We're nearly halfway through 2012, but for NVIDIA, it seems the best is yet to come. The company's GM, Mike Rayfield, announced today that 30 smartphones with Tegra 3 chips are now slated for availability this year, which is double the success that the company had with its Tegra 2 platform during 2011. Perhaps more interesting, Rayfield also let it be known that the Grey platform -- not due for arrival until next year -- will be the first of NVIDIA's system-on-chip designs to include a built-in LTE radio. Specifically, we can expect it to include the Icera 500, a next-gen LTE modem that's set to supersede both the Icera 410 and 450 designs. The Icera 500 will initially debut as a standalone unit, but will later be integrated into the Grey platform. All things considered, perhaps its 2013 that NVIDIA should be most excited about.
ASUS isn't known for offering its tablets to North American carriers with 3G or 4G; an FCC filing for a cellular-capable Transformer Pad TF300 could be a clue at a break in the WiFi-only trend. Along with the usual wireless, a TF300TL variant of the Android 4.0 slate has stopped by the agency with the 850MHz and 1,900MHz frequencies needed for HSPA 3G as well as, best of all, 700MHz and 1,700MHz support for LTE-based 4G. All four are what we'd look for in an AT&T-oriented tablet, so don't be surprised if Ma Bell carries a 4G Transformer Pad before long. All but the 700MHz band would be handy for Canadian networks as well. There's no surefire evidence of when the tablet might make a more formal appearance, nor hints of whether or not it will keep the quad-core Tegra 3, although the slight spin on the regular TF300 formula could keep the wait short.
Google has been publishing what it's dubbed Transparency Reports for some time now -- detailing things like government requests to remove content from search results or requests for users' information -- and it's now added another big chunk of data to them in the interest of full disclosure. Starting today, you can see the number of removal requests it receives from companies over copyright and piracy concerns. As you can imagine, there's a lot -- over 1.2 million in the past month alone, a number that Google notes is increasing at a substantial rate. Among those asking for takedowns, Microsoft is by far the leader, filing well over half a million requests all by itself in the past month (the film and music industries are also, of course, well represented). You can pour through all the results yourself at the source link below.
No thanks to AT&T, owners of the carrier-branded HTC One X can now unlock their phone's bootloader on the HTCdev website. The process works by altering the handset's identifier, which causes the One X to appear as a Rogers unit on HTC's servers. While the instructions should be quite simple for those with the proper knowhow, they require knowledge and proper configuration of ADB, use of a hex editor and a rooted handset. Many users have already reported success with this method, but keep in mind that AT&T might not smile on the trickery if you ever need to seek warranty repair. Naturally, all of this frustration could've been easily avoided had Ma Bell simply considered the needs of power users in the first place, but until the day comes when the carrier rights its ways, just know that eager hackers have a tendency to come out on top.
Jitters have persisted that the Canadian release of the Galaxy S III might face the customary weeks-long delays that those north of the border are used to. If we go by what looks to be an escaped Best Buy Canada flyer graphic, Samsung's Android 4.0 beast should be going up for pre-orders soon -- MobileSyrup hears May 30th -- with launches on at least Bell, Rogers, Telus and a Bell-owned Virgin Mobile around June 20th. We know that Samsung has publicly promised a US release in June, so there's a real chance that we could be seeing a simultaneous North American appearance that brings everyone together in TouchWiz harmony. There's still some big questions left open even if we're seeing an accurate snapshot, such as when Mobilicity, Wind and other LTE-less carriers will get their units as well as whether or not the LTE versions use Snapdragons instead of the Exynos 4 Quad.
Tweetbot just got the update treatment, enabling a handful of features aimed at optimizing the way you interact with Twitter, both online and off. These added gems include an option to mute certain keywords ('cereal' may be a good start), location-based keyword searches, along with offline favorite and read later support (for booting links to apps like Instapaper or Pocket, for offline viewing). Most other functionality remains unchanged, as does the $2.99 price tag. You'll find the full list of updates after the break, with download links just below.