Android 4.0 Stories July 30, 2013

Panasonic dips toe back in European Android waters with landline phone

Panasonic may have decided to stick to its Japanese home market for its mobile phones, but it hasn’t completely given up on selling Android phones in Europe: it has just announced an Android-based landline phone.

Android Central reports that the KX-PRX120 is a DECT cordless phone and base-station running a rather elderly Android 4.0.

[It has] a 3.5-inch HVGA (480×320) display, though the spec sheet doesn’t specify a processor type or RAM amount.

Besides the ability to make calls (obviously), you’re looking at a device with Wifi, Bluetooth and GPS capability, an 0.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls, microSD expandability and a 1450mAh battery. There’s also a 40-minute answer machine.

It’s clearly a mobile phone adapted for its home role (there not being an obvious need for GPS to navigate between the living-room and kitchen), but the low spec display and out-dated version of Android doesn’t point to a likely return to the global smartphone market anytime soon.

Full specs below:

Panasonic KX-PRX120 specifications

Sophisticated Design

  • 3.5-inch TFT Colour LCD (HVGA)
  • Stylish Compact Design

Smartphone Functionality

  • Android Operation System 4.0
  • Google Play Support
  • Wi-Fi / Bluetooth Connection
  • 0.3M Front Camera for Video Call

Rich Functionality

  • 3.5 inch TFT colour LCD (HVGA) with capacitive multi touch screen
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS
  • 0.3M pixel Front Camera
  • 1450mAh Li-ion Battery
  • microSD / microSDHC Card Slot on Handset
  • micro USB Charging Port
  • Incoming/Outgoing Call Barring to help minimise unwanted or nuisance calls
  • Answering Machine (For KX-PRX120, 40min)
  • Key Finder accessory (Optional)
  • Advanced Alarm-clock
  • Up to 6 handsets (Optional handset or GAP supported DECT handset) can be registered

Android 4.0 Stories April 3, 2013

Twitter releases redesigned Android app with new features

On top of rolling out support for new Twitter cards for developers that will allow users to launch and install apps directly from within tweets, Twitter today released an overhauled Android app that finally follows the Android 4.0+ Holo design theme:

We just released a new version of Twitter for Android. Its new design reflects a native Android experience: wider and taller timelines that fill the screen, a flat navigation bar, tap and hold for quick actions, and more. You can now quickly navigate between tabs by swiping across your screen. And as you type your Tweet or search, you’ll see username and hashtag suggestions, making it easier to connect with friends and join conversations.

Other improvements in the updated app include @username and #hashtag auto suggestions when typing in search for composing a new tweet, as well as the ability to install and launch apps from developers that support a new mobile app deep-linking feature Twitter outlined on its developers blog.

The updated Twitter for Android app is available on Google Play now.

Android 4.0 Stories October 9, 2012

Sprint just announced it is adding three new Android-powered devices to its 4G LTE lineup, as well as expanding its 4G mobile broadband portfolio with a new USB dongle.

The Android devices include:

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 features a 10.1-inch 1,280-by-800 display, front-facing VGA camera, and rear-facing 3-megapixel on the back, while the inside touts a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB of storage, and a 7,000 mAh battery. The Ice Cream Sandwich-powered tablet also comes with Sprint LTE connectivity and mobile hotspot support for up to 10 devices.

The LG Optimus G offers a 4.7-inch 1,280-by-768 True HD IPS Plus display, 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 13-megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, 32GB ROM, 2GB RAM, and a 2,100 mAh battery. It also touts Ice Cream Sandwich OS, but it further includes LG software like QSlide and QuickMemo.

The LG Mach boasts a QWERTY and slide-out physical keyboard with only a .48-inch thick body. The Ice Cream Sandwich-powered, 4-inch smartphone also packs a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 8GB ROM, 1GB RAM, microSD slot, and a 1,700 mAh battery.

