Samsung Galaxy S IV will be unveiled on March 14

Samsung has confirmed in a tweet that there is a “unpacked” event in New York City on March 14. The event will be where Samsung will unveil Galaxy S IV. Samsung has had a fantastic year in 2012, with record sales for Galaxy S III handset. It is almost certain that Galaxy S IV will be sold in very large numbers.

Samsung has had difficulty selling its Galaxy S I and S II handsets with patent filings against it by Apple. Thought S III was a different story and with S IV launch in New York, it is obviously trying to make a big splash in the United States.

Samsung Unpacked

Expectations from Galaxy S IV

There have been rumours that Samsung will be stepping away from Android in favour of its own Tizen. Though, it seems very unlikely that Galaxy S IV will have Tizen. It will most probably ship with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.

Earlier in the year, Samsung showcased flexible OLED screens. They might make an appearance with Galaxy S IV versions. I think it might be fair to expect a screen that folds over the edge, which could be useful to display notifications. It will most probably have a 5-inch display screen.

Samsung Galaxy S IV will end up competing with the likes of HTC One, Nokia’s Lumia 920, possibly an iPhone 6 (or iPhone 5S) and BlackBerry 10 for top honours in the smart phone industry. If Samsung keeps doing as well has it has in the past year, it could probably mean very difficult days for HTC, Nokia and BlackBerry.

Update: Read about Samsung Galaxy S 4 launch and its launch price in India.

Google Cancels its Android Event

A few days ago, Google had started sending out invites for a special Android event, scheduled for the 29th of October. The event was to be held in New York. According to confirmation by Marketing Land, Google has cancelled the 29th October Android event. The event was cancelled because of Hurricane Sandy. The storm is supposed to hit New York over the next day.

Google at the moment has not yet announced a new date or venue for the event.

Google Cancels Android Event

The event was supposed to show case a LG Nexus 4 phone and a 10 inch tablet called Nexus 10 by Samsung. There were rumour about a new variant of Nexus 7 with 32GB memory and 3G compatibility.

Also the most important part of this event would have been the announcement of Android 4.2 (possibly called Key Lime Pie). Here is a list of the expected features of Android 4.2.

List of Expected Features for Android 4.2 (Key Lime Pie)

Since Google has announced an Android event for the 29th of October, it has pushed tech bloggers around the world into overdrive about what might be revealed on the day. It can be reasonable to expect a LG Nexus 4 phone, Nexus 7 tablet with 32 GB memory and 3G and possibly a larger tablet called Nexus 10.

The biggest news is that all these devices will be running on Android 4.2, namely Key Lime Pie.

After the highly appreciated Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), the next version will obviously need a lot more new features.

Here is a list of expected features from Android 4.2.

Android 4.2 Expected Features

  • Mutiple User profiles for tablets: Android 4.2 will have the much needed support for mutiple profiles. The idea is that it will allow two or three users to have their own profiles on a tablet to login and use their own choice of apps and customizations.
  • New Gmail App: The Key Lime Pie will ship with a new Gmail app which supports pinch to zoom and swipe to archive features taking advantage of the muti-touch devices. This will be like a stock app for Nexus users like the stand-alone Google Calendar app.
  • Notification Center: The notification center of Android is where it has thoroughly outclassed iOS for a while and it is reasonable to expect more improvements. The notifications will show full messages instead of just part of it and more functions that can be carried out from the notifications UI itself.
  • Google Now: Google Now will be improved with cards popping up telling you about people and locations of interest where you are along with features like telling you how much you walked and more.
  • Other Improvements: The other improvements expected are mainly UI improvements to Cameras and the photo gallery.

We will have to wait and see how Google will try to steal the thunder of Apple which is also expected to show up with smaller iPad tablet and some even suggest a peek at iTV. Also the rumours about Android 4.2 could be just rumours, but Google will surely unveil something important.

All said and done, it is a great time to be a customer.

Source: Verge Forum

Google Releases Standalone Calendar App for Android

Google has made its official Calendar app available for all Android users. The App itself was only available for Google’s Nexus phone and Nexus 7 tablet users. Today, it has been made available for all devices using Android 4.0.3 onwards.

I decided to try out the Calendar app on my HTC phone running Android 4.0.3. I was not particularly happy with the Calendar widgets and apps that came with my phone.

Google’s Standalone Calendar App Features

  • The calendar app allows users to edit and create events. Users can also respond to invitations sent to your via Google Calendars.
  • If you have multiple calendars that you are subscribed to, you can choose the calendar and the events that need to be displayed.
  • The app allows users to set a home time zone. This will be helpful for frequent travellers who hop from one time zone to another.
  • Users can snooze events from the Android notifications directly (my personal favourite).

The app, as I mentioned was available only on Nexus phones and tablets before today. It seems with this, Google is trying to give Android users more access to stock Android apps. Maybe more such announcements will come through on 29th October when Google planned a Android event.

If you are using an Android phone with ICS, try the Calendar app and drop in your views and opinions.

Link: Google Calendar for Android

[Rumor] Google planning a new strategy around Nexus with Android 4.2

UPDATE: Android and Me have confirmed that they were false. So Android 4.2 is probably not expected anytime soon.

Google might be planning a expansion of it’s Nexus brand very soon. As reported by Android and Me, any manufacturer will potentially be allowed to make their own version of Nexus phones but adhering to some technical requirements for hardware and support for NFC and Google Wallet.

Google might also expect manufacturers to ship a stock version of Android. This version will be available in either Android 4.2 or Android 5.0 versions.

The new version of Android will support exclusive games and content can be be accessed only from Nexus. Also Google will be in control of new version updates to the devices.

Google’s fight against a fragmented Android

Google’s Android OS has been making headlines for all the right reasons but some issues still exist. One of them is fragmented OS versions across millions of phones.

For example, 55% of Android phones run on Gingerbread version. While Ice Cream Sandwich runs on 23.7%. The latest release Jelly Bean has a meager 1.8% share.

Most manufacturers are not very quick to roll-out updates either, which is has really compounded the issue. Google has Nexus as a brand but Google can hardly become a successful mobile manufacturer without upsetting other manufacturers like Samsung.

But if these rumours do happen to be true, then Google has made a wise choice in not only bringing some uniformity in the user-experience of high-end Android phones but also in fighting the issue of Android fragmentation.