When Google announced its new Movies service today, some of the details of the service's launch were omitted in the information overload that is I/O. But now that we've had a minute to regain our composure and, you know, investigate, we've got some exciting news about Google Movies: you can start renting and watching right now (note: only the United States is currently supported):
The catch is that you'll only be able to do it from your personal computer (via the Web Market or YouTube in the browser) or on a Motorola XOOM in the Videos app for the moment (we're assuming that means it's limited to Honeycomb Android devices for the time being). Read More
Shortly after Honeycomb dropped, we were told that the next version of Android would bridge the gap between tablets and phones. That bridge was officially announced this morning at Google I/O: Ice Cream Sandwich.
Ice Cream Sandwich will be the newest version of Android, and it's going to bring the goodness of Honeycomb to phones, along with Gingerbread features to tablets. The update is due out in Q4 of this year, and the goal is to unify the Android experience across devices, which is a huge step towards ending fragmentation as we know it. Read More
We've had leaked betas of Google's Music 3.0 app for Android for what seems like time eternal now, but Google has finally chosen to make the app public. At least part of it, that is. It sports the same interface as the beta we've all come to know (and love?), but lacks one key feature, mysteriously: a settings menu. That's probably owing to the fact that the previous betas we've seen all contained sync (Google Music) options in the settings menu, and unless you're a beta-invitee (don't worry, none of us have gotten ours yet, either), these options will presumably remain hidden and otherwise inaccessible. Read More
Google just announced during the keynote presentation that Honeycomb is officially being updated to Android 3.1. The update will begin rolling out today for owners of the Verizon Motorola XOOM 3G - no word yet on when the WiFi model and other 3.0-rockin' tablets will receive the update, though.
They mentioned a few key improvements they've made with 3.1, though we're sure they only just scratched the surface. For example, they've improved multitasking to now allow more apps to run simultaneously. Read More
Artem's on the floor at Google I/O at the moment, but he's busy taking pictures and popping out highlights over Twitter. While he's busy with that, here are some highlights (via the Livestream).
- Activated over 100m Android devices worldwide
- 36 OEMs
- 215 carriers
- 450k developers
- 310 Android devices
- 112 countries
- 100k activations/day in 05/2010
- 200k/day in 08/2010
- 300k/day in 12/2010
- today: 400k/day
- over 200k apps available in Android Market - "quality of these apps is phenomenal"
- Honeycomb being updated to 3.1 starting today
- Android has true multitasking - now allowing more apps to run at a time with a new system that automatically halts/shuts down apps
- Widgets improved - can now be resized
- Whoa - they're
playing (unsuccessfully) attempting to play a game on the XOOM using a 360 controller.
Well, that was fast. It hasn't been very long since the vold exploit was found that allowed root access to Gingerbread and Honeycomb systems, but Google has already patched it and moved the fix into the AOSP code (see these commits: , , , ). This means that once this update is pushed, we will need to find another route to achieve root access on devices running Gingerbread and Honeycomb. Read More
Up until now, if you needed a file manager on your Honeycomb tablet you were stuck using one that was designed for phone versions of Android, which didn't always translate well to the larger screen. Software developers Rhythm Software saw this issue, grabbed it by the horns, and took care of it. The end result? File Manager HD.
File Manager HD is the first file manager specifically designed for Honeycomb tablets (according to the developer). Read More