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the::unwired Articles
Friday, 23.12.11
SEASON GREETINGS: Merry Christmas and Thank You from the::unwired
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:49 CET under 06 - Site News

Dear readers, friends and followers of the::unwired! As every year, on behalf of the::unwired, I want to wish you a very merry Christmas! It was a pleasure to work for you by finding the latest news, testing devices, software and services and just being part of a great community. I want to say thank you, dear loyal readers, for visiting the::unwired another year and making the site a great Microsoft Windows Phone, Google Android and sometimes HP webOS - resource. Thanks for all your input, thoughts, feedback, tips and E-Mails! Furthermore I want to thank all contributing editors and helpers in the background for their hard work!

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EXPLANATION: Why the Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab won't receive any official Android 4.0 upgrades
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:20 CET under 04 - Android News

Looks like Samsung is running with some of its popular Android devices into the same trap as HTC ran before and instead of learning from HTC's mistake, Samsung is unfortunately repeating it. Earlier this week, Samsung announced which of its Android devices will receive an Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade and two devices were missing: the Galaxy S, Samsung's former Android top-star and the Galaxy Tab, Samsung's first Android tablet. On its Korean product blog, Samsung has now explained why both devices won't get any Ice Cream Sandwich love and the reason is as trivial as sad: It's because of Samsung's own TouchWiz UI which requires too much RAM and ROM.

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Thursday, 22.12.11
UNVEILED: Samsung announces Dual-SIM Galaxy Y Duos and Galaxy Y Pro Duos Android Smartphones
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:41 CET under 04 - Android News

Samsung today announced the latest additions to its Android-powered series of Galaxy smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Y Duos and Samsung Galaxy Y Pro Duos. The Galaxy Y Duos and Galaxy Y Pro Duos feature a unique dual-SIM system that maximizes communication flexibility by allowing two separate phone numbers and a simultaneous use of data on the same device. Users who need to balance busy professional and social lives can access and seamlessly switch from one line to the other with Galaxy Y Duos or Galaxy Y Pro Duos.

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Wednesday, 21.12.11
LEAK: Unveiled HTC Sensation Android 4.0 ROM shows HTC Sense 3.5 for Ice Cream Sandwich
Posted by Arne Hess - at 20:06 CET under 04 - Android News

While HTC is still pretty shy to tell its customers what they can expect with the upcoming Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich updates, a recently leaked HTC Sensation ROM shows us more and as expected, HTC has not given up to enhance ICS with its own HTC Sense user interface. According to the screenshots, HTC Sense for Android 4.0 will still be v3.5 and it comes with the well known unlock screen which allows to add shortcuts for a direct application launch. Furthermore it seems that this Sense version comes with an application bar which looks pretty much like the Flyer's Android 2.3 bar which hasn't made it to the Flyer's Honeycomb update. But it seems, HTC brings it back with HTC Sense 3.5 for Ice Cream Sandwich.

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SERVICE: Skype connects U.S. Travelers with Free Skype WiFi this Holiday Season - forgets Android users
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:26 CET under 01 - General News

Starting today, Skype is setting out to make travel a little more pleasant this holiday season by offering a free hour of Internet access to third-party wireless hotspots within the Skype WiFi hotspot footprint in select airports across the U.S. From December 21st thru December 27th, travelers passing through or delayed in over 50 airports across the U.S. will be able to access third-party hotspots using Skype WiFi and connect with loved ones via a Skype video or voice call for free. Unfortunately, this free service requires Skype WiFi which is only available to travelers on PCs, Macs and iOS 8iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) devices.

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OUTLOOK: Sony Ericsson details Android 4.0 upgrade plans for its 2011 Xperia-line - provides draft timings
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:00 CET under 04 - Android News

Following its earlier commitment to release Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich and last weeks early Alpha release, Sony Ericsson today announced that Ice Cream Sandwich is coming to the 2011 range of Xperia smartphones from end of March/early April 2012. The first smartphones to get the upgrade are Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V and Xperia ray. Soon after, starting from end April/early May, Xperia arc, Xperia PLAY, Xperia neo, Xperia mini, Xperia mini pro, Xperia pro, Xperia active as well as Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman devices will get their upgrades. This will be a phased roll out over several weeks and all kits for a specific phone model will not get the upgrade at the same time.

