As the latest update to Android looms ever closer, we've got our eyes peeled for anything that may hint at what's to come. While most of that information comes to us through leaks or hidden surprises, sometimes it will try to hide in plain sight. Over the last few weeks, an increasing number of code commits have been made to the android-3.10 branch of the kernel/common project. As you might be able to guess from the names, kernel/common is the codebase from which every device kernel is eventually derived.
There are no shortage of office suites available for Android, but two of the most popular have been Quickoffice and OfficeSuite. The former took a hiatus after Google purchased it last year, and while the new version isn't bad per se, it's not what to used to be. In the meantime, OfficeSuite has continued to improve, and version 7.3 introduces a slew of new features that add an extra layer of polish to what is already a solid app.
New email clients pop up all the time, and frankly, it's hard to spice up the old formula. At the end of the day, each presents us with various ways to sift through our inboxes, filtering out the junk from the occasional personal message, a task that's only marginally more interesting online than it is in person. So what sets Molto apart? It's does for email what Flipboard did for RSS - make it simple and pretty.
Spiderfly Studios has a knack for developing apps that extend Android's functionality in the least obtrusive way possible. Their most popular app thus far, Glowfly, offers holo-friendly SMS popup notifications with support for images and sending quick replies. Their latest offering, Stormfly, offers HD wallpapers that change as the weather does. It's not an original concept by any means, but the studio has managed to throw together an app that does this in the most integrated way possible, and they do so without putting much of a strain on bandwidth.
In stock Android, capturing a screenshot from your device is as easy as pressing the Power button and the Volume Down button simultaneously. Recording video from the device's screen however can be a little trickier.
Looking, as always, to enhance the stock Android experience with awesome new touches, the CyanogenMod team (specifically Koushik Dutta) is working on integrating screen recording through an easy Volume Up + Power combination.
With that simple key combination, users will be able to record their device's screen, with audio and touch indicators thrown in for added utility.
Update: Vic Gundotra, Google's SVP of Engineering, had this to say after posting on Google+ about the new Voice update:
Guys, don't worry. We have massive investment in Android. I promise you will be happy soon. Don't get upset because we show some love to Google users who use iOS. There are a lot of them. And they are good people :-)
So chill out: it looks like VOIP for Voice is coming to Android sooner or later.
When people think of laptops, Android isn't the first operating system that comes to mind, but the number of options continue to grow. The Asus Transformer series showed that a tablet and a keyboard packaged together nicely could prove to be more appealing than a netbook, and the more recent HP Slatebook x2 managed to feel more like a laptop and less like a tablet. Now Lenovo is ready to do its competitors one better by debuting an Android laptop that is more than a tablet packaged with a nice keyboard dock - the Lenovo A10, a convertible 10.1-inch laptop running Android 4.2.
Last weekend the Big Android BBQ took place in Hurst, Texas. It's a small but energetic little show specifically targeted towards Android developers (and the more rabid enthusiasts - you know who you are). The CyanogenMod team has attended before, but what with the incorporation, this year was a big deal, and the first time that they became an official sponsor. Today an outline of Cyanogen Inc. CTO Steve Kondik's presentation was posted to the web, along with his slides.
The Google Offers app received its first significant refresh since June today with a modernized UI. Yep, you guessed it: sidebar nav and cards. At least Google really is sticking to that hamburger navigation / card layout paradigm, and Offers has finally been checked off the design to-do list.
The new version also brings supports for offline redemption of your offers, which is nice, but otherwise this update appears to be entirely visual in nature.
Star Command is one of my most-anticipated games for Android. Or at least it was, two years ago when it was scheduled to be released, and then again when it was released for iOS five months ago. An unreasonably long development cycle and some dodgy developer antics have made waiting for this game an exercise in frustration, and it's impossible to give it a full review without at least some bitterness hanging on in the back of my mind.