Samsung Galaxy S7 Active Android 7.0 Nougat Update

It appears as if Samsung’s rugged Galaxy S7 variant, the Galaxy S7 Active, is set to receive its Android 7.0 Nougat update soon. A Galaxy S7 Active running the latest Android software build has received Wi-Fi certification from the Wi-Fi Alliance.

New Samsung S7 (R) and S7 edge smartphones are displayed after their unveiling ceremony at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 21, 2016. REUTERS/Albert Gea

Samsung Galaxy Series Android 7.0 Nougat Upgrade
We’ve been closely following the progress of the latest Android software upgrade, Android 7.0 Nougat, for the Samsung Galaxy line of devices expected to receive it, and as we have reported, Samsung is currently in the process of rolling out the update worldwide to its two current flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge.

As those two prioritized handsets receive the Android 7.0 Nougat update, other devices in the Galaxy series are naturally next in line for the upgrade. Samsung has officially announced that, in addition to the aforementioned current flagships, the Galaxy S7 Active, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, S6 edge Plus, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy Tab A with S Pen, Galaxy Tab S2 (LTE unlock), Galaxy A3, and Galaxy A8 are all set to eventually be updated to Android 7.0 Nougat.

We recently offered our projected timeline and order of release for the remaining Samsung devices on the official list, and suggested that one of the next handsets likely to be the recipient of an Android 7.0 Nougat rollout was the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active. The device is the only official variant of the Samsung Galaxy S7, and therefore its update shouldn’t come far behind those of its siblings. In addition, a Galaxy S7 Active running Android 7.0 Nougat was spotted on GFXBench about a month ago, also signaling the update was being readied for rollout.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Active Model Running Android 7.0 Nougat Receives Wi-Fi Certification
Now, another sure sign the Android 7.0 Nougat update for the Samsung Galaxy S7 Active is coming soon has emerged. A Galaxy S7 model has just been officially Wi-Fi certified by the WFA, or Wi-Fi Alliance. That means Samsung is getting its certifications in order for the eventual rollout.

The Galaxy S7 Active is an exclusive of AT&T in the United States, as were all previously released “Active” labeled Galaxy S series smartphones (the Galaxy S5 also had a “Sport” version almost identical to AT&T’s S5 Active that was exclusive to Sprint in the United States).


Samsung Galaxy Note 6 Android N Google ChromeOS

The Galaxy Note 6 will apparently feature 6GB of RAM. This comes via sources in China, who claim to be familiar with the handset, which is expected to land later on this year — likely late-Q2, early-Q3.

Samsung-Galaxy-Note-6

That is an INSANE amount of memory for a smartphone, even by Samsung’s and Android’s usual standards. And this got me thinking – perhaps Samsung is cooking up something a little bit different for this year’s Galaxy Note release.

This is very much speculation, however, so please do not take this is fact; it’s merely a set of musings on my part about something that could, potentially, be very cool if (BIG if) two separate rumours turn out to be true.

The first rumour is related to Samsung’s patent, covered a few months back, that showed plans for a dummy-style laptop that is powered by an upcoming, but previously unannounced Galaxy Note phone. Like what Motorola tried AGES ago, but obviously MUCH better.

The second is this week’s rumour that the handset will feature 6GB of RAM, a frankly stupid amount of memory for a phone. How they come together is simple; 6GB of RAM, if true, implies Samsung has bigger ideas for the Galaxy Note 6 than just being a phablet with a stylus.

Things have progressed A LOT since the days of Motorola’s phone-in-a-laptop experiment. So much so I can’t actually remember what the damn thing was called, although I know for a fact I have one collecting dust in a drawer at home.

Software like ChromeOS, which is lightweight and very useful, could easily piggyback off the back of a handset as powerful as the Note 6, bringing with it a ton of utility and promoting such a concept from niche, gimmick to actual useful-product territory.

OEMs are desperate for a new, gold-rush-type product, something that’d do what phones did for them between 2008 and 2013, which is why they all jumped on the smartwatch bandwagon — they saw a possible cash-cow – the problem there is that so far the wearables market isn’t paying off; consumers are not, on the whole, convinced yet that they need a smartwatch, and it’s quite possible this is something that simply won’t change.

