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Google Play Store bringing back 16GB variant of Nexus 7

We do not yet have a when, but we do know that Google is working dilligently at making more 16GB Nexus 7 devices, and that we should see them available from the Google Play store soon. As to when retailers will get the device again, that remains to be seen.

As a quick refresher, the Nexus 7 tablet from Google and Asus is the first device to come standard with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, with the following specs:

- Quad-core Tegra 3 processor
- 8 or 16 GB internal storage
- 1GB RAM
- 7” 1280×800 HD display (216 ppi) with scratch-resistant Corning glass
- 1.2MP front-facing camera

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Samsung Galaxy S III launch pushed back to June 27th in Canada

There are probably worse problems to have than being popular. You could constantly be battling patents in court or your OS provider could have bought another hardware company. In comparison having to delay the launch of their new flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S III, in Canada due to too much demand seems like a walk in the park.

Samsung is also treating it as a walk in the park, merely saying that they need to delay from the original launch date of the 20th. With a reported 9 million pre-orders world wide, we get it. Hopefully it proves worth the wait.

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Google announces offline mode for Google Maps on Android

Google announced today that their Maps app would now offer offline maps. The idea behind the functionality is that once you download the map of the area you are going to be in, you can open that map remotely without using data. As your smartphone is equipped with GPS, you can still use the directions feature without issue.

While this is an exciting development, what seemed to have everyone twitching was the fact that the updated feature was only being announced for Android. Many seem to be taking this to mean that Apple will in fact be ditching Google Maps in iOS 6, for their own map software. That announcement is expected for next week.

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Microsoft Office Coming to Android?

Microsoft looks like it is capitalizing on the popularity of tablets, and is looking to bring the full Microsoft Office experience to both Android and iOS. The rumor is suggesting that we will see the launch of both at the same time, November 2012, and that on Android it will be available for all the major tablets currently on the market.

Whether MS Office will do well on a tablet centered around Google Docs and other free document creation apps remains to be seen, as well as whether it will be possible to break through on iOS considering Numbers and Pages, and their iCloud integration.

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Samsung Galaxy S III…what we know so far

We have all been reading about it, following the rumors, and paying close attention to every exclusive feature we have heard about so far. Here is what we have confirmed so far.

***The Specs***

- Exynos 4 quad core 1.4Ghz processor
- 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED (1280×720) display
- 2GB of RAM
- Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
- 12MP Autofocus rear camera; 1.9MP front camera
- Storage options of 16GB/32GB/64GB
- 2,100mAh battery
- LTE and 21Mbps HSPA
- 136.6×70.6×8.6mm, 133g dimensions

***Launch Dates***

- United Kingdom: May 30th, 2012
- United States and Canada: Mid-summer 2012

***Exclusive Features***

- Flipboard finally arrives on Android via the Galaxy S III, which will have it exclusively for an undisclosed period of time.
- S Voice, a Siri-like voice controlled personal assistant.
- S Beam, a sharing tool between Galaxy S III users that leverages WiFi and NFC to share media and files.

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Ice Cream Sandwich update available for the Sony Tablet S

When we reviewed the Sony Xperia S, we were quick to mention that Sony had plans to update their devices to ICS in the next couple of months. Looks like Sony decided not to make liars out of us, as they have released the ICS update for their Android tablet, the Tablet S.

The upgrade path is pretty easy, just connect by WiFi and you will be prompted to perform a ‘System Update’. That update will in fact be to Ice Cream Sandwich, including some of the features you have come to love about the newest version of Android, including the new camera modes, face-unlock, and the Google Chrome beta that we all came to love as part of the Galaxy Nexus.

No specific date on when the Xperia devices will follow suit, they they are scheduled to be sometime this month.

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Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2012 gets a teaser trailer

With every Samsung fanboy, Android fan, and smartphone enthusiast licking their lips at in anticipation for the Samsung Galaxy S III, we can’t really blame Samsung for capitalizing on the hype. Head over to http://www.tgeltaayehxnx.com/ and follow the instructions, you’ll see what we are talking about.

