So you have that beautiful quad-core processor, but aside from games, what do you really use it for? Rockchip's newly unveiled upgrade to its Android multi-window system enables the windowed use of apps on Android tablets. Users can theoretically browse the web, stream a YouTube video, toggle system settings, and chat with friends without the hassle of hopping back and forth between full-screen applications. While we've seen windowed Android apps before, most notably on Samsung devices, only a few apps were supported, limiting the functionality's usefulness.
While Samsung has been dipping its toes into the single-screen multitasking world, Google has yet to do the same. According to noted Android and Google tipster ryan_socio (Ryan Matthews, not his real name), that's about to change. Ryan posted a message to The Verge's social user section, detailing an upcoming version of the YouTube Android app that will let users watch videos and interact with the rest of Android at the same time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.