A new version of the Google Play Store is rolling out, bringing it to v3.7.15. This version seems to be more of a behind the scenes bug fix update as it seems to have fixed the Sprint 4G download issue, so not quite as exciting as the last Play Store update. Other than that, we’re not seeing anything obvious.
The folks at Android Police have pulled the file for those who don’t want to wait for the official over-the-air push and wish to sideload it manually.
Source: android police
Samsung is king of OLED and have gotten much praise over some of their displays, but OLED technology is difficult to make in the higher pixel densities that traditional LCDs can achieve.
But a story coming from Korean site etnews states that Samsung has perfected their techniques to produce OLED screens at up to 350 ppi (compared to the iPhone’s 326 ppi Retina displays). Higher pixel densities mean sharper text and images, which generally translates to better looking device displays.
Hopefully this will mean that Samsung phones will be coming with better screens later this year, and that makes us happy.
via: android central
ZTE recently announced the Grand X for Europe and the Asia Pacific in the third quarter, but it looks like they have something else up their sleeve for the U.S. in the 4th quarter. The ZTE Flash will debut on Sprint this October and it sports some pretty decent specs such as a 4.5-inch IPS 720p (1280 x 720) display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 12.6MP rear camera, 1MP front facing camera, 8GB of internal storage, microSDXC slot, 1780mAh battery, Bluetooth 4.0, LTE, Gorilla Glass, and Android 4.0.
Hopefully there’s still a chance that Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is onboard by the time this bad boy releases since this sheet was probably printed before Google unveiled it a few weeks ago. ZTE is already putting Jelly Bean on the N880E so it’s a pretty safe bet. These specs do look good, but the question is how good will they look come October?
Fragmentation. The word most commonly used by Android naysayers when they’re looking for some ammunition with which to open fire on the world’s most popular mobile operating system. The problem is that the issue is very real, it’s certainly a large part of the reason why I personally only use Nexus devices these days. Whilst much of the vitriol is aimed at Google, it’s actually the manufacturers and their UI skins that we’re at the mercy of. The latest big player to cause a hullabaloo in the tech world this week is none other than HTC. The Taiwanese giant upset a large group of its customers by announcing that the, barely 18 months old, Desire HD will not be receiving an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The announcement sparked a huge influx of complaints from disappointed Desire HD owners and in turn prompted the following response from HTC:
We’ve heard your feedback on our decision not to update the HTC Desire HD to Android 4.0. We completely understand that this is a controversial decision.
For more background, due to how storage on the HTC Desire HD is partitioned – and the larger size of Android 4.0 – it would require re-partitioning device storage and overwriting user data in order to install this update. While technically advanced users might find this solution acceptable, the majority of customers would not. We also considered ways to reduce the overall size of the software package, but this would impact features and functionality that customers are currently using. Even after installing the update, there were other technical limitations which we felt negatively impacted the user experience.
We believe an update should always improve the user experience and carefully evaluate each update based on this criteria. While we are very aware of the disappointment from this decision, we believe the impact to user experience was too great. We recognize this is a change from our previous statement and for that we’re truly sorry.
It’s encouraging that HTC care enough to take the time to explain its actions however I’m fairly sure that the words will do little to soften the blow. Once again it will be down to the developer community to pick up the slack and offer Desire HD owners some Ice Cream Sandwich goodness (Just don’t mention Jelly Bean!)
Have you been messing around a bit to much with the system files on your Jelly Bean powered Nexus device and want to return it back to its factory state? You in luck my friends as Google just released the factory 4.1.1 images for a few of the Nexus units, including the brand new Nexus 7. The devices with available factory images are as follows:
- Galaxy Nexus (yakju): Android 4.1.1 (JRO03C)
- Galaxy Nexus (takju): Android 4.1.1 (JRO03C)
- Nexus S (soju): Android 4.1.1 (JRO03E)
- Nexus S (sojua): Android 4.1.1 (JRO03E)
- Nexus 7 (nakasi): Android 4.1.1 (JRO03D)
As you can see, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus has been left of the list, and the Korean and Sprint Nexus S isn’t available either. This just goes to show that if you want to stay up to date with the latest Android OS it pays to go with a GSM kit. If you see your device listed above and want to grab its factory image, hit up the source link below.
Source: Google Developers
Is it possible that the Android platform has one too many flaws? Well as great as Android may be, there are some notable issues that continue to haunt it such as rampant malware in apps. According to the British Times (via Forbes), more than one-third of all Android apps contain some form of Android malware. Jill Knesek, head of the global security practice at BT and former cybersecurity expert for the FBI, highlights her findings when analyzing 1,000 applications:
“We analyzed more than 1,000 Android applications and found a third compromised with some form of active or dormant malware. Almost every device is compromised with some kind of malware, although often it’s not clear if that code is active or what it is doing.”
While the results are nothing short of surprising, there are a few major issues with Knesek’s findings: no one knows what exactly she means by ‘malware’ and she doesn’t offer concrete evidence to support her argument. We’re only going to assume that ‘malware’ is used in the context to describe items such as apps that send back data without the user’s consent and that the apps tested were apps from untrusted developers. Still, these types of studies certainly raise an eyebrow or two and can possibly create fear and pandemonium. Of course we here at Talk Android recommend that you check out our “How To Spot Malware Guide” and always do your homework on both apps and the developers the apps come from, before downloading an app. Oh and it doesn’t hurt to have some sort of antivirus application installed on your smartphone or tablet.