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GROWTH: Google counts 700,000 new Android device activations each day
Posted by Arne Hess - at 13:47 CET under 04 - Android News

Andy Rubin, co-founder and former CEO of Android Inc. and today Senior Vice President of Mobile at Google unveiled via Google+ that "there are now over 700,000 Android devices activated every day" and continued in a second posting that "Google counts each device only once" (i.e., they don't count re-sold devices), and "'activations' means a customer goes into a store, buy a device and put it on the network by subscribing to a wireless service". That's an impressive amount of devices, activated each day! However, his second posting makes wonder if Google isn't counting non-WWAN devices like WiFi-only tablets and unfortunately he hasn't answered this question.

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Tuesday, 20.12.11
COMPATIBILITY: NFC Forum and Bluetooth SIG want to make Bluetooth pairing a piece of touch
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:07 CET under 01 - General News

While NFC isn't anything new, the RFID-based technology is yet not widely adopted, even if some mobile phones and Android smartphones, like the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus supports it already; and also Microsoft's next version of Windows Phone 7, code-named Tango, is expected to support NFC. To give the technology a further boost, outside the payment world, the NFC Forum and the Bluetooth SIG have just published a developers guide to use NFC for pain PIN-less Bluetooth pairing. As convenient Bluetooth is, once devices are paired, as painful und inconvenient can the pairing process be and this agreement might help both technologies to benefit from each other's strengths!

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THOUGHT: Bug or Feature? Or why is Google keeping its Nexus Phones partly locked?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:35 CET under 09 - Thoughts

Don't be evil is (or was?) the informal corporate motto of Google and such was Android in some kind. One of the reasons Android became so successful was the reason that it was, more or less, open to everybody - handset manufacturers and carriers as well as services and software developers which means different apps and services can play nice with each other. Think about the sharing feature in the picture gallery where every app, which is able to post photos to some services, can be linked-in. It's the same with different services under the "Accounts & Sync" menu. Typically, Android phones come with pre-supported services like Google, E-Mail (POP/IMAP) and Exchange accounts but 3rd party apps can also be found here after installed.

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OUTLOOK: Samsung announces Android 4.0 upgrade Roadmap for Galaxy devices
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:23 CET under 04 - Android News

Following its launch of the Galaxy Nexus, Samsung has announced this morning on its Facebook page which smartphones and tablets are planned to being upgraded to Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich. According to these information, the Samsung Galaxy S II and Samsung Galaxy Note are the first to receive Korean Ice Cream Sandwich-love anytime in the first quarter of 2012. Furthermore, Samsung confirmed that the Galaxy S II LTE, Galaxy R, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus are also Android 4.0 upgradeable and will most likely receive Ice Cream Sandwich anytime after the two flagship devices have received Google's latest Android version.

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Saturday, 17.12.11
UTILITY: GN Official Update Checker verifies update availability for Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:02 CET under 04 - Android News

With yesterday's release of Android 4.0.2 for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, it looks like the never ending story of the faulty German ROM comes to a happy end, if the devices in question are going to receive the update. But at this point, it's not clear if they will receive it over the air - or not. GN Official Update Checker is a small tool which verifies if Google will push updates to the devices in question or if others, like carriers or Samsung itself, have to take care. To recap: When Samsung Germany released the first batch of Samsung Galaxy Nexus they flashed it with a volume bug fixed ROM. Unfortunately, Samsung used a differently signed ROM which prevents to update Google apps.

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FIRMWARE: Google rolls-out Android 4.0 to Nexus S and updates Ice Cream Sandwich for Galaxy Nexus
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:28 CET under 04 - Android News

Yesterday, Google has started to roll-out the long awaited Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade to its Google Nexus S devices which so far ran on Android 2.3.6/Gingerbread. The upgrade, which is available for both versions - the North American and the European/rest of the world version - is now distributed as a FOTA (Firmware Over The Air) update and upgrades the Nexus S to Android 4.0.3. At the same time, Google has also started to roll-out a FOTA update for its newest Nexus smartphone, the GSM version of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which updates the firmware from Android 4.0.1 to Android 4.0.2 (the Verizon Galaxy Nexus was already released with Android 4.0.2).

