A look back at mobile predictions for 2011

As 2011 comes to a close, I’m thinking ahead to what mobile technology trends I expect to see in 2012. While I formulate those thoughts for a post later this week, now is a good time to see how I did with my 2011 predictions.

Samsung Galaxy S and Tab may yet get Android 4.0

Samsung is reportedly in discussions to offer Android 4.0 software upgrades to its Galaxy S smartphones and Galaxy Tab slates. Perhaps Samsung’s TouchWiz software is slimmed down or eliminated, which may not be a problem. Getting carriers to support such an upgrade, however, may be.

New Android widgets measure real-time mobile data use

One of my favorite features in Google(s goog) Android 4.0 on my Galaxy Nexus is the real-time and historical data use. I can monitor my mobile broadband usage against my monthly plan and even drill down to see which apps are using more data than others. Plus I can set alerts when I near the cap on my data. While its a great native function in Android 4.0, few phones today actually have Android 4.0.

That’s where Onavo comes in. We’ve covered the mobile application for iOS and Android devices in the past as it helps consumers keep track of their smartphone’s data usage. On iOS devices, can even have data run through Onavo’s servers, where it gets compressed: By doing this, you can surf the web more often without bumping up a set data cap. Onavo doesn’t do this for Android devices yet, but as of Thursday, it does offer real-time monitoring widgets; something not available on iOS(s aapl) devices. Here’s the description of each, per Onavo’s blog:

  • App Watch: Track how much data each app uses in the selected time frame. This widget updates automatically based on usage, and allows you to swirl through the apps that are using your data plan.
  • Data Plan Used: A slim, 1×4 widget, to see how much of your data plan is left this month. Super handy widget, and very easy to understand – MB used and the day of your bill cycle.
  • Live Data Usage: Another slim widget, to monitor which apps have been using data in the last 30min.

Again, Onavo could always monitor data usage in the past, similar to Android 4.0. But even on my Galaxy Nexus, there aren’t any widgets to monitor this mobile broadband use. Instead, the functionality is found in the “Wireless & Networks” settings and there aren’t any corresponding widgets.

Onavo is a free app that now includes these widgets, so if you’re interested in real-time data monitoring for non-Wi-Fi networks, hit up the Android Market for the most recent version of the app.

Galaxy Nexus arrives on Verizon: $299 with contract

The Galaxy Nexus, a flagship phone to showcase Google Android 4.0, has finally arrived for Verizon’s LTE network. The large handset comes with a hefty $299 price tag with contract; $649 without. Although it should offer a “pure” Google experience, Google Wallet won’t be installed.

Galaxy Nexus + data plan + VoIP support = free calls!

My Galaxy Nexus smartphone is now capable of receiving free voice calls and making low-cost outbound calls on a data-only mobile broadband plan. How can you send and receive calls on a smartphone without a voice plan? Android’s native SIP integration is a big help.

MobileTechRoundup podcast 254: Galaxy Nexus

The Galaxy Nexus is in the house! This week, Matt and Kevin devote the audio show to share first impressions of the newest Android 4.0 smartphone. The hardware is generally excellent, but the real star of the show is the software: it’s elegant and refined.

Galaxy Nexus first look video and impressions

The Galaxy Nexus smartphone I ordered on Sunday from the U.K. has arrived. I haven’t played enough yet, but the little time I’ve had with the first Android 4.0 smartphone has been most impressive. The best way to put the experience? Android has finally grown up.

New Android 4.0 running on Google’s old Nexus One

Now that I have a new Galaxy Nexus on the way from the U.K., you’d think my faithful Nexus One would be sent out to pasture after 23-months of service. Nope. There’s a custom ROM that brings Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) to the old Nexus.

Update promises and Android 4.0 may fix fragmentation

Google’s Android 4.0 software won’t be limited to new handset models like the Galaxy Nexus; handset makers are starting to share plans on which existing smartphones will see the update. With plans for software updates to existing phones, this could finally eliminate Android fragmentation issues.