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Mar 29, 2012

Intel Medfield-Based Lava Xolo X900 Coming to India in Late April

Showcased one month ago at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Lava’s Xolo X900 Android smartphone will make its debut in India in late April.

The folks at AndroidOS have been tipped on the smartphone’s availability timeframe, though there is no detail on Xolo X900’s price tag. Rumor has it that the device will be priced lower than expected in order to successfully compete with other regional brands.

Word is that Lava will launch the Xolo X900 for around 400 USD (300 EUR) off-contract, but this has yet to be confirmed by the manufacturer.

Although the device will be shipped with Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box, Lava promised the phone would be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich sometime this year.

Anyway, the phone’s main selling point appears to be the Intel Medfield chipset inside. Xolo X900 is powered by a 1.6 GHz Atom Z2460 single-core processor, but it can run up to 2 GHz. 

However, it will be Lava’s decision to ship the Xolo X900 with a higher speed CPU, or keep the processor clocked at 1.6 GHz. 

It is also worth mentioning that Intel Medfield’s chipset also features a 400 MHz graphics processing unit, which bolsters the processor’s capabilities when the phone is used for playing games.

Furthermore, Lava Xolo X900 sports a large 4.03-inch capacitive touchscreen display, as well as an impressive 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and LED flash. There’s also a secondary 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video calls.

The smartphone comes with a 1460 mAh Li-Ion battery inside, and a wide range of connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, NFC (Near Field Communications), HDMI, HSPA+, Bluetooth and microUSB.

On a side note, Lava Xolo X900 might be launched on Aircel and Airtel airwaves, but the Intel-based handset may also hit shelves at leading retailers across the country.

Nokia Working on Patenting Its Morph Concept Phone

One of the most interesting devices that Nokia might come up with sometime in the not too distant future is a mobile phone with a morphing design. 

Featuring a flexible body, including the screen and some of its internals, the device would enable users to wear it as a bracelet, or hold it in their hands as a leaf-shaped candybar.

Clearly, this appears to be an idea extracted from a sci-fi movie, but Nokia fans should already be familiar with the Nokia Morph concept phone, which allegedly features the capabilities mentioned above.

Apparently, the day when this device would become reality is closer than believed: Nokia is working on patenting the flexible device.

In fact, the company has already filed an application to have the patent approved. This means that they might be indeed considering the possibility of marketing a handset that would feature a transformable body.

But there’s more to it, as Nokia also mentioned in the patent filing that the device could sport connectivity to “a remote processing unit,” along with other features.

The said patent application offers more info on the matter:

An apparatus comprises a transformable body configured to be elastically stretchable between at least a first configuration and a second configuration, a user input device, a user input device configured to receive user input signal, a communication interface configured to provide a wireless link for the apparatus and a flexible interconnection between at least two components within the transformable body. 

The apparatus may perform determining of user information based on the user input signal, transmitting at least part of the user information over the wireless link to a remote processing unit, receiving feedback information from the remote processing unit and presenting the feedback information to the user.

Of course, the fact that Nokia applied for this patent does not prove the upcoming availability of such a device, though it strongly suggests that this would be possible. Enthusiasts will certainly keep their fingers crossed for it to be launched.

Transformers: Fall of Cybetron Gets Gameplay Trailer, Release Date

Activision has just unveiled the first gameplay trailer for its upcoming Transformers: Fall of Cybertron game, alongside an actual release date for the new title.

Quite a few Transformers games have appeared from Activision in recent times, including many adaptations of the actual movies, but also standalone experiences like the impressive War for Cybertron.

Developer High Moon Studios is back with Fall of Cybertron, which was revealed late last year through an impressive trailer, and has now posted the first gameplay video with the title.

The footage shows off lots of action and many characters, both from the Autobot and the Decepticon factions.

The video also presents a release date for Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, which is out in North America on August 28. A European launch date isn’t official just yet, but you can bet that the game is going to make its appearance on the old continent on August 31.

Samsung Registers New Galaxy Names: Grand, Premier and Next

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung appears set to greatly expand its Galaxy lineup of devices, and is securing trademarks for various names these products could feature. 