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Friday, 16.12.11
UPDATE: Adobe releases Flash Player 11 for Android 4.0
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:52 CET under 04 - Android News

Doesn't matter what you, I, we think about Adobe Flash and Flash on mobile devices, the Web is still full of it and even if HTML5 might replace it sooner or later, Flash is still dominating the Web. Therefore it's a good idea not to kill it before the replacements are in the market and widely adopted. Saying this, Adobe seems to felt the same and after its previous announcement to discontinue its Flash Player for Mobile developments, Adobe has released today the missing Flash Player 11 for Mobile for Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich. While the Samsung Galaxy Nexus lacked it at launch, the release might be related to yesterday's U.S. launch of the Verizon Galaxy Nexus.

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Thursday, 15.12.11
DEVELOPMENT: Sony Ericsson releases Xperia Ice Cream Sandwich Alpha ROMs - sans functionality
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:27 CET under 04 - Android News

Interesting, it really looks like there's a trend to Alpha Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs from manufacturers. And even if these Alpha ROMs a buggy and far away from anything stable, it shows that the manufacturers in question are really working on Android 4.0 upgrades. Following Huawei, which released the first Ice Cream Sandwich ROMs earlier this week, today follows Sony Ericsson which proves with its Alpha ROMs, that it's indeed working on the promised Android 4.0 upgrades for its range of 2011 Xperias. Therefore, Sony Ericsson today released an alpha ROM of Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.1) for Xperia arc S, Xperia neo V and Xperia ray available for download.

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SERVICE: Google to bring Google+ Hangouts beyond the status update
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:37 CET under 01 - General News

Google has announced to bring Google+ Hangout beyond simple "status updates", but connecting with the people users care about using the service's multi-person video. Therefore, the company has started to roll-out a number of improvements. Soon it will be possible to upgrade any conversation from long-form to live where certain posts act as kindling for face-to-face interaction by making it easy to start a hangout from any post on Google+. It's initiated by just clicking "Hangout" underneath a post that a user is passionate about and Google adds the invitation to the comments. If others are hanging out already, users will see their invitation in the comments as well.

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STORAGE: Free Sony Ericsson Xperia 50 GB Box Cloud Storage promotion now available
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:18 CET under 04 - Android News

Accidentally announced too early, before the promotion was available, Sony Ericsson's free 50 GB Box cloud storage promotion, worth of US$ 19, is now available to all Xperia users which install the Box client from the Android Market and sign-in after from their Sony Ericsson Xperia device. Box, which comes with initial 5 GB of free storage space, is another cloud service which lets users view and share files from anywhere. It provides simple and secure sharing, letting users easily store files online, send big files fast, gives access from Android phones or tablets and the web and allows to collaborate with others.

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Wednesday, 14.12.11
UNVEILED: Nokia Lumia 710 comes to T-Mobile U.S. - Press Shots arrive ahead of Press Release [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:45 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

While neither T-Mobile nor Nokia have announced anything official yet, Nokia has already uploaded its Nokia Lumia 710 T-Mobile edition press shots to the server and it's expected that the announcement will be made later today. Not being anything different from the world wide edition, Nokia announced back in October, it seems T-Mobile's Lumia 710 will come in two colors, white and black/white, sporting a T-Mobile logo on the front and featuring some preinstalled software like ESPN, The Weather Channel as well as Nokia Drive, Nokia's very navigation software for Windows Phone. Furthermore the press shots show 4G which means the Lumia 710 works nice with T-Mobile's HSPA+ 3.5G network.

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UTILITY: Nokia releases Network Setup for Windows Phone - keeps it hidden from the Marketplace
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:13 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

As easy to use and to configure Microsoft Windows Phone 7 is, it has one major drawback: It doesn't allow to customize or change some network related settings. While it's possible to change the Internet APN and SMSC, it's not possible to change the MMS settings from the user accessible settings. This is a design limitation and requires an extra application from the device manufacturer in question. Companies like HTC and Samsung have these apps available today but so far it seemed Nokia hadn't had anything similar available for its Lumia 800 users. At least searches on the Marketplace haven't shown up anything. But as a matter of fact, Nokia has such an application which is called "Network Setup".

