Archive for the ‘Mobile Computing’ Category

Yesterday, Samsung pushed an OTA software update to my Galaxy S7. I’m not in a position to tell you exactly which modifications were applied – it certainly was not Android 7.1. Samsung offered no details on screen, so I can only rely on what I can glean from the current status of the device. My conclusion: I suppose that the 214MB update mostly consisted of security enhancements…

Here’s what the “Software information” screen has to say:

Software Information about the latest S7 update in Belgium

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I have noticed a lot of traffic to my post titled ‘Samsung Galaxy J5 Sadly Does Not Support Marshmallow’s Adoptable Storage‘. Now that I own and use a Galaxy S7, you might think that I would try out that adoptable memory for the S7, and report on that. But in fact all – well, much – has already been written and said about that; let me just point you to EpicDroid’s ‘You Can Enable Adoptable Storage On Galaxy S7, But Should You?‘ where all essential info and links is summarised in a single post.

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Samsung took their time to deliver the update to my Phone, but at lastmy Galaxy S7 is now running Android 7. It’s only version 7.0, but at least it’s a start on the road to more up-to-date software on my device.


Anyway, now is the time to discover this version in detail. I don’t call my Phone ‘gigantic’, but this overview over the Nougat release will help me: “Android 7.0 Nougat review—Do more on your gigantic smartphone“.

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Just found this message on my Samsung Galaxy S7 – at last! More info tomorrow, after the installation…


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I’m very happy with my Galaxy S7, thank you. But given all the talk about the new kid in town, the Galaxy S8, I took the time to read Ars Technica’s review of Samsung’s new top phone. The S8 looks like a nice piece of kit, even when the fingerprint reader clearly isn’t ideally positioned – that could be a deal breaker now that I am used to unlocking a phone and tablets with just a finger.

I strongly agree with Ron Amadeo when it comes to Samsung and operating system updates:

Historically, Samsung is very bad at delivering major OS updates for its flagship device, and that looks to continue with the Galaxy S8. The latest OS version, Android 7.1 has been out for six months, but it hasn’t made it to the Galaxy S8.

It’s best to look past Samsung flagships for an idea of what future support will be like. Samsung only released Android 7.0 Nougat for the Galaxy S7 in January 2017—five months after the initial release—and we’re only referring to the very earliest unlocked models of that device. Updating the full Galaxy S7 line across carriers was a multi-month process that didn’t finish until March.

A process that didn’t finish until March? Well, here in Belgium that process still has to start, let alone finish! Since several months, I wait for a sign from Samsung that I can upgrade my S7 to Android 7. An update to Android 7.1 is even further away, it seems…

April 27th, 2017 – 23:00 EST

I know that the Sammobile website has lots of firmware downloads available, including some for the S7. But the Belgian version is explicitly destined for the models sold by a major carrier, and mine is unlocked, so I’m not (yet) risking that version ;-)

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My Palm – a PalmOne Tungsten E2, to be exact – still can be used for more than waking me up in the morning (or later ;-). Just to prove it still works, even on battery, here’s a picture of my latest Sudoku.

Dated 2017-04-11

The Tungsten E2 was introduced into the market in 2005. The funny part is, you can still buy them on Amazon. Since they can sync their data with a PC over a Bluetooth connection, they’re even compatible with the latest versions of Windows – how cool is that?

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IDG Connect pointed me to the website of Planet Computers Ltd. Planet Computers uses the Indiegogo platform to fund the development of the Gemini PDA. Basically, the Gemini PDA is a Psion Series 3/5 lookalike – but with modern hardware and running Android and a GNU Linux variant.

Could be a Psion Series 5, indeed!

I must admit that I lusted after a Psion “personal digital assistant” in the late 1990’ies. But the Psion devices were quite expensive, especially when compared to some of the quite capable devices that Palm Computing managed to build. I still have three Palm devices in the house, although these days their functionality is limited to being alarm clocks ;-)

Much as I would like to see Planet Computers succeed in making the Gemini a success, I tend to agree with the IDG expert, Francisco Jeronimo, IDC Research Director for Mobile Devices in EMEA, who..

… is sceptical of the extent to which the Gemini will appeal to buyers, citing the relatively limited uptake of the recent BlackBerry smartphones that also combined the Android OS with a QWERTY keypad.

“There’s a very small market for this kind of device. Everyone has got used to typing on a touch screen, and most users that really need a physical keyboard or a larger screen have a mini tablet plus an external keyboard,” he adds.

On the other hand, the Indiegogo campaign seems to work well, and perhaps many of the millions of Psion buyers are prepared to spend quite a bit less money on a possibly very functional device, even if it’s just out of nostalgia. We’ll see what the pundits say about the Gemini, if and when Planet manages to build (and sell) them!

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