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Google Nexus 7 OTA 4.1.2

Lots of users over at XDA-Developers Forum have started to get an update for their Google Nexus 7 tablets, this updates brings Android 4.1.2 Jellybean to the device. This isn’t a big update from what people have seen, it seems to increase performance and stability of the tablet along with bug fixes. The only real visible change is the ability to rotate the home screen in landscape mode. Below is a post on the Android Building Group.

We’re releasing Android 4.1.2 to AOSP today, which is a minor update on top of 4.1.1.

As a note to maintainers of community builds running on Nexus 7: please update to 4.1.2 at the first opportunity. Future variants of the grouper hardware will have a minor change in one of the components (the power management chip) that will not be compatible with 4.1.1.

The build number is JZO54K, and the tag is android-4.1.2_r1.

Enjoy,
Conley and JBQ


Jean-Baptiste M. “JBQ” Queru
Technical Lead, Android Open Source Project, Google.

I have been setting my Nexus 7 to look for an update but none yet for me, but thanks to user PTzero of XDA you can download the update from Google’s servers and flash the update yourself if you want. If you are like me you may just do this, and is reported to keep ROOT on your tablet if you have done that like I have. Otherwise wait a day or so and it should update your device.

Images from: EE Times

Second-Generation Nest Thermostat

Nest announced today that they have an update to the Nest Thermostat that makes it compatible with 95% of low voltage heating and cooling systems, along with a slimmer unit, and updated software. The Nest is a “learning thermostat” that is connected to the internet, it tracks your settings such as when you come home and want your house warmer or when you are gone and don’t want the heat up. You can also control the thermostat from an iOS device or Android device, the App shows things like current temperature, set the system to heat or cool, setup schedules, or see statistics of your heating or cooling use.

The updated software on the new Nest adds better controls for forced air systems that start in the morning, better energy savings on radiant heat systems, and support for heat pump systems and other extra add-ons to different systems. They also updated the mobile apps for the new features and support for Android tablets.

The new Nest can be pre-ordered for $249 and ship later in October, and will be available on Amazon.com, Apple online store, and in Lowe’s stores. The updated Nest Software 3.0 will be updating existing Nest thermostats tonight.

25 Billion Downloads on Google Play

Google announced today that they have hit the 25 billion download mark. They didn’t specify if it was just apps or included music, books, movies, or magazines, but it means we get some good deals! They will have a bunch of apps for 25 cents along with collections of 25 top movies, 25 banned books, 25 albums that changed the world, and 25 top selling magazines at special prices.

They also gave us a number, 675,000 app and games available in the Play Store. Also in geek style they put out the numbers such as, 25 billion is twice the distance that Voyager 1 has traveled in miles over 35 years. But ether way these milestone numbers have been good things for Android users as we get good deals on paid apps and this time they are also giving deals on other content they offer. Look for these deals today and will probably be around for a week or so, so don’t miss out.

RadioShack No-Contract Wireless using Cricket

RadioShack is now working with Cricket Wireless to offer a set of no contract plans and limited set of phones with the service. Prices range from $25 to $60 a month for service, and the cost of the phones is $39.99 for the feature phone, $149.99 for the Android 2.3 Smartphone. They also have Cricket’s Muve music service included with the smartphone plans. The smartphone plans say they have unlimited data, but get slowed from 3G to 2G after 1 to 2.5GB of data. Check out the table of the plans below.

Plan Details $25/mo Feature $35/mo Feather $50/mo Smartphone $60/mo Smartphone
Minutes per Month 300 1,000 Unlimited Unlimited
Unlimited Text Yes Yes Yes Yes
Unlimited Muve Music No No Yes Yes
Unlimited Data Yes Yes Yes (1GB 3G Speed) Yes (2.5GB 3G Speed) w/ Tethering

For people who don’t want a contract and are looking for just a phone or a smartphone with no contract this isn’t too bad of a deal. I looked up my zip code on crickets website and it showed that I was covered and after some research found out that that’s because they are using Sprint’s Network. There was no details on bringing your own device to this service or indication on how many more devices they will be adding to the RadioShack branded wireless service.

Samsung ATIV S Windows Phone 8

If Android is not your style the new Windows Phone 8 phones (wow that is repetitive) are coming out and Samsung has their new Samsung ATIV S is not a bad looking device. One thing about Windows Phone is that the makers have to have a preset of specifications that each phone should have, this is to help make better devices. The phone that Samsung released at IFA is said to look like a Galaxy S III but running Windows Phone 8. Below are some specs…

  • Windows Phone 8
  • 4.8″ HD Super AMOLED
  • 1.5 GHz dual-core processer
  • 8 MP rear / 1.9 MP front camera
  • HSPA+ / GSM
  • 16/32GB storage with 1GB RAM and microSD (SDXC) card slot
  • Bluetooth 3.0, NFC, GPS

Some people really like there Windows Phone phones, I think it’s an interesting interface but I like others are already invested in other systems like Android or iOS. Also Windows Phone has lots of apps but may not have as many of the big ones that you will find on other systems.