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UNIFIED: Microsoft releases cross-platform Tag reader for QR Codes, Microsoft Tag and NFC
Posted by Arne Hess - at 14:26 CET under 01 - General News

It's some time that Microsoft's own barcode technology called Microsoft Tag came out of Beta but so far it wasn't widely adopted. As a matter of fact, I've never seen it used anywhere in Europe and only rarely seen it used in the U.S. However, Microsoft isn't giving up on its idea to establish another tag format but to help simplify the growing fragmentation currently taking place in the barcode/reader market, Microsoft has released an update to its Microsoft Tag mobile tag reader application which now supports Microsoft Tag as well as the more commonly used QR codes but also NFC!

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ENHANCED: New Skype for Android - adds support for Photo, Video and File sharing
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:07 CET under 04 - Android News

Skype, Microsoft's very own VoIP and chat service, has yesterday released an updated Android version which now allows to send and receive photos and videos to friends or family. As well as bringing photo, video and file sending to Android, Skype has also tweaked a little bit the core code and the new Skype 2.6 for Android has now an improved battery life and video quality on Android devices using NVIDIA's Tegra 2 chipset, which include amongst others; the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Motorola Xoom and Acer Iconia Tablet. Users of these tablets can now take the full advantage of the big screen with better video quality than ever before.

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CLOUD: Microsoft releases stand-alone SkyDrive apps for Windows Phone and iOS
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:54 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Microsoft SkyDrive, the personal cloud for documents, notes, photos and videos, is already part of Windows Phone 7 and the inbuilt Picture and Office hubs. It allows to move files into the SkyDrive cloud that they're available from any web browser anywhere in the world. However, this integration isn't on a surface-level because SkyDrive is deeply integrated into the apps, along with core phone functions. Therefore, Microsoft has released a stand-alone SkyDrive app for Windows Phone 7.5 now which allows to do even more remotely. It allows to to see all folders and files (of all types) and helps to facilitate sharing and file management even better.

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Tuesday, 13.12.11
REORGANIZATION: Steve Ballmer announces Windows Phone executive changes
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:53 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Steve Ballmer himself, CEO of Microsoft, has yesterday sent an E-Mail to all Microsoft employees where he announced executive changes, immediately affecting the Windows Phone division. According to the E-Mail which Microsoft published, Ballmer claims that Microsoft is "driving toward the end of the year with a lot of momentum and buzz, especially in the consumer arena. (... and ...) Windows Phone 7.5 continues to win reviews, and the Nokia Lumia series has grabbed a ton of attention in Europe, creating anticipation for availability in other geographies next year." As Ballmer said he looked at where Microsoft is, what it has done, what it must do in the year ahead and therefore he decided to make two leadership changes to ensure Microsoft continues to build on its momentum:

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VULNERABILITY: Windows Phone 7.5 messaging attack reboots Phones and disables Messaging Hub
Posted by Arne Hess - at 08:45 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

As reported by WinRumors, Microsoft's range of Windows Phones suffer from a denial-of-service attack bug that allows attackers to reboot the device and disable the messaging functionality on a device. According to the article, it's enough to send a simple and prepared SMS text message which forces Windows Phone 7.5 smartphones to reboot and kills the Messaging Hub functionality after which means it will not open despite repeat attempts. WinRumors has tested the attack on a range of Windows Phone devices, including HTC's Titan and Samsung's Focus Flash. Some devices were running the the latest 7740 version of Windows Phone 7.5, others were on Mango RTM 7720 builds.

