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Google Now Ported to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich; 5.5-inch Galaxy Note 2 Rumored; iPad 9.7-inch; Amazon Smartphone; Woz Windows Phone “Is a Convergence of Art and Technology”, Wants a Surface Tablet

Now, you need not to wait for Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) enabled smartphone or your carrier pushing out update to ICS to try out “Good news,” as the developers over at the XDA Developers forums ported Google Now from Android Jelly Bean to devices running Andorid 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

If you want to try out, there are to process for doing so requires a rooted device and comfort to navigating through the Android file system.

Google Now unveiled at the Google I/O 2012 is billed as a smart personal assistant to Apple’s Siri. It is the most innovative, futuristic, Google search service — that instead of presenting a search box to type in text and hit enter — Google Now flips the search paradigm with alerts to things like weather changes, flight times and delays, sports scores, interesting places near you where you might like to eat, shop or visit, and more.

A user febycv at the XDA Developers forum figured out how to extract Google Now from Jelly Bean, and, by modifying the build.prop file, users can install the modified APK file. He posted the steps involved:

  1. Open Root Explorer & navigate to /system
  2. Now Open build.prop in Text Editor.
  3. Edit ro.build.version.sdk = 16 & save.
  4. Now go to /system/app & Rename GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk to GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk1
  5. Now reboot & install the app from the download link (mirror).
  6. Now edit build.prop & change ro.build.version.sdk = 15 & reboot.

Google Now ported to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Andother user dave7802, posted a second method, which doesn’t involve editing the build.prop file:

  1. Download and rename the APK to GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk
  2. Go to System/App and rename the original GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk to
  3. something else (Or delete it)
  4. Copy in the GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk the one you renamed from (Velvet-theos0o.apk)
  5. Set the permissions, to the /System/App/GoogleQuickSearchBox.apk to RW-R–R–
  6. Reboot and it should work.

Below is a video demonstrating Google Now running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich:

In other mobile news, Samsung is reported to launch the next version of its Galaxy Note dubbed “Galaxy Note 2,” will sport larger 5.5-inch display when its unveiled at Germany’s IFA 2012 trade show in August, reports Korea’s MK Business News, citing unnamed sources.

The Galaxy Note 2 is also rumored to pack an unspecified quad-core processor (most likely an Exynos 4 Quad), and a 12 or 13 megapixel camera around the back, and said to run out of the box Google’s new Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean).

There might be a new new iPad soon to take on Google’s Nexus and Kindle Fire 2 — as the Cupertino company, Apple is reportedly developing a thinner and cooler 9.7-inch retina display equipped iPad for a Q4 release alongside the iPad mini.

The new iPad to feature a different battery and LCD backlighting scheme, resulting in a device that’s less hot and with the thickness and weight similar to the iPad 2.

According to Digitimes, citing several Chinese news, “Apple is apparently looking at several different ways to reduce the device’s internal temperature. And, this model will employ an improved battery and a single LED backlight rather than the two used in the new iPad. The report’s sources indicate that this shouldn’t impact the luminosity and clarity of the iPad’s Retina display.

In addition to the slight reworking of internal components, the so-called iPad 3.5 will use Sharp’s IGZO touchscreen rather than a Samsung-sourced panel like in the current model. This matches up with the reported component lists of the heavily rumored iPad mini.”

Amazon is said to be developing its own Smartphone that they hope will take on the iPhone and Android smartphones.

Foxconn International Holdings Ltd., the Chinese mobile- phone maker, is working with Amazon on the device, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private.

Speaking at a press conference, at the Entel Summit (Entel is Chile’s leading telecommunications operator), Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak noted his thoughts on Microsoft, Surface and their new Metro UI said, he was “happy” with what Microsoft is doing, saying “is starting to show that maybe are a different company than they were before,” saying he really like the visual approach of Windows Phone.

…”Windows Phone is a convergence of “art and technology.””

Having previously spoken positively of the Lumia 900 and what Microsoft was up to with their refocus on usability and visual appeal, “the Woz” continues with his thoughts on how the Lumia line of smartphones and Windows Phone 7 have such a “…strikingly good visual appearance which is a lot of what Steve Jobs always looked for, the art and technology, the convergence of art and technology.”

About Surface, Wozniak said he wants to “own one, to use one” so he can see for himself how good it is and not have to rely on what he’s read–a fair and respectable stance to have on an un-released product.

“But I’m glad that Microsoft is starting to show maybe they’re a different company than before, I don’t remember this sort of thing happening in a long, long time with Microsoft, so I’m very happy,” Woz said responding to a question about Microsoft.

Check the video out:

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