Samsung Galaxy Note II

More IFA releases this from Samsung, the Galaxy Note II. This is the new version of the popular large screen Android smartphone that comes with a stylus dubbed the S Pen. This phone has a large 5.5″ screen, Android 4.1 and 1.6 GHz quad-core processer. Full specs below.

  • 5.5″ HD Super AMOLED screen
  • Android 4.1
  • 8MP front, 1.9MP back camera
  • 1.6 GHz quad-core processer
  • S Pen and digitizer
  • 16/32/64 GB Memory, microSD (up to 64GB), and 2 GB RAM
  • Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, mHL, GPS
  • 4G LTE / 3G HSPA+
  • S Pen applications

The Note II comes with a lot of extra applications and customizations to make using the S Pen more useful on Android. They also include a bunch of Samsung apps that you may or may not want to use. But from the looks and specs this is a good upgrade to the Galaxy Note.

Sony Xperia T, V, and J Smartphones

 

IFA 2012 in Berlin is a big electronics show that is similar to CES where companies are releasing products they will have out for the holidays. Sony was the first major company with a press event and they have released a bunch of new products including a set of three new phones in there Xperia line of phones called the T, V, and J. Not too original but they range in size from the 4′ J to 4.6′ T. Below is an overview of the three phones.

Xperia T Xperia V Xperia J
1.5 GHz dual core 1.5 GHz dual core 1 Ghz
4.55″ 720p HD Screen 4.3″ 720p HD Screen 4″ Screen
Android 4.0 (upgradable to 4.1) Android 4.0 (upgradable to 4.1) Android 4.0
13MP Camera 13 MP Camera 5MP Camera
Up to 16 GB / 32 GB microSD Up to 8 GB / 32 GB microSD Up to 4 GB / 32 GB microSD
HSPA+ / GSM EDGE HSPA+ / GSM EDGE HSPA / GSM EDGE
7 hrs Talk / 450 hrs Standby 7 hrs Talk / 400 hrs Standby 5.5 hrs Talk / 618 hrs Standby
Black, Silver, White Black Pink, White Black, Gold, Pink, White

Some other things that are cool, the T and V have MHL / TV connectivity, NFC, PlayStation Certified. The V also has better audio what they call Clear Audio+ and LTE. The T may also be called the TX depending on where you live.

Samsung GALAXY S DUOS

If you’re looking for a Dual SIM phone but want a good smart phone you may want to check out the Samsung GALAXY S DUOS. It has 2 SIM card slots that are always on, Android 4.0, 4.0″ screen, and 4GB internal storage. No info has been given on the processer or speed and is said to be out in September in Europe.

  • Network: HSDPA 7.2 M 900/2100 EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900
  • Display: 4.0″ WVGA(480×800) TFT
  • OS: Android Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Camera: Main(Rear) : 5 Megapixel camera with LED flash Front: VGA Camera
  • Memory: 4GB internal memory microSD (up to 32GB)
  • Battery: Standard battery, Li-ion 1,500 mAh
  • Other: A-GPS, Bluetooth 3.0, WI-FI, MicroUSB, Samsung TouchWiz, Stereo FM Radio

Dual SIM isn’t something popular in the United States, part because half the carriers use CDMA and part because plans are so expensive. But in Europe and Asia most people like dual SIM so they can have their work and personal phone numbers on the same device and only have to carry one phone with them.

Will keep an eye out for more details and release dates.

Google Play Store Smart Updates

If you use an Android Phone you most likely get your apps from Google Play Store, but updates can take lots of time and data if you have lots of apps. But earlier at Google I/O, Google talked about the new update system that would only download the parts of your apps that changed along with encrypting them so paid apps couldn’t be ripped off.

Reports now show that system has been started and will work even on older phones (2.3, 4.0 …) and can save you lots of data when updating apps. When you update an app it will download the part you need then start installing it if that’s all you need before the full download is done. This update should happen the next time you load the Google Play store on your device and happen without you having to do anything because the Play Store updates its self all the time.

Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1

If you are looking for an Android Tablet with a stylus you may want to check out the Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 that includes what they call the S Pen that is like a WACOM pen and not the nub that most touch screen devices get. It uses an active digitizer so if you the creative type this can make drawing or writing on the screen easy and accurate. Many people who had the 5″ Samsun GALAXY Note phone liked how good the pen was and how big the screen was.

As for specs it has a 1.4 GHz quad-core processer, Android 4.0 ICS, HSPA+ Quad Band, 5 Megapixel and 1.9 Megapixel cameras, S Pen, and loaded with a bunch of S Pen friendly apps.

  • 1.4 GHz quad-core processor
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • HSPA 21-Mbps (HSDPA 21Mbps / HSUPA 5.76Mbps) Quad Band 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
  • Main(Rear): 5 Megapixel Auto Focus Camera with LED Flash Sub(Front): 1.9 Megapixel VT Camera
  • 16/32/64GB User memory 2GB (RAM) microSD (up to 64GB)
  • Standard battery, Li-ion 7,000mAh
  • Bluetooth v4, WiFi, mHL, IR LED, USB 2.0 Host, 3.5mm Ear Jack

Below is a video put out by Samsung showing off what you can do with the S Pen and some of the extra apps built into the tablet.

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