One of the highlights of Samsung's Galaxy Note II announcement at IFA yesterday was the increased functionality carried by the device's hallmark S Pen stylus. The Note II's version of the Pen, besides being "ergonomically designed for the perfect grip," allows users to quickly clip, crop, and edit screen content, adding further illustration and handwritten keyword recognition. The Pen now also features a unique "hover" functionality, whereby an app can recognize that the Pen is near the screen and react accordingly with contextual menus or other activities. Read More
Despite Verizon's best efforts to keep their own variant of the Galaxy SIII locked down, ingenious users haven't been deterred in rooting, flashing custom ROMs, and even bypassing the device's locked bootloader to use custom kernels. The fact remained, however, that VZW's SIII had a locked bootloader which, in general, is a hassle for developers and tweakers hoping to customize the SIII to its fullest potential. It was this fact that made Samsung's promised Developer Edition SIII appealing to many. Read More
One of the great things about Android's ecosystem is the number of indie developers who are able to enter the market successfully, providing a great product and inspiring would-be developers to join in. For many though, Android development in general is a mysterious topic. How an app or game goes from an idea to an entry in the Play Store is unknown, but (thankfully) not unknowable.
Of course, considering how major development studios bring apps to life doesn't require too much thought – major companies like EA, Disney, or Rockstar have no problem hiring designers and developers to crank out and maintain polished apps. Read More
Those wondering whether Motorola's recently-announced Atrix HD will carry a locked bootloader can exhale – in a string of tweets earlier this evening, Moto confirmed that, yes, the Atrix HD's bootloader will be locked and signed.
That being said, Moto indicated that their "goal" is to provide a way to "unlock the bootloaders on our devices to those who wish to do so," adding that more details are "to come."
What this means for the end user is that (for now) customization of the Atrix HD will be severely limited. Read More
Tasker is a versatile app to say the least. In allowing users to create and schedule sophisticated automated tasks, it has made a name for itself as one of the most useful apps available for Android. The developer behind Tasker, Crafty Apps, is now expanding on that functionality, working on Tasker App Factory, an extension of the original app which allows users to export certain actions as individual apps.
The app (which will only work for Tasker beta users) has the capability to create standalone apps which have no reliance on the main Tasker app to run. Read More
Ready for a mind-blowing example of what Android is capable of? You'd better be - Sensorcon, hoping for funding from Kickstarter, has thrown together a demonstration of Sensordrone, an accessory for your Android device that will be small enough to fit on your keychain and yet powerful enough to pack 13 different sensors under its hood, paving the road for hundreds of potential new apps.
In a nutshell, Sensordrone is an entire suite of sensors, useful for projects ranging from gas oxidization to color intensity measurement. Read More
HTC has given developers another treat today, in the form of kernel source code for the HTC One S. HTC's Dev Center has the downloads available, categorized by carrier and region. Unfortunately, the US variant on T-Mobile is conspicuously absent from the list. Previously, when HTC released the kernel source for the One X, the AT&T version was similarly missing and remains so to this day.
HTC hasn't explained why the US models are being left off the list, though it isn't difficult to imagine that the US carriers are simply more fussy than operators elsewhere in the world. Read More
About a year ago, Apple debuted in-app subscriptions on its App Store - now Google is following suit with the introduction of in-app subscription support on the Play Store. Developers can take advantage of this system very easily, by simply adding a subscription option to their apps with a price and billing period (subscriptions will show up for users in their Play Store under a new category). Google takes care of the rest - all subscriptions are auto-renewing, and can be managed by users through the Play Store interface. Read More
There are countless methods out there for learning Android development from the Android Bootcamp video series to the boatload of print publications currently in circulation to Google's own Android tutorials. Looking to create something both unique and helpful however, Android Cookbook has compiled a crowd-sourced set of recipes for "writing great Android apps," making them available for free online.
The online cookbook, which relies on user recipe submission and group moderation, was recently finalized for publication by O'Reilly, meaning it's now available both on the web and in print from various retailers. Read More