It’s been a surprisingly busy week for Android as 2012 gets started in earnest. Much of the news from Monday and Tuesday came as the tech industry caught its collective breath, after the gadget smorgasbord that was the Consumer Electronics Show. For the best and brightest, be sure to check out or Android CES wrap up. You can see all our coverage of CES 2012, from this week and last, by visiting our CES portal. As for the rest – and that encompasses quite a lot this week – read on below.
As far as hardware goes, an encouraging number of new devices were spotted this week. The biggest (metaphorically speaking, of course) is probably LG’s X3, the likely codename for their new flagship. The rumored phone runs Ice Cream Sandwich on a 4.3-inch 720p screen. It’s very likely that we’ll be seeing more of that phone next month at Mobile World Congress. Tablet dreamers Notion Ink unveiled the second iteration of their Adam tablet, this time with upgrades in hardware and more developer tools. WiFi versions of the Motorola DROID XYBOARD are up for pre-order, and those who fancy more variety in their LTE smartphones will be happy to know that the LG Connect 4G has passed through the FCC with Verizon radio bands. While we’re certain that the much-anticipated Samsung Galaxy Note is coming to AT&T in the near future, industry rumor indicates that it will be coming to at least two more US carriers, and that the Verizon version will likely be renamed the “Galaxy Journal.” Finally, you won’t want to miss our review of ThinkSound’s ms01 Monitor Series earbuds, a pair of high-quality headphones with unique wood construction and environmentally-friendly materials.
On the software side of Android, the biggest release this week was probably Wikipedia’s official Android app, which can now be downloaded for free in the Market. Shooter favorite Counter-Strike is now available in beta form, and high-profile games Temple Run and Reckless Racing 2 will soon be headed to the Android Market as well. In more wide-reaching news, popular Android modder/developer Koush has begun work on a CyanogenMod App Store, which he says will welcome all the legitimate apps that have been given the boot from the Market by Google, including tethering, emulator and root apps. We can’t wait to see what comes of this one, especially since it will be open to non-CyanogenMod users as well.
In more general Android news, the original Motorola XOOM got an official Ice Cream Sandwich update, while the HP TouchPad got an extremely unofficial one, courtesy of the CyanogenMod team. Speaking of older hardware, an early version of Samsung’s update for the original Galaxy S was leaked, showing their “Value Pack” of ICS-style features that are intended to mollify users upset that they won’t be getting the real McCoy. Meanwhile, HTC is updating its CDMA phones to get rid of Carrier IQ’s software, which caused both hardware makers and carriers a PR nightmare late last year. The EVO 4G, Epic 4G, EVO 3D and EVO Design 4G are among the first phones to be corrected. In the ongoing patent wars, Apple slapped Samsung with a request for a ban on 10 devices in Germany and another US lawsuit over the slide-to-unlock feature on the Galaxy Nexus. I guess no one told them that Google made that particular feature.
We hope you’ve had a good weekend, and we’ll return you to your regularly scheduled Android coverage tomorrow morning. Enjoy the NFL playoffs!