Skip to content

Tag: Android

LG Announces the L Series III; 3 new Low-end to Mid-range Smartphones running Android KitKat 4.4

Just less than 10 days before the much talked about 2014 Mobile World Congress to be held at Barcelona, Spain, LG has announced the 2014 refresh of their L Series line of low to mid-range phones. The L Series III and the LG G Pro 2 will make its World debut during the said event, together with the expected unveiling of the LG G3 flagship and the LG G2 mini.

LG L Series III

Dubbed as the L90, L70 and L40, the LG L Series III phones will ship with Android KitKat 4.4 out of the box. Among the three devices, the L90 packs the biggest screen at 4.7 inches, while the L70 comes with a bit smaller 4.5 inches. The L40 has the smallest screen size among the L Series III, with just 3.5 inches.

CyanogenMod first Android Phone, Oppo N1, gets Approval from Google

Open source operating system maker and distributor CyanogenMod has recently strike a deal with internet giant – Google – which led to the development of the Oppo N1 Android-based smartphone. The new phone will be shipped to major retailers in the United States today, December 24, 2013; an early Christmas gift if you can get your hands on it for $599 only. It will also be available on their official website, the Oppo Online Store. This is their first smartphone that works with Google’s Android operating system which is the 4.4.2 KitKat as the Oppo R819 and the Find 5 had the 4.2 version Jelly Bean OS.

CyanogenMod Oppo N1 Smartphone

Much like any other third party vendors, CyanogenMod appealed for Google’s approval before launching their latest product and since Google was pleased, they got it almost immediately after research and development. Unlike the standard version of CyanogenMod where the user must first install the custom ROM and then the Google Apps suite, the new Oppo N1 will run the Google Apps suite out of the box.

HTC One – HTC’s Newest Flagship Android Phone

A reinvention of smartphone—this was how the president of HTC-USA, Mike Woodward, described the hottest flagship Android phone of the Taiwanese company. Essentially, the HTC One is designed according to how people, or the so-called Generation Feed, actually use their smartphones today. It’s a practical One. And that could turn the smartphone world upside down, according to Woodward in announcement very recently.

Essential Features

The body is entirely of aluminum which took some years to construct and perfect. That’s quality enough—having an all-metal but light phone. But there are more new features. The full HD 1080p 4.7-inch screen is bracketed laterally by elongated speakers dubbed by HTC as Boomsound. With the Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor ticking at 1.7GHz, the HTC One certainly would perform fast and works powerfully in tandem with its 2GB DDR2 RAM.

HTC One

HTC Cam Breaks the Tie

The HTC One camera is worthy of mention, said to be among the revolutionary features that set HTC One apart from the rest, and that’s not to mention its breakthrough Ultrapixel technology. Ultrapixel has two times what a megapixel has, permeating 300 times the light, Woodward said. And with the dual-axis stabilization, the cam feature is beyond compare. And if that seems outrageously brilliant, wait till you see how it’s possible to take shoots in low light even without a flash. No blown-out, flat pictures. The image quality is said to outdo iPhone cam images!

Unboxing Starmobile Engage, a 7-Inch Android Ice Cream Sandwich!

We learned about Starmobile as the newest player in the country’s mobile industry when it launched locally new dual-SIM phones back in July. If you guys thought the company would only focus on mobile phones, you got yourselves wrong. The truth is, the company just took its dibs in the tablet business by offering a new 7-incher Android slate running that magnificent Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) flavour. This tablet is none other than the Starmobile Engage!

CTB is very fortunate to have an early hands-on of the Engage. I already have dated with the device yesterday and while I’m still checking its entirety inside and out, allow me to share some of the unboxing pics for your viewing pleasure.

Samsung GALAXY Note II Boasts Quad-Core Processor, 64GB Storage, 2GB RAM, & Android Jelly Bean

Samsung officially unveiled last week the sequel to its smartphone-tablet hybrid and simply named it as the GALAXY Note II. And like what we initially guessed back in July, the handset brings you a stunning quad-core processor, with storage option of 64GB, and a 2GB of RAM for faster computing. And as far as NFC technology is concerned, the handset has an NFC support, not just as an optional feature only like on original GALAXY Note, but really built on every GALAXY Note II device. And like any other high-end and latest Android handsets out there, the GALAXY Note II offers the sweetest Jelly Bean flavour out of the box. Though it has a lower pixel density than its predecessor, the GALAXY Note II still got a pretty superb high-definition (720 x 1280 px) Super AMOLED screen display at 5.5-inch diagonal.

Samsung GALAXY Note II

LTE radio is also under its hood, but it’s still unclear yet if local LTE providers like Smart and Globe Telecom offers compatible frequencies. And because this handset is going to be power intensive, Samsung boost the battery to 3100mAh, which is really a huge power source for smartphone or tablet, or a phablet. And since the GALAXY Note II is designed with business people in mind, Samsung got a deal for you by offering free 50GB of Dropbox storage for 2 years! 

