As useful as the Google Experience Launcher (GEL) is, it's not exactly what you'd call "customizable." But intrepid modder Alexander Schulz has been working on that, making the GEL bend to his will through the magic of root and the Xposed Framework tool. The latest update to Xposed GEL Settings adds some really cool features. The most impressive is probably the dynamic home button: the home button on the virtual nav bar will switch to the app tray icon on the default home screen if that's the function you've selected.
Dell's Android-powered Venue tablets from last year were more than adequate, but failed to make a definitive impression on the crowded Android market despite reasonable specs and low prices. The Texas company is hoping that a quick refresh of the hardware on the 7-inch and 8-inch models will help move a few more units... and hopefully a few lucrative accessories as well. Updated versions of the Venue 7 and Venue 8 will run Android 4.4 out of the box.
Recently, Google's ambitious and public-spirited ventures are sounding less like the careful expansions of an international megacorp and more like the pet projects of Dr. Benton Quest. Self-driving cars, medical contact lenses, industrial robots - seriously, we're just waiting on a Walking Eye and Steve Ballmer in a villain costume at this point. The latest report from the Wall Street Journal (which tends to be spot-on when it comes to Google's plans) says the company is preparing a fleet of low-orbit satellites that will deliver Internet access.
We got a brief glimpse of the HP SlateBook back in April. We were a bit confused as to why the consumer PC giant would cram Android into a form factor almost exclusively dominated by Windows and OS X machines. Now the 14-inch, Android-powered laptop is official, and we're no less puzzled. HP made the announcement today, though the laptop won't go on sale until July 20th in the US.
Look into the eyes of Ira. He can see into your very being. His hypnotic gaze is scouring your soul, peeling away layers of intellect until only chaos and madness remains. He's like the most terrifying of Lovecraftian horrors, except he's bald and has a five o'clock shadow.
If you've watched any of NVIDIA's trade show keynotes in the last few years, you probably recognize Ira from the company's FaceWorks technical demo.
The Moto E is Motorola's bid to dominate the low-end and developing markets, but that doesn't mean it's not worthy of attention from developers. As always with new Android phones, Motorola has posted the kernel source code for developers (and anyone else who wants to mess with it) at their official GitHub page.
The company also posted the updated source code for the RAZR M and RAZR HD (the international GSM variants of the Verizon-exclusive DROID RAZR M and DROID RAZR HD).
Let's face it: at this point, Google TV is a certified flop. For all its good points, its adoption was hampered by expensive hardware, limited apps, and a clunky interface. Google is hoping to revive their set-top plans with "Android TV," an as-yet unverified platform revealed by The Verge last month. Others found more details of Android code powering a Google set-top box in the Android 4.4.3 changelog. Now anonymous sources tell GigaOM that the device will get a formal introduction, if not a full rollout, at Google I/O in June.
Rumors are flying about Samsung's plans for the virtual reality headset market. Just a week after Engadget's last unconfirmed report on Samsung's VR device, there's a new post that sheds quite a lot more light on the subject. First of all, Samsung and Oculus VR (makers of the Oculus Rift and recently acquired by Facebook) are sharing technology to improve each other's products. And secondly, Samsung's device uses a dock for your phone, which then becomes the primary display for the device.
You've got a lot of options for high-end Android devices just at the moment, with the HTC One M8 out and the LG G3 coming soon. But if you want something for Verizon right now and your funds are limited, you could do a lot worse than the Samsung Galaxy S5. Amazon's wireless portal has the phone on Big Red for just fifty bones, assuming you're a new customer or you're adding a new phone line.