After a five-month long wait, Samsung phone and tablet owners in Canada can finally look forward to an update to the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. The manufacturer has today announced that nine devices, including members of the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab families, as well as the Galaxy Note, will be getting ICS from today, "on select devices in Canada."
There's no information on exactly which devices will be first, and as is always the case, when you get your update will probably be heavily dependent on your carrier of choice. Regardless, the fact that these updates seem to have been rubber-stamped by Samsung is a good indication. Here's the manufacturer's list of ICS-upgradable devices --
GALAXY S II
GALAXY S II LTE
GALAXY S II LTE HD
GALAXY S II X
GALAXY Tab 7.0
GALAXY Tab 7.0 Plus
GALAXY Tab 8.9
GALAXY Tab 10.1
We'll be keeping an eye on our Samsung devices in the days ahead, as many of these haven't yet received Android 4.0 outside of Canada. We'll update you soon as there's any word on when exactly ICS is rolling out. In the meantime there's more specifics in Samsung Canada's press release, which you'll find after the break.
We're back for another weekly photo contest, and this go 'round the subject is something near and dear to my heart -- the great outdoors. It means different things to different folks, but I think inside all of us there's a part that loves seeing the beauty in the world around us. Yours won't look like mine or anyone else's, and that's what makes it great. Take a minute and share what you see with us all, and get a chance to win a cool little prize -- the Andru USB charger. It's shaped like bugdroid, has light up eyes, and will keep your phone charged up and ready to go. The rules are simple:
Use an Android device to take a picture. Any Android device
Submit the picture in the forum thread we have set up for this week, so everyone can see your handiwork. E-mail was swamping us, and not everyone got to see all the entries. This way, we get to see them all. We like seeing it all.
Only submit one. We're going to check, and we'll know if you try to game the system.
Be sure to tell what device you used, and any effects or filters used on the photo. We can learn from these as well as have fun.
Get your picture in by Friday midnight (your local time). We'll pick the winner and the runners-up and throw them on the blog Sunday afternoon.
Sony and Verizon are pushing out an update for the Xperia PLAY, bringing it to version 4.0.2.E.0.57. Relax, 4.0.2 is the version number from Sony and not Android 4.0.2 -- but don't feel bad, I thought the same thing.
While the update may not be the one everyone is waiting for, it does bring a couple nice things to the table -- new versions of Verizon Navigator and Verizon Video on Demand! I'll stop. There is something cool in this update though -- use the right trigger button to take a picture while running the camera app. The rest you ask? Certainly.
Verizon Wireless Video on Demand now comes preloaded.
Improved user experience and new delivery method of preloaded games.
When connected via Bluetooth®, the Music Player now supports Fast Forward and Rewind.
VZ Navigator® has been updated with the latest 3D map improvements.
Upgraded to Gingerbread 2.3.4 operating system.
A long-press of the power button will successfully capture a screen shot.
Charging issues forcing device to remain in landscape mode have been resolved.
Recommended contacts now populate correctly when using the dialpad.
Right trigger successfully captures a picture.
Record video in 720p with continuous auto-focus.
Device is now enabled with the Wireless Emergency Alerting System.
Mobile Hotspot ID broadcast can be turned off to increase security.
Starting tomorrow (May 1), Verizon will begin offering up a new prepaid wireless plan, with unlimited talk and text plus 1GB of data for $80 monthly. You'll have to buy a new phone of course, and for now the only phone being offered is the less-than-stellar Samsung Illusion. You will be able to grab one in stores or online for $170, and it should be coming soon to Target, Best Buy, Radio Shack and WalMart.
If you're looking for something with a bit more oompf, the prepaid Verizon Jetpack LTE hotspot could be what you're needing. Pricing starts at 250MB for $15 per week, 3GB for $60 per month or 10GB for $90 per month. The Jetpack itself will be available for $129.99 at Verizon stores and online, and it's also coming soon to Best Buy, Radio Shack and WalMart.
One of the perks of this job is getting to travel to (mostly) interesting places and play with shiny new toys as (and sometimes before) they’re announced. But while live events can be a lot of fun, there’s also a huge amount of work involved. There’re press conferences to be liveblogged, videos to be shot, photos to be taken and words to be written, all the while dealing with crowds of sweaty tech journalists and spotty data connections.
As we said in our review, the Samsung Galaxy Note isn’t the phone for everyone -- its size alone makes sure of that. But the device has found a place at the heart of my workflow whenever I’m covering a live event, be it a simple phone launch in London, or the back-to-back mobile armageddon that is MWC in Barcelona, Spain. The Note’s size makes it a capable content creation device, in addition to its media consumption prowess. Head past the break to find learn how I use the Note to keep on top of live events for Android Central.
With Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich being rolled out for Acer Iconia Tab A500 and A100 this week, Acer has taken the initiative to release an app that will make the upgrade process faster and a tad easier for Acer owners.
