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15 Best Android Apps For Tablets From The Last 6 Weeks (5/18/12 - 7/4/12)

Welcome to the weekly roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Market or were spotted by us in the previous 6 weeks or so.

This edition focuses only on new tablet apps or ones that added tablet support. Regular apps and games are coming soon.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the AppBrain widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.
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Research Team Creates "Clickjack Rootkit" For Android That Can Hijack Apps, Exploit User Input

Xuxian Jiang, along with his research team at North Carolina State University, has cooked up a proof-of-concept "clickjack rootkit" which targets Android. The rootkit is unique not only in that it can function without a device restart, but also in that it targets Android's framework, not requiring deep modifications to the underlying firmware or kernel.

Clickjacking, for those unfamiliar, is a malicious technique typically used on the web to "trick" users into handing over control of their device or confidential information.

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Android Platform Distribution Updated: 10.9% On Android 4.0, 22.7% Still On 2.2 And Below

Depending on how fanboyish you want to be you want to look at it, things are either getting better by the day, or still dismal as can be. First, the charts:

2012-07-02_22h19_09

Obviously, the good news is that in the past month, Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0+) has moved up from 7.1% to 10.9% - and considering there are hundreds of millions of devices running Android, that seemingly meager 3.8% is actually quite a few devices.

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Jelly Bean Bumps Contact Photos To Hi-Res 720x720 But Google Sync Continues To Clobber It With Low-Res Mush

One of the most starred Android issues of all time, currently #20 of 21363 from the top with 1191 stars, is the absolutely awful quality of synced contact photos (issue #3870, opened in 2009). ICS attempted to resolve the issue by bumping the quality to 256x256 pixels, but Google sync would without mercy squash it right back down to blurry pixel dirt (96x96).

To recap, there are actually a couple of issues:

  1. Contact photos set in Gmail.com are downsized to 96x96.
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Download: Latest Google Play Store v3.7.13

The latest version of the Play Store is no longer 3.7.11 - say hello to v3.7.13. I haven't found anything different from 3.7.11 just yet - it likely only contains bug fixes. There's no reason to lag behind, however, so if you're running a Play Store with a version lower than 3.7.13, jump right to the download mirrors below. Before you do that, let me point out a few things.

Upon playing with the Store further, I did discover a new feature compared to v3.5.19 that I didn't mention last time - inline app links in search suggestions.

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[Weekend Poll] Are You Happy With The Improvements Made In Jelly Bean?

This is the latest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see Do You Regularly Rent Moves Through Google Play?

Jelly Bean isn't a huge evolution of Android like previous updates have been, but that's understandable given just how polished the OS has become. Still, as the company showed us on day 1 of I/O, things certainly have moved forward in quite a few ways (Ron provided a deeper look at some of them in his first Getting To Know Android 4.1 post).

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[Update: Winners!] Book Giveaway: Win One Of Ten Copies Of Android Apps With Eclipse

The contest is now over. Here are the winners, selected at random:
  • Danny Holyoake
  • Zhe Xi Ooi
  • Marc Zdon
  • Dennis F Heffernan   
  • Melvin Blokhuijzen   
  • Pegasus195   
  • Raido   
  • Sirdeiu   
  • Justin  
  • Brett Glisson

Congratulations - you will be contacted for your information in the near future!

Everyone else - keep participating and stay tuned to Android Police so that you don't miss our upcoming giveaway announcements. You can follow AP on Twitter Facebook, Google+, and RSS.

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Google Releases Full Factory OS Image For The Nexus 7 "nakasi" Tablet (Android 4.1, JRN84D)

Google just dropped the full OS image for the recently announced at Google I/O Nexus 7 tablet. The image allows you to restore the tablet back to full stock Android 4.1 (build JRN84D) in case something goes wrong. This way, developers can tweak its internals without fearing a brick and users can always go back to something stable if a flash goes awry.

There are no surprises here - the Nexus 7 is a true Nexus device after all.

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Jelly Bean's Face Unlock Asks You To Blink For The Camera, Locks Out After Several Failed Attempts

Face Unlock, a security feature introduced with Ice Cream Sandwich, while a fun concept, proved vulnerable to trickery. Specifically, the unlock method would recognize photos of your face as if they were your real face. Another issue with Face Unlock was that it ostensibly never locked users out after numerous failed attempts.

Looking to address these issues, Google did a bit of tweaking to Jelly Bean's Face Unlock. Namely, FU now features a "Liveness check" option which, as the name suggests, makes sure you're a real, live person before unlocking your device.

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Google I/O Day 2 Keynote Is Live On YouTube - Need The Short Version? Day 1 & 2 Get The TL;DR Treatment, Too

Google's keynote address on day 2 of Google I/O was all Chrome, all day. Now that Chrome is the default browser for Android, combined with the company's continued push behind Chrome OS, you can expect to see the browser everywhere from now on. Including in the hour-and-twenty-minute video below featuring all the new (and old) features and developments in Chrome.

If you're short on time, or I/O is just overwhleming, Google's done you the favor of piecing together all the best parts of day 1 and 2's keynotes in a single, easy-to-digest four minute video.

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