If there’s one thing that annoys Android fans more than fragmentation, it’s TouchWiz, the UI overlay used in Samsung Android phones that is often blamed for slow, laggy performance on those devices. Now even one writer at Samsung fan site SamMobile has completely had it with TouchWiz and has penned a scathing diatribe against the company’s little-loved UI. More →
Great news for people who love the “stock Android” experience: Google isn’t letting Samsung or any other third-party OEMs muss it up on Android Wear, Android Auto or Android TV. In an interview with Ars Technica, Google engineering director David Burke said that OEMs won’t be able to alter these new Android platforms in the same way that they can alter Android on smartphones and tablets with overlays such as Samsung’s TouchWiz or HTC’s Sense. More →
Multiple Samsung smartphones vulnerable to losing all data just by visting a website [video] [updated]
Samsung (005930) is often accused of copying Apple’s (AAPL) designs and whether or not that’s the case, the company might want to crib some lessons on more more secure coding. Ravi Borgaonkar, a security researcher at Technical University Berlin, has found that a simple USSD code that can be downloaded just by visiting a malicious website can trigger a full factory reset of several Samsung smartphones, thus wiping out all personal data and information from the device. SlashGear reports that the code apparently only works on TouchWiz-enabled Samsung devices such as the Galaxy S III, the Galaxy Beam, the S Advance, the Galaxy Ace, and the Galaxy S II. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which runs on pure Android, is not affected by the code. A full video of Borgaonkar showing off the malicious code is posted below.
Android phones have never been as impressive as they are today. They have never been as responsive, as slim or as powerful. Their displays have never been more vivid or more stunning. Their data speeds have never been as fast. Competition is now hotter than ever before in the smartphone market and consumers are reaping the benefits. At its core, each and every new smartphone that launches is an engineering feat that simply could not have existed a few short years ago. And yet as amazing as the current crop of smartphones might be, there has probably never been a worse time in Android’s brief but storied history for savvy users to buy a smartphone. More →
When Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 first launched earlier this year it was running a stock version of Honeycomb. At CTIA 2011, the South Korea-based vendor showed off its TouchWiz user interface and promised an update for tablets in the near future. While Wi-Fi versions of the slate were updated soon after the announcement, Verizon’s LTE variant was left untouched — until now. Verizon is currently pushing an over-the-air update that brings TouchWiz along with other fixes and improvements to the Galaxy Tab 10.1. TouchWiz includes numerous custom widgets, a mini app tray, and various “Hubs” for social media, reading, and music and videos. Other additions for the device include support for DivX video along with Bluetooth 3.0 and Samsung’s AllShare DLNA solution. It would be best to connect to Wi-Fi when applying the update, which is a 351MB download. More →
Samsung’s Galaxy lineup has been one of the most sought after smartphone lines worldwide. The Galaxy S II became the company’s fastest selling smartphone ever, selling 3 million units in just 55 days. Moreover, Samsung sold more than 30 million Galaxy S and Galaxy S II smartphones worldwide as of October. There is no question that consumers are interested in the Galaxy lineup and it is almost certain that we will see a Galaxy S III in 2012. According to Korean website ETNews, the much anticipated device will debut at Mobile World Congress in February and feature a quad-core Exynos chipset. Additionally, the Galaxy S III will sport a Super AMOLED Plus 720p display, LTE connectivity, 2GB of RAM and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with TouchWiz. It has also been rumored that Samsung’s flagship device will feature 3D technology that will integrate the device with 3D television sets. Mobile World Congress is scheduled for February 27 through March 1, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. More →
Right on schedule, Samsung’s TouchWiz update began rolling out to Galaxy Tab 10.1 owners on Friday. The update provides a number of visual enhancements to the user interface including a live panel view, a new mini mode tray for quick access to open applications, a clipboard, an indicator quick panel and a photo editor. Samsung also added Amazon Music Player, Words with Friends, Samsung Media Hub, Social Hub, the Swype keyboard and Kindle software. To update simply go to Settings > About Tablet > Update. Unfortunately, it looks like Samsung hasn’t pushed the patch out to its Limited Edition Google I/O Galaxy Tab 10.1 or to Verizon’s 4G LTE version just yet, but we’re hoping it does soon.
Samsung held a special event in New York City on Wednesday where it upgraded Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 owners with its custom TouchWiz user interface. If you weren’t in the New York area, fear not, as Samsung announced on Wednesday morning that it will begin pushing out the update over-the-air on August 5th. The patch will add the Amazon Music Player, Words with Friends and Kindle software. TouchWiz includes the following updates user interface enhancements:
- Live Panel: Magazine-like widget view for immediate access to weather, social updates, email, news, photo gallery, all on the home screen. The visual layout of Live Panel is completely customizable for one-touch entry into each user’s most important information.