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Monday, 12.12.11
OUTLOOK: The future of Bluetooth is High-Speed, Low-Power, Smart and Ready
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:43 CET under 01 - General News

Today, Suke Jawanda, CMO of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) visited Germany to discuss with journalists the current state and future of Bluetooth and indeed, the future can be quite promising, if the Bluetooth SIG and its partners bring together the technology and marketing in time. Following this October's announced Bluetooth brand extension, the Bluetooth SIG felt it's time to explain what the new brands are about and why it was necessary to introduce them. Most of us might know and use Bluetooth from mobile phones and use it together with wireless headsets or hands-free car kits. That's the basic scenario where Bluetooth came from, even if it was always able to do way more.

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UPGRADE: Huawei first to offer Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade - Huawei Honor has the honor [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 00:07 CET under 04 - Android News

While Samsung might received the crown for being the first manufacturer which launched the first Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone - thanks to the help of Google, Chinese manufacturer Huawei definitely gets the crown for being the first manufacturer rolling-out its Ice Cream Sandwich update to an existing device. And the device in question, which has the honor is, you guess it, the Huawei Honor aka the "U8860 V100R001C00 B863"! If you speak Simplified Chinese, you can get the download of Huawei's so called "demo build" now - straight from Huawei's support site to upgrade your Android 2.3.5-powered Honor to Android 4.0. Interesting enough, the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade is only half as much as the Gingerbread update.

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Sunday, 11.12.11
UPDATE: HTC keeps promises - rolls-out Android 2.3.5 and Android 3.2 to a bunch of devices
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:11 CET under 04 - Android News

It really looks like HTC Turkey was right when they spilled the beans on Facebook, that a massive amount of Android 2.3.5 and Android 3.2 updates are coming to selected HTC smartphones. Earlier this week, HTC rolled-out the long awaited Android 3.2/Honeycomb with HTC Sense 1.1 for Tablet update for the HTC Flyer. After that, HTC released its Android 2.3.5/Gingerbread updates for the HTC Wildfire S, HTC Incredible S and HTC Desire HD. Most interesting is the Wildfire S' new HTC Sense 2.1 lock-screen which features a kind of HTC Sense 3.0-like shortcuts for faster app access while the HTC Incredible S and Desire HD received the full HTC Sense 3.0-love with all the underlying features and apps enhancements.

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Saturday, 10.12.11
READER: Google Currents - now available for Android and iOS
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:45 CET under 04 - Android News

Thursday evening, Google launched a - as they say - "beautiful and simple way to experience all the content the web has to offer" with the introduction of Google Currents, a new application for Android phones and tablets as well as Apple iOS iPads and iPhones. Google Currents lets subscribers explore online magazines and other content with the swipe of a finger. Straight for the launch, Google has worked with more than 150 publishing partners to offer full-length articles from more than 180 editions including CNET, AllThingsD, Forbes, Saveur, PBS, Huffington Post, Fast Company and more. Content is optimized for smartphones and tablets, allowing users to intuitively navigate between words, pictures and video on large and small screens alike, even if offline.

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Friday, 09.12.11
EXIT: HP to contribute webOS to Open Source
Posted by Arne Hess - at 21:47 CET under 05 - Other Mobile OS News

HP today announced it will contribute its Palm webOS software to the open source community and even plans to continue being active in the development and support of webOS. By combining the innovative webOS platform with the development power of the open source community, there is, according to HP, an opportunity to significantly improve applications and web services for the next generation of devices (whoever should manufacture these). webOS offers a number of benefits to the entire ecosystem of web applications. For developers, applications can be easily built using standard web technologies. In addition, its single integrated stack offers multiplatform portability.

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Thursday, 08.12.11
LAUNCHED: OnLive goes gold on Android - allows to play console-class games on demand
Posted by Arne Hess - at 11:20 CET under 04 - Android News

It took a little bit longer for OnLive and its partner HTC, at least it was announced back in February to bring the OnLive experience to smartphones and tablet, but finally OnLive hit the Android Market. OnLive cloud gaming is a revolutionary new concept in video games that instantly delivers the latest top-tier high-performance games on demand through the Internet to Android tablets or phones - with the simplicity of streaming video. No big downloads, no limits on performance. With OnLive, gamers have instant access to console-class games, running on OnLive's powerful servers in the cloud. Gamers can start playing a high-end game within seconds of signing on. Even if you don't own any games, OnLive provides free demos of nearly all games offered on the service.