A hybrid phone laptop, however, given current technology trends and capabilities, makes a lot of sense — just look at how popular Chromebooks have become in the past 18 months.

That kind of memory, paired with the Snapdragon 812 or new Exynos setup, could easily power along a very competitive laptop experience — especially if it ran something lightweight like ChromeOS. Heck, KYM’s reviews editor Paul does all his work on a Chromebook with only 2GB of RAM and a much lower-end processor than what the Galaxy Note 6 will pack, AND that was the higher-end RAM option!

Over the past 18 months, there has been plenty of talk about Google merging ChromeOS with Android. Microsoft has a unified platform now with Windows 10 and Apple has begun implementing elements of iOS into OS X, though Cook and Boys’ have flat out denied the two platforms would ever become unified.

Google will apparently give us our first glance at Android/ChromeOS at this year’s Google I/O conference. The Wall Street Journal reckons the OS will be ready for release in 2017, but given the clout Google has at its disposal the idea of it launching sooner isn’t entirely out of the question.

“Chrome is essentially being folded into Android,” notes The Verge, citing The Wall Street Journal, “because Android has emerged as the dominant operating system by quite a long stretch. Combining the two operating systems means setting up Android to run on laptops and desktop computers, which would require big changes, as well as supporting the Google Play Store. Chromebooks will reportedly receive a new name to reflect the new OS.”

And then there’s Android N. Does Samsung know something we don’t about Android N? Could this next big update from Google be the one that ties Android and ChromeOS together? Might the Galaxy Note 6 run Android and then, once docked with the dummy laptop, boot up ChromeOS?

Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, it is an interesting thought all the same. It’d certainly explain why the Note 6 would need 6GB of RAM. Imagine all of Google’s Android partners being able to do something similar? Now THAT would be very interesting.

Things like a 4K display and a decent keyboard and trackpad would make the idea even more compelling to end users, particularly if it was bundled in with the handset itself, as it would negate the need for a proper laptop and/or tablet for a lot of people. I know I can function perfectly well with just a Chromebook, providing I have a decent desktop at home for heavier lifting.

As I said, this is all speculation on my part. But given what’s happened in the past 12 months — Surface Pro 4, the iPad Pro, the prospect of Android N — I feel something like this would not only inject a bit of life into the mobile space, but also give Android partners like Samsung the ability to make true post-PC machines.

LG G3 Android Marshmallow update

Verizon is currently rolling out the LG G3 Android Marshmallow update in the US. Find out the latest LG G3 Android update news below in the highlighted section, and keep an eye on the update table below to see how the major carriers are progressing with the update.

LG-G3-heroAndroid-update

LG G3 Android Marshmallow update
Verizon LG G3 update

The LG G3 Android Marshmallow update is now rolling out North America. A reddit user uploaded a screenshot that confirms Verizon has started to make the update available to its customers, bringing the device to software version VS98546A.

The download comes in at 788.6 MB and you should be notified when it becomes available. If you’re eager, you can head to Settings > About phone > Update center > Software update and hit Check now for update to see if it’s ready. Before installing the new version, make sure your device has at least 50 percent charge.

There is no word from the other carriers just yet, but their updates can’t be far behind.

Let us know in the comments what you think of LG’s Marshmallow interface.

LG G3 Android Lollipop update
T-Mobile LG G3 update

T-Mobile customers currently find their LG G3 devices on software version D85120e, which is Android 5.0.1. The last update was a security patch for the stagefright exploit.

AT&T LG G3 update

The last update to arrive for AT&T customers took the device up to Android 5.0.1 Lollipop and was primarily issued to address the stagefright security flaw.

Sprint LG G3 update

Sprint’s last major LG G3 update arrived on November 20 and contained the November security patch, along with a few minor tweaks and enhancements. It left the device on Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, software version LS990ZVC.

Prior to that, a stagefright security update was issued.

HTC Desire Eye Desire 816 Start Receiving Android 5.0 Lollipop Update

HTC on Tuesday announced the start of the rollout of the Android 5.0 Lollipop update for the HTC Desire Eye, alongside the HTC Desire 816.