The Iconia Tab Update Enhancement app, which you can download on Acer’s website and Google Play, is designed to make sure that the experience of downloading and installing the Ice Cream Sandwich update for your tablets will run as smooth as possible. Fun as it is to frantically check for the update manually through the system’s settings, you’ll have a better chance of getting the ICS update faster via the app. However, do note that it is only compatible for the Iconia Tab A500 for now.
If you’re in the US and Latin America, you probably already got the ICS update notification, as it was supposed to roll out last week. Meanwhile, those in Canada are expected to get the ICS only on May 3. Still, it doesn’t hurt to try and install the app on your tabs. Once you receive the update, which we heard won’t come with the Face Unlock feature, it’s recommended to keep the Iconia Tab Update Enhancement app. You see, the app is also designed to handle security patches, fixes, and future updates for your Iconia Tab.
We should pat Acer on the back for being mighty proactive in delivering Ice Cream Sandwich for Tab owners and hopefully other manufacturers will take note of this.
As for our readers, have you received the Ice Cream Sandwich update on your Acer Iconia Tab A500 or A100 yet? Share your experience in the comments below.
Rummaging through your parent’s albums, or your own childhood pictures, can be a great trip down memory lane. A picture truly speaks a thousand words when it’s been hidden away and subjected to the natural process of aging.
With how popular the vintage feel is nowadays, to combat the crispness and vividness of digital cameras with images that will never go old, it’s no surprise that teenagers and young adults are scrambling for old-school cameras. But, if you can’t find an old-school camera in your vicinity, or you can’t be arsed to hunt one down, then do a quick search in the Google Play Store and be surprised at the number of camera apps packing filters that’ll give your photo the aged look that you want. Whether it’s just part and parcel of the camera app, or the main function of the camera app, getting a retro look for your photos is on everyone’s mind.
We’ve put together a list of some of the top 10 retro photo apps, in no particular order, for your Android device.
If you long to capture life’s precious moments using a Polaroid camera you don’t have to scour the internet for one. Download Roidizer for your Android device today and take pictures with Polaroid effects. You can even add text to the bottom of your Polaroid shots using any of the 6 different fonts Roidizer has to offer to make the picture even more personal. Choose from any of the 10 different films for your picture and the auto-focus option to exercise some creativity. Of course, when you’re done, feel free to share your Roidizer photos through your social network sites like Facebook and Twitter. The best part is, Roidizer is free and ad-free, ready to be downloaded to your Android device today.
Unfortunately it isn’t possible to revisit a photo to edit its effects once it’s been saved so make sure that you’ve got a picture that you’d like to keep forever.
PicsArt may be well-known for adding clipart to your images, but it also packs a lot of fun retro magic effects. You’ve got Stenciler, Cartoonizer, Sketcher, and Orton, but for those of you who love aged retro look, you get Lomo and Vintage.
PicsArt also has effects like Cross Process, HDR, Fattal, Pencil, Holgaart, Watercolor, Sketcher, Contours, Comic, Neon, and more. Listing all of them here could take forever, but that’s just how powerful PicsArt is. You won’t have to content yourself with just a handful of effects when you can have way more than you could ever dream of.
Add a personal touch to your vintaged shots by drawing on it using any of PicsArt’s brushes and styles. Once you’re done, share it to your Facebook wall, Flickr, Picasa, Dropbox, Foursquare, Tumblr, Blogger, and WordPress–or you can send photos by SMS and email. Zoom, crop and edit your way through your photos and achieve the look that you want.
Download PicsArt for free from the Google Play Store today.
If you’ve ever aspired to have your face in Warhol style, FxCamera makes that possible. Not only that, FxCamera packs retro filters like ToyCam, Polandroid, Fisheye, and Symmetricam. Of course, it also packs a Normal mode, but that’s rather standard. We’re going for the hip retro look after all.
Make your moments more poignant with any of FxCamera’s effects. Photos will always turn out vivid and clear. FxCamera’s icons and button designs could use a little work, but the navigation is straightforward and the ads it has are unobtrusive. If you’re hoping to snap photos quickly to hold on to a special moment, FxCamera has been reported by users to launch quickly and its menu is intuitive, allowing you to easily switch modes. No more stumbling around, figuring out how to make things work with this app. Take it with you around the city and snap photos of buildings for a touch of creative anachronism in your life.
With 22 functions often used in image processing and almost all the photo editing functions and photo effects that you could want, Fotolr Photo Studio is a must-have for your Android device. But, most importantly, Fotolr Photo Studio packs a mean punch with its Effects options.
You can choose Normal, Black and White, Lomo and more, to get the look that you want. There’s a whole lot to choose from that you’d have to try them for yourself to see. You can go for an additional touch by adding text. If you want to see how different your edited image is now from your original one, tap the A|B button to compare the two. You can save your Fotolr Photo Studio images to your Fotolr albums, documents or even share them through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and Weibo. Fotolr Photo Studio has an easy to understand user interface that users will have no trouble figuring out.
