We know you don't always have time to read up on the latest Android stories every day - we can barely keep up ourselves at times. So, deep in the bowels of the Android Police test labs, we came up with a solution: bringing you all of the last week's important news in one convenient location. We call it the Android Police Week In Review - and you can also catch most of the news contained here in our weekly podcast (check it out, here).
Thanks again to the venerable JBQ of Google, the unmodified factory image of Android 4.0.4 for the Nexus S 4G (sojus, Android 4.0.4 IMM76D) is now available here. As JBQ states on Google+, this image is for those among you who have flashed to custom versions of AOSP and want to get back to factory state. No, by the way, there's still no word on an OTA update yet.
Break out your Dr. Evil jokes, if you've got any left. Facebook just announced that it will be acquiring Instagram, the popular photo-sharing app and recent addition to the Play Store family, for a cool billion dollars. You read that right. With a "b". Billion. To answer all the critics who were wondering what's so cool about Instagram: a billion dollars.
Google's data collection policies have been the subject of intense debate lately. From consolidating its privacy policies into one big document, to using personal Google+ info to power search results, Google and data have been making plenty of headlines. If it makes you feel any better, though, Google's totally willing to share that data with you! Enter Google's new Account Activity Feature.The service is opt-in and gives users a monthly report of their account usage.
The hits just keep on coming today, as Android 4.0.4 begins rolling out to the WiFi Xoom. The update carries with it a few new features, including quicker screen rotation, the ability to immediately lock the device when you press the power button and more. Users can check out the rest of the changes in the full press release below.
Thanks to some clever XDA members, the update is available for download now, if you don't feel like waiting.
If you're a politics junkie and not reading Politico, then you're doing it wrong. Politico is the go-to source for all the political news you can eat, and now it's available for Android tablets.
The app not only features the top-notch journalistic acumen that you've become accustomed to reading on Politico, but also a clean layout, intuitive interface, and easy-to-read text, thanks to user-definable size. It also support four different types of push notifications (which can also be disabled): breaking news, app tips, general alerts, and new app features; so you'll know the latest as soon as it hits the scene.
Widgets are one of Android's best advantages over other mobile platforms. Unfortunately, not as many app developers give attention to widgets as we'd like, which only makes us appreciate Beautiful Widgets even more. The famous clock/weather/battery widget developer, LevelUp Studio, is updating its suite of widgets with support for multiple weather forecasts and, more awesome than that, a web store for discovering/installing widget skins.
Taking a cue from Google's Play Store*, you can connect your Google account to the Beautiful Widgets Skins Market and automagically send skins to your device over the air and apply them without ever touching your device.
We'd heard whispers that the Galaxy S II might be getting an update to Android 4.0 on March 10th. After the announcement was immediately yanked from Samsung's site, we were skeptical. It turns out those suspicions were confirmed tonight via Samsung's official Twitter account. The date was errantly posted by Samsung's Filipino arm.
While the SGSII may not be receiving its update tomorrow, this does at least let us know that Samsung is working on it.
You're busy. We get it. You don't necessarily have time to keep up with the flood of stories coming out of MWC this year. You've got things to do. Well, this is all we do. So allow us to make things easy for you. Here's a roundup of all the best, most interesting things that happened at MWC this year.
Samsung Galaxy Beam And Galaxy Note 10.1
Continuing Samsung's recent foray into niche markets, the leading Android manufacturer announced the Galaxy Beam, a 4" Gingerbread phone with a built-in projector.
We got a look at the Excite 10 LE's at CES when it was called the Excite X10. Now, Toshiba is bringing the thinnest and lightest tablet* to the US market. The Excite 10 LE is identical to the Excite X10 aside from a couple of letters being rearranged. The slate still packs a "multicore" OMAP processor under a 10.1" LED screen. Unfortunately, the device will be launching with Honeycomb (3.2), but is "upgradeable to Android 4.0."
Here's the spec sheet:
Android 3.2, Honeycomb (upgradeable to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich)
10.1-inch diagonal LED Backlit widescreen Corning Gorilla Glass display with IPS technology and 10-finger multi-touch support