This post is very developer-centric. If you don't write software or you aren't trying to fall asleep, turn back now. You have been warned.
When most of us think about Facebook, open source software probably isn't the first thing that jumps to mind. As it turns out, the social media titan has quite a few public contributions that we rarely hear about. Since Facebook went native, Android development has become a high priority within the company. Among the many pleasant results of this shift, some of the internal tools may find their way into the public domain. One such project is Buck, an alternative build system similar to Ant, but designed to be faster and more modular.
Looking to create a more versatile and powerful build system for Android developers, Google has been working on what is currently called "New Build System," a tool that aims to (one day) replace, unify, and build upon the functionality of Eclipse's ADT and Ant build systems.
While the new build system is still in very early stages (just reaching build 0.1 today) and not yet ready to build ship-able apps, it's already proving useful. Our own Artem cites the ability to build both dev and production versions of apps simultaneously and the ability to use the same build process between ADT and Linux as signs that the project is already showing great potential.
This message is brought to you by the Anti-Lizard Society who would like to remind all lizards that squashing virtual ants on their smartphones is a much better substitute for real-life violence and would like to donate a number of Android device to the annual Ant Squashing competition.
If there's one thing we still don't know for sure about the Toshiba Android tablet, it's its name. At this year's CES, when the product was first announced and demoed, Toshiba refused to give up the name, simply referring to it as "the unnamed Toshiba tablet." The company then followed up with the site named just TheToshibaTablet.com, leaving us guessing and puzzled as to why it takes months to give a gadget a name. Then came guesses - Antares and ANT were both considerations, but it now seems like both were actually wrong (or rather, could be internal names) and the real name of the tablet will be...
The impossible has happened: thanks to a new software update, the Xperia X10's Internet and Maps applications are finally multitouch-capable. And as if that weren't exciting enough for X10 owners, the update also introduces support for bi-directional languages (i.e. Arabic, Farsi, Thai, and Hebrew) - a nice addition, though definitely not as high up on most users' wish lists as a version of Android more recent than 2.1 (or 1.6, if you're using AT&T's edition of the device).
And here's where things get interesting for X8 users - you guys are also getting this update, albeit with multitouch stripped out. Hey - if it's any consolation, the new software will make your devices compatible with ANT+, which enables support for "things like heart rate monitors."
Rikard Skogberg from the official Sony Ericsson blog says the update is now available via PC Companion, while an OTA is currently rolling out to "most markets." It isn't yet clear whether AT&T X10 users are getting this update, but I certainly hope so - otherwise, Big Blue headquarters might soon be a little...