Recently, the company filed applications for the trademarking of names such as Galaxy Grand, Galaxy Premier, and Galaxy Next.

The trademarking of these three names follows a similar move from Samsung made for Galaxy Thunder, Galaxy Express, and Galaxy Accelerate. 

One thing that should be noted here is that Samsung did use some of these names for its devices in other countries around the world, but not in the United States. 

Clearly, the handset vendor plans on re-using these monikers, though it remains to be seen what products will be pushed to shelves with these attached to them. Hopefully, some of them will be US-specific flavors of the upcoming Galaxy S III flagship.

Scythe Releases Improved Grand Kama Cross CPU Cooler

The recent product release wave may have been of graphics cards, but that doesn't mean that CPUs aren't receiving their own share of love. 

In fact, Scythe has revealed an improved version of the Grand Kama Cross CPU cooler. 

Called Grand Kama Cross Rev. B, it uses the Top-Flow design that creates airflow for the various motherboard components, not just the CPU. 

It is compatible with AMD 754, 939, 940, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+ and FM1 CPUs, as well as LGA1155, LGA1156, LGA775, LGA2011 and LGA1366 chips from Intel. 

The chip support for LGA2011 really is more or less the whole “upgrade.” Everything else should be the same as what the good old product page says. 

Sales should be underway for 30.50 Euro, which more or less translates into $40.47.

How to Install Update 12070 on Nokia Lumia 800

Today, Nokia announced the global availability of a new software update for its Lumia 800 smartphones, with various enhancements included inside. 

The new update provides longer battery life for the mobile phone, along with better voice quality through a series of improvements brought to the bass in the audio. 

Following the update, Nokia Lumia 800 owners will also observe that the soft keys illuminate at all brightness levels settings. 

Users who haven’t got the chance to update their Lumia 800 smartphones before (this is the third update for the device) can now learn how to do that. 

The process is very simple, though it involves connecting the device to a Windows PC or a Mac. The update can be performed only through the Zune software on Windows or via the Windows Phone Companion on Macs. 

Before proceeding with the update, Lumia 800 owners should make sure that their device is properly charged, and that they backed-up all data on it. Moreover, they should also ensure that there is enough hard disk space on the PC to properly backup the files on their devices

To get started, users will need to fire up Zune, configure the app's settings (including info such as phone’s name), and let the software search for any available updates. 

If new firmware is available, they will have to hit the Update Now button, and Zune will begin downloading and installing the software. 

As soon as the update is completed, Lumia 800 owners should hit the Finish button on the application, and then unplug the phone from the PC. If the app closes before the update is completed, they will simply have to launch the app again. 

Users can also manually check to see whether the update is available for their devices through going to Settings then Phone on Zune, and then hitting the Update button. 

The application will search for any available new firmware for the mobile phone and will prompt the phone's owners to upgrade if one appears. 

For a better understanding of how the update process works, you should have a look at the video embedded below.

Script: wpsc Support Tickets

If running a WordPress site and your users are constantly sending support emails, then it's the right time to add a ticketing system to your website.

There's currently a WordPress plugin for that, specifically developed to handle support tickets in the simplest way possible.

Developed by the same team that created wpStoreCart, the wpsc Support Tickets plugin comes with a frontend for users (and guests if necessary), to submit their problems / questions and a backend for admins to answer, manage and close those tickets.

wpsc Support Tickets also sends email notifications when email tickets are received and fixed, so users are kept in the loop every time new details are added to their ticket.

Of course, the plugin is available in the WordPress plugin repository as well.

Download wpsc Support Tickets here.

Windows 8 on New and Old Touch Hardware

This fall, Microsoft will launch the final flavor of its Windows 8 platform, with support for both existing PCs, as well as for new PCs, which will, obviously, pack new hardware. 

One of the main changes when compared to the previous Windows releases is the fact that Windows 8 will be optimized for use on touch-enabled devices. 

For that, Microsoft announced a set of touch interactions designed to make up the Windows 8 touch language, and which should be adopted by application developers as well. 

