Hottest Google Android news & rumors for the week ending Sept. 14
I'm sorry that I'm going to take up page space with a discussion of non-Android matters in this column, but it would be remiss of me not to comment on the iPhone 5 rollout this week, and its implications for the Android ecosystem.
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MORE MOBILITY: iPhone 5: How does it stack up?
Fortunately, though, there's little enough to say - far from being the world-beater that past iPhones have been, the iPhone 5 didn't really introduce any new features or capabilities that don't already exist on an Android phone somewhere. And rather than pushing the bar for the rest of the smartphone world higher, as iPhones have done more than once, Apple actually had to play catch-up in a number of respects.
This is not to say that the iPhone 5 isn't a hugely impressive smartphone, because it is - and Android fanpersons would do well to remember that before glibly (and erroneously) proclaiming Apple's irrelevance in the mobile sector. Regardless of this perceived lack of momentum, Apple's going to sell, in my conservative estimation, about 33 squillion of these things.
However, it's a great sign of maturity for the Android platform - the big competitor that was consistently portrayed as far more innovative and advanced in the past is now having to battle for market share on much more even terms.
And hey, speaking of Android...
A Tegra 3-powered HTC One X+ has been spotted on the FCC's website, confirming long-standing rumors that a potent new version of the One is on the way. (H/T: Engadget) AndroidCommunity.com says that the quad-core Nvidia processor may have been revved up to 1.6GHz per core, for a substantial performance increase.
Several sources assert that official confirmation of the One X+ may come as early as next Wednesday, as HTC is already scheduled to hold a major press event. I won't be able to be there, but I hope someone can ask them when they're going to get better at naming things. ("Ooh, is that the HTC Evo 4G One X+?" "No, you jerk, it's the Evo Amaze Incredible Marvel! Geez, get a clue!")
Intel announced that it has finished porting Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) over to its new Medfield line of smartphone chips at the Intel Developers Forum this week.
In light of this, it's possible that Jelly Bean will show up on the Intel-powered version of Motorola's new Droid RAZR M, which is rumored to be launching in the U.K. on Tuesday. However, there's no confirmation of that, and the U.S. versions - powered by the usual Snapdragon - were rolled out with Ice Cream Sandwich.
A widely publicized benchmark that could be the mysterious Motorola device shows a max CPU frequency of 2.0GHz. For a smartphone, that's eye-popping performance.
The company - which sells a mobile security product - based this number on the results of 20,000 scans of Android devices using its X-Ray app. According to Duo, the root of the problem is that carriers are very slow to issue patches for new Android versions, to say nothing of hot-fixes for security issues.
Verizon Galaxy Nexus Jelly Bean Watch - I'm sorry for getting your hopes up in past columns, but it looks like there is still no roll-out date set for Android 4.1 on the Verizon GNex, though the carrier is still said to be working feverishly to complete final testing.
The Nexus line is supposed to constantly be updated with the latest version of Android, and Verizon is the biggest carrier in the U.S. - which means this continues to be an embarrassment for Google, Samsung and Verizon alike. Does it officially count as a farce if my Sprint Nexus S 4G gets the update first?
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2, with its quad-core, Jelly Bean 4G-LTE-powered goodness, is coming to AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, U.S. Cellular and T-Mobile, according to a report from BriefMobile. If only we didn't have to call it a phablet, it'd be the coolest device ever.
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