As for the USB dongle: Sprint’s Plug-in-Connect Tri-Mode USB will support 3G, 4G WiMAX and 4G LTE connectivity. The stick even houses a foldaway USB connector, LED service indicator, and it is both Windows- and Mac-compatible.

Sprint said pricing and availability for each new addition will surface “at a later date,” but further specs and details are available in the press release below.

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Android 4.0 Stories August 9, 2012

A few press images of the Sony Xperia manifested online before its expected IFA unveiling in September and just days after a slew of leaked slides on the tablet emerged via a German website.

Android Guys first spotted the latest high-res leaks on the XDA Developers Forum. The forum’s contributor noted the device offers a Tegra3 CPU, 1-megapixel front-facing camera, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, 6000 mAh battery, and a magnesium-aluminum alloy body.

The 16GB Experia will apparently sell, according to the XDA thread, for $399.99, while the 32GB and 64GB models cost an additional $100 and $200 respectively, but previous reports for the tablet indicated a slightly higher price scheme.

More rumored specs include Android 4.0 or later, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, and a 8.8mm aluminum shell that is 42 percent thinner than the Tablet S. The slim design is certainly a draw, but that dramatic bezel pictured above is a completely different story.

The full gallery is below.

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Android 4.0 Stories July 10, 2012

AT&T made things official this morning for Samsung Galaxy Note users by announcing the availability of an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update and Premium Suite from Samsung. While most of us know what to expect with ICS, the Premium Suite will give you access to a number of apps and new features including: the S Note app, which is a widget for quick access to S Memo features, and an app for creating customized notes and greeting cards with S Pen called “My Story”. AT&T also confirmed ICS for the Galaxy S II Skyrocket.

The update is a little hairier than most with the requirement that you connect your device to your Mac or PC and the Kies application. From there, you are hard resetting your device and will lose stuff like Bluetooth devices, Music playlists and apps folders.

The update is available now from Samsung, while a description of the new S Pen capabilities thanks to S Note is below in the full press release:

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Android 4.0 Stories June 28, 2012

We heard rumors in March that the HTC One V, which unveiled at MWC in Barcelona, would land in the United States on Virgin Mobile in “late spring” for $200. As noted by Engadget, the company has since announced plans to bring the device to a number of carriers this summer. The One V was spotted today on Virgin Mobile for $199, contract-free. We did not get word of an announcement from Virgin, so we are nor sure exactly when the device went up for sale, but it is definitely an enticing option at $200 for Android 4.0 device packing Beats Audio, a 5-megapixel camera, and a 3.7-inch WVGA display.

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Android 4.0 Stories June 27, 2012

Chrome for Android officially out of Beta

Google confirmed on the Google Chrome Releases blog today that Chrome for Android is now a Stable Channel release and officially out of Beta. The download is available now on Google Play for devices running Android 4.0 or later.

This update picks up important stability and performance fixes since the last Beta, along with some minor UI adjustments, especially for tablets. Known issues are available on the Chrome support site.

Android 4.0 Stories May 8, 2012

Google posts Galaxy Nexus panorama commercial

Google just released a new commercial showing off Android 4.0’s panorama camera mode on the Galaxy Nexus.

Android 4.0 Stories April 12, 2012

Many of us are excited for the first real LTE device set to launch on the Now Network. According to recent leaks, the launch date looks to be coming soon. There have been a good amount of leaks already pointing to an April 22 launch date, and now we have two more leaks from two different publications. BGR posted a leaked memo from a store that indicates April 22 for the launch date. Android Police also posted a leaked memo from a Best Buy store that suggests an April 22 launch date. The LG Viper 4G is set to launch on Sprint April 22, so it makes sense for the network to launch two LTE devices on the same day. I’d bank on it coming this month. Check out both leaks below. expand full story

Android 4.0 Stories April 10, 2012

For those of you who think a 10-inch tablet is too small, Toshiba just announced a new 13-inch tablet this morning to add to its Excite tablet line. Along with the 13-inch version, Toshiba also introduced smaller 7-inch and 10-inch versions, all set to launch in May and June.

