Google I/O, one of the most exciting conferences of the year for us, has come and gone. From sleeping several hours a day to juggling about seventeen things during the live keynote coverage to suddenly finding ourselves within inches of people like Sergey Brin, Sundar Pichai, Lord and Savior Matias Duarte, Hugo Barra, Vic Gundotra, Robert Scoble, Chainfire, Saurik, and other brilliant Googlers, reporters, and developers, the days spent at every I/O are absolutely priceless.
It's very easy to look at BlackBerry and see a technological Neandertal - the company that almost had it ("it" being smartphones), but then refused to evolve in order to keep up with the competition. Let's not mince words: the iPhone nearly killed BlackBerry, and Android is happily hammering the nails into its coffin.
After the disastrous Storm and Storm 2, few thought BlackBerry had the chops to break into full-touch devices in a big way, at least until Android really started taking off.
The first and most important day of Google I/O 2013 is drawing to a close. If you've just gotten home from a long day at work and don't have time to sift through a mountain of Android Police live coverage, fear not: there's a roundup for that. Here's a concise list of everything that's new and updated in the Googleverse.
If you'd like to spend almost four hours watching Google show off all its new goodies, our Live Blog has the keynote embedded, plus Artem and David's reactions.
Multi-user support is one of the most interesting additions in Jelly Bean 4.2, but you can only get it if you're using a tablet. It makes sense - phones are rarely shared between more than one person, while tablets are naturally shareable. Even so, it would be nice if Google gave users the option. But thanks to modder extraordinaire Paul "Modaco" O'Brien, there's a relatively easy way to enable multi-user mode on smartphones.
Have you finished downloading CyanogenMod's 10.1 RC1 release for your device yet? If not, hit cancel and refresh your browser. Just three days after RC1 started rolling out, CM 10.1 RC2 has hit the download center, going up over night for forty seven devices at the time of writing, including devices from the Galaxy SIII to the Nexus Q.
the list goes on
For those not sure why they should care about CM10.1 RC2, an RC or Release Candidate is basically a firmware release that the CyanogenMod team believes is up to snuff for a daily driver – a new-but-not-bleeding-edge release that's stable enough to rely on.
Hulu's premium TV service hit 4 million users last week, and to celebrate, they've released an update to their Android app. (Actually, the update probably doesn't have anything to do with that. Forget I mentioned it.) The 2.8 version of Hulu Plus adds some much-needed improvements, particularly for playback and video seeking. The free app (tied to the paid service) is now compatible with a wider range of devices - the Play Store is showing everything from the Galaxy S II to my Nexus 7 running Android 4.2 as compatible.
We review a lot of high-end phones here on Android Police. In fact, we probably review a disproportionately low number of entry-level and mid-range devices, because many of them are, well, boring. We also know that you, our readers, are rarely interested in the often no-value value-proposition that these handsets tend to represent, especially in the US. Here, a wireless contract is two years long whether you're buying a refurbished Galaxy Nexus (ew!) or a shiny new Galaxy S4.
If you fancy yourself a budding meteorologist, OpenSignal's latest app release might just be the resource you've been waiting for. WeatherSignal turns your Android phone into a mobile weather station by tapping into sensors you didn't know your phone had in order to measure local atmospheric readings. With your consent, the app then submits this data to a collaboratively updated weather map for the world to share. Those of you who have used OpenSignal's previous app to find the best local WiFi connections might recognize the concept behind the company's latest initiative.
Hey Sony. It's been a while since I last ranted about how you're kinda-sorta screwing up that whole smartphone business of yours. In fact, it's been almost a year to the day. I had really hoped that by this year everyone's favorite Japanese electronics mega-corporation would have figured out the smartphone market to a reasonable extent in the US, but surprise: they haven't!
I really don't mean to single out Sony, but sometimes, it's very difficult to watch a company that is very clearly capable of making good products make such terrible decisions.
This is the app roundup. The game roundup from this week can be found here.