, you can prevent a child's phone from being able to call or text whilst the user is driver, and lost phones can be located more easily. Naturally, such luxuries don't come free: Sprint Mobile Controls, Sprint Drive First and Sprint Family Locator are available as a Family Safety bundle for $9.99 per month for up to five lines on the same account. Or, you know, just give your youngin' a Hamilton each month for not acting like a lunatic with phone in hand.

Sprint Guardian now available, allows parents to limit texting and keep tabs on a kid's location originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 20 Jun 2012 21:27:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darren Murph

June 21st

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Sprint Guardian now available, allows parents to limit texting and keep tabs on a kid’s location

Sprint Guardian now available, allows parents to limit texting and keep tabs on a kid's locationSprint Guardian has been in the oven for some time now -- we actually heard about it during our interview with John Tudhope and David Owens at CTIA 2012 -- but now, at long last, the service is available. Concerned parents nationwide can locate Guardian on "many" Sprint Android-powered phones through the Sprint Zone. The program itself features apps from Safely and Lookout, enabling parents to "protect their phone-carrying children through location checks and limits on texting while driving or at school." In other words, you can prevent a child's phone from being able to call or text whilst the user is driver, and lost phones can be located more easily. Naturally, such luxuries don't come free: Sprint Mobile Controls, Sprint Drive First and Sprint Family Locator are available as a Family Safety bundle for $9.99 per month for up to five lines on the same account. Or, you know, just give your youngin' a Hamilton each month for not acting like a lunatic with phone in hand.

Sprint Guardian now available, allows parents to limit texting and keep tabs on a kid's location originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 20 Jun 2012 21:27:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darren Murph

June 21st

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T-Mobile Galaxy S III pricing plans revealed, and they aren’t exactly ‘cheap’

TMobile Galaxy S III pricing plans revealed, and they aren't exactly 'cheap'

Not interested in paying $200 on contract for a new Galaxy S III over at Sprint / AT&T? Fret not, lost souls -- T-Mobile USA will soon be willing to sell you one for more. Much more. We just landed our hands on an internal pricing sheet for the forthcoming Android superphone, with the 16GB model listed at $229.99 on a Value Plan contract, or $279.99 (after $50 mail-in rebate, no less) on a Classic Plan contract. Those on the latter can snag it for $449.99 if you're eligible for an early upgrade, while those who'd rather not extend their contractual relationship can pay $629.99 for a (still carrier locked) off-contract handset. The notice also states that no sales can occur prior to June 21st (that's tomorrow, folks!), but of course, it'll be even later if you aren't in one of those "top 29 markets."

[Thanks, Anonymous]

T-Mobile Galaxy S III pricing plans revealed, and they aren't exactly 'cheap' originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 20 Jun 2012 15:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darren Murph

June 20th

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T-Mobile Galaxy S III pricing plans revealed, and they aren’t exactly ‘cheap’

TMobile Galaxy S III pricing plans revealed, and they aren't exactly 'cheap'

Not interested in paying $200 on contract for a new Galaxy S III over at Sprint / AT&T? Fret not, lost souls -- T-Mobile USA will soon be willing to sell you one for more. Much more. We just landed our hands on an internal pricing sheet for the forthcoming Android superphone, with the 16GB model listed at $229.99 on a Value Plan contract, or $279.99 (after $50 mail-in rebate, no less) on a Classic Plan contract. Those on the latter can snag it for $449.99 if you're eligible for an early upgrade, while those who'd rather not extend their contractual relationship can pay $629.99 for a (still carrier locked) off-contract handset. The notice also states that no sales can occur prior to June 21st (that's tomorrow, folks!), but of course, it'll be even later if you aren't in one of those "top 29 markets."

[Thanks, Anonymous]

T-Mobile Galaxy S III pricing plans revealed, and they aren't exactly 'cheap' originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 20 Jun 2012 15:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darren Murph

June 20th

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Windows Phone 8 updates coming over the air, early access to ‘registered enthusiasts,’ 18 month support program announced

Windows Phone 8 updates coming over the air, early access to 'registered enthusiasts,' 18 month support program announced

Tired of plugging your Lumia 900 into your PC or Mac in order to apply software updates? Tough luck -- you'll still be doing it while future buyers snack on Windows Phone 8. Harshness aside, Microsoft made clear at today's Windows Phone Summit that all WP8 updates will be delivered over the air, with an available program to give "registered enthusiasts" early access prior to broad consumer pushes. The real kicker, however, is this line: "Devices are supported with updates for at least 18 months." For those keeping count, the Lumia 900 shipped here in the US on April 8th. Two months later, it's already confirmed that the flagship WP7 handset in America won't get Windows Phone 8. We'd also like to take this opportunity to remind you just how poorly an identical promise from Google went over in May of 2011. You may remember Andy Rubin confessing that an 18 month Android update program was being put into place at Google I/O 2011, and here we are -- halfway through 2012 -- and we've still heard zero details on how that's being policed. Pardon our skepticism, but we'll need to see it to believe it.

To check out the latest updates from Microsoft's Windows Phone event, visit our liveblog!

Windows Phone 8 updates coming over the air, early access to 'registered enthusiasts,' 18 month support program announced originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 20 Jun 2012 14:05:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darren Murph

June 20th

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Windows Phone 8 updates coming over the air, early access to ‘registered enthusiasts,’ 18 month support program announced

Windows Phone 8 updates coming over the air, early access to 'registered enthusiasts,' 18 month support program announced

Tired of plugging your Lumia 900 into your PC or Mac in order to apply software updates? Tough luck -- you'll still be doing it while future buyers snack on Windows Phone 8. Harshness aside, Microsoft made clear at today's Windows Phone Summit that all WP8 updates will be delivered over the air, with an available program to give "registered enthusiasts" early access prior to broad consumer pushes. The real kicker, however, is this line: "Devices are supported with updates for at least 18 months." For those keeping count, the Lumia 900 shipped here in the US on April 8th. Two months later, it's already confirmed that the flagship WP7 handset in America won't get Windows Phone 8. We'd also like to take this opportunity to remind you just how poorly an identical promise from Google went over in May of 2011. You may remember Andy Rubin confessing that an 18 month Android update program was being put into place at Google I/O 2011, and here we are -- halfway through 2012 -- and we've still heard zero details on how that's being policed. Pardon our skepticism, but we'll need to see it to believe it.

To check out the latest updates from Microsoft's Windows Phone event, visit our liveblog!

Windows Phone 8 updates coming over the air, early access to 'registered enthusiasts,' 18 month support program announced originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 20 Jun 2012 14:05:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darren Murph

June 20th

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