Each version of the tablet features a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor and 1GB of RAM. Toshiba will also ship each version with Ice Cream Sandwich.

Toshiba is set to launch the Excite 10 in May 2012 for $449 for the 16GB model, $529 for the 32GB model, and $649 for the 64GB model. The Excite 7 is launching in June 2012 for $499 for the 16GB model and $579 for the 32GB model. The Excite 13 tablet launches in June for $649.99 for the 32GB model and $749.99 for the 64GB model.

Our own Seth Weintraub played with the 13-inch version at this year’s CES and said he was pretty impressed. What do you think about a 13-inch tablet?

Check out the full press release after the break:

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Android 4.0 Stories March 28, 2012

Google just pushed out an update to the “Maps for Android” app that brings new high-resolution map tiles for pixel dense displays, a new look for Navigation on Android 4.0, and the ability to set a preferred mode of transit for directions.

New high-res map on the right, previous map on the left

In addition to a redesigned home screen for the Navigation feature of the app on Android 4.0 devices, the new higher resolution map tiles provide “a crisper, less cluttered map that is easier to read.” Google noted this would allow you to take full advantage of the pixel density of displays on devices like the Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy S II, and Droid Razr.

The high-res tiles will appear when visiting new locations on the map, but you will have to clear the cache in Map settings for previously visited locations. Google explained the benefits:

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Android 4.0 Stories March 20, 2012

Sony unveiled the Xperia neo L MT25i in China today as its first smartphone to ship with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Neo successor packs a 4-inch 480-by-854-pixel display, 1GHz single-core Snapdragon MSM8255 processor with Adreno 205 graphics, 512MB RAM, 1GB of internal memory, MicroSD support, 5-megapixel camera with 720p video recording and LED flash, VGA front-facing camera, and a 1,500 mAh battery.

More information is available below.

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Android 4.0 Stories February 9, 2012

Following its November promise, Taiwanese handset maker HTC today detailed through its Facebook page the devices that will get Ice Cream Sandwich in March. The first round of upgrades will roll out by the end of March for the Sensation, Sensation 4G, and Sensation XE. The Sensation XL will upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich “soon thereafter,” the company noted. Additionally, other devices will get Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades “later this year,” including the Rezound, Vivid, Amaze 4G, EVO 3D, EVO Design 4G, Incredible S, Desire S, and Desire HD.

After posting a 26 percent profit drop for the holiday quarter, HTC warned it will scale back its 2012 roadmap to focus on flagship devices rather than spread itself thin developing, manufacturing and marketing dozens of short-lived phones. The company will make announcements at Mobile World Congress that runs Feb. 27 to March 1 in Barcelona, Spain. The rumor-mill thinks HTC will launch the Ville and Edge handsets at the show; the latter being billed the world’s first quad-core smartphone. The device should run Nvidia’s Tegra 3 chip sporting four processing cores clocked at 1.5GHz.

 

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Android 4.0 Stories February 2, 2012

Galaxy Nexus

Google updated its Android stats —as they do every two weeks— revealing how much of each version of Android is installed across devices. Yesterday’s update revealed that Android’s most recent offering, Ice Cream Sandwich, is now installed on 1 percent of devices, which is pretty meh if you ask me. Ice Cream Sandwich saw its first debut on the Galaxy Nexus, and over time, it has seen both official and unofficial installs across many other devices.

Not much else has changed from the last stats refresh. Android 2.3 Gingerbread still holds the most installs with almost 60 percent across every device, while Android 2.2 Froyo follows close behind. Let’s hope Google can deploy Android 4.0 to devices very quick, because we would not want any of you to miss out! You can see the graph below for the full breakdown.

