Jaroslav Stekl
Jaroslav Stekl is a tech enthusiast whose favorite gadgets almost always happen to be the latest Android devices. When he's not writing for Android Police, he's probably hiking, camping, or canoeing. He is also an aspiring coffee aficionado and an avid moviegoer.

27
Jun
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Well, we now have yet another reason to envy Google I/O attendees - a signed copy of the official Jelly Bean build has just been released on the 'nets, but it seems to only be working on the 'takju' (GSM) Galaxy Nexuses given out at I/O 2012 (or at least those GNs with the IMM30D firmware).

You can grab it for yourself right here, if you're interested in what's inside the 156MB ZIP.

27
Jun
maps

In yet more app news today, Google pushed out updates to Maps and its cousin Streetview.

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First, Google Maps received the promised offline mode, wherein you can pan to a certain area and save it for use without an Internet connection. Pretty neat, though it remains impossible to use navigation offline, limiting the practical applications of this feature.

Additionally, Street View saw a minor update that should improve everyone's favorite compass mode - devices with a gyroscope should now be able to use it more smoothly.

27
Jun
android

Android has become somewhat infamous for slow (almost unbearably so) updates for users of pretty much any non-Nexus device. In fact, when Jelly Bean was announced earlier today, the first thought on some users' minds was that their handsets haven't even tasted Ice Cream Sandwich yet.

Google is well aware of this issue, though - last year, it made an attempt (albeit a feeble one) to solve the problem with the Android Alliance.

27
Jun
cards

Google Now is a feature we've been eagerly anticipating for what seems like forever now. In fact, we've been seeing hints at something like it since 2010. When Apple announced Siri last year, an official counterpart from Google became not only inevitable, but necessary - iOS' speech service provided direct Apple competition to Google's mobile search engine. Today, in one of the most notable announcements at I/O, the Big G made official its answer to Siri: the aforementioned Google Now.

27
Jun
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Over at Google I/O, the news about Android 4.1 - a.k.a. Jelly Bean, if you haven't heard - just broke.

Update: check out the Jelly Bean video:

Screen Shot 2012-06-27 at 12.44.33 PM

The first announcement was Project Butter, a new processing framework for Android that should make it run much, much faster - up to 60fps, in fact. The CPU and graphics will now work together in harmony, with the latter being triple-buffered, meaning things like scrolling and transitions should be noticeably faster.

27
Jun
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If you've been waiting to grab yourself a shiny new EVO 4G LTE, now's the perfect time - Amazon Wireless just lowered the handset's price to a mere $49.99, provided you're a new customer or you're adding a line.

 EVO deal 2 EVO deal 3 EVO deal 1

As you can see, Sprint's LTE warrior will still cost you $149.99 if you're upgrading, just as previously.

Hit up the source to order one if you're interested; if you're not yet sure, have a look at our review of the device first.

14
Jun
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A few days ago, T-Mobile's version of the Samsung Galaxy S II, codenamed "Hercules," received a hearty scoop of Ice Cream Sandwich. Today, the fun continues for owners of the device, as Team Douche just made available official CM9 nightlies.

Definition: A "nightly" is a cutting-edge release that is built on a daily basis, usually at night after a full day's worth of new code has been committed.

It could oftentimes be unstable and not properly tested, lacking any changelogs, but eventually evolving into alphas, betas, release candidates, and finally stable releases.

14
Jun
samsung mustache

Anyone who's been keeping up on the Android blogosphere this year will know that Samsung managed to keep a pretty tight lid on the Galaxy S III prior to its release - we didn't really see any credible leaks up until a few weeks before the official announcement. And now, Samsung, in an apparent attempt to let the world know it's practicing Apple-level secrecy, has let us in on the deets of how it hid its flagship from the media's prying eyes.

13
Jun
smule1

First, Smule turned speech into music (and pontifications into pop) with Songify, and now the developer is looking to get into the instrument-emulation side of Android music apps.

Indeed, Magic Piano, another popular iOS Smule app that has now made its way to Android, lays out a series of dots which you have to tap in tune to your favorite song (assuming it's in Smule's inventory, of course).

So, is it as cool as it sounds?

13
Jun
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We haven't heard much about Acer's tasty-looking ICS tablet since CES, but today the company made the quad-core Iconia Tab A700 available to pre-order in the US and in Canada.

a700 2 a700

Lest you forget, the tablet's specs are quite impressive (if a bit more run of the mill now than they were in January) - here's a rundown:

  • 1920 x 1200 "HD" display (that's a 16:10 aspect ratio, though Acer apparently has the gall to market it as a 1080p screen, which would really be 16:9)
  • 10.5 hour battery life
  • Dolby Mobile 3 and 5.1 Channel Dolby Surround Sound via HDMI
  • microSD card slot and microUSB 2.0 ports
  • 1.3GHz NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core CPU (with the now-famous "4-Plus-1" design)
  • 12-core GeForce NVIDIA GPU
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Android 4.0 with Acer's "Ring" interface
  • GPS
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • 32GB of flash storage
  • 9.8mm thickness
  • 5MP rear-facing and auto-focusing camera
  • 1MP front-facing camera
  • Black and silver colors

Both national retailers and Acer's own online store now have the tablet on pre-sale for a reasonable $449.99.

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