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. Read More
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. Read More
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). Read More
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.
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. Read More
Fun fact: a 1080p display packs 2,073,600 pixels. The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity (or TF700)? 2,304,000 - or 230,400 more. Most 1080p HDTVs are somewhere around 40-60 inches. The TF700 checks in at just 10. Compared to a 40" HDTV, that's 111% of the pixels in a package that's 6.25% of the size.
The screen may be the real headline feature with the Infinity, but it's not the only one worthy of note. Read More
After an injunction hearing earlier this week, Judge Posner has issued his final decision on whether to throw out the Motorola v. Apple case. The result? You're (both) outta here.
Judge Posner dismissed both parties' cases with prejudice earlier this evening (meaning Apple and Moto cannot refile against one another on these issues in any other federal court). Apple will, of course, appeal.
Posner's feeling on Apple's insistent demand for an injunction against Motorola's smartphone products was summed up best by the following excerpt from the decision:
And while the patents themselves (or some of them at least) may well have considerable value, after the claims constructions by Judge Crabb and myself and after my grants of partial summary judgment only a handful of the original patent claims remain in the case; infringement of that handful may not be a source of significant injury past, present, or future.
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. Read More
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. Read More
Welcome to the 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 3 weeks or so.
This is the app roundup. The game roundup from this week can be found here.
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