“These core interactions form the basis of the Windows 8 user interface, and are reused heavily in the application frameworks within our common controls and samples,” a blog post from Jerry Koh, group program manager, and Jeff Piira, test manager, Human Interaction Platform, Microsoft, explains. 

“The primary goal of our touch language is to promote ease-of-use and ensure user confidence. By confidence, we mean that all touch interactions work consistently and reliably all the time.”

Through this language, Microsoft is coming up with a base user experience optimized for touch, but which works well on other PCs as well. It will fit devices built for Windows 8 as well, Microsoft notes. 

Windows 8 PCs will sport digitizers that support a minimum of 5 fingers, though fundamental gestures require only 2 fingers (which imposed limitations).

“So, while we ensure that the OS works well with a Windows 7 PC, a new Windows 8 PC is going to be much more consistent and predictable both from a user and developer perspective,” the blog post explains.

The new UI in Windows 8 also comes with impact on hardware design, making new devices more capable than those build for the older Windows 7 OS. 

For example, Windows 8 places a great emphasis on the edges of the screen, while previous OSes focused on the center of the screen. The Windows 8 user experience is based on the edge swipe, and all those who gave the OS a try know that. 

One of the challenges was to trigger the edge swipe without taking any pixels from applications. On Windows 7 PCs, however, things are a bit different. They had to chop a bit from applications

“In order to make edge swipe work consistently on Windows 7 PCs, we created a mode where there is a 20-pixel buffer to catch the edge swipe gesture. This allows a majority of PCs to reliably invoke the charms and use Windows 8 effectively,” Microsoft explains. 

The Redmond-based software giant has been working with its partners for reducing hardware variability and establishing consistent Windows 8 requirements.

“We have published our requirements for new Windows 8 hardware, and we continue to work with touch hardware partners, suppliers, independent hardware vendors, and PC manufacturers to ensure that new devices meet the requirements,” the said blog post notes. 

Samsung Galaxy S II 4G (AT&T) Now Only $0.01 at Amazon

The AT&T flavor of Samsung’s Galaxy S II smartphone is now available for purchase through Amazon for only $0.01 with the signing of a contract agreement. 

The leading handset vendor is gearing up for the release of a successor for Galaxy S II, and it makes sense for the older device to see price drops. 

At the moment, the Samsung Galaxy S II 4G (AT&T) is listed at Amazon Wireless with said price tag attached to it for monthly agreements, and at $599.99 (450 Euros) for those who would like to grab it without committing to a contract. 

The device will provide users with great performance levels courtesy of its 1.2GHz application processor, as well as with great data speeds on AT&T’s HSPA+ network. 

The handset also packs a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus screen and an 8-megapixel camera on the back.

HTC Locations App Update Adds Offline Navigation to HTC Windows Phone Devices

Following Nokia Drive’s latest update that brings offline navigation to Lumia devices, HTC decided to make the feature available on its Windows Phone handsets as well.

Although the application is available for quite some time, HTC Locations only offered a handful of downloadable maps, and those were only compatible with some Android devices.

However, the folks at Engadget have just been tipped on a major update of the Windows Phone version of HTC Locations. It appears that HTC Titan users have already been able to pull the update, which seems to add the so-much-needed offline navigation feature.

The latest version of HTC Locations app for Windows Phone allows users to download maps for later offline viewing. The software is now available for download in the HTC section of Marketplace.

Microsoft’s Windows 8 "Pro Pack" Edition to Feature Windows Media Center

Among the various versions of Windows 8 that Microsoft might push to the market when the platform hits the gold state this fall, one specific flavor is rumored to feature the name of Windows 8 “Pro Pack” Edition. 

The SKU is said to be called “ProfessionalWMC,” which stands for “Professional with Windows Media Center.”

Apparently, this will be a different edition than the Windows 8 Professional version that Microsoft will push to shelves, and will include the Windows Media Center. 

Microsoft hasn’t provided specific info on the matter for the time being, but a recent article on WinUnleaked, a source of various unofficial details on Microsoft’s upcoming platform, claims that Media Center and Family safety will be included in this SKU. 

