LG this week announced that the Optimus G — a 4.7-inch, quad core smartphone with 2GB of RAM and Android Jelly Bean — would go on sale in Korea next week. The manufacturer then announced that Australia would be getting it, too. 'Oh great!', said I. 'When will we get it?', I asked. The answer took me a little by surprise.
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Wondering when the sweet new versions of Android will land on your device? You're in luck: each week, Gizmodo Australia will take you through all of the handset updates currently being tested on Australian networks like Vodafone, Telstra and Optus, and tell you when you can expect them on your device.
I've never liked Android. It's an opinion born out of ignorance and bias: The iPhone is the only smartphone I've ever owned. I love it, and I think Android is generally an inferior mess. I'm OK with that. But wow, Jelly Bean: the greatest version of Android ever, cold-blooded Apple-killer. Thousands upon thousands of man-hours from one of the largest collections of smart people on the planet, explicitly devoted to winning over jerks like me. Shouldn't that be enough? I gave Jelly Bean an open channel into my heart, using it as my only phone for nearly a month. How'd it do?
After an earlier stumble, Vodafone's Nexus S users can once again get their hands on an over-the-air update to Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean starting right now.
How many times have you gone to an event, walked into a meeting or even just got onto a plane and seen someone open their bag to reveal an iPad or Android tablet, while their laptop just sits there unloved because of its bulk? The person might then fish around awkwardly for their smartphone to tether to the tablet before they actually get down to what needs to be done. Asus knows these people, and is here to help with its new convertible: the Padfone.
Displaymate's Dr Raymond Soneira has gone on the record today saying that the screen on the Nexus 7 is nothing short of a washed out mess that lets down the whole show. He's right about the display being rubbish and it's certainly disappointing, but here's why it doesn't matter one bit.
When Asus demonstrated its ME370T at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, it impressed a lot of people. $US249 for a 7-inch, Tegra 3-powered tablet was looked like mind-blowingly good value and I, for one, couldn't wait for it to come to market. All went quiet on the ME370T-front for months, before it was finally revealed that the tablet had piqued Google's interests, too. 7 months went by, but finally we have the Nexus 7. You know the hype, you've seen the keynote, but what's it really like for Aussies to use?
If you're a Kindle Fire owner and painfully jealous of the new Nexus 7, here's something to make you feel a little better: you can now install Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on your tablet.
With the right skills, you can port Jelly Bean's Google Now over to your Ice Cream Sandwich Android device. If you want to try the oh-so-creepy predictive assistant, but you're not yet running a build 4.1 operating system, you can do so following a set of instructions posted on the XDA Developers forums.
The Galaxy S III has turned out to be a raging success for Samsung, selling 10 million units worldwide in mere weeks. It might just be another phone, but the Galaxy S III introduces a bigger challenge that will affect Android phone manufacturers, Google's Android platform, and you and me as end users. It could see users end up with a nerfed version of Jelly Bean, or even Samsung ditching Android altogether in favour of its own platform.
Android devices may at last get the kind of sound performance that makes music and audio apps satisfying to use. We've suffered through generations of the OS and hardware that were quite the opposite. But material, measurable changes to software, combined with more rigorous standards for hardware makers, could change all of that soon. And using the free, cross-platform libpd library, you can be ready now to take advantage of what's coming.
How much is Angelina Jolie worth? Where did Natalie Portman go to college? How do I get to the Moscone Centre on foot? What's the height restriction for the Space Mountain ride? What fish species are in Lake Tahoe? Google's new voice search knows the answer to all of these questions and in Jelly Bean it can speak them to you without even breaking a sweat.
Ice Cream Sandwich is now installed on 10 per cent of active Android devices, according to Google's own numbers. About 64 per cent of users are still using Gingerbread. And the latest iteration of Android, Jelly Bean, is already on its way.