You Can Now Search on Google by Handwriting

Google introduced today a new way to use its, well… search engine, by searching the web without having to use a keyboard or voice commands. This new feature is called Handwrite, which basically allows users to do a web search in Google by handwriting. Handwrite, however, is only available for touch-enabled mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. I’ve personally tested Handwrite a while ago and it works just fine. Google is picking up text inputs into the search box perfectly, even though the search giant said such feature is still experimental.

If you have either a smartphone or tablet, you can give Handwrite a try by visiting Google.com through your mobile browser (works seamlessly on Safari and Chrome browsers). While in Google.com homepage, scroll a bit down and tap on search “Settings” and there you can “Enable” Handwrite, and “Save”.

HTC One X, One XL, & One S Android Jelly Bean Upgrade Confirmed!

When HTC Philippines launched the HTC One S here in Cebu just last week, I got an opportunity to ask the company’s country manager if the HTC One line-up can be upgraded to Android Jelly Bean anytime soon. Uncertain of HTC’s plans for such devices (at least for the OS upgrade roadmap), he didn’t confirm yet (perhaps to play it safe) whether HTC is working for a Jelly Bean upgrade or not. It turned out that HTC is indeed working for a firmware update, to which the Taiwan-based smartphone maker has confirmed to Engadget that it will bring Android Jelly Bean to select HTC One handsets which include the One X, One S, and the LTE-capable HTC One XL.

“We know HTC fans are excited to get their hands on Google’s latest version of Android. At this point in time, we can confirm that we have plans to upgrade our HTC One X, HTC One XL and HTC One S to Jelly Bean. Please stay tuned for more updates regarding device upgrades, timing and other details about HTC and Jelly Bean.”

This statement, however, is still unclear for some users across the globe. And the question remains whether or not the Jelly Bean update applies to other regions outside the US.

For the uninitiated, Jelly Bean is the latest version of Google-owned Android OS, which brings new features with primary focus on enhancing the user interface functionality and performance.

Firefox Browser for Android Now Available; Google Chrome Out Of Beta

Finally, Mozilla released its official mobile browser for Android devices. Mozilla said the new Firefox for Android is redesigned to offer significantly faster performance than the stock web browser shipped on every Android phone.

You might wonder how exactly this mobile version looks like compared to its desktop counterpart – and well, the new Firefox for Android “has a fresh and streamlined look with a personalized start page”. There’s a new feature called Awesome Screen where you can see all your browsing history, bookmarks, passwords, and form data to your handset, and the popular features like Tabbed browsing, Firefox Sync, and Add-ons are all onboard as well. Firefox for Android also supports Flash contents which means you can always watch videos or play games in any case those contents are designed with Flash technology.

The new Firefox for Android is now available for download at Google Play and works for devices running at least Android 2.2 or higher.

Trend Micro Rated Android 2.3 As Least Secure Mobile OS

A report from Trend Micro entitled “Enterprise Readiness of Consumer Mobile Platforms” rated Google’s Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) as the least secure mobile operating system.

Compared to BlackBerry 7.0, iOS 5, and Windows Phone 7.5 – Android 2.3 got the lowest rating of 1.37, which refers to the OS average score based on several factors that Trend Micro considered including Built-in security, Application security, Authentication, Device wipe, Device firewall, Data protection, Device protection, Corporate managed email, ActiveSync support, Mobile device management, Virtualization, and Security certifications. Trend Micro selected Android 2.3 on its analysis over other versions of the OS since it’s the most dominant installed version across all devices in the market. The poor rating of Android is due to its market fragmentation issue, citing that even Android 4.x does include better security, most of the devices are still on Android 2.x and Google has no central means of providing OS updates.

Instagram for Android Hits 5 Million Downloads After Facebook Announced Its Acquisition

Less than a week following the release of Instagram for the Android platform, the popular photo-sharing app has already hit the 5-million download mark as shown in Google Play Store’s stat.

That’s a remarkable feat for an Android app, noting that its iOS counterpart took about half a year to reach 5 million users. Instagram for Android was also seen downloaded 1 million times in less than a day following its official launch to Google Play Store.

On a side note, Facebook announced on Tuesday that it acquires Instagram for a whopping $1 Billion in cash and stock. That’s huge money for a startup that still has to celebrate its 2nd anniversary comes October and doesn’t even make any revenue just yet. But for Facebook, the move is smart enough to keep its dominance for the best social photo sharing experience. And now you’d incline to believe that if “video” is for Google (through YouTube), then “photo” is for Facebook (through the social network itself and Instagram).

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich for Samsung GALAXY S II Now Rolling Out in Poland, Hungary, Sweden, and Korea

Our friends somewhere in Europe will finally get to taste the latest flavor of Android OS on their GALAXY S II (model GT-I9100) devices as Samsung has already started rolling out the Ice Cream Sandwich update in Poland, Hungary, and Sweden.