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Android 4.0 Stories January 3, 2012

ASUS Eee Pad Transformer Prime to get FOTA Ice Cream Sandwich update Jan. 12

ASUS announced on its Facebook today that the Transformer Prime would receive a firmware over-the-air Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update starting Jan. 12. Somehow this is even before the Motorola XOOM, Google’s reference tablet? Perhaps this will ignite a war among Tablet makers to get their devices up to Ice Cream Sandwich first. Bring […]

Android 4.0 Stories December 16, 2011

It ain’t dead yet: Flash 11.1 delivered to Android 4.0 ICS

Those ICS early adopters who want to browse all the Internets, including the ones that are Flash enabled, got some good news today that Flash 11.1 is ready, right on time, for Android 4.0.  Currently available in the Android Market, the release date actually says Dec 12th wich was a few days before the release […]

Android 4.0 Stories December 9, 2011

Coby Electronics, the maker of cheap Android tablets and other electronics, has announced five new Android tablets that will run the new Ice Cream Sandwich. The tablet will come in five different screen variants: 7-inch MID7042 (4:3 aspect ratio), 8-inch MID8042 (4:3 aspect ratio), 9-inch MID9042 (4:3 aspect ratio), 9.7-inch MID9742 (4:3 aspect ratio), and a 10-inch MID1042 (4:3 aspect ratio). The tablets will be landing in the first quarter of 2012, after seeing a debut — presumably with a ton of other Android tablets — at CES 2012.

All five variants will pack a 1 GHz RM Cortex A8 processor and multi-touch capacitive touch screen underneath.Other specs include 1GB of RAM, expandable memory up 32 GB, Wi-Fi, and 1080P HD playback.  There’s no word on if this device will actually have the Android Market pre-loaded or what the actual price will be. We’ve posted the full press release after the break. (via AndroidCentral)

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Android 4.0 Stories December 7, 2011

Google’s Eric Schmidt recently took the stage alongside Android Product Management Director, Hugo Barra, at Le Web conference in Paris to talk Ice Cream Sandwich and the future of Android. Most of the interview and demo consisted of showing off some of the new flagship features of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich like face unlock, but the Google chairman also took some time to talk competition (via Cnet). While noting that Android is now ahead of iPhone by unit volume, price points, and number of vendors, Schmidt shared his thoughts on why he thinks developers will perfer Android to iOS in the near future:

Ultimately, application vendors are driven by volume, and volume is favored by the open approach Google is taking. There are so many manufacturers working to deliver Android phones globally. Whether you like Android or not, you will support that platform, and maybe you’ll even deliver it first.

When asked about iOS apps beating the Android versions of apps to market, he had high hopes that would change with Ice Cream Sandwich:

My prediction is that six months from now you’ll say the opposite.

As for the future of Android: expand full story

Android 4.0 Stories November 22, 2011

It looks like the first quad-core Tegra 3 tablet is getting one step closer to a final release with the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime officially going up for pre-order on Amazon today. We knew it would be landing for $499 sometime in December, but today it’s listed at a slight discount for $492.20 for the entry-level 32GB model ($584.22 for 64GB).

Asus also today officially listed the device on their website with full specs, however we don’t learn much more than we already found out last month. Some new pieces of information– ‘SonicMaster’ audio tech brings the “most precise processing protocols and codecs, superior speaker construction and large resonance chambers”, and a power saving mode which according to SlashGear lets you switch off three of the CPU’s four cores. Asus notes their battery life estimates are measured using the powering saving mode.

We also learn there will be a bunch of preloaded apps including the SuperNote note taking app, MyCloud for cloud storage and remote access, MyNet for streaming over home networks, and My Library which stores all downloaded publications in one convenient location. There will also be the Asus launcher, Asus sync app, and TegraZone, and a full list of accessories can be found here.

The page confirms an Ice Cream Sandwich update will be coming, while Nvidia (via TheVerge) gives us our first look at Android 4.0 ICS running on the Transformer Prime in the video above. expand full story

Android 4.0 Stories November 17, 2011

Google has just released their redesigned Android.com, that will definitely appeal to the consumer moving away from references of “SDK” and more. The old Android homepage was more of a portal for developers, but today’s update gives a sure direction of what Android is and how it can appeal to consumers.