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EXPLAINED: Samsung Galaxy Nexus' problem with updating original Google apps [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 10:21 CET under 04 - Android News

If you follow me on Twitter, you have seen my tweets where I blamed Google for not allowing me to install the latest Google Maps and Google+ updates on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus but always getting a "Package file was not signed correctly" error message. As it turns out, it wasn't Google's mistake but Samsung's and in general there's nothing wrong with Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich but with Samsung's way of implementation. According to filed "issue 22435" at the Android Project page, the preinstalled Google apps on the Android build of the German (only) Galaxy Nexus devices aren't signed with the same key as Google is using to sign its own apps in the Android Market.

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Wednesday, 07.12.11
ENHANCED: Facebook releases updated Facebook version for Android
Posted by Arne Hess - at 20:43 CET under 04 - Android News

Facebook has just announced that it has released a new Facebook version for Android. According to Facebook, the new version is now quicker and easier to view photos, get messages and navigate around the app. Photos and albums are up to two times faster than the previous Android app. It's also easier to share photos, view comments and edit captions on the go. Furthermore, messages and notifications are now at the top of your screen from where users can respond to friends and stay updated without leaving the page. The new menu on the side allows to quickly access the news feed, groups, games and apps - straight from the new left-hand menu.

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FIX: Nokia releases first of two promised battery fixes for the Nokia Lumia 800 [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 19:59 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Nokia Germany just informed via Facebook, that it has started to roll-out the first of expected two firmware updates for its Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone 7.5. According to Nokia, the firmware update contains performance and usability enhancements as well as the promised charging improvements. The update is now rolled-out to the first customers but it can take up to two weeks until it has reached all Lumia 800 users. Nokia confirmed late November, that some Lumia 800 have battery problems and said that the two patches are on the way to fix the problems. The second update is expected for early January and is said to introduce further enhancements to battery life and battery charging.

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Tuesday, 06.12.11
ANNOUNCED: Verizon Wireless and Motorola Mobility introduce Droid XYBOARD Android Tablets
Posted by Arne Hess - at 18:59 CET under 04 - Android News

Motorola Mobility and Verizon Wireless today introduced two new additions to the Droid family, the Droid XYBOARD tablets. The two new Droid tablets present new options for consumers looking to stay connected, productive and entertained. The new Droid XYBOARD tablets both boast the blazing speeds of Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network and the power of dualcore 1.2 GHz processors, 1 GB of RAM and MotoCast for remote access to non DRM-protected music, pictures, videos and documents stored on work or home computers' hard drives. Both are equipped with scratch-resistant displays that use Corning Gorilla Glass to stay brilliant and a coating of water-repellent nanoparticles makes them resistant to accidental spills and splashes.

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PROMOTION: Android Market 10 Billion Promo - 10 Android Apps for 10 Cent each [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:03 CET under 04 - Android News

Looks like Google is currently running a promotion on its Android Market because some of the finest and best selling applications are available for 10 Cent only (USD and Euro) respectively £0.10 in the UK. According to Android Central, apps like SoundHound ∞, Asphalt 6: Adrenaline HD, Minecraft - Pocket Edition, SwiftKey X Keyboard, Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro, Great Little War Game, SketchBook Mobile, Fieldrunners HD, Color & Draw for kids:phone and Paper Camera and  discounted at the moment and the discount isn't only available for U.S users but I can confirm that the same apps are discounted in Germany.

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AVAILABLE: Acer announces German launch of its Acer Allegro Windows Phone 7.5
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:27 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

Acer today announced the launch of its first Windows Phone in Germany, the Acer Allegro. Recently launched in Acer's home-market Taiwan, the entry-level Allegro runs Windows Phone 7.5/Mango and is powered by a single-core Qualcomm MSM 8255 CPU at 1 GHz. The European version supports quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE, dualband UMTS/HSDPA+ (14.4 Mbps)/HSUPA (5.75 Mbps) at 900/2100 MHz as well as WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and aGPS. The device comes with the Windows Phone typical ambient light, proximity and accelerometer sensors as well as with an FM radio. The capacitive WVGA TFT-LCD touchscreen measures 3.6" while the autofocus camera supports 5 megapixel and allows HD video recordings at 720p.

