Piracy is a major issue for Android, and even more so for Android developers, which is why Jelly Bean introduced App Encryption. But this may be a case of the cure being worse than the disease: hundreds of developers of paid apps have chimed in on a Google Code thread, claiming that the encryption (or more accurately, the location of installed and encrypted apps from the Google Play Store) makes their apps entirely unusable, as account information and other stored data is removed after a device reboot. As a result, Google has apparently disabled the security feature for the Play Store on Jelly Bean devices.
Mobint, the dev team behind the original Holo Launcher (for Android 2.2+ devices), decided to jump into the Android 4.0+ launcher party recently with their latest entry in the Play Store – Holo Launcher HD.
Holo Launcher HD, like its older counterpart, gives your home screen the 4.x panache we've come to know and love, but is specifically modeled after Jelly Bean, and is only compatible with devices running 4.0 and above.
Besides providing a smooth Jelly Bean aesthetic, the launcher has plenty of customizable options, making it a competitive entry in the current fray of ICS/JB launchers. Users can add up to 9 home screen pages, each with icon grids up to 10x10, utilize a scrollable dock with up to 7 icons per page, use gestures to open apps (something that can't be said of Nova's free offering), and apply icon packs compatible with either ADW or Launcherpro, in addition to a handful of other handy features.
If you're serious about security on your Android phone or tablet, you probably know that the Face Unlock feature introduced in Ice Cream Sandwich is a long way from secure. While Google didn't make any claims to the contrary, it looks like the extra "Liveness check" (which requires the user to blink after the initial scan) is almost as susceptible. A group of YouTube users demonstrated how to get past the check with a photo taken off of Facebook and just a few minutes of Photoshopping.
The technique is ridiculously easy: find a relatively clear photo of your mark, use a photo editor (Paint.NET in this case) to cover his or her eyes with their corresponding skin tone, and flash the original and modified images on a monitor.
Google has again updated the current platform version numbers, and they show a reasonably good uptick in the usage of Android 4.0 variants. However, Google's new baby, Jelly Bean, is still bumping along at less than 1% even with all those Nexus 7 tablets.
Last time Android 4.0 was almost 11%, so those new devices and updates are definitely helping. Gingerbread was, and still is the majority of devices, but it's dropped a few points from roughly 64% to a touch over 60% now. As a reminder, Gingerbread is 20 months old now, and there's really no reason for it to still be so prevalent when ICS has had over half a year to build.
Sudo Make Me An App has just released Sudo QuickLaunch to the Play Store, an app that handily replaces Google Search's swipe-up gesture in Jelly Bean with a list of your favorite apps.
If you're like me, you hit the search bar in Jelly Bean more often than you swipe up to get to Google Search, so Sudo QuickLaunch is a welcome addition that not only makes that gesture useful, but can keep your home screen clutter-free. Plus, those wanting swipe-up access to Google Search can place the Search app in their QuickLaunch tray.
Besides its functionality, one of the benefits of Sudo's new app is that it is simple – it works exactly how you'd expect, is ad-free, and requires absolutely no special permissions.
Recently, a Sony representative took to Facebook to announce the company's Jelly Bean plans for some of its Xperia devices. As it turns out, Sony wasn't too pleased with this move and has now backpedaled on everything the rep said, adding that it was still "actively investigating" Jelly Bean upgrade options. In the meantime, the rollout of Ice Cream Sandwich to Xperia S and 2011 Xperia smartphones will continue as planned.
The time has come friends. Factory images are now available for several Nexus devices. The current factory image (JRO03[C-E] depending on the device) is available for most Nexus S variants, though the Korean and Sprint versions are conspicuously absent. Similarly, the Verizon-branded Galaxy Nexus is still off the list, but all other Galaxy Nexus versions are accounted for. And, of course, the carrier-less Nexus 7's factory image is available.
For those who prefer bullet points, here are the devices with factory images available as well as the build number for each:
- Nexus S (soju): Android 4.1.1 (JRO03E)
- Nexus S (sojua): Android 4.1.1 (JRO03E)
- Galaxy Nexus (yakju): Android 4.1.1 (JRO03C)
- Galaxy Nexus (takju): Android 4.1.1 (JRO03C)
- Nexus 7 (nakasi): Android 4.1.1 (JRO03D)
If you need to get back to the way things were when you first got your device, you can download the images from Google's download site right here.
The Nexus Q, unveiled at this year's I/O conference to a somewhat unsure audience, is a device that looks to unify your living room's media experience, allowing the streaming of all your Play Store content to connected speakers and TVs, while also allowing for remote control from your (or your friends') Android devices.
One of the Nexus Q's main claims to fame is that it allows anyone in the room to connect and share Play Store content quickly and easily. Until today, however, Google's Nexus Q app was incompatible with devices not running Android's latest iteration – 4.1 Jelly Bean.
Today's update fixed that, though, opening compatibility to all devices running 2.3.3 Gingerbread and later.
So it begins. Motorola has just begun rolling out the initial soak test (read: not yet public) update for the WiFi Xoom (sorry, Verizon users) to Jelly Bean. As in previous versions, users who signed up for this update will be among the first to use the new OS, provide feedback and then, assuming there aren't major problems and bugs get fixed, the update will roll out to everyone else.
Of course, as with ICS, the Verizon Xoom is getting left behind. This is likely because Verizon needs to do extra testing to ensure that the network radios work and everything is functioning properly.
After owners of the Nexus S i9023 and i9020T got an official 4.1.1 Jelly Bean OTA last night, the update has become available for the Nexus S' i9020A variant as well.
Just like before, the update can be downloaded straight from Google's servers, though Google has indicated that the OTA should be rolling out to Nexus S phones on "a number of carriers," meaning the wait for an automatic update prompt shouldn't be long.
RT @googlenexus: We've started rolling out Android 4.1, Jelly Bean, to Nexus S phones on a number of carriers with more to come. Enjoy!...