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Summary:

Customers pining for the Samsung Galaxy S II received good and bad news this week: Verizon won’t be carrying the phone, but may be looking at an LTE model. Xperia phones gain Android 2.3.4 starting in October, and a new 360-degree camera app makes the scene.

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Customers pining for the Samsung Galaxy S II handset received good and bad news, depending on their carrier of choice. While models of this popular and top-selling smartphone are expected to see AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile during a product launch next week, Verizon this week confirmed it would not be carrying the Galaxy S II. Instead, the company said it had a strong lineup already and pointed to the LTE-equipped Droid Charge as an alternative.

Verizon appears to want more handsets that utilize its next generation LTE data network; understandable after investing billions on the upgrade which not only offers faster speeds, but can help reduce any congestion on the company’s existing 3G network. Galaxy S II fans shouldn’t be too upset though: Samsung is also expected to announce an LTE version of the Galaxy S II at next month’s IFA event in Berlin. That model is slated to have a larger display, faster processor and higher capacity battery, so may be worth the wait.

Owners of Sony Ericsson Android phones are used to waiting, but for software updates more than handsets. Initially known for being slow to provide Android updates, the company looks to be improving its response to Google’s Android improvements and this week said all 2011 Xperia smartphones would get Android 2.3.4 starting in October. Although the software is mainly a maintenance release, it does bring support for Google Talk video calls, deep Facebook integration, support for USB devices and a new 3-D panoramic image capture function.

Android owners don’t need a Sony Ericsson phone for panoramic shots, though; several manufacturers have built such functionality in to their high-end smartphones. Not everyone has the hardware to handle panoramic pic, however, as the process to stitch frames together can be processor-intensive. A new Android application in beta called 360 aims to change that.

I took 360 for a spin and found that it creates sweeping images in a relatively small amount of time. I didn’t have a low-end Android handset to test the application, but the folks at TeliportMe, which created the software, told me that it’s designed for phones with meager hardware specifications. The software also adds a social component, allowing pictures to be shared via Facebook, Twitter, or through a website specific to the application.

  1. Bradley Nelson Saturday, August 27, 2011

    Any word on Samsung’s plans for the Galaxy S II on U.S. Cellular? Love their Mesmerize (Galaxy S) phone :)

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    1. I haven’t heard anything yet in terms of an SGS2 for U.S. Cellular, but perhaps that news will arrive during Samsung’s press event on Tuesday. I doubt it, but it’s possible. I’ll dig around and see if I can get any other info…

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      1. Kevin,
        Rumor is going ramped about when it will arrive at US Cellular. Have you found anything?

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  2. Sony needs to get on VZW in the US to stand a chance. Xperia Play isn’t a serious attempt at the market

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  3. what good is 4g lte capability if verizon isn’t going to carry the phone? But nonetheless Samsung Galaxy S2 has all the features to kick iPhone’s ass. If anyone wants more information about this here is another artcile:
    http://radiomobiletech.com/blogposts/galaxy-s-ii-is-not-ready-to-hit-verizon.html

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    1. Android is a cheep iOS knockoff and as such no Android device will be kicking iPhone’s ass anytime soon.

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      1. And thats why iOS is now taking cues FROM Android…feel free to jump off the bandwagon anytime Tuckey!

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