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
unnamed

Man, news is coming fast and furious, isn't it? Here's another one to add to the pile: a big YouTube update. The "What's New" section on the Play Store reads:

What's in this version:

Android 3.2+ devices: v.4.0
* New UI: Guide on the left side of the screen with instant access to channels
* Preload videos while on WiFi and charging for smooth playback on the go
* Turn your phone into a remote, to play YouTube videos on other devices
* Access your watch History across devices

Earlier Android devices: v.2.4
* Sign-in with Google account
* HD playback (on capable phones)
* Multiple bug fixes

First up, let's check out the new look:

wm_2012-06-27 15.47.41wm_2012-06-27 15.49.11wm_2012-06-27 16.01.35

YouTube has switched to the same left-side menu style as Google+.

27
Jun
googlepluslogo

We knew it was coming, and now it's finally here. Google+ Events. And it's even bigger than we ever thought it could be. Google has gone beyond mere RSVP. Google wants your Events page to be central to your real-life get-togethers, before, during, and after the event. In addition to tying into Google Calendar, Events serve as a central place for all your event photos, organized chronologically that can be uploaded by all guests.

27
Jun
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There were several new announcements today for the Play Store at Google's I/O keynote, which included the arrival of new content. As previously expected, the Play Store now offers TV Shows, magazine subscriptions, and movie purchases.

First off, let's take a look at TV Shows. This is one thing that the Play Store has been missing since day one, so it's nice to see it finally show up. After spending a few minutes looking through the titles, it looks like Google stocked it up with quite a bit of good content.

27
Jun
image

Coinciding with the announcement of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Android developers can now pull down a new revision of Android's SDK tools – revision 20, along with a new version of the ADT Plugin, also r20 (which Eclipse users will need to use SDK r20).

image

The revised SDK tools bring several improvements. One of the notable additions to the SDK tools is System Trace (otherwise known as systrace), a tool (included in Project Butter) that helps monitor system activities, allowing developers to pinpoint graphical rendering or other issues.

27
Jun
Chrome-logo-2011-03-16

As if the endless torrent of news out of I/O wasn't enough, Google has decided to push out updates for just about every Android app today, too.

Chrome For Android got a bump to 18.0.1025123. The biggest change of which is the dropping of the "Beta" tag. Here's the full "What's New" from their blog post:

This update picks up important stability and performance fixes since the last Beta, along with some minor UI adjustments, especially for tablets.

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
image

One of the bigger changes we saw in the jump from Gingerbread/Honeycomb to Ice Cream Sandwich was in the camera app. ICS not only brought a streamlined, more subtle design to an app that so badly needed it, but also introduced zero shutter-lag, meaning the time between pressing the shutter release and capturing a photo was pushed down to (almost) zero. In fact in many cases, the time between touch and capture is imperceptible.

27
Jun
projectglasstiny_thumb

We've been hearing things about Google Glass, the Google-powered eyeball accessory, for a while now. While the device isn't quite ready for consumers (and won't be for a while), we got an extensive look at what these devices can do... right after Google-hired stuntmen jumped out of an airplane while on a Glass-based Hangout, then proceeded to bike across rooftops, rappel down the side of the Moscone Conference Center, and finally bike into the I/O keynote to deliver the device on stage to Sergey Brin.

27
Jun
jb-android-4.1

Another major enhancement we've just learned about with the announcement of Jelly Bean is called Project Butter. Butter (so named likely due to the colloquialism "smooth as butter") represents a new, more efficient processing framework for Android's latest and greatest iteration, making the OS much faster (allowing animation up to 60fps). Android 4.1 also makes apps more responsive, reducing touch latency and "anticipating where your finger will be at the time of screen refresh."

"How is such an enhancement possible?" I can almost hear you wondering.

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