To start editing your photos to give them that gorgeous vintage look, download Fotolr Photo Studio from the Google Play Store today.
Don’t let this app’s name fool you. Little Photo is a powerful Android app that lets you add film and retouch effects to your photos. Little Photo offers you over 70 different effects and tools to choose from to get that perfect vintage look you’re aiming for. If your Android device doesn’t come with a camera button, don’t worry. You won’t have to resort to tapping your screen, and shaking your camera, to snap your shot; simply use your device’s Volume keys to take a picture.
Little Photo currently does not support cropping and the menu may be a little strange to scroll through. Once you get used to it, snapping beautiful vintage photos is easy. After you’ve snapped your perfect shot and adjusted your chosen effect’s intensity to your liking, the photos are saved to your phone’s SD card. You can also share your photos directly with Picasa, Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites if you want to show off your gorgeous vintage images.
If you’d like to unlock more of Little Photo’s functions, you can purchase the Little Photo Plugin from the Google Play Store today.
Vignette is aptly named because it is packing 76 customizable photo effects and 57 frames you can use in any combination to achieve retro and vintage looks. If you’re aiming to mimic LOMO, Diana, Holga, or toy camera styles, Vignette can do that, too, as well as the classic Polaroid look. Vignette also gives you other effects such as cross-process, duotone, charcoal, tilt-shift, photo-booth, double-exposure effects, and much more.
But, Vignette isn’t just for giving your photos that aged look. It’s also a full-featured camera application. You can take pictures with your camera’s full resolution, complete with effects if you get the paid version. Use the digital 10x zoom for those hard-to-reach places and you can even geotag photos. For more creative shots, use the time-lapse and steady-shot modes.
If your Android device is running on Android 4.0+, Vignette can be launched from the lockscreen so you won’t have to waste another moment unlocking your device and rummaging through your apps.
Like it says on the tin, Retro Camera for your Android device will give you instant nostalgia. Why print out your photos and wait for them to age when you could be snapping away right now? Retro Camera packs 5 different cameras for each filter and 5 sets of vintage vignetting with effects like film scratch, black and white and cross processing. There’s almost no lag between taking your shot and getting your finished product. This app however may not be the best for snapping the quick shot, but if you’ve got all the time in the world, Retro Camera for your Android device will be perfect if you’re expressing your inner artist.
Retro Camera unfortunately can only use your device’s rear camera rather than both your rear and front-facing cameras. There doesn’t seem to be a zooming option, as well, and the ads Retro Camera supports may end up in users accidentally redirecting themselves through the ads.
The Lomo Camera app for your Android device is straight forward and simple. As a fully functional emulator of a lomo camera, it packs 6 completely different filters based on real ones, such as Lomo, Paper, Rusty, Dreams, Polaroid, and Film. With its simple layout, Lomo Camera packs the right effects to help you produce a masterpiece by being subtle and not over the top.
Users have described Lomo Camera’s effects almost as realistic as the real thing. Some users, however, may find Lomo Camera too simple and lacking in effects. But, for those of you who’d like a straightforward, no-frills retro-style camera app, Lomo Camera is definitely one of the must-haves. Lomo Camera may have compatibility issues with some Android devices, leading the app to force close or to a black screen. This issue may be resolved in future updates.
Pixlr-o-Matic is a fun and easy application that allows you to add fun retro effects to your photos in a snap. It also allows you to transform your photos into cool-looking vintage images by adding any of its effects, overlays, and borders. You can choose from over 100 effects, 280 overlays, and almost 200 different borders. If you don’t have any subjects to snap a retro photo of, simply select a photo from your photo gallery to edit and age.
If your picture isn’t look vintage enough, slap on a color overlay to adjust the mood and add some lighting effects to enhance or create some drama. If you’re feeling random, tap on the randomizer option to see what Pixlr-o-Matic can do for you.When you’re done and pleased with your image, export your finished image back to your gallery. Or, if you’re excited, share your vintage piece with your friends on Facebook to make them envious.
Download Pixlr-o-Matic for free for your Android device today.
The Pudding Camera app may have a cute name, but this app gives you a number of different types of films for your photos. Choose from Basic, Vintage Brown, Vintage Blue, Vignetting, Dazzle, Mono, Noir, and Vivid. If you’re afraid that your pictures will be disorganized and impossible to search through, worry no longer as Pudding Camera arranges your photos in your gallery by date.
Pudding Camera also makes it extremely easy to share your photos with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and through e-mail. If you’re running on Ice Cream Sandwich, Pudding Camera’s got ICS support so you won’t have to worry about incompatibility issues. Unfortunately, Pudding Camera has yet to install the option to allow you to decide where to save your photos and may have issues uploading your pictures to Facebook. These issues, however, may be resolved in future updates.
If you’d like to taste how sweet the Pudding Camera is, download it for free for your Android device.