Today, with the official release of the Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and Nexus 7 HSPA+, Google has released the Android 4.2 SDK, "a new and improved Jelly Bean."
Along with the SDK release, Google has made available SDK Tools r21, the Android NDK, and of course some helpful API documents. Highlighting some of the benefits of the new SDK (and, by extension, Android 4.2), Google touts "Renderscript computation directly in the GPU" for the Nexus 10, "a first for any mobile computation platform," lock screen widgets, Daydream, incredibly enhanced support for external displays, and optimizations for international users. Read More
Before we get started, let's clarify something: this information is probably not relevant to you, unless you work for a major game publisher. Today, Ouya announced that they have some more Dev Kits available for pre-order if you want to get early access to the Android-based gaming console. The price tag (and this is why it's not relevant for you) is sitting way up there at $800.
For the cash, those purchasing the Dev Kit will receive one console, two controllers, and the OUYA Developer Kit. Read More
Following the ATRIX HD, the recently announced Electrify M destined for U.S. Cellular is Motorola's newest member of the bootloader unlock program. The Electrify M is basically the RAZR M with minor visual tweaks but, unlike its Verizon sibling, won't come in a separate, more expensive developer-friendly flavor. Instead, like the Photon Q on Sprint and the RAZR i/HD outside of U.S., it's unlockable out of the box.
An unlocked bootloader means Electrify M owners will have full blessing of US Cellular and Motorola to customize software on their devices and flash custom ROMs, in exchange for losing the warranty, of course (in case there is any confusion, Motorola specifies: "Once you get the unlock code, your device is no longer covered by the Motorola warranty; in other words, please don't blame us if things go wrong, even if they appear unrelated to unlocking the bootloader."). Read More
Welcome to the newer, friendlier Motorola, where every would-be Android modder is catered to. After creating developer editions of both the new Droid RAZR M and Droid RAZR HD for Verizon (the first from the manufacturer-carrier combo since the XOOM) Google's new acquisition is spreading the love to AT&T. The company announced the ATRIX HD Developer Edition, complete with unlockable bootloader, via its Twitter account today. There's currently no price or date available, beyond the fact that it will be available soon. Read More
Google has once again updated the Android platform distribution numbers. The numbers, released right on schedule today, show Gingerbread still leading the pack at 56% of devices (down from 57.5% last month), with Jelly Bean crawling up the ladder to 1.8%, up from 1.2% last time.
The two most important stat changes from last month, Gingerbread and Jelly Bean, are somewhat disappointing – both shifting at a lower rate than last cycle, but promised updates and leaked devices we may or may not see in the near future will likely help those numbers along. Read More
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
Another day, another Kickstarter project. This one actually looks like it could have potential, though. Ubi is an Android-powered speaker system that connects to your local WiFi network. The small black box plugs into a power outlet and is controlled primarily via voice. It comes equipped with colored LEDs for notifications, and an array of sensors including temperature, humidity, air pressure, and ambient light. To round out the specs, the box packs a full-size USB port and a 3.5mm audio jack. Read More
Speaking at SIGGRAPH 2012, a yearly computer graphics convention featuring some of the most prominent names in the business, Khronos unveiled updates for several key OpenGL properties including the specs for Open GL ES 3.0. OpenGL ES is the primary graphics API for mobile device platforms, including Android and iOS. As you would expect, the updates are rather technical, but here's an overview of what we can expect in the future. Read More
Following last month's major update to the Android Asset Studio, the studio's Device Frame Generator has been given a new home under the "Distribute" tab at developer.android.com. For those not familiar, the Device Frame Generator is a tool that allows developers (or anyone, really) to wrap their screenshots in high-quality images of real devices, creating a stunning context for your app (or mockup).
Along with its new location, the generator has a new name: Device Art Generator. 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