Samsung also made the ICS update available today in its home country, South Korea; and the company promised to gradually roll out the same update to other markets, which I believe that includes the Philippines.

In a note, Samsung added that it will also release ICS for GALAXY Note, GALAXY S II LTE, GALAXY Tab 8.9 and GALAXY Tab 10.1 very, very soon.

Sony Xperia S Hits Philippines Gray Market at Php 28,500

Sony Ericsson was a known brand for over a decade already and also a big player in the mobile industry, but the two companies’ partnership came to an end when Sony bought Ericsson’s stakes on its joint venture last month.

And to begin Sony’s solo venture, the company released its first ever Sony-branded smartphone in the competition, the Sony Xperia S. In the Xperia lineup, this is actually the successor to the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S.

Sony Xperia S was first seen at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2012) and was also showcased at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) just last month. It’s now available in selected countries; but unfortunately we still have to see the official launch here in the Philippines. But for those who can’t wait to get their hands on this device, the folks over at Widget City have it for Php 28,500!

Update: WC dropped its price of the Sony Xperia S to Php 25,900 hours after this post was published!

Android Browser Beats Opera for the First Time as the Top Mobile Web Browser

Opera, the most widely used web browser in feature phones has been beaten for the first time from its throne as the top mobile browser.

The Android web browser that is seen to have a rapid growth since its inception a couple of years ago has broken another record — this time leading Opera in the list of StatCounter’s Global Stats. From the most recent monthly report (February, 2012), Android browser accounts 22.67% of the market share, beating out Opera at 21.7%. Apple mobile Safari browser captured the third place; however, StatCounter accounts the iPhone and iPod Touch browsers separately. If combined, these devices could push Safari to the top spot accounting 25.36% of the market share.

ASUS Brings New Features for Eee Pad Transformer (TF101) with Android Ice Cream Sandwich

ASUS on Friday started rolling out firmware update to the original Eee Pad Transformer tablet (model TF101) initially running Android Honeycomb out of the box.
The update, which is none other than the latest Android Ice Cream Sandwich, is now available for download over-the-air (OTA) — presumably for all users across the globe, of course including the Philippines.

Google Launches First Beta of Chrome Browser for Android

Finally, Android users will now experience the power of the Chrome browser as Google has already made it available for download in Android Market. Dubbed as Chrome for Android Beta, the browser is still on its first beta stage, hence the name – yet it’s promised to offer a faster mobile web browsing performance than the native browser app on Android.
 Features of Chrome for Android Beta include:

– Browse fast with accelerated page loading, scrolling, and zooming
– Search and navigate directly from the omnibox
– Open and switch between unlimited tabs in an easy-to-view stack
– Sign in to Chrome to sync your bookmarks and view tabs you have open on your computer
– Send pages from desktop Chrome to your smartphone or tablet with one click and read them on the go, even if you’re offline
– Browse privately in Incognito mode

It appears this browser shares similar features than its desktop counterpart, which Google said was designed with focus on speed and simplicity. The only catch though is not all Android devices are supported, only smartphones and tablets running Android Ice Cream Sandwich or later.

Lenovo Intros IdeaPad S2, a 10-incher Android 4.0 Slate with Keyboard Dock

Also from Lenovo’s presser ahead of CES 2012, the company announced its next generation tablet powered by Android Ice Cream Sandwich. The IdeaPad S2 is a 10-inch slate in which at just 8.5mm thin and 1.1lbs light – it’s said to be thinner than its predecessor and is one of the lightest 10-incher tablets available today.

On top of its Android OS, the IdeaPad S2 also flaunts Lenovo’s Modrian UI across its 1280 x 800 IPS display. And while it’s already rocking a dual-core Snapdragon 8960 processor ticking at 1.5GHz at each core, the IdeaPad S2 is also packed with 1GB of RAM for faster computing.

Lenovo K91, First Smart TV Running Android Ice Cream Sandwich

Lenovo announced on Sunday the world’s first Smart TV to carry Android Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Google-owned mobile OS to date.

Lenovo K91, as the Chinese PC maker calls it, is a 55-inch HD TV powered by Qualcomm’s 2-core 8060 Snapdragon processor. Aside from today’s TV features like HDMI, Wi-Fi connectivity, and expanded SD storage – the K91 also brings the possibility of video interaction and integration of face recognition technology through its built-in 5MP camera.

Ice Cream Sandwich Update to Samsung GALAXY S and GALAXY Tab Unlikely to Happen

Two weeks ago Samsung announced it will be rolling out Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) update to several GALAXY handsets excluding the popular and best selling Samsung GALAXY S and the company’s first-generation GALAXY Tab slate.

The announcement screwed users who are expecting much their devices will get the latest version of Android to date, leaving Samsung to make a separate announcement that it will reconsider its decision. A rumor then surfaced the internet few days ago that Samsung apparently has plans of releasing a “Value Pack” that would bring new features instead of the full ICS rollout.