Paranoid Android made headlines last week when it announced a new take on mutitasking called Halo. While the feature wasn't available for user testing at the time, the team has now pushed out early alpha builds for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 7 3G, GSM Galaxy Nexus, and Oppo Find 5.
This is still a "very early build" of the ROM, so expect bugs, crashes, and other odd side-effects that come along with using alpha software; in other words, don't expect to use this as a daily driver.
Still, the PA team claims to be about halfway through its Halo implementation, as it has broken integration into three phases: rewriting the framework, getting Halo performing its basic functions, and allowing notification-switching directly through the Halo interface.
Samsung has really been talking up the Note II lately. For good reason, too - it looks pretty amazing. While they have already showed off some of its more notable features, a new video of the Korean version is now available on YouTube highlighting a few features that we haven't seen before, like multi-window. Start around the two-minute mark below to catch it in action.
Pretty amazing, no? It's like they took everything Ron hated about the Note 10.1's "multitasking" feature and fixed it. They split-screen several different apps here - some proprietary, some not. GTalk makes an appearance (including a video-chat no less), as well as S Note, the stock browser, messaging, and a few more.
There's no question – HTC's latest flagship, the One X, is a fantastic device. One major gripe that users have had from day one however (besides broken multitasking) was the pesky menu bar that served to replace its missing capacitive counterpart. Any time users opened an app that wasn't optimized with the Ice Cream Sandwich-style "action overflow" button, the large black bar would appear.
All that is changing for owners of the AT&T-connected One X today though, as a 270MB OTA update (carrying software build 2.20.502.7 and bringing the handset up to ICS 4.0.4) eliminates the bar, instead giving users options to remap the device's multitask key to follow one of three sets of behavior: Always open recent apps, press for menu and long press for recent apps, or press for recent apps and long press for menu.
Vito Cassisi, the developer behind a piece of software that could potentially revolutionize the way Android users switch between apps, updated Switcher today.
Working on the principle that swiping gestures are naturally more satisfying (from a UX standpoint) than press-and-wait actions (a la Android's multitasking button), Switcher's functionality is entirely based on the utilization of universal swipe gestures to switch between running apps (or all apps).
According to the developer, the concept was first imagined when studying on the train, desperately wishing for a way to switch between notes and web that was faster than using home or back buttons.
Those concerned that the vertical "add" and "remove" gestures can rest assured that Switcher's pre-defined swipe zones (which rest fairly high on the screen) will almost never interfere with normal in-app scrolling.
Some of the most impressive features unveiled at tonight's Ice Cream Sandwich Announcement surrounded the home screen and multitasking. This time around, Google has packed an absurd amount of awesomeness into Android, and while the home screen is just the beginning, there's a lot going on that's worth discussing.
First up, we have resizable widgets - a feature many users adore from Honeycomb. Finally, users can resize widgets using Android's default launcher, making the possibilities for well-designed home screens endless.
Next we've got folders, a feature many users have been asking for since before Gingerbread. Users can now make custom folders of apps or contact shortcuts, and even re-order the items within each folder.
As promised earlier this week, Notion Ink CEO Rohan Shravan took time out of his schedule to answer a number of questions from Android Police. What did we ask the creator of the Android world's most anticipated tablet device? A lot of the questions you, our readers, wanted answers to - as well as a few of our own. The interview, in its entirety, below.
Questions From Our Readers
AP: Many have speculated about Notion Ink's production capacity - can you tell us how many Pixel Qi units were sold on pre-order? How many do you expect to be able to produce per month?
Apple has just announced that iPhone OS 4 will support multitasking, allowing users to dive in and out of apps and keep some parts of an app running in the background while doing other things.
This is all done through a pop-up dock like interface that can be accessed by double pressing the home button. This will bring up all the apps that are currently running in the background.
Steve Jobs said they’ve figured out how to implement multitasking without it being detrimental to battery life or the performance of the phone. The latest SDK allows developers to access a number of services supporting features such as background audio and social networking integration.
We have some interesting numbers today regarding tablet sales in 2010, courtesy of IMS Research - a research company specializing in a variety of topics, such as wireless communications, automotive, consumer, power, and security.
The report suggests that 24% of all tablets sold in 2010 will be running the Android OS. Microsoft will be following way behind at only 10% of the market.
The first place will be undoubtedly occupied by Apple's iPad, which was released 2 days ago and sold an estimated 700,000 units just on day one. We don't have the exact number from the report but Apple's share trumps all competition.