You miss one week of the Android round-up and everything just goes bananas - LG Nexus phones! New versions of Android! A miniature Galaxy S III! I had a lot of catching up to do this week.
To start at the small end, Samsung's announcement of the long-rumored Galaxy S III Mini on Thursday was greeted with shrugs from much of the Android blogosphere, which was underwhelmed by the device's hardware and features. "A mega letdown," whined Gizmodo in the most vocal post, while others restricted themselves to words like "disappointing" and "surprisingly budget." The general assumption seems to have been that the Mini would have largely the same internals as the muscular Galaxy S III, and the news that it features a slower processor, lower-resolution screen, and - critically - no 4G connectivity has come as a bit of a letdown.
Fortunately, those interested in a higher-end device can just wait for the LG Nexus 4, which is set to be released by the end of the month, according to an article from Le Figaro. In addition to an unmodified version of the latest Jelly Bean software, its hardware is based on LG's current flagship, the impressive Optimus G, due out on Sprint and AT&T sometime in the near future as well.
Verizon reminded us all that the two larger Droid RAZR HD models are due for release next week - the $200 Droid RAZR HD and $300 Droid RAZR MAXX HD will be available Oct. 18. The devices were rolled out during the same event that featured the smaller Droid RAZR M and a poorly received opening act.
Lesson learned: Journalists do not seem to like audience participation.
You might have thought that a brand-new version of Android - 4.1.2, still named Jelly Bean - would be the biggest news in an ANDROID news and rumor roundup, but you'd be wrong. It's an incremental upgrade, at best, from the previous version, and should really only interest Nexus 7 users, who got landscape homescreen orientation at long last.
Still, the note from Jean-Baptiste Queru that confirmed a new power management chip for the Nexus 7 helped fuel rumors about a new Nexus tablet - rumors that had already been percolating since Monday, when an analyst told CNET that Samsung and Google were teaming up to develop a 10-inch device with even higher screen resolution than the iPad 3.
Google is reportedly putting together a Nexus call center (sort of a Nexus nexus, I guess) to field technical support questions, according to a report from Geek.com. In light of the support issues highlighted by that report, it certainly seems like a good idea - particularly if Google's planning to release additional Nexus devices in the near future.
Samsung scored a major victory in court Thursday, according to Reuters, getting the injunction against the sale in the U.S. of many of its products lifted. For those of you who have been living under a rock - or, I guess, just haven't been paying attention - the injunction was imposed in the wake of the billion-dollar patent verdict in favor of Apple in its case against the South Korean electronics giant.
The defeat of the injunction on appeal could signal further trouble for Apple's big court win, as questions over the verdict's validity remain.