Google's Android Developer's site got a massive overhaul today, with a brand new UI, tons of new features, and a unified guide for developers on how to design, develop, and distribute their apps all in one place. The new site is fantastic-looking. Clearly Google wants to engage developers more and give them more guidance on how to succeed on the Play Store. So, what say we take a tour?
For anyone who's been kept in the dark, or just doesn't know everything there is to know about Android yet, Google's provided newcomers with a section just to tout the advantages of developing for Android.
Google's let a bit of info slip a little early via the Play Store. When purchasing a Galaxy Nexus via the site, while checking out, the device is listed on your order as "Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ - The latest smartphone from Google, soon the first phone with Android 4.1 Jell..." This marks the first time the name Jelly Bean, and the version number 4.1 has been referenced publicly.
More interesting than that, however, is that the listing specifically says that the HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus from the Play Store is "soon the first phone" running the new OS.
Back in January, Tivo released its official Android app, but it was designed specifically for phones. Now, the company has released a version designed for tablets. With this fancy new remote control sorcery, you can do a number of things from your Android tablet, including:
Browse the channel guide without interrupting the show you’re watching - View shows up to 14 days in advance
Schedule TV show/movie recordings and ongoing (Season Pass®) recordings
Browse your recorded shows list and play a show from the App
Find exactly what you want to watch - Search across TV, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video & Blockbuster —and see integrated results on Demand to find what you are looking for
Explore cast and crew while watching a show
Comment about what you’re watching on Facebook or Twitter
Use a TiVo remote control replica or our intuitive, gesture-based remote control
Manage your ongoing (Season Pass®) recordings and your To-Do List - Delete and reprioritize recordings for your favorite shows
Instantly schedule, search and browse for shows while you’re away from home
And you get all of this digital magic or the low, low price of nothing.
Google has done a lot to improve the web version of the Play Store since it was launched, but there has always been one major flaw: one-way comments. Users could leave comments about what is good, bad, or broken about an app, but developers had no way to reply to the comments. Ergo, many developers started to include a disclaimer at the bottom of their listings that states they cannot reply to comments, so users should contact them via email with issues.
About a month ago, Motorola updated its Ice Cream Sandwich update timeline. While we've already seen one update go live on schedule, we're still waiting on official word for the rest of the handsets on the list. Late last night, however, an ICS ROM for the Droid Bionic surfaced, and it seems to be a mostly-complete build.
Flashing this is extremely risky, and could potentially brick your device. You've been warned!
Samsung has just dropped the source code for the Sprint version of the Galaxy S III, and it's available on Samsung's open source web portal here. Samsung has been surprisingly on-point with getting source code for the Galaxy S III here in the US, ensuring that custom kernels and ROMs will have the maximum amount of tweakability available to tinkerers from the likes of RootzWiki and XDA.
Good news for folks who aren't on Sprint, but want to be! (Those exist right?) If you've been eyeballing the Evo LTE as your next phone, you couldn't get it any cheaper than you can now. Amazon Wireless is currently offering the device for $129.99 with a new two-year contract.
While it sucks a bit for current Sprint customers, upgraders can still get the device for the previously-established $149 price point, saving a bit of money over Sprint's own offerings.
It was less than two months ago that the Galaxy S III was first announced to the world at Samsung's super classy special event. Now, the device is available inside the US borders. Though, there are a few catches. For starters, the device is only available on T-Mobile so far, according to a press release from Samsung. You can order it online, or from "select retail stores." This is in line with T-Mobile's previous statements where the company announced it would be splitting the launch in twain.
Say what you will about Sony and its mobile products, but the complete transparency regarding ICS updates on the 2011 Xperia line has been nothing short of impressive. In their most recent blog post, Sony has detailed the ICS update for the Xperia S, which is rolling out now.
The update features a new features a new suite of entertainment apps: Walkman, Album, and, Movies. According to Sony:
The “WALKMAN” application blends the best of signature Sony audio technology with social features; to discover the music your friends like and share personal favorites.
Following last month's Transformer Pad 300 (TF300) OTA update to v126.96.36.199, ASUS is pushing out a new bug fixer v188.8.131.52 with a host of improvements, the most notable one of which is the upgraded camera firmware. I just completed the process on my tablet, and it only took a few minutes.
So what's new in .30? This question is answered by none other than... ASUS Finland, of course, which provided the upcoming changelog almost a week ago on the Facebook page in all its Engrish glory:
TF300T ICS v184.108.40.206 - SYSTEM – improve stability of Chrome browser - SYSTEM – improve camera performance - Pictures more colorful - better audio- white balance(AWB) and auto-focus(AE) - better continues-auto-focus (CAF) - SYSTEM – fix the bug “wifi occasionally fail to connect after resume from suspend status” - Appbackup – fix the bug “have to key-in password again after change screen orientation”
To force your device to check for this update, go to Settings > About > System Firmware Update and press Check Update.