This version of Windows 8 will also come with the previously announced Storage spaces, as well as with support for Windows to Go.

Windows 8 “Pro” will be easily upgradeable to Windows 8 “Pro Pack,” the news site also notes. 

Following the upgrade, users will find the Media Center available on the Start Screen in Windows 8 “Pro Pack,” and will also notice that the Windows Anytime Upgrade is no longer present in the all apps view. 

Some other changes that this Windows 8 edition will pack include the lack of the Windows orb, and the presence of “Family safety” in the Control Panel. 

Apparently, Microsoft has just started the work on this new Windows 8 SKU, which means that further changes are to be spotted in the coming months. 

The “Pro Pack” edition of Windows 8 was seen in the post-beta development of the platform, though it is yet unclear whether Microsoft is indeed set to push the Media Center application into a separate Windows 8 flavor or not. 

Previously, Microsoft said that the Media Center would still be part of Windows 8, but did not offer specific details on the matter. Rumor has it that the company is considering the availability of this app as paid software in the upcoming Windows Store.

Buffalo Reveals Class 6 MicroSDHC Memory Cards

There are some new memory cards for sale in Japan, fit for phones, cameras and anything else that use the microSDHC form factor.

Then again, Buffalo, the maker of the cards, also went to the trouble of bundling the newcomers with adapters that convert them into standard-size SDHC cards (the like used by DSii, Dsi, 3DS and Wii consoles form Nintendo, as well as many other products).

Capacities range from 4 GB to 32 GB (8 GB and 16 GB are in-between), while the transfer rates are of at least 6 MB/s (Class 6 rating demands no less).

From small to large, the prices are of 2,880 JPY ($34.6 / 26.37 Euro), 3,880 JPY ($46.7 / 35.52 Euro), 8,880 JPY ($107 / 81.31 Euro), and 17,880 JPY ($215 / 163.72 Euro), respectively.

All in all, the items are a bit expensive. Hopefully online retailers will put them up for less when (and if) availability expands to other regions.

Samsung GT-i9300 to Arrive in Mid-May

South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung Electronics is reportedly gearing up for the release of a new smartphone in its Galaxy series, and might drop it sometime in mid-May. 

Said handset was spotted online a few times before and even made an appearance on Samsung’s website as the Samsung GT-i9300

Initially believed to be the next flagship phone from the company, the successor of Samsung Galaxy S II, the handset is now said to be nothing more than a mid-range device. 

The smartphone should arrive on shelves as the Galaxy M, a recent article on GSM Arena notes. Apparently, this is the name under which the Samsung GT-i9300 appears in the ordering system. 

Last year, Samsung announced changes in its naming scheme, and unveiled plans to have mid-level devices included in the “Galaxy M” lineup.

For the time being, nothing has been officially confirmed on the matter, but it should not be too long before some details emerge, especially if Samsung is planning its launch in a month and a half. 

The GT-I9300 is rumored to arrive on shelves with a 1.4 GHz dual-core Samsung Exynos processor complemented by 1GB of RAM. 

Moreover, the device is said to come with a 4-inch AMOLED display that should be able to deliver a 720p HD resolution, while being powered by Google’s new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. 

One thing that has to be confirmed is the actual resolution of the screen. Some of the earlier reports on the matter suggested that the phone might pack a 1026 x 600 screen resolution, while others claim that it will be an HD screen. 

Before Galaxy M, Samsung is expected to launch the successor of Samsung Galaxy S II, which should land as the Galaxy S III sometime in April, rumor has it. This handset is expected to pack a quad-core application processor.

New Batch of NVIDIA Releases Set for May, 2012

One might say that NVIDIA has just finished its most recent wave of product releases, even though it only launched one single desktop product itself, along with some mobile GPUs.

The ones really responsible for how many new graphics cards are now running on the market are the Santa Clara, California-based company's many partners.

Now, it is believed that something similar will take place no more than two months from now, or thereabouts.

More precisely, it is reported  that its most recent wave of product releases will happen in May, 2012.

