AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket Android 4.0 update leaks online

Just like the HTC Vivid, a leaked Android 4.0 update for AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy II Skyrocket surfaced online.

AT&T promised the Samsung Galaxy S successor was next on its Ice Cream Sandwich overhaul list, but now Skyrocket owners have the option to download the update on the Internet instead of waiting for the carrier to make good on its pledge.

After HTC Vivid’s ICS build leaked, AT&T swiftly issued an over-the-air update for the upgrade. With that as an indication, users should expect the software to rollout over-the-air for the Skyrocket soon.

The download is available below.

Read more

Sony to join the Chromebook party according to leaked images

Last month, we heard from Google’s Senior Vice President of Chrome Sundar Pichai who told Cnet that new, faster Chromebooks are on the way. Today, we might be getting our first look at a new Sony VAIO Chromebook thanks to a Federal Communications Commission filing for the “Sony VAIO VCC111 Series” that references the ability to “start Chrome OS” (via Laptop Reviews). Adding more proof that this is a Chromebook —and not a Windows machine— is the lack of a Windows key and chrome accents on the back cover. However, the VAIO Chromebook does feature an 11.6-inch Samsung display, HDMI port, microphone and headphone jacks, SD card slot, and two USB 2.0 ports. The filing also mentioned a “T25″ CPU. Laptop Reviews speculated the CPU could be NVidia’s Tegra 250 T25 ARM-based processor, which would mean it is the first non-Intel processor in a Chromebook.

Read more

Google’s Street View and Maps face criticism throughout Asia, captures beauty of Thailand and Amazon

Google launched its Street View galleries this past week for Amazon and Thailand without a hiccup, but the Internet giant was not-so lucky elsewhere, as it has faced many obstacles over its mapping applications throughout the globe—especially in Asia.

Reuters published a lengthy reported today detailing how Google often meets hurdles worldwide, such as the recent debacle on its privacy policy, and it fully described the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company’s tenacious attempts to chart the streets and landscapes of Asia while consistently meeting privacy, political, and cultural barriers.

For those that live under a rock: Google Street View is a service highlighted in Google Maps and Google Earth that offers panoramic views of streets. It launched in 2007 in the United States and has expanded to many cities and rural areas worldwide.

A round up of Asia’s criticisms is below.

Read more

New ‘Kindle’ for Android app update adds over 1,000 illustrated books

Amazon just updated the “Kindle” for Android app to support Kindle Format 8, and it brings a variety of children’s books, comic books, and graphic novels with vivid color and illustrations.

“Shop for over 1000 children’s titles such as Brown Bear and Curious George, and comics such as Batman and Superman. Plus, richer formatting in thousands of other Kindle titles,” announced the app’s description on the Google Play Store.

The new collection of reading materials compliment an already existing catalog of over 850,000 Kindle books and 100 different newspapers and magazines hosted through Amazon’s free application that does not need a Kindle slate. For those that already own a Kindle, Whispersync seamlessly beams a user’s last page read, and any bookmarks, highlights, and notes across all compatible devices.

Read more

AT&T first carrier to upgrade Android phone to Ice Cream Sandwich with HTC Vivid (Beats too!)

.

Getting your Android smartphones upgraded to the latest version is an important factor in considering which carrier to go with, because some carriers push updates quickly while others let things fall by the wayside.

This time around, AT&T is the first carrier to upgrade one of its phones to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Besides the Galaxy Nexus devices, and anything running a hacked version or Cyanogen Mod, Vivid owners will be the first U.S. device owners running ICS.

A version of ICS briefly hit Vivid owners earlier this week, but it was pulled. At the moment, we are not able to do the update, but we are told it is rolling out now.

According to HTC’s Twitter account, the Vivid will also get Beats by Dre audio functionality as well.

The full release is below, including AT&T’s full ICS roadmap… Read more

Google patent outlines phone call spying for personalized ad serving


With Microsoft and numerous regulatory bodies nipping at Google’s heels and decrying the Internet giant of shady advertising practices and loose privacy standards, one would think the Mountain View, Calif.-based Company might lie low for a while.

Well, that is not the case: The Next Web reported on a Google patent today that introduced technology for analyzing the environmental conditions (or background sound) of phone calls. The action would essentially allow Google to exhibit advertisements based on the clamor its science heard.

The patent, called “Advertising based on environmental conditions,” described how the method recognizes signal outputs from environmental conditions using a sensor coupled with the remote device (such as a smartphone). Google would then serve personalized ads based on the data gathered. In other words, if Google noticed a NASCAR race in the background of a phone call, it would then promptly offer ads for motor sports…

Read more

Toshiba boasts new 13.3-inch ICS tablet with TV tuner in Germany

Toshiba unveiled the new 13.3-inch-display AT330 tablet in Germany, and it has one very unique feature: a TV tuner.

Techfokus said the Japanese electronics manufacturer showcased its latest device at Toshiba World 2012 in Bonn. The Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich slate employs a Tegra 3 quad-core CPU, but its most interesting highlight is a TV tuner and an antennae that extends from body…

Read more

Google Docs updates spell checker to recognize words like ‘Skrillex’

Google Docs can now spell check threw through the Web.

Software Engineer Yew Jin Lim took to the official Google Docs blog this afternoon to explain how the Internet is helping Google Docs get smarter. The ambiguous and ever-adapting Googlebot is able to crawl cyberspace and adapt to words. The resulting action enables Google to improve suggestions during misspelled queries in Google Search. Well now, the same process is applied to Google Docs…

Read more

Google’s new Wallet plan: Share the take with carriers

Google’s mobile payment system, known as Google Wallet,” has not received the kind of warm welcome that the company might have hoped. First, there were issues with Verizon blocking the service on the new Galaxy Nexus as the carrier prepped its own rival service, known as “ISIS.” Wallet then had a few roadblocks with security concerns related to prepaid cards, which the company apologized for with complimentary $5 deposits to Google wallet users. Today, a report from Bloomberg citing “people with knowledge of the project” claimed, despite being “enthusiastic” about progress, Google is considering sharing revenue with carriers to get them to support the technology:

Read more