Bean There, Done That: Android Jelly Bean Announcements

It was a year ago this month that, inspired by Karl Fife and growing frustrated with my G2, I ordered a Samsung-made Galaxy Nexus. Google was not yet selling the handset directly so I ordered it from an online deals web site. I paid just over $500 for the handset, which would sell for just $350 just eight weeks later when Google began to offer it direct.

Of course, the Galaxy Nexus arrived running the newly minted Ice Cream Sandwich flavor of the Android OS. It wasn’t until Q4 that it received the Jelly Bean update. The aged G2 was upgraded from Froyo to ICS , but that’s where it’s path ended.

The leap from Gingerbread on the G2 to Jelly bean on the Galaxy Nexus was considerable. ICS was clearly better than it’s predecessor, but Jelly Bean was vastly better than ICS. The Galaxy Nexus experience inspired the purchase of the Nexus 7 when it became available, but that is around nine months ago.

I am constantly befuddled by the steady parade of announcements proclaiming device XYZ is getting Jelly Bean. I was reminded of this today when a customer told me that his Droid Bionic just received Jelly Bean.

Really, Jelly Bean just now? That’s Incredible…and Bionic…and RAZR…and MAXX…and various other ‘droids as well!

It simply amazes me how long it takes for vendors and carriers to roll out Android updates. Motorola isn’t the only laggard. HTC, Sony and others exhibit similar behavior.

This fact alone has me convinced of the wisdom of staying with the Nexus series of devices. If you’re choosing the Android experience then you might as well choose the current Android experience, without any bloatware from the carrier. You’ll get the latest OS on day one, and fastest access to the updates as they become available. It just makes so much sense.

T-Mobile Launches HDVoice Nationwide; Kinda, Sorta, Maybe, A Little Bit

T-Mobile-on-HDVoice.pngLast month at CES the nations #3 mobile carrier launched HDVoice nationally on its HSPA+ network. Here’s the entire press release. Actually, here’s the snippet that you need to track:

T-Mobile today announced that HD Voice is now available on its network nationwide, dramatically improving in-call voice quality for customers with capable smartphones. Customers will hear a more true-to-life voice quality that’s fuller and more natural-sounding with significantly reduced background noise from street traffic, wind and crowd noise. To experience HD Voice, both parties on the call must use capable T-Mobile 4G smartphones such as the HTC One™ S, Nokia Astound and Samsung Galaxy S® III on T-Mobile’s HD Voice-enabled nationwide network. T-Mobile is the first U.S. wireless provider to launch HD Voice nationwide.

It’s very exciting, yes? Well, it is for me as I am both a big fan of HDVoice and a long-time T-Mobile customer.

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Blogging From The Nexus7

Nexus7Not long ago I read a post by a blogger who had made the effort to give up his laptop for the day. While attending a conference he left his laptop in his hotel room intent upon using only his Nexus 7 tablet throughout that day. I thought it an interesting experiment.

The tale of his day highlighted a few worthy accessories for the Nexus 7 tablet. He pointed to a premium stylus and a Bluetooth wireless keyboard as key to his productivity. I was impressed by his logic and the tale of his experience that day. So much so that I ordered those same items so that I might try them for myself.

At this very moment I’m typing on the Logitech Keyboard for Android , wirelessly connected to my Nexus 7. Just as he described the case for the keyboard doubles as a stand for the tablet. It’s handy. To use it properly really requires a table, but it’s working on my lap at the moment.

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Some Thoughts On Keyboards In A Post-PC World

Two-Tablets-&-PhoneThis past week I’ve been getting to know Google’s Nexus 7. So far I’m liking it a lot. It’s interesting to see where I find it useful and where I still reach for my cell phone, netbook, laptop or desktop. How the Nexus7 changes my relationship with those devices is possibly one of the more interesting things about the tablet.

Of course, the Nexus7 is not my first attempt to make a tablet part of my routine. Last year I bought a Viewsonic gTablet, which is a 10” tablet running Android 2.2. I went so far as loading Cyanogen Mod to it, but eventually lost interest. it was simply too limited to be useful.

Last summer we bought an HP Touchpad running WebOS. The fire sale price was attractive. My wife ended up claiming that as her own. When she thought she’d lost it we ended up with a second Touchpad. That one was almost refit with Android 4.1…and may yet in fact.

Finally, in a fit of bad judgment I bought the HP Slate 500. That was an 8.7” tablet running Windows 7. I purchased it with a specific, work related project in mind. When that project failed to materialize I decided to resell it on E-bay, but not before I had also purchased the companion Bluetooth keyboard and protective cover.

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