There's a lot to like about Sony's latest generation of Android devices. One od the things that most people don't like is the custom interface that Sony puts on pretty much everything. If you want to do away with it and get some sweet, clean Android Open Source Project code running on your shiny new Xperia Tablet Z, Sony is happy to oblige. They've posted an AOSP 4.2 build for the Tablet Z to GitHub, following their surprisingly open approach to other devices, most recently the Xperia Z flagship.
|Jeremiah Rice||Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.|
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a new game from Crescent Moon, a tie-in for Dreamworks' upcoming animated movie, a sequel to one of the Play Store's most popular casual games, some bowling and quiz titles, and one of those beguiling indie-retro affairs that keeps popping up.
Yesterday Google launched an early access preview of Android Studio, an integrated development environment (IDE) for Android based on IntelliJ IDEA. This one-stop shop for coding, compiling, and testing includes all the standard Android SDK tools, plus build support, quick fixes, tools to catch major coding flaws, and a preview window. The Android Developer Tools session at Google I/O went into massive detail on the new project. The 53-minute session is embedded below, in case you couldn't make it.
Archos has been cultivating a reputation for cheap, mostly reliable tablets since long before Android slates were mainstream. Their latest creation isn't all that remarkable: the 80 Xenon is squarely aimed at the iPad Mini, with an 8-inch, 1024x768 IPS screen, a Qualcom 1.2ghz quad-core (Snapdragon S4?) processor, 1GB of RAM, and a price tag of $199.99. Oh, and it comes with unlocked 3G wireless broadband. Wait, what?
Yes indeed, the 80 Xenon is specifically designed and marketed with mobile wireless in mind.
Oh, hi there, Samsung Galaxy Reverb. Haven't seen you around the water cooler in a while. Yeah, I'm doing good too. So what's up? You've got an Android 4.1 update? Shut the front door.
The Galaxy Reverb is a budget phone on a budget network, the kind that we generally expect to be released, promptly forgotten, and never, ever updated to a later version of Android. But lo and behold, several Virgin Mobile customers on both Reddit and Android Forums are reporting that their phones are receiving over-the-air updates to Jelly Bean 4.1.2.
Field Trip is an oddity in Google's app lineup. It comes from Niantic Labs (the people who went on to create Ingress), looks fantastic, and it's made for a very specific kind of user. The app highlights attractions of historical, cultural, and entertainment value in your immediate area, using GPS and services like Thrillist, Zagat, and Cool Hunting to create a "hyperlocal" experience. Of course, any travel app is only good if it works where you are, which was a sticking point for international users.
Dateline: 1988. Across the country, thousands of Amiga computer owners discover a revelation: they can now play a game that includes both white-knuckle driving and indiscriminate violence (without heading to the arcade to spend a quarter on Spy Hunter) with Fire And Forget. The little-known but much-loved Titus game has been given new life in Fire & Forget: The Final Assault. This is no nostalgia trip, it's a brand new title, complete with modern graphics and a new trick for your rolling death machine: flight.
In our review of the Pebble SmartWatch, we only had two complaints about the software: a lack of apps, and a lack of utility. The second point stems from the fact that the Pebble can only receive alerts from your phone, and it can't send information back. Both issues have now been addressed by the Pebble SDK. Developers have been cranking away on watch apps for some time, but the latest SDK update adds AppMessage, a method of implementing bi-directional communication for Pebble.
The Galaxy S4 is a beast of a phone, and very likely to be the best-selling Android device in the world this year. It's also pretty bloated when it comes to software: on a brand new, unsullied phone, more than 6GB of internal storage is taken up by Samsung's TouchWiz version of Android. Most markets don't yet have access to a 32GB or 64GB model, and the base 16GB version has less than 10GB of user-accessible storage available.
The first and most important day of Google I/O 2013 is drawing to a close. If you've just gotten home from a long day at work and don't have time to sift through a mountain of Android Police live coverage, fear not: there's a roundup for that. Here's a concise list of everything that's new and updated in the Googleverse.
If you'd like to spend almost four hours watching Google show off all its new goodies, our Live Blog has the keynote embedded, plus Artem and David's reactions.