Also, NVIDIA will be slightly more proactive as well, unveiling two more graphics cards instead of one.

This isn't to say that the GeForce GTX 680 was not enough of a product launch on its own, but the reputation earned by its top-tier status is counterbalanced by the fact that few people will afford it.

As such, we cannot help but look forward to the GeForce GTX 670 and GeForce GTX 670 Ti.

In addition to these desktop adapters powered by the GK104 graphics processing unit (GPU), NVIDIA will release some GK107-based mobile graphics: GeForce GT 650M and 640M.

Not only those, but also a GK106-powered video board called GeForce GTX 660.

All in all, NVIDIA wants to enter the last month of this year's first half with a full coverage of the video market above the $250 price point.

For those seeking cheaper boards, the GeForce GTX 560 SE and its similarly endowed peers should do just as well. It would not do to give customers reasons not to buy the remaining GF114-based products after all.

Nevertheless, what hardcore enthusiasts are looking forward to is the GTX 690, a dual-GK104 beast that will battle the April-bound AMD Radeon HD 7990.

Speaking of which, Advanced Micro Devices is not known to be preparing any new batch of GPUs or video cards besides that monster (for the short term).

PNY Adds 2133 MHz and 1866 MHz DDR3 Memory Variants to Dual and Quad Chanel Kits

Today PNY announced new memory kits on its official website. The modules are rated at 1866 MHz and 2133 MHz speeds respectively and come in dual-channel or quad-channel configurations.

These new kits are part of PNY’s XLR8 product line of fast memory modules. They come in 8 GB kits that comprise two 4 GB DDR3 modules that work in dual-channel configurations or 16 GB kits comprising four 4 GB DDR3 modules, guaranteed to work in quad-channel configuration.

The company touts low latency with 9-12-11-27 timings for the 2133 MHz DDR3 CAS 10 8 GB dual-channel kit and the 16 GB quad-channel one.

For the 1866 MHz 8 GB (4 x 4GB) and 16 GB (4x 4GB) DDR3 CAS 9 kits, PNY states 9-12-9-27 timings.

The manufacturer puts the buyer’s mind at ease, offering Lifetime Warranty for these products.

The memory modules are cooled by sleek-looking, tall heat spreaders that will likely do a good job cooling these chips during overclocking sessions.

The passive cooling system makes the modules taller than the normal standard and, before purchase, buyers should check to see if this cooler doesn’t prevent them from properly installing these kits.

PNY has also launched a 16 GB (4xs 4GB) DDR3 CAS 9 memory kit working at 1600 MHz with fast 9-9-9-24 timings.

The pricing is as follows for the 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3 kits: 179.99 US dollars or 135 euros for the 2133 MHz kit , 124.99 US dollars or 94 euros for the 1866 MHz kit and 89.99 US dollars or 68 euros for the 1600 MHz kit .

For the 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 variants, the pricing is: 89.99 US dollars or 68 euros for the 2133 MHz kit and 59.99 US dollars or 45 euros for the 1866 MHz kit.

Production of Next-Gen MacBook Pros Begins Next Month - Report

Industry sources are telling DigiTimes that Apple has placed orders for the next-generation of MacBook Pro computers, with the first batch expected to enter mass production next month.

Likely equipped with the newest Ivy Bridge processors from Intel, the next-generation 15-inch MacBook Pro is to enter manufacturing in April, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

These people specifically told the Taiwanese publication that “Apple will start mass producing its 15-inch MacBook Pro in April,” and that “the company's orders for the 13.3-inch model are far higher than those of the 15-inch.” 

It is thus believed that “Apple is more focused on the 13.3-inch notebook segment.” The 13.3-inch MacBook Pro goes into production in June, the sources added.

Apple is widely believed to have re-shaped the MacBook Pro line to closely resemble the MacBook Air.

Palit’s GeForce GTX 680 Custom Card Gets Pictured

Building a custom designed card is the only thing that can set a video card manufacturer apart from the others.

