Android 2.3 Gingerbread Stories August 24, 2011

Samsung is introducing seven new monikers to their smartphone branding so people can “simply identify the device designed to deliver the perfect experience for them”

The Inquirer reports that Samsung confirmed they will be adding four new smartphone sub-categories to the venerable Galaxy family of smartphones and tablets at the IFA 2011 show in Germany, nine days from today. Expanding on the successful Galaxy S series, the company will roll out new models that will be distinguished with the following suffixes: “R” for Royal/Refined, “W” for Wonder, “M” for Magical and “Y” for Young. As for the Galaxy S, the “S” stands for Super Smart, the South Korean company explained.

In addition, each model may be offered in three flavors, which will be denoted by adding “Pro”, “Plus” and “LTE” to their brand names. What are those about? Well, “Pro” means a physical QWERTY keyboard, “Plus” is for upgraded devices and “LTE”, as the name tells, means the device supports the fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution radio technology. Go past the fold for a quick list of the upcoming new phones.

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Android 2.3 Gingerbread Stories July 27, 2011

Motorola’s Xoom will get the promised 4G LTE modem upgrade in September, per corporate communication from Verizon Wireless sent to registered users, published by the Droid Life blog. The free of charge update promises a tenfold increase in network speeds, available to more than 110 million people in select markets where the carrier rolled out its 4G LTE network, with “coverage expanding every day”. The email notice reads:

Be on the lookout at the end of summer for an email with information about how to upgrade your Motorola XOOM to speeds up to 10X faster than 3G. In the meantime, learn more about what you can do to prepare for the 4G LTE upgrade to your Motorola XOOM by backing up data, encrypting, or resetting your Motorola Xoom tablet.

On a somewhat related note, T-Mobile and Sony Ericsson also began rolling out Gingerbread updates to the Xperia X10 and G2x

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Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

Android 2.3 Gingerbread Stories July 25, 2011

In an industry-first, AT&T issued a statement pledging to update all post-paid Android smartphones released in 2011 to Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Motorola Atrix 4G owners will get a Gingerbgread update beginning today and HTC Inspire 4G users will get it “in the coming weeks”, AT&T confirms. As for the Atrix, Gingerbread will enable the ability to download applications from third-party stores. Other smartphones in AT&T’s lineup pinned for Gingerbread include LG’s Phoenix, Pantech’s Crossover and Samsung’s Captivate 4G and Infuse 4G.

Delivery method will vary by device, the carrier said. That AT&T is taking updating Android phones seriously is a welcome sign for consumers and the Android ecosystem at large, often criticized for platform fragmentation. Google said at their annual developer conference in May that they will be tackling fragmentation woes by imposing strict requirements on their carrier and handset partners. Upgrade details are right below the fold. expand full story

Android 2.3 Gingerbread Stories July 15, 2011

LG this morning announced two new phones engineered around Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The LG Optimus Pro (LG-C660) and Optimus Net (LG-P690) smartphones – both rolling out in 30 markets this summer beginning in Europe – feature a 1500mAh battery – “the largest in their class”, says LG – and an 800MHz processor. The phones are clearly aimed at the social generation. The Optimus Pro hasa QWERTY keyboard that will appeal to fast typists, a 2.8-inch touch display and dedicated hardware hotkeys for email and scheduler. The device will be available in white, titan and black.

The Optimus Net, available in black and white, sports a bigger 3.2-inch 320-by-480 pixel resolution display and LG Social+, the company’s own widget that acts as a hub to popular social networks. It lets you read your friends’ social media feeds, update Facebook and Twitter status, share photos across multiple social media accounts and more. LG wrote another application, SmartShare, that enables the phone to share media with other DLNA-compliant devices.

The North American version will include a QWERTY keyboard and in Brazil, China, Asia and the CIS region, the Optimus Net will be dual SIM-compatible. Also, some European carriers will get a version of the device with an NFC chip for mobile payments. More images and full release after the break.

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Android 2.3 Gingerbread Stories July 5, 2011

Early adopters that bought into the tablet craze by picking up a Samsung Galaxy Tab as then the only viable iPad alternative will be delighted to know that carrier Sprint has begun pushing the Android 2.3 Gingerbread software update over-the-air. Their gadget girl Michelle Leff boasted on Twitter that Sprint is the first carrier to roll out Gingerbread for the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The new firmware brings HID Bluetooth and it updates the device’s baseband software to version S:P100.08 S.EF17 (build GINGERBREAD.EF17).

As you know, Gingerbread is technically a phone operating system. Google was strongly discouraging vendors from building tablet products until Honeycomb arrived. Samsung, of course, didn’t listen. As the iPad had taken everyone by surprise, the Korean gadget maker went on to launch the Galaxy Tab in September of last year. Despite Steve Jobs’ claims that the seven-inch tablets will be dead on arrival because users would need to sandpaper their fingers down to hit the tiny on-screen controls, the form factor has actually been quite compelling, at least among the Android community.

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Android 2.3 Gingerbread Stories June 30, 2011

As Apple fans have been anxiously awaiting the native Skype app for iPad for days, the company has updated its Android app with one-to-one video calls over both wireless and cellular networks. According to a post over at the Skype blog, the Skype for Android 2.0 app sports a complete redesign of the user interface:

There’s a new main menu on the Skype app for Android where you can navigate easily through your contacts, access your Skype profile to change personal details, use the dial pad to make calls, see the balance of your Skype Credit and, of course, make video calls. A new mood message box at the top of the Skype app menu makes it easier than ever to share how you are feeling, what you’ve seen or what you’re up to.

You will need a supported Android Gingerbread device with a forward-facing camera, which at the time of this writing included the HTC Desire S, Sony Ericsson Xperia neo, Sony Ericsson Xperia pro and Google Nexus S (more handsets coming soon, Skype says). To download the updated Skype app, simply visit skype.com/m from your Android device or grab it from Android Market.

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