Sony releases ICS Beta ROM for select Xperia devices

Sony has just released a public BETA version of its Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for a few Xperia devices. The video below was also uploaded on Sony’s dev youtube account . It showcases all the new updates of the Beta ROM .

The update brings a number of notable improvements from the Alpha ROM released in December last year.

New and Updated UI – The ROM brings a new ICS styled UI which brings much improvement to the Gingerbread UI. The UI animations are fluid and fast , and so are scrollable widgets.

Lockscreen Update – Now , there is a camera button on the lockscreen which takes you straight to the camera app . And finally, Sony have included a slick Music Player in the lockscreen. You can now control your music without unlocking. Sony have also confirmed to be including Google’s Face Unlock feature in the final release.

The modem is now approved and FM Radio as well as GSM is now working! Yes you can make calls as well as surf the net without much problems. Sony is still working hard to iron out all the bugs and certifications needed to release the full OTA update which is expected to arrive sometime in March .

Devices supported in this release are Xperia Arc S , Xperia Neo V and Xperia Ray with build 4.0.2.A.0.42. Sorry original Arc and Neo users!

However , Sony have stressed that although they have gone through as much as they can to make it as stable and convenient to install , they only recommend advanced users to flash the ROM. Those of you who have experience with custom ROM’s will feel right at home however. You can download and read more of the update here  .

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Tegra 3 – 4-PLUS-1 and LTE all-in-one

We all know Nvidia is going to showcase its Tegra 3 chipset at this years MWC in Barcelona. But previously all we knew about it was it was going to be quad-core with a mysterious “ninja” core.  Just a week before MWC, Nvidia has revealed further details of its Tegra 3 architecture, specifically on its core setup.

The Tegra 3 Architecture

So, the Tegra 3 is a quad-core CPU with a fifth “dormant” core thats called the Battery Saver Core. Nvidia’s calling this whole setup the 4-PLUS-1 Architecture. The proper description for this ‘ninja” core is Variable Symmetrical Multiprocessing ( vSMP ) . But long-hard-to-pronounce names are so last generation. According to NVIDIA’s Michael Rayfield , the vSMP just wasn’t marketable so they are officially calling it the 4-PLUS-1 SoC. The battery saver core allegedly supposed to handle light tasks that drain battery efficiently. This should boost battery significantly , especially LTE being a super battery hog.

On a side note , NVIDIA’s also just announced that Tegra 3 will be getting LTE Support with radio manufacturers CGT and Renesas fully supporting the chip. This is certainly great news for US , UK and other countries that support LTE . But for us Malaysians, none of the carriers have announced LTE and doesnt seem like happening anytime soon. Whatever it is , NVIDIA’s Tegra 3 is certainly gearing up to be one JUICY SoC, especially with companies like LG and ZTE to announce flagship devices running the chip. We will keep you posted on the latest news straight from Barcelona .

 

New iPhone rumored to be released Autumn 2012

 

I’ll be breaking this article up into 4 parts to help you make more sense of it. 

LAUNCH:

Last year we saw Apple release the iPhone 4S in October, making it the first time that Apple had released a new handset in the Autumn season. Now rumors are flying around that Apple will once again select this timeframe for the release of the next iPhone. Apple is supposedly aiming for a September or October launch of its new iPhone, a timeframe that many believe Apple will continue to use for the coming years. In addition, some have heard from a supplier that has previously given parts to Apple for its iPhone and Apple’s current order schedule points to a September launch. 

 

 

Rumored Features:

– A larger display (possibly 4 inches) 

– Faster Processor (Dual-core A5/A6) 

– Improved Cameras 

– 4G LTE 

– New version of iOS? (or will that come with the launch of the iPad next month?) 

 

What I would like to see in the next iPhone: 

– A faster processor 

– 4G LTE 

– A total re-haul of iOS. Apple’s mobile operating system has looked almost identical to the version found on the original iPhone, and, in my opinion, thats not acceptable. For instance, Android has gone through many design changes since its release in 2008. In the next version of iOS, I’d like to see more customizability, a different implementation of multitasking and a total re-haul. 

 

Conclusion: To sum it up, the iPhone should be released some time in Autumn 2012. Apple’s latest handset should include a larger display, a faster processor, an improved camera, 4G LTE, and a new version of iOS.

 

What would you like to see in the next iPhone?