A few months ago I wrote "Stock Android Isn't Perfect," an article where I turned my usual harsh UX critique on stock Android, instead of just picking on TouchWiz and Sense all the time in my reviews. The article went over pretty well, and even got a few responses from Googlers! I didn't cover everything that was wrong with Android, though, and there have been a bunch of updates since the original article, so it's about time I wrote a sequel.
Do you use AirDroid? You should. It's a fantastic piece of software. While Google tends to prefer using cloud services to manage your data, there is no central app that can access and change anything on your device. This app fills that need and does so amazingly. It's so great that we gave away 20 invites to the v2 beta recently. Now, the invite-only requirement is gone and it's available to anyone who can download it.
So, the idea of an Android-powered camera with a swappable lens intrigues you, yes? Well, last night we got a chance to play with such a device, the Polaroid iM1836... and moral of the story: execution, execution, execution. Polaroid, we think, got it wrong. While we were playing with a pre-production model, I can't help but feel Polaroid took a half-decent idea and managed to totally flub it. First, the video.
Not to be outdone by Nikon and Samsung, Polaroid has taken the wraps off of its previously leaked new Android-powered camera, the iM1836. Past its super-clever and easy-to-remember (not really) name, this offering weds an 18.1MP mirrorless body, 3.5" display, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth with Android 4.1 for an out-of-the-box hoot of a good time.
While there's no tentative release date for the iM1836 right now, the camera is already tagged with a price of $399, which includes a 10-30mm lens.
Sure, Samsung is stealing the spotlight recently with its Galaxy Camera, but did you know that other companies are working on Android cameras? Companies that have been making picture-taking devices for longer than most of us have been alive, even! Take Polaroid's IM1836, for example. This thing has leaked before in a couple different variations, and today were getting a glimpse at a unit that might be a little closer to final production.
Samsung, continuing its habit of timely code releases, today let fly open source kernel files for a handful of devices including Verizon's newly announced Galaxy Camera (EK-GC120), AT&T's Galaxy SIII Jelly Bean update (SGH-I747), and last but not least, AT&T's Galaxy Tab 8.9 Ice Cream Sandwich release (SGH-I957).
If you've been waiting to get your hands on a fresh batch of kernel source for these devices to tweak, develop, or ogle, now's your chance.
Normally I rip apart APKs looking for news-worthy items and unreleased features, but I've covered everything that's currently out, so this teardown session is going to be a little different. During my usual digging for features, I've stumbled across a surprising amount of unused files, movie references, and canceled beta assets. I've always thought it was a shame that no one knows about them, so today we'll be exploring all the crazy leftover files that ship on our phones and tablets.
The GoPro line of cameras are nifty little devices. These waterproof and shockproof cameras shoot 1080p video at 30fps and are compatible with a whole range of cool rugged accessories. As you film yourself in harrowing situations with a GoPro, you might not have the hands to properly operate it. That's where the new remote app comes into play.
Fire up the app, and you can stream the video output from the GoPro right to your screen.
We've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Galaxy Camera on AT&T for over a month now and today we finally received the juicy details we've been anticipating. The camera is going to come with a price tag of $499, putting it firmly outside the realm of your typical casual point-and-shoot market. However, you can knock $100 off that price tag if you buy it with an on-contract Galaxy smartphone. The camera itself will not be subject to a two-year contract, of course.
UPDATE: We've updated the links below with an install package that lets you capture and view Photo Spheres right on your handset.
One of the most popular features introduced Monday with Android 4.2 was a revamped camera/gallery app (that we got a peek at early). The camera introduces a new focus/settings UI (popping up with an "options ring" only when you need it), a refreshed gallery interface, and of course – Photo Sphere.