Admittedly, the trailer does not really tell us much, other than Samsung seems to be suggesting that they are going to launch something on May 3rd that will permanently separate them from the pack. Hopefully the Galaxy S III is bringing more to the table than just the rumored S-Cloud, because we are pretty sure that has been done already.

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Samsung Galaxy S III annoucement coming in May?

Credit where credit is due, Samsung deserves a pat on the back. HTC and Sony launch great devices in North America, Sprint bring the Galaxy Nexus LTE to market, and all anyone is talking about is the potential that a “Samsung Unpacked” event taking place in London, England may be an announcement for the eagerly anticipated Galaxy S III.

This is what we actually know, said event is taking place on May 3rd, 2012, and Samsung is live streaming the event on its Facebook page. The event starts at 2 PM EDT. The tagline for the event is “Come and Meet the next Galaxy”.

As we get closer to the date hopefully more news will leak about the actual announcement, but in the meantime you can start to let your imagination get the best of you, as to what the new device will bring to the table.

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Android Fans Review: Sony Xperia S

We got the chance to test drive the Sony Xperia S today, the first Xperia to make it our way without an Ericsson influence. Overall our experience with the newest Xperia was a good one, and while Sony still has room to get better, this is our favorite Xperia to date. We had a couple of issues with the design as you will see below, but all in all this is an elegant Android phone, and a great look for Sony.

*The Specs*

- 1.5 Ghz dual-core processor
- Android 2.3.7 Gingerbread
- 12.1 megapixels rear camera; 1080p video
- 1.3 megapixels front camera
- 4.3 inch touchscreen, 1280 x 720 resolution
- 32 GB Internal Storage
- 1 GB RAM
- Micro USB support
- HDMI 2.0
- LED Notification Light

*Form Factor*

First things first, the Xperia S has a great weight to it. Using it for an extended period of time felt natural, and the weighting didn’t make it awkward to handle like some of the most recent smartphones. What did on the other hand, was the length of the phone. Quite frankly, we all are assuming my hands are larger than average, and I still could not reach to the top of the screen to pull down the notification bar without adjusting how I was holding the phone. It is also a little thicker than what we are use to seeing from new phones as of late, but that was not a problem when using it.

The length of the device, at least in part, it due to a clear LED section almost at the bottom of the device, showcasing a back button, home button, and menu button. The buttons are actually above this bar, represented by three white dots, and we often found ourselves pressing the icons on the LED bar instead of the actual buttons.

*Operating System*

We know, we know, you are all tired of seeing new Android launches that are still on Gingerbread, right? The truth is, in this case we didn’t mind so much. Sony typically does go the tried and tested path, and it usually pays off in quality. This was no different, having had no performance issues with any of the Sony specific software on the device, such as Timescape (a social networking application that merges feeds), and the Sony Entertainment Network applications for Music and Video.

You will also have the opportunity to upgrade Ice Cream Sandwich this month, as Sony is starting to push out ICS updates to all the Xperia line.

*Camera*

No question, the quality of images taken with this camera are outstanding. Usability was alright for the most part, though we found that sometimes it was hard to get the camera to focus once the auto-focus had decided on a focal position. Video was good as well, and the HDMI was handy to show off our work to some colleagues on the big screen.

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Android apps can access user information without permission?

Various reports yesterday including a story on CNETindicate that there are security flaws within the Android Operating System (both ICS and Gingerbread were tested) that can allow apps to access personal information on the device memory and send it without the smartphone user ever being aware.

A member of the Leviathan Security Group, Paul Brodeur, made an app to validate the claims. The app can successfully:

- Access and gather information from both internal and SD memory on a device.
- Gain access to unique device ID’s such as the Android ID and SIM ID.
- Transmit said accessed data via the Android web browser, without the browser being the in use app on the screen.

Hopefully this will be quickly patched in an Android update.

© Android Fans
CyberChimps