Android news and rumour round-up for week ending July 27

Nexus 7 shock, bad news, more bad news, and abit of Linus Torvalds

People just love the Nexus 7. Love it down to its grippy white back panel. And that's actually causing problems.

According to the Guardian, Google "seriously underestimated" demand for the tablet, particularly the variant with 16GB of storage. You can still order the 8GB version from Google Play, but retail stocks have been disappearing quickly and the 16GB device isn't being sold via the Play store.

Among the new Nexus 7 users apparently happy with their purchase is Linus Torvalds, who seems to really like the Google tablet. You can tell, because when Linus doesn't like something, he lets you know.

Jelly Bean version news: There's a rumor that 4.1 updates for the Samsung Galaxy S II and S III are in the final stages of testing and will be deployed by early September. That sounds plausible, though it's not confirmed.

In related Galaxy S III news, Samsung decided to preemptively ditch the local search feature that was at the heart of a recent patent case for international models of the device. Better safe than sorry, apparently.

Motorola Xoom users - relax. After a delay caused by soak testing problems, Wi-Fi Xooms are apparently getting the Jelly Bean update. Verizon users, of course, will have to wait a while longer.

Speaking of which - Verizon Galaxy Nexus users could be forgiven for being a little psyched out earlier this week, as finally - finally! - there's the little "software update" notification. Unfortunately, this turned out not to be the long-awaited upgrade to Android 4.1, and was instead an incremental update for Ice Cream Sandwich. We kind of wish the update had taken a snapshot when opened, so that we could make a photo collage of disappointed Verizon GNex users.

Still, even those folks are likely to get an update before Nexus S 4G users, according to GottaBeMobile. While other versions of the Nexus S got the Jelly Bean treatment recently, there's been total silence on plans to upgrade Sprint's version of the phone. As ever, of course, you can just install an unofficial Jelly Bean ROM if you're reasonably technical and willing to void your warranty.

If you're a devotee of the hardware keyboard, you might be feeling a little bit left out by the Android ecosystem of late, given the lack of flagship releases with that feature. However, Android Central says that Sprint is planning to roll out the Motorola Photon Q "very soon." According to that site, it'll have what looks like a slide-out QWERTY keyboard of the same style as the old Moto Droid, as well as 4G LTE connectivity and GSM world phone functionality outside the U.S.

Some numbers: Bad news for Android in the enterprise - an Appcelerator/IDC study found that business developer interest in iOS is now far ahead of Android, despite the two being neck-and-neck as recently as the third quarter of 2011. (Hat-tip: Boy Genius Report)

What's more, despite Android device activations among enterprise customers doubling since the previous quarter, Good Technology's second quarter 2012 report on business mobile use still shows iOS way out in front. (Hat-tip: InformationWeek)

From the oh-God-here-we-go-again department: Bloomberg has the latest on the interminably rumored Facebook phone. Apparently, The Social Network is working with HTC on a device to be released in early 2013, which will include a modified operating system.

Rumors about a Facebook phone have been breathlessly passed around since 2010, and it does seem like Zuckerberg and the gang want to make this happen. That said, almost nothing is definitively known about the project, and frankly, we'd prefer they focus on making the official Android app less crappy.

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

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

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Jon Gold

Jon Gold

Network World
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