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Jun 27, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note III to Sport an LCD Screen in Some Markets

Samsung Galaxy Note III, the long rumored large smartphone that South Korean mobile phone maker Samsung will make official in its popular Galaxy Note series later this summer, is now rumored to arrive on shelves in some markets with an IPS LCD screen. 

According to a recent article on ETNews, Samsung is working on the release of two different flavors of the device, one with an AMOLED screen, and the other packing LCD, due to the high demand in OLED panels, which could lead to shortages. The news site also notes that Samsung might plan on purchasing the LCD screens from Japanese companies such as Sharp, yet nothing has been confirmed.

As SammyHub notes, the Galaxy Note III might be launched with a 5.7-inch display and a Snapdragon 800 processor packed inside. It might also include LTE-Advanced capabilities.

Samsung logo
Image credits to Samsung

Source Code Available for HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition

Soon after the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One arrived in the Google Play Store with the stock Android platform loaded on top, the source code for them was also made available for download.

However, although some might have expected for the kernel to arrive via Google, the code was actually published on the developer websites of HTC and Samsung, respectively. This clearly shows that the new devices, which are set to provide their users with a “Nexus experience,” are not seen as Nexus handsets on their own, despite the pure Android platform they run under.

Furthermore, it seems that updates for both of them will arrive from their manufacturers, rather than from Google themselves, which further distinguishes them from the popular series of Google-branded devices.  Those interested in having a closer look at the software for the two should head over to the Samsung Open Source Release Center (and search for GT-I9505G there), or to the HTCDev website.

Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Edition
Image credits to Pocketnow

Android 4.3 Camera App Now Available for Download

One of the features that the newly launched Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Edition smartphones arrived on shelves with was a new interface for the camera application, and it seems that more users can now take advantage of it.

The application was previously spotted on a Nexus 4 with Android 4.3 packed inside, and might be released to the world as part of that platform version, yet those who would like to grab it before that can already do so, unofficially. The software’s .APK file was made available for download through various sharing sites and, while it appears mostly safe to install, it might cause some issues on certain devices.

According to Pocketnow, for example, it will replace the current camera app on Nexus handsets, while being installed alongside the existing one on other smartphones. Fonearena notes that there are a series of improvements made to photosphere and film strip view, and that only Android 4.0 and newer devices can install the app.

Android 4.3 camera app
Image credits to Pocketnow

New Camera App Included in Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Edition

The newly released Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Edition smartphones will provide users with more than just the stock Android experience, despite featuring no custom software on top of the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean platform version.

Apparently, both these devices sport a new Camera app interface, different from what Android 4.2.2-based Nexus phones can offer at the moment, but similar to what a previously leaked Android 4.3 video had to show. The new flavors of the Galaxy S4 and HTC One will offer five options to users when pressing and holding the screen in the camera app, displayed in a new curved line, a recent article on AnandTech explains. Also, the volume buttons can be used as shutter triggers, it seems. Through these settings, users will receive fast access to HDR mode, exposure adjustments, flash mode, and front and rear camera switching, and a More Options feature. Hitting “More Options” will offer access to a new menu, with features disposed in a semicircle as well, offering the possibility to opt in or out of location data for their photos, to adjust the image size and color temperature, select scene mode, and activate the countdown timer.

The camera app will provide mostly the same functionality as it did before, but the interface has been updated, most probably hinting at what’s set to arrive on other stock Android devices as well. Apparently, some other changes have been included in the two devices as well, such as a new Sun Beam live wallpaper, a modified flavor of the Phase Beam live wallpaper that has been available inside Android for a while now.  At the same time, the two handsets sport the new Google Keep note-taking service pre-loaded right from the start, and also come with modified boot animations. Users interested in grabbing the Galaxy S4 or the HTC One with stock Android loaded on top can find them available in the Google Play Store today, though only in select markets.

Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Edition
Image credits to The Verge

Motorola to Launch Droid RAZR Ultra, RAZR M Ultra on Verizon

Mobile phone maker Motorola might soon make official some new devices in its Android series, such as the Droid RAZR Ultra and RAZR M Ultra, rumored to become available for purchase in the United States on the network of Verizon Wireless.

The two companies have launched some successful phones in the DROID lineup, including last year’s RAZR handsets, and it would not come as a surprise if new products were added to the series, that’s for sure.  Provided that the info that emerged courtesy of @evleaks pans out, it won't be too long before Motorola unveils some additional details on this. A certain DROID Ultra Maxx phone will be launched as well, Droid-life claims.

No confirmation on this has surfaced, but the new “Ultra” family of smartphones could prove to be Verizon’s exclusive version of the long rumored Motorola X phones (already said to land on shelves at other carriers in the US).

Motorola RAZR HD
Image credits to droid-life

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