Every week we like to bring you the biggest Android News relevant to the UK. Being an Android news site based in the US it's hard for us to write about the UK as much as I, our UK-based Editor, would like to. Nevertheless, we're here again with a roundup of the past week's worth of news for the UK. So, go and grab a fresh cuppa and turn the telly down and catch up with what's been happening in the UK.
Vodafone Smart III Offers Jelly Bean on a Budget
What do you get for £95? Well, if you're on Vodafone you can a smartphone that looks like it's straight out of 2010. You can also get the Vodafone Smart III on contract – for free – at just £13 a month, which should provide another clue on how good it is. Specs wise there's a 4-inch 800 x 480 display, a single-core CPU at 1 Ghz with 512MB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage with support for up to 32GB via MicroSD, a rear-facing 5MP camera with no front-facing camera. We suppose that if you're on a budget this is not too bad a device but, if you could spend more, you really ought to.
Sony's Xperia Tablet Z Now Available in The UK
Sony have been on a roll recently, and while the Xperia Z might not be available as far and wide as they'd like, its tablet brother is available all over the place. The Xperia Tablet Z is now available in the UK, starting from £399 for 16GB of storage and WiFI. The Xperia Tablet Z is a decent device, with a 1900 x 1200 display, a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro and 2GB of RAM. It also has AOSP support as well, good on you, Sony! You can find the Tablet Z at Amazon and many other places.
Galaxy Mega 6.3 to Be Available from Clove and Through 3
Despite the strange size of the Galaxy Mega 6.3, Samsung think there's room for the 6.3-inch smartphone over here in good ol' blighty. It's coming to Clove soon and 3 have just announced plans to carry the device as well. You can check out Clove's website here for more info, and take a look at 3's YouTube video below. The device is probably not going to be cheap, nor expensive, Clove are going to be selling it around the £460 mark.
Amazon Local Android App Now Available for Us Brits
It's always the same isn't it – company launches idea in the US, takes a while to reach across the pond. Well, Amazon is having a bit of an international expansion of sorts right now, and so the Amazon Local app is now available to us here in the UK. Think Groupon, but a little different. Take a look at the Play Store listing for more info.
Vodafone Delaying 4G Rollout Until September
It's bad enough that an ineffectual OFCOM skewered the market with a pathetically late auction, and that whole giving EE the 4G go-ahead before anyone else thing but now, Vodafone are delaying on their 4G rollout. It's not too bad however, as 4G will be rolling out in September, which should mean that New Year's Eve will see lots of failed Video Calls vs these old-fangled SMS thingies. Their CEO, Vittorio Coalo, has said they've made the decision to hold out to make sure that their infrastructure is "really ready"
HTC Announce Desire 600
If you were thinking that HTC didn't have anything more to do with the Desire name, then you were wrong. We've had the Desire HD, the Z, the S, and now we've got numbers! Meet the Desire 600. This is decidedly mid-range device that's been confirmed for Russia, the Ukraine and the Middle-East but, judging by past experiences, the device will probably be rolling out in the UK soon as well. Take a look at the specs below:
- 4.5-inch Super LCD2 qHD Display (960 x 540)
- 1.2 Ghz Quad-Core Snapdragon 200
- 1GB of RAM
- 8GB of Internal Storage
- 8MP BSI rear-facing camera with 1.6MP front-facing camera
- Android 4.1 with Sense 5
- Dual Speakers
- 1,860 mAh Battery
Sony's Xperia Z Free With Expensive Bravia TVs
Do you like the Xperia Z? Do you like TV? Well, you can get a free Xperia Z if you buy a Bravia W9 in either 45 or 56-inch varieties. They start at £1,800. That free phone isn't looking too good now, is it? The offer started yesterday and is running at Currys, Sony Centres and John Lewis stores. You could always look at the Bravia W8 which is a little cheaper, but then you just get a free Xperia L. Boo.
Huawei's 6.1-inch Ascend Mate Hitting the UK Soon
What is it with all of these massive smartphones? Anyway, if the Galaxy Mega 6.3 is not your cup of tea and you still want something with a stupidly large display, then the Ascend Mate at 6.1-inches might be more to your taste. It's hitting Expansys soon for the fair sum of £335. If you're unfamiliar with the specs, take a look below:
- 6.1-inch 720p display
- 1.5GHz quad-core processor
- 2GB of RAM
- 8GB internal storage
- 8MP rear-facing camera, front-facing camera (no specifics on the front-facing camera)
- Micro SD card slot is included
- 4050mAh battery
- Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Facebook Phone, the HTC First, Is Not Coming to the UK
I'm sure that many of you are going to be devastated by this news but, HTC's First, the Facebook phone is no longer coming to the UK. I know, I'm shocked as well. Apparently, this is down to bad feedback the device got in the US, which is pretty believable really. It was a surprise to us to see Facebook and HTC launching a device just to show off Facebook Home, which is arguably just another launcher. Here's the official statement from EE, who were due to offer the phone:
"Following customer feedback, Facebook has decided to focus on adding new customization features to Facebook Home over the coming months. While they are working to make a better Facebook Home experience, they have recommended holding off launching the HTC First in the UK, and so we will shortly be contacting those who registered their interest with us to let them know of this decision. Rest assured, we remain committed to bringing our customers the latest mobile experiences, and we will continue to build on our strong relationship with Facebook so as to offer customers new opportunities in the future."
BBC's iPlayer App Gets Updated on Android, Brings Support for 10-inch Tablets
BBC have been getting a lot better at giving attention to Android and the iPlayer app has just gotten a small but significant update. Of course, iOS users are still treated better, with Video Downloads available to them. We suppose that the top brass at the Beeb use their iPads to catch up on the latest news – what's a Nexus 7? Anyway, below is the changelog and below that a link to the app in the Play Store:
As promised, here's 10" tablet support – no more shortcut to the website!
We've also tweaked the phone and 7" tablet design.
Watch out for further optimisation for larger screens soon, whilst the work continues on video downloads.