Gadgets

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Kodak is launching a line of Android smartphones in 2015

Kodak has announced that it’s licensing its name to a range of mobile devices that make it easier to print and share images. The company’s first smartphone will be unveiled at CES in January followed by a “4G handset, a tablet, and a connected camera” arriving in the second half of 2015. The actual hardware will be built by Bullitt Group, an English company that makes a range of ultra-rugged smartphones for construction company Caterpillar and claims to create products “using the unadulterated DNA of the brands we work with.”

THERE’S NO TALK OF MEGAPIXELS – THIS IS ALL ABOUT BRANDING

“Kodak is one of the world’s most recognizable brands. It is trusted by consumers as a marque of quality and innovation,” said Bullitt Mobile CEO Oliver Schulte in a press release. “We’ve taken that heritage and used it to inspire a range of beautifully designed devices that will let users take great pictures and edit, share, store and print them in an instant.” As Schulte suggests, the emphasis is very much on software solutions rather than quality hardware. Neither Kodak nor Bullitt mention any details about megapixels, sensor size, or the like, and instead both seem intent on selling the devices for their ease of use — even including remote management software that will let “family members and friends … provide help and support.”

Licensing its brand is a strategy in keeping with the radical restructure that helped Kodak exit bankruptcy last September. The company spun off or shut down its various consumer divisions (including its digital photography team) and is instead concentrating on commercial printing. It won’t be the only struggling firm trying to jump on the mobile bandwagon either: back in September, Panasonic unveiled the experimental Lumix CM1 smartphone, equipped with a large sensor and Leica lens. Kodak can get people interested with its name alone, but it’ll have to contribute more than just branding to actually win customers’ respect.

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Note 4 and Note Edge running Android 5.0.1 shown in videos

In a shocking moment of surprise, Samsung managed to push out a Lollipop update to the Galaxy S5 just weeks after the OS build went live. This came as a dramatic shift from the past, wherein the updates were usually met with significant delays. Still, Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge owners are no doubt ticked off their ticket to candy land hasn’t arrived yet.

Sammobile has managed to obtain working beta builds of Android 5.0.1 Lollipop running under TouchWiz for these two devices, as well as the Galaxy S5 Cat.6 Broadband model (aka the “Prime”). Take a look below:

Galaxy Note 4

Galaxy Note Edge

Galaxy S5 LTE-A

While the videos basically speak for themselves, SamMobile is reporting that these three devices will not be receiving Android 5.0.0, but instead be updated straight to 5.0.1, a build that consists largely of bug fixes but also add slow/fast motion video recording.

Despise these videos showcasing software that is rather well along the way towards release, it’s still not finished, and thus there’s a burning question on everyone’s mind: when will it drop, and who will get it when? Some reports point to a January release date for the Galaxy Note 4.

On a final note however, Google has just pushed Android 5.0.2 out to the Nexus 7 (2012) Wi-Fi variant. Although not much is currently known about the changes included in this build, the utter fact that there is a newer version of the new OS means that the OS seen in these videos may already be out of date (assuming the 5.0.2 patch isn’t exclusive to the Nexus 7.)

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