The main part of the page gives information on what is new in the Android ecosystem — which right now is Android 4.0. “Discover Android”, found in the top left, will also tell you exactly what Android is and describes why you want it. There’s also links to the developer portal and Android Market.

This seems like a huge step!

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Android 4.0 Stories October 19, 2011

Image courtesy of The Verge

Following a slew of announcements from Google yesterday culminating with the unveiling of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the accompanying software development kit, Android Beam, the new People app, the panoramic camera feature and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone (among other things), The Verge has published an exclusive, lengthy interview with Android’s head of user experience Matias Duarte. It’s a highly recommended read with revealing details and interesting insider perspective on Google’s arguably the most propulsive property.

Some of the more noteworthy highlights:

Android Honeycomb, which was Duarte’s first big Google project following his departure from Palm after the company was acquired by HP, was a lot like “emergency landing”, he said.  It’s a platform which has “a flexibility designed into it that you don’t have to worry about when you’re doing a completely integrated device”. And why Google refused to open-source Honeycomb? “On Honeycomb we cheated, we cut the corner of all that smaller device support”, adding this:

Honeycomb was like: we need to get tablet support out there. We need to build not just the product, but even more than the product, the building blocks so that people stop doing silly things like taking a phone UI and stretching it out to a 10-inch tablet.

People are fed up with “two decades of windows, and cursors, and little folder icons”, he says. The search company actually visited “shadow” users at their homes and workplaces to figure out how they interacted with mobile devices. What they found out was surprising: Android lacked emotional connection with its users who deemed the operating system overly complex. So they set out to build a wonderland of sorts, improving on Android’s typography by creating in-house a clean typeface for Ice Cream Sandwich dubbed Roboto. He then took a jab at Apple, calling the iOS design “juvenile” and likening it to web pages with “cartoony things hanging off a page”.

More tidbits below the fold. expand full story

Android 4.0 Stories October 18, 2011

Before they announce it on-stage here in a few minutes, This is my next has just posted a full run-down of Ice Cream Sandwich, the next version of Android. The new version features numerous UI changes, including a new color scheme called Roboto. Since the Galaxy Nexus features no hardware buttons, Google has introduced new virtual buttons to the homepage. To also compliment the homepage GOogle has introduced five screens and resizable widgets. Google is also introducing a new feature to Ice Cream Sandwich called Android Beam. Using NFC, Beam allows users to share content with other Android users.

-Ice Cream Sandwich now also features face-recognition to unlock the device. The device will recognize your face and will unlock it when it sees it.

-Ice Cream Sandwich features a new Google+ app, that also features a new People app that pulls photos from your Google+ friends and puts them in your contacts. This new feature will certainly bring a new aspect to the social network.

-To compliment the 5-megapixel camera, Google has added a new camera app to Ice Cream Sandwich that will allow you to edit photos. The keyboard now features an inline spell checker and improved copy and paste.

-Android’s internet browser now features Chrome desktop sync and offline syncing.

-Gmail now features swiping and offline mail.

-Calendar now features pinch to zoom.

-Now features data usage so you know how much data you have used for the month. It also will project data usage for you.

-New camera features.

-Google announces new People App. More to come.

This story is developing, please refresh for updates.

few minutes early from This is my next who obtained an official press release, Samsung has officially announced one of the most anticipated devices of the year: the Galaxy Nexus. The Galaxy Nexus is the flagship Android device to run Google’s next version of Android, Android 4.o — aka Ice Cream Sandwich. The Galaxy Nexus is packing specs wise, featuring a 4.65-inch (1280 x 720) 720P HD Super AMOLED display, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Storage wise the device comes in a 16GB or 32GB version. The device features a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera (1o80p at 30FPS) and 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. As it goes for connectivity the device features Bluetooth 3.0, USB, Wi-Fi, and NFC — which will hopefully have Wallet enabled.

We’re hearing the device features Google+ integration inside, but we’re sure that has to do more with Ice Cream Sandwich.

