In case you haven’t caught on yet, the different versions of the Android operating system are named in alphabetical order after desserts. So far there has been Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. It has been previously rumored that Google (GOOG) is planning on calling its next software version Key Lime Pie, however there had been no evidence to back this claim. Manu Cornet, a cartoonist and Google software engineer, on Monday shared an image on his Google+ page that demonstrates the evolution of the Android operating system.
Folks with the OG Galaxy Note (the world version GT-N7000 — the one with the home button) are in for a treat, as SamMobile has a leak of 4.1.2 for the big gal. Be aware that this is a testing version, and may not be up to release standards. Known issues are the lack of S-Pen features.
Don’t look now but Microsoft (MSFT), the company that cornered the market with word processing and spreadsheets, has finally become cool. According to research from YouGov, the software giant’s Bing search engine and new Windows products are making a big impression on consumers as the market research firm found that consumer perception of both Windows and Bing are at a two-year high. In fact, since right around the time when Microsoft began its massive Windows 8 and Bing advertising campaigns in mid-October, the company’s perception has risen from 17 points to 25 on YouGov’s BrandIndex Buzz scale. The brand’s perception levels were even higher among tablet owners, increasing from 23 to 33 in the same period, while Bing managed to move up 6 points for a perception rating of 16.
Speaking at GeekWire’s technology summit in Seattle, T-Mobile’s chief marketing officer Cole Brodman voice some strong opinions regarding carrier subsidies, claiming they are hurting the mobile industry. “It actually distorts what devices actually cost and it causes OEMs, carriers — everybody to compete on different playing fields, and I think it is really difficult, especially from a consumer perspective, because it causes consumers to devalue completely the hardware they are using.” he said. “It is amazing hardware, but it has become kind of throw away. So, it is unfortunate, you’ve got dual-core, multiprocessor devices with amazing HD screens that get thrown away at 18 months.” Brodman would love for T-Mobile to remove subsidies, however if the other carriers “don’t want to play along,” it will be a risky move. When the executive was asked about the carrier’s future and whether or not it could compete without the iPhone, he explained “yes we can, we have fantastic alternate choices,” going on to mention the company’s line of Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry smartphones.
Following LG’s statement that the company is “heavily in discussions” with Google to become the next Nexus partner, HTC said it too is in discussions with the software giant. According to a new report from TechRadar, the Taiwanese handset maker is in talks with Google in hopes of being selected to design the company’s next flagship smartphone. Google previously worked with HTC to craft the original Nexus One. “Google hasn’t chosen its Nexus partner for (Android) Jellybean as yet. So right now all the manufacturers are crossing their fingers,” HTC’s global online communications manager Jeff Gordon said in a statement that has since been removed. Gordon said that the notion of being the next Nexus partner is “still very attractive to all OEMs, despite the imminent takeover of Motorola.” Gordon didn’t give an exact date as to when Android 5.0 would be released, but stated the company’s current priority is to bring Ice Cream Sandwich to its current device lineup.
Apple has edged out IBM to become the top brand of 2011, according to an annual list from marketing strategy firm Davis Brand Capital. The Cupertino-based company ousted IBM, which topped the list in 2009 and 2010. Apple was previously ranked No.12 in 2009 and No.7 in 2010. Davis evaluates the top 25 brands annually using five categories that go beyond traditional marketing functions. “The annual 2011 Davis Brand Capital 25 ranking evaluates companies’ abilities to manage and balance the five key intangible categories that comprise brand capital: brand value; competitive performance; innovation strength; company culture; and social impact,” the company said in a press release. “The ranking does not aim to place a financial value on the brand capital of the companies. Rather, the list reveals the comparative strength and breadth of the companies’ brand capital.” As in previous years, the rankings were dominated by technology companies such as Google, Microsoft, HP, Cisco, Intel and Samsung. Read on for the complete list of Davis Brand Capital top 25.
Verizon Wireless on Tuesday finally confirmed launch details for the latest addition to its popular DROID family of Android smartphones, the Motorola DROID 4. The sleek QWERTY slider will become available later this week on February 10th for $199.99 on contract.
Last year a number of leaks and photos suggested that Apple had a redesigned iPod nano with an integrated camera in the works. The new device wasn’t released last time Apple refreshed its iPod family, but now another round of pictures has surfaced that lends credence to the possibility that such a device may launch in the near future. The images show a camera-equipped iPod nano complete with its signature clip design, and the device appears to be the same size as the current-generation iPod nano. It remains unclear if Apple will ever release an iPod nano with a camera but the source, Apple.pro, has published early details surrounding Apple hardware in the past that ended up panning out. Another report published Wednesday by MIC Gadget suggests that the device pictured is actually a prototype from several months ago that did not pass Apple’s tests. The site says some problems have been ironed out however, and that the new nano could become available in the coming months. Several additional pictures follow after the break.
Motorola Mobility had quite a presence at the Consumer Electronics Show this year. It launched two brand new high-end smartphones, the DROID 4 and the DROID RAZR MAXX, and Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha also announced that Motorola will become a partner with Intel for its new Medfield processors. The Motorola booth was packed with all of its new technology, as well as a number of products that launched earlier this year. There were even people riding bikes and running on treadmills to show off the company’s exercise-friendly accessories. The booth also had demo stations for testing nearly all of Motorola’s current products, from its MOTOACTV watch to its smartphone docks, tablets and more. Check out all the highlights from Motorola’s CES 2012 booth in our gallery below.
Photo Voyages of Trey Ratcliff, the “official” application of the popular travel photography blog Stuck in Customs is now compatible with Google TV. The app consists of hundreds of Ratcliff’s images (and they are spectacular images indeed) as an endless slideshow to view on your screen. With Google TV support, that big screen in your living room can become a piece of art while you’re not watching cartoons the news. Another interesting aside, a note in the market says an update that allows setting any of the images as your wallpaper is coming “very soon”. The app will cost you $2.99 and requires Android 2.1 or higher. Hit the break for the download link.
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