Android news and rumour round-up (week ending July 20)

Yes, there's plenty of nittering, nattering and pondering going on in the Android world

While the Google Android's rumor mill doesn't churn quite as hard as that of some other device families, there's still plenty of dessert-flavored mobility news (and potential news) out there.

This week, the buzz is mostly centered on Jelly Bean, with the SDK dropping Thursday night and a host of rumours about which devices are going to be lucky enough to get an update to the new version of the OS. __________________________________

Hey, Verizon Galaxy Nexus user! You've got the latest phone in the Nexus line, and you're on the biggest mobile carrier in the U.S., but guess what? You might be last in line to get an official Jelly Bean update, according to GottaBeMobile.

With the news that French and Australian Nexus S users are set to receive the update soon - though the Australian roll-out has apparently been temporarily delayed - the common inference is that a general deployment of Android 4.1 is on the way. (Except if, like us, you've got the CDMA 4G version. Curses.)

ComputerWorld's JR Raphael is, um, less than thrilled about this news. __________________________________

Users of HTC's flagship One series are probably going to get some delicious Jelly Bean at some point in the future, but nobody's really sure when. It's tempting to say that HTC is lagging in this department, since everyone's acting like 4.1 for the rival Samsung Galaxy S III is all but confirmed, but it bears mention that there's been no official word from Samsung on this. (Cyanogen, the team behind a host of custom ROMs for rooted Android devices, does have a preview version of Jelly Bean for the Galaxy S III.) That said, it does seem highly unlikely that any of the current generation of high-end Android devices will miss out on Jelly Bean entirely. The question is, who's going to get there first? __________________________________

Speaking of the Galaxy S III, the Verge says it has a statement from Samsung confirming that a version of the device with 64GB of on-board storage will be made available sometime in the second half of 2012. Earlier rumors, based on a "discontinued" listing on an online retail site, are apparently untrue. __________________________________

The term "phablet" is awkward and strange, as stated above - but, according to Android Police, those words also apply strongly to what looks like a Verizon version of the boxy LG Optimus Vu, which was introduced at this year's Mobile World Congress. Having Verizon's 4G LTE network available is all well and good, but Android Police seem really offended by the form factor and display aspect ratio. Hey, some of us liked CRT monitors...oh, wait, no we didn't.

And yeah, that does look too big to use one-handed. __________________________________

Information about the Motorola DROID RAZR HD continues to flow like concrete. The latest seems to be that it was listed on the GLBenchmarks website, which provided details on what its specs might look like. (For the record, the 1196x720 screen resolution and 1.5-GHz processor are what people are talking about.) Nevertheless, no information about a release date is forthcoming. (Hat-tip: GforGames and Droid Life.) ________________________________

Patent-geddon update: A German court found that the Motorola Xoom doesn't infringe on Apple's patent for the iPad. This means that the Xoom won't be banned from sale in Europe and establishes legal precedent that the device is cooler than the Samsung Galaxy Tab. __________________________________

For the ROMantics among us: It turns out that the Verizon version of the Galaxy S III will not get an unlocked bootloader, according to Droid Life.

"To be honest, it wouldn't have made much sense for them to release a software update to unlock this device knowing that Samsung is selling a developer edition. It's clear now that your option, should a fully unlockable bootloader be a must, is the dev edition which now has a landing page," the site said.

Meanwhile, the denizens of the XDA Developers forum have put up a bounty on the Galaxy S III's bootloader. As of this writing, the total due to the person who comes up with a way to unlock it is $3,215. Good luck!

Email Jon Gold at and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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