Silicon Valley

Tech News Today: Galaxy Nexus LTE Update, Apple iTunes U, Samsung beefs up Android

Nicknamed “Knox” (as in the fort that Goldfinger busted into), Samsung’s new security software was released this week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

“Smart phones are emasculating but wearing geek glasses straight from ‘Sixteen Candles’ isn’t?” asked Clara Jeffery of Mother Jones in a tweet, via Bloomberg. That’s just one of several entertaining responses to everyone’s favorite cyborg Sergey Brin, who was seen earlier this week on the TED stage  demonstrating Google Glass. USA Today ran a short piece on the futuristic product that hit store shelves this year, and asserts, “Regardless of manliness, Google Glass probably won’t be replacing cell phones anytime soon”

On to the other headlines worth noting today.

Galaxy Nexus LTE Update Coming “Soon”

Samsung Galaxy Nexus

Verizon Support confirmed via Twitter in response to a frustrated user that an Android Jelly Bean update would be “coming soon” to the LTE version of the popular Nexus handset released in 2011. The smartphone is now four releases behind, despite being hailed as a bleeding edge device.

I guess it all comes down to your definition of “soon.”

Tip for those that always want the latest software updates first: avoid the carrier-bound editions of the Nexus, and buy the unlocked version direct from Google.

Apple iTunes U: 1 Bilion Served

Apple iTunes U surpasses one billion downloads

Apple iTunes U, which offers free educational content sourced from schools, colleges, libraries, and museums from across the country has surpassed 1 Billion downloads.

“With the incredible content offered on iTunes U, students can learn like never before — there are now iTunes U courses with more than 250,000 students enrolled in them, which is a phenomenal shift in the way we teach and learn,” Apple software chief Eddy Cue said in today’s announcement.

Many attribute the service’s growth with the increasing acceptance of online education within education institutions.

Samsung Beefs up Android Security

Samsung Headquarters

Rumors have always swirled around the prospect of Samsung investing in its own mobile platform, and going head-to-head against Apple and (its current partner/competitor) Google. While that hasn’t come to be (yet), the tech giant is continuing to attach resources to Android-based initiatives. The latest relates to corporate security.

Nicknamed “Knox” (as in the fort that Goldfinger busted into), the software was released this week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. As the New York Times reports that the goal is to make “Samsung smartphones attractive to corporate information technology departments that worry about the theft of sensitive corporate data by hackers.”

Also, the move, which was made in partnership with U.S. military contractor General Dynamics, is widely believed to be an attack against BlackBerry, the traditional security sweetheart of many Fortune 500 I.T. organizations.

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