- Mini Mode Tray: One-touch access to commonly used applications—Task Manager, Calendar, World Clock, Pen Memo, Calculator, Music—which overlay in a pop-up window on display screen for powerful multi-tasking.
- Clipboard: Advanced copy & paste functionality allows Galaxy Tab 10.1 users to store photos, Web pages, YouTube links, etc., on the clipboard for easy sharing via email and social network sites.
- Indicator Quick Panel: Quickly toggle on/off Wi-Fi, notifications, sound, brightness and settings in lower right hand corner of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 display.
- Photo Editor: Rotate, crop and adjust colors on high quality digital images
Samsung’s update will also add Swype, a host of enterprise features, Social Hub and Samsung Media Hub. Read on for the full press release. More →
Samsung announced on Wednesday that it will hold an event on August 3rd during which all Galaxy Tab 10.1 owners can bring in their tablets to have them updated to the latest software build. The update will add Samsung’s custom TouchWiz user interface, which includes live panels and mini apps, as well as a redesigned Samsung Hub application. It will also install Words with Friends, Amazon’s Cloud Player for music and Amazon’s Kindle software. Galaxy Tab 10.1 owners in the New York area can bring their units to the Samsung Experience Store at Columbus Circle between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to have their devices updated for free. Those outside the New York metropolitan area will receive an over-the-air update “soon.”
Awaiting yet another 4G LTE device to take advantage of the fastest 4G network in the country? The LG Revolution for Verizon Wireless might be your handset… on second thought, maybe not. While we had high hopes for the LG Revolution, even in our short time with the phone, we came away disappointed. The device itself feels a little thinner than the chunky HTC ThunderBolt and it’s more comfortable to hold and use, but most of the positives end there. We can’t stress this enough, but the display on the Revolution is just disappointing. It’s dull, lacking colors, and looks extremely pixelated. LG’s custom UI doesn’t help as well, as it feels like a knock-off version of Samsung’s TouchWiz without the added benefits. LG’s default keyboard in Android is the poorest attempt at a software keyboard we’ve seen lately, and the way LG organizes their app drawer is chaotic. We haven’t spent enough time with the device to get a good handle on the battery life, but if it’s anything like the ThunderBolt, well, you’re going to be looking for an extended battery STAT. Check out our LG Revolution hands-on gallery below while we get revolving on the review.
Verizon Wireless is finally prepared to launch its latest 4G smartphone, the Samsung DROID Charge. Verizon has confirmed with BGR that the device will become available for purchase Saturday, May 14th, online and in stores across the country. We recently reviewed the Samsung DROID Charge and called it “the phone to beat” for consumers looking for blazing fast data speeds. All that speed comes at a price, however, as the DROID Charge will cost $299.99 on contract when it becomes available tomorrow.
UPDATE: Hit the break for Verizon Wireless’ full press release. More →
The Samsung Infuse 4G, with a radio capable of achieving peak rates of 21Mbps, is being marketed as the fastest smartphone currently available from AT&T. It’s the big brother to the Samsung Captivate, and fits just between that device and Samsung’s Galaxy S II when it comes to hardware specs. The Infuse 4G packs a gorgeous and massive 4.5-inch display, a thin and light form factor, and a solid camera. AT&T’s first HSPA+ “4G” phones fell flat when it came to data — neither the HTC Inspire 4G nor the Motorola ATRIX 4G could hold a candle to the 3G download speeds available on the iPhone 4, and we won’t even discuss the upload speeds. Is the Infuse the AT&T 4G smartphone you’ve been waiting for? I’ve been trekking along with it for more than a week and have penned my impressions, so check out the gallery below and then hit the jump for my full review.More →
When we sat down with Samsung yesterday to check out the new Galaxy Tab 8.9 and the improved and thinner Galaxy Tab 10, we were alerted that its TouchWiz UX user interface is the first custom UI on top of Android 3.0 Honeycomb. While it won’t ship on any of the Galaxy Tab family of tablets right away, Samsung does plan to issue an update that applies TouchWiz UX down the road a bit — in fact the new UI should wind up on all of the Galaxy Tab tablets in the near future. Samsung’s UI adds a bunch of features on top of Honeycomb, so hit the jump and we’ll go through some of them together — and don’t forget to check out our photo gallery!More →