It's taken a while to get to this point, but we're finally here. A new era for mobile gaming. From tomorrow forward, the world as you know it will cease to be the same. Why? Because after today, Rovio will have a game that isn't Angry Birds-related on the Play Store. What is the game? Do you even care? It's Amazing Alex. If you've ever played a contraption-building game, it'll look familiar to you.
Following yesterday's Jelly Bean AOSP invasion, the HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus is now receiving the release build 4.1.1 (JRO03C) of Jelly Bean. That's indeed great news, but since the rollout is usually staggered, not all phones are allowed to receive it the second it's out there. If you're rooted or have an unlocked bootloader, why not just bypass the line and flash the update manually? I just did, and it took only a few minutes.
Ding-ding-ding! EVO 4G LTE owners, the update you've been waiting for is ready. v1.22.651.3 of the software is rolling out starting today, July 11th, and according to Sprint fixes a whole array of bugs. The most important aspect of the update has to do with Google Wallet which has been broken since pretty much day one of the release. Other changes include improvements to Wi-Fi connectivity, playback of sideloaded videos, the crashing gallery app, calendar reminders, random power cycling, and more.
The Android development community couldn't be more on fire today now that Android 4.1 has been fully open sourced. While the Jelly Bean flavored CyanogenMod 10 is not just here just yet (though work has already begun), the CyanogenMod team released a fantastic treat for new Galaxy S III owners on AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile - official nightlies, available for downloading and flashing right now:
Those wondering whether Motorola's recently-announced Atrix HD will carry a locked bootloader can exhale – in a string of tweets earlier this evening, Moto confirmed that, yes, the Atrix HD's bootloader will be locked and signed.
That being said, Moto indicated that their "goal" is to provide a way to "unlock the bootloaders on our devices to those who wish to do so," adding that more details are "to come."
@kulow_atx Motorola ATRIX HD at AT&T will have a locked bootloader to meet requirements; (1/2)
— Motorola Mobility (@Motorola) July 10, 2012
@kulow_atx our goal is still to provide a way to unlock the bootloaders on our devices to those who wish to do so, more details to come(2/2)
— Motorola Mobility (@Motorola) July 10, 2012
What this means for the end user is that (for now) customization of the Atrix HD will be severely limited.
Samsung's Android devices have always come with easily unlockable bootloaders, so seeing the Verizon version of the Galaxy S III locked down at the request of the carrier (we don't buy your excuse, Verizon) was quite a shocker to many enthusiasts (not like it stopped them). Samsung, realizing how important it is to have unlockable bootloaders on its devices, decided to go the same way Motorola did back in January and release a user-unlockable Galaxy S III Developer Edition specifically for VZW.
In a post to the Nexus Google+ page just minutes ago, it was revealed that the official rollout of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to the Galaxy Nexus is beginning now (just after its addition to AOSP), starting with HSPA+ connected Galaxy Nexus Devices. Users of Galaxy Nexus devices carrying the Yakju and Takju software variants should expect to receive an OTA prompt some time within the "next several days."
The post also revealed that the HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus won't be alone in receiving an official Jelly Bean update.
Our I/O Nexus 7s just received update notifications that a new software build is available for download - this is very likely the final retail build users will see when they receive their devices.
While a "changelog" of sorts pops up with the update notification, it's stock dialogue from a full-on Jelly Bean upgrade, not something specific to this particular update for the Nexus 7. More than likely, this OTA just irons out some bugs and turns off some unnecessary data logging and pre-release testing tweaks.
So, you heard about Google's new predictive text engine in the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean keyboard, right? Now you can download that keyboard courtesy of Beansoft (developer of Thumb Keyboard), from the Play Store, free of charge. It's ported straight from AOSP, though it's currently in "alpha" state. The only catch is that you need to be running Android 4.0.3 or higher (Ice Cream Sandwich).
I've noticed the Android 4.1 keyboard also seems to have improved accuracy and speed (it looks ever so slightly different, too), so this is definitely worth a try.
We've seen some pretty cool projects show up on Kickstarter: Capta, Pebble, Chameleon, Vavo... and plenty more. Last night, though, one of the coolest projects I've ever seen made its way to the crowd-funded site: OUYA. You may or may not already be familiar with that name, so a little explanation may be in order.