Having something special, no matter if it’s a 50 cent exhaust bracket that gets more hot air outside the card or a 10 cent plastic fan holder that allows you to turn the fan some millimeters towards one side or the other, it is going to help the company earn ten to twenty times the value of their added cost.

However, the most important success of the team, if they manage to get the sale, is to make you pick their card and not the one sitting next to it on the shelf. 

Therefore, some manufacturers will heavily invest in their card design to make something really special no matter if it brings them some extra profit or not.

Generally, a successful sale for one company means costs are paid for and profits, big or small, are made while the competing company’s budget suffers.

The guys at techpowerup managed to get some pictures of a very nice custom design from Palit and what Palit’s GTX 680 Jetstream has to offer is a custom PCB with 6-phase VRM, using high-quality chokes and DrMOS components in the power filtering area of the card, along with a custom cooling system. 

It draws current from a double 6 + 8 pin PCIe connector and it’s being cooled by three fans. The one in the middle is 90 mm in diameter while the others are 80 mm fans.

The factory overclock is 1085 MHz from the reference 1058 MHz Core clock speed and 1575 MHz for the memory from the default 1052 Mhz. That’s an effective speed of 6300 MHz for the GDDR5 chips.

Palit touts 8 degrees Celsius lower temperatures than the reference Nvidia developed design and all these customizations are likely to raise the price of the video card to around 530 US dollars, that is around 399 Euro for the European buyers.

Zotac Preparing GeForce GTX 680 Extreme Edition

Zotac is on a roll, or is getting ready for such an episode regarding the graphics adapter market, having begun work on some really powerful video controllers. 

Expreview is where the photos of a future Zotac product have surfaced, along with part of the specifications. 

From what we can gather, this isn't the fabled 2 GHz beast that the company was said to be developing a week ago. 

It will still be very powerful though. It wouldn't be called GeForce GTX 680 Extreme Edition if that were not the case. 

In fact, the company has every expectation that overclocking world records will be set and broken. 

Unfortunately, it isn't easy to guess what those records will be, since the clock speeds were not revealed, not for the GPU (graphics processing unit), nor the memory or the shaders. 

Still, the report did specify the OC+ special native logic, which can be controlled through an USB control module. 

To elaborate, the video card will be bundled with a front-panel OC module (probably fit for a 5.25-inch or 3.5-inch drive bay). 

This module grants control over the hardware and provides real-time diagnostic info (voltages, clock speeds, fan speeds). 

As for the rest, Zotac's board backs the GK104 GPU with 2 GB of Hynix GDDR5 VRAM, plus a 12-phase VRM power supply and International Rectifier GaNpowIR driver-MOSFETs. 

The rest of the feature list is made up of a CHiL CHL8318 VRM controller, FPCAP multi-phase capacitors and server-grade tantalum capacitors, plus two power connectors (6-pin and 8-pin). 

Unfortunately, in addition to the high price that the Zotac GeForce GTX 680 Extreme Edition will doubtlessly demand in exchange for its services, it is possible that Zotac won't ship the product outside the APAS region (Asia-Pacific). After all, the company did it before with high-end products.

Nokia Lumia 800 Battery Enhancements Now Globally Available

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia is currently delivering a software update for its first Windows Phone device, the Lumia 800, in an attempt to provide its users with a better experience. 

This is the third update that the smartphone tastes in only four months, and is being pushed out as firmware 1600.2487.8107.12070. 

The new update brings along a variety of enhancements related to the phone’s battery performance, as well as to its power management capabilities. 

According to Nokia, the new software was originally planned for release starting with April 18th, but the company managed to have it ready for roll-out almost one month earlier. 

“But before you get all excited and reach out for that cable to connect your Lumia 800 to your Mac or PC, there’s just one more thing to know: the update will not span the globe all at once,” Nokia explains. 

“It will be queued up over 4 weeks, beginning today (28 March) for the first batch. Subsequent phased updates will be on 4, 11 and 18 April.” 

In fact, the leading mobile phone maker is providing users with the option to check whether the update is available for their devices as well, through this web page. 