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STYLISH: HTC announces the HTC Sensation "Offwhite" Android Smartphone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 12:33 CET under 04 - Android News

Right in time for Christmas and the winter season, HTC today announced an overhauled HTC Sensation which is now available in trendy "Offwhite". The white HTC Sensation is actually the same as the original one which was introduced back in April and shouldn't be be mistaken for the HTC Sensation XE (which comes with Beats Audio enhancements). The Android 2.3/Gingerbread smartphone is powered by a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU at 1.2 GHz and features a 4.3" qHD widescreen SLCD display as well as a main 8 megapixel autofocus camera with dual-flash LED, which also allows to record 1080p HD videos up to 30 fps! The front-facing camera supports VGA.

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Monday, 05.12.11
THOUGHT: Android 4.0 / Ice Cream Sandwich - available but not yet ready for Prime-Time?
Posted by Arne Hess - at 16:03 CET under 09 - Thoughts

Ok, Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich is now - with the commercial launch of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - available and one of the major goals for Google was to reunify the Android platform. Since the launch of Android 3.0 / Honeycomb, Google had two Android platforms - one for smartphones (Android 2.3.x aka Gingerbread) and one for tablets (Android 3.x aka Honeycomb). However, Google said before that it was working to reunify both streams again into a single platform and Android 4.0 was the result. As the name/number implies, Ice Cream Sandwich is far more than just a Honeycomb update for smartphones but a new and enhanced Android version. However, it seems it's not yet ready for prime time.

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Friday, 02.12.11
PHOTOVIEW: Samsung Nexus Galaxy Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Smartphone
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:36 CET under 08 - Reviews

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is the first Android smartphone, featuring Google's brand new Android 4.0/Ice Cream Sandwich platform. Announced back in October, the Galaxy Nexus is Samsung's second Nexus smartphone which was developed for Google. Powered by a TI OMAP 4460 dual-core CPU at 1.2 GHz, the Galaxy Nexus comes with Android 4.0.1 and the 2G/3G version supports quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as pentaband UMTS/HSDPA+ up to 21 Mbps/HSUPA up to 5.76 Mbps at 850/900/1700/1900/2100 MHz. Additionally there's a 4G version planned which supports North America's LTE 700 MHz networks. Both versions are also featuring WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, aGPS and RFID/NFC.

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Thursday, 01.12.11
STATISTIC: Less than 2/3 of participating Windows Phones are upgraded to Windows Phone 7.5 Mango
Posted by Arne Hess - at 17:44 CET under 02 - Windows Mobile News

That's an interesting statistic. While it's far away from being anything representative, the Windows Phone app "i'm a WP7" app unveils that only 57 % + 1 % of all the participating devices are upgraded to Windows Phone 7.5 aka Mango. As of today, "i'm a WP7" has 156,168 registered users so the results can't be anything representative but nevertheless, it clearly shows that there's a difference between the update availability and executed and installed apps. At least, the participating users are able to download and install apps from Microsoft's Windows Phone Marketplace and therefore they aren't total mobile noobs but were even able to create Windows Live IDs.

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UPGRADES: HTC Turkey unveils upcoming Android and HTC Sense timings [UPDATE]
Posted by Arne Hess - at 15:29 CET under 04 - Android News

I'm not exactly sure how valid the information is but since it comes from HTC Turkey's Facebook page, it seems to be legit. And even if some of the dates seem to be outdated - for instance has the HTC Desire S already received its Android 2.3.5/Gingerbread and HTC Sense 3.0 upgrade - other scheduled and upcoming upgrades are new. The good news first: The Desire HD, Desire S and Incredible S are all confirmed for Android 2.3.5 and HTC Sense 3.0 upgrades as well as the Wildfire S which will also receive Android 2.3.5 but HTC Sense 2.1 only. The ChaCha and Salsa will only receive maintenance updates to improve WiFi and Twitter functionalities while the long awaited Flyer upgrade to Android 3.2/Honeycomb is  also confirmed for December.

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