The announcement came via HTC UK’s Twitter handle, which stated “We are proud to announce that we are rolling out #Lollipop for Desire Eye and 816 smartphones from today. Enjoy!”

htc_desire_816_android_5_lollipop

A report from earlier this week, had claimed the HTC One (E8) and HTC Butterfly 2 were also receiving the Android 5.0 Lollipop update alongside the Desire Eye, but so far, there is no official word about a Lollipop update rollout for those phones. The Taiwanese smartphone maker also did not provide a changelog for the Desire Eye and Desire 816.

However, certain changes that are evident in Android 5.0 Lollipop include the new more colourful and animation-filled Material Design UI along with several under-the-hood improvements resulting in better battery usage, faster opening of apps because of ART (Android Run Time) and more.

While HTC failed to mention the size of the update, LlabTooFer, a tipster earlier this week stated that Desire Eye’s Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update will weigh 1008.9MB (ROM 2.19.709.1). The tipster added that HTC with certain models will be skipping bundling Sense 7.0 UI (debuted on the HTC One M9) with the Android 5.0.2 Lollipop update, and will instead roll out the new UI to those phones with Android 5.1 Lollipop.

The tipster also claimed the HTC Desire Eye along with the One (M8), One M8s and Butterfly 2 will be receiving the latest Sense 7.0 UI, along with select other smartphones.

HTC last week started issuing a system software update that claims to fix issues with the rear camera of the HTC One M9. As per the report, HTC One M9 seems to be taking better photos in both bright and low-light conditions, both indoors and outdoors, with sharper images, less noise and wash-outs, and more vibrant colours after the update.

Lenovo Introduces S660 S850 and S860 Smartphone Models

As expected, Lenovo will continue to build on its well-known S-series family in 2014. Three models are introduced at MWC 2014 event, S660, S850 and S860. The latter should appeal to owners of Motorola’s MAXX devices who seek to obtain new smartphone this year. The Lenovo S860 could support 24-hour talk time and it could even charge other smartphones. The powerful battery is paired with 2GB of RAM and quad-core processor.

Lenovo-S860-Smartphone

Unfortunately, it doesn’t do LTE connectivity and comes with the slightly outdated Jelly Bean Android 4.2 OS. Nevertheless, Lenovo promises that the KitKat Android 4.4 update will arrive at some point. The 1.6Mp front-facing camera is ideal for video calls and there is also an 8Mp rear-facing camera.

The Lenovo S850 is a more affordable model with focus on lightweight glass thin construction and it has a reasonably large 5-inch display. Users could bet to get a quad-core processor. Photo buffs out there would also be happy to get 5Mp front-facing and 13Mp rear-facing camera. The Lenovo S660 rounds out the group with its 5-inch display, solid battery life and brushed metal construction. With its comfortable design and value-level price, the S66- slow in well under the S850.

HTC One E8 for smartphone lineup

The HTC One E8 is headed to Sprint’s network at some point in the future, the carrier announced on YouTube Thursday. The video, which was removed Friday afternoon from Sprint’s YouTube page, didn’t provide many details on Sprint’s plans for the handset, including when it will launch and how much it will cost. But the 46-second video did highlight some of the device’s finer features.

The HTC One E8 was unveiled in June as an alternative to HTC’s flagship smartphone the One M8. The device comes with a design that’s similar to the One M8, but replaces that product’s metal finish with a polycarbonate casing. When the One E8 was announced, HTC said it would be available in “limited markets.”

HTC-One-E8-for-smartphone-lineup

The One E8 comes in a variety of colors, boasts a 5-inch Full HD display, and runs Google’s Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system. It also has a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

HTC’s One E8 is a cheaper, budget-conscious alternative to One M8, which comes with a better camera, a nicer finish, and a higher price tag. The One M8 is available on Sprint for $200 with a two-year agreement, suggesting the One E8 may come with a lower price tag when it launches.

In addition to adding new devices to its lineup, new CEO Marcelo Claure said Thursday that Sprint, which is the third largest wireless provider in the US, will be cutting prices to compete with bigger rivals AT&T and Verizon Wireless, as well as the aggressive T-Mobile.