“If you don’t see your country or operator listed in the first batch, or even the second one, you may feel like you’ve been passed over, but there is a reason for this. Firstly, every software update for Windows Phone has to go through Zune (or its alter ego, Windows Phone 7 Connector, on the Mac),” Nokia notes. 

The software needs to get through mandatory testing and approval at carriers, and this is the main reason that not all users receive it at the same time. 

The update will be capable of delivering better battery performance capabilities to Lumia 800, whether making voice calls over 3G networks, browsing over WiFi, listening to music , or the like. 

“Along with battery, we’ve brought enhancements to the bass in the audio so that you get better voice quality and even more enjoyment out of Nokia Music. We’ve also ensured that the soft keys illuminate at all brightness levels settings,” the handset vendor also notes. 

Nokia further adds that they are working on delivering WiFi tethering to Lumia 800 devices, but that no specific release date for the enhancement could be delivered yet. Those who would like to learn more on how to update their devices should have a look at the video embedded below.

Samsung Galaxy S Gets Official “Value Pack”with ICS Features

It has been confirmed that one of the most popular Android smartphones available on the market, Samsung Galaxy S would never receive an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade.

The South Korean company issued a statement claiming that the Galaxy S does not feature the necessary hardware to smoothly run Android 4.0 operating system and said that it would not be able to deliver Google's latest platform to this handset.

However, given the overwhelming feedback received immediately after the official statement, Samsung decided to try and make it right for the millions of Android fans who own the Galaxy S.

Basically, the company said it would bring some of the features and apps of the Android 4.0, but not the whole package due to the fact that the Galaxy S is not fully capable to run Ice Cream Sandwich.

The so-called “Value Pack” leaked back in early January, along with some of the features and capabilities that Samsung plans to introduce in all Galaxy S devices.

True to its word, the handset vendor has released the final version of the “Value Pack” for Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy K and Galaxy U. 

Keep in mind that the update is only available in South Korea for the moment, but it will soon be launched in additional countries. It is also worth mentioning that Galaxy K and Galaxy U are slightly different variants of the Galaxy S, which are only available in South Korea.

“Value Pack” for Galaxy S is available for download via Samsung Kies. It is recommended to download and install the latest version of Samsung's desktop software and backup their sensitive data stored on the phone.

The update will bring some of the features that are now available on Android 4.0 devices, such as:

  • Face Unlock (Face recognition);
  • The ability to take snapshots while taking pictures or videos; 
  • Launcher improvements and the ability to add folders;
  • New Smart Setup icon.

The update requires only 10MB of internal memory. It is important to understand that the “Value Pack” might change some of the settings, but it has been confirmed that it will keep phonebook, messages and key user data.

Samsung GALAXY Tab 2 (10.1) Gets FCC Approval

Unveiled back in February at the Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) has just been spotted at the FCC (Federal Communications Commission).

According to Samsung's documents filed at FCC, this is the HSPA+ version model number GT-P5100. It appears that the device has received approval for 850 and 1900MHz bands. 

The only specs mentioned for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) is support for Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP.

In addition, the device supports HSPA+ on II and V bands, which makes it suitable for AT&T, though this has yet to be confirmed by the carrier.

No clue on whether or not this will come to AT&T in the following weeks, but it's certain that it will come with Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich platform.

The tablet supports GSM voice communication, so users will be able to make and receive calls, or send and receive SMS and MMS.

There are little differences between Galaxy Tab 10.1 and its sequel, Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1). Aside from the fact that it comes with Android 4.0 ICS, the latter also features microSD card slot for memory expansion (up to 32GB).

As the name suggests, Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 sports a 10.1-inch PLS TFT capacitive touchscreen display that supports HD (800 x 1280 pixels) resolution, and features Corning Gorilla Glass coating.

On the back, the tablet packs a 3-megapixel photo snapper, though it's hard to believe that anyone would want to use it. There's also a VGA front-facing camera for video calls.

The Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) is powered by a 1 GHz dual-core processor and embeds 1 GB of RAM and 16 of internal memory inside. Beside HSPA+ the slate offers Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct capabilities, along with Wi-Fi hotspot and built-in GPS with A-GPS support.

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