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.
The Android developers' tools team, headed by the usual suspects Xavier Ducrohet and Tor Norbye, led a session at I/O 2012 today dedicated to improvements and new features coming to the tools devs use to make apps - ADT for Eclipse and SDK Tools.
Everything they showed took around an hour of nonstop talking, arm flailing, and cracking jokes about the French, but among all the new goodies one prominently stood out - multi-configuration editing.
Swiftkey 3 recently arrived on the Play Store, and not too long afterwards, the company has posted a statement on its blog letting us know that the app is currently the best-selling paid app on the Play Store. Not too bad, SwiftKey! Of course, the biggest challenge is ahead, as Google announced yesterday that, from Jelly Bean onwards, the default Android keyboard will attempt to predict your next word. Which smacks just a little of SwiftKey's pitch.
Ah, the joys of owning a Nexus device. In what has to be some sort of record, Jelly Bean ROMs for the GSM and Verizon Galaxy Nexuses have been released and are ready to flash. And thanks to the Nexus being a dev device, getting the builds up and running is actually extremely simple.
For the GSM variant, just download the ROM, do a full wipe, and flash the ROM via Clockwork Mod Recovery.
Airpush and similar notification spammers, your days are numbered. The people have spoken - everyone universally hates these types of ads, and Google actually listened to our numerous complaints.
In Jelly Bean, you can not only figure out exactly which app caused a notification by long-pressing it and selecting App Info - you can actually disable notifications on a per-app basis altogether. That, my friends, is not just a slap in Airpush's face - it's a swift kick in its private parts.
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.
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.
Viggle, which pairs a great idea with a funny name, is an app we covered last month during its beta period. The TV check-in app, which has already seen great success on iOS, recently landed in the Play Store though, finally out of beta.
For those not familiar with the app, Viggle essentially listens to your TV's audio (at your command), and figures out which show(s) you're watching by comparing the audio it heard to a database, rewarding points depending on the programming (for instance, promoted shows get more points).
Qualcomm, the company behind the S4 processor that so many US devices are receiving as consolation prizes in exchange for LTE, has announced that it will be releasing its own SDK for Snapdragon processors. The SDK will initially support the S4, and continue to support future processors as they're released, supporting multiple tiers of hardware.
The company touts the SDK as enabling developers to more tightly integrate their apps with Qualcomm hardware, as well as enabling access to more powerful hardware features, like so:
facial processing, such as blink and smile detection, which makes it easier to take better pictures of people in groups;
burst capture, which leverages zero shutter lag to photograph a stream of images at once to select the best shot;
surround sound recording for better audio capture;
hardware echo cancellation for better real-time audio experiences;
sensor gestures (tap-left/tap-right, push/pull, face-up/face-down, tilt) that enable developers and device makers to push the envelope on new, differentiated user interfaces;
low power always on geofencing capabilities; and
indoor location that enables apps to continue providing accurate location information even when the user is indoors.
Update: Looks like it's going to be available beginning June 30th, though MEIZU is still working out finalized pricing details.
Chinese phone manufacturer MEIZU revealed the first MX way back in September, noting that both a dual-core and quad-core version of the phone would be coming. The dual-core model came first, and was released on October 1. Today, they've officially announced that the quad-core model will hit stores in China and Hong Kong sometime in June.