The device features the curved design that was rumored, making the Prime 8.94mm thick and 135g in weight. The device also features a barometer! We’re waiting for some official press shots, so hang tight until the event begins.

The Galaxy Nexus lands in November in U.S., Europe, and Asia, but no carriers have been announced

We’re but a day away from Google’s and Samsung’s major Hong Kong event meant to serve as a launchpad for the Nexus Prime, the first handset to feature Android 4.0 nicknamed Ice Cream Sandwich. Guardian reports that the handset is “expected to be released in the UK within the next four weeks, in time for Christmas”, without naming a source for their claim. Meanwhile, Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo wrote on Twitter that the Nexus Prime will land in Japan around November, boasting about it being “among the fastest” devices on the market.

An unlocked version of the phone is already showing up at third-party resellers, priced at about $750. The features allegedly include a powerful 1.2GHz dual-core processor, native 720p display, eight-megapixel camera on the back with 1080p video capture, support for NFC and more.

Google pushed back the Nexus Prime launch originally scheduled for Monday last week out of respect for Steve Jobs. Coincidentally, the new October 19 date collides with a celebration of Steve Jobs’ life due tomorrow in the outdoor amphitheater of Apple’s Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. Apple will even close its brick-and-mortar stores for an hour so employees can watch the ceremony.

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Android 4.0 Stories October 11, 2011

Update: He’s wrong.  We’ve heard from an impeccable source that Google plans to have invites out “in the next day or so and there is no patent delay.

We reported earlier that Google and Samsung were delaying the release of the new Nexus Prime phone and Android 4.0 “Ice cream Sandwich” out of respect for the passing of Steve Jobs.

“We believe this is not the right time to announce a new product as the world expresses tribute to Steve Jobs’s passing,” the companies said.

But according to often (but not always) correct blogger Eldar Murtazin, there are patent issues at hand which need to be addressed before the devices and OS  ship.  Specifically, Google is slicing out features which may be subject to Apple’s Patents…

See Steve Jobs introducing multi-touch in 2007 below, saying “Boy have we patented it!”.   expand full story

Android 4.0 Stories October 7, 2011

Sad news from the Android camp as both Google and Samsung announce (via Pocket-lint) that the Galaxy Nexus, also known as the Nexus Prime, will not launch at the Mobile Unpacked conference October 12 next Wednesday, as originally expected. The two companies provided no explanation for the delay apart from this official statement:

Samsung and Google decide to postpone the new product announcement at CTIA Fall. We agree that it is just not the right time to announce a new product. New date and venue will be shortly announced.

The CTIA conference runs October 11-13, 2011 at San Diego’s Convention Center. The publication speculates that the delay could be related to avoiding a likely media conflict if Steve Jobs’ funeral were to happen that day. The wording of the official statement, that “it is just not the right time to announce a new product”, supports the thesis.

UPDATE: Ina Fried over at the AllThingsD blog quotes unnamed sources who said Google and Samsung “just felt it was the wrong time to hold a launch event, as the world continues mourning Jobs”. Furthermore:

The decision to postpone things was made late last night at the top levels of both companies, sources said, with Jobs’ death being the reason. There are no delays with the product itself, sources insisted.

Samsung and Google later updated their original press statement, which now reads:

We believe this is not the right time to announce a new product as the world expresses tribute to Steve Jobs’s passing.

Another possibility, albeit much less likely, is an unknown patent issue that might need sorting out. 

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Android 4.0 Stories August 11, 2011

Android Police and RootzWiki have both obtained exclusive shots of Google’s next version of Android, Android 4.0 dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich. Interestingly, RootzWiki says there aren’t many changes, but a couple of UI — mainly everything’s Blue.

  • Blue Themed – Like our site (Change theme on bottom) 
  • Camera has built in panorama mode
  • Will launch with Google Shopper and NFC Enabled devices will be able to utilize those features
  • Gmail is all rethemed
  • Will be available for the Nexus S
More changes and images after the break.
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