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
Android typically makes its bread and butter on phones, with a side order of tablets. Palm-sized media players aren't usually on the menu, save for Samsung's own offerings. Today, the company announced a refresh for its handheld phone-less device. The notPod may not be the most in-demand category of devices, but if Samsung's taught us anything this week, it's that the company isn't one to turn down a niche market.
If you've downloaded anything Temple Run-related from the Android Market, you've been scammed. We do our best to keep you informed, but this app in particular seems to spark a lot of fakes. Thankfully, Imangi Studios, the developer behind Temple Run, announced on their Facebook page that the app isn't out yet, but when it is the company will announce it at least a week in advance.
The sheer number of scam apps that have been appearing in the Android Market is astounding.
Looking to "help you catch up on technology news in minimal time and on your own schedule," Briox introduced Riversip to the Android Market recently. Riversip without a doubt provides a unique take on the "news reader" concept, automatically choosing news sources based on user-chosen topics, and showing only the top headlines, instead of clogging up your screen with every headline available.
Riversip also makes a point of its incredibly easy user experience, promising that "no setup or learning time [is] required." The app also allows users to see what other sources have reported on a given topic, providing a multitude of different angles for each headline.
CyanogenMod has been growing lately. The AOSP-based custom ROM reached one million unique installs last month, and dozens of devices are currently supported, including a wide array of LG devices. It's time to welcome a new member of that family: the T-Mobile LG myTouch.
Definition: A "nightly" is a bleeding edge release that is built on a daily basis, usually at night after a full day's worth of new code has been committed.
Google just got one step closer to finalizing its acquisition of Motorola Mobility with approval from the 27-member European Union. Google still needs approval from the U.S. and China, as well as a few other key jurisdictions, before it can bring Motorola into the fold, but at the moment things are looking rosy for the Big G.
The EU did express some hesitations about the deal, however. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia had this to say in a statement to the press:
"This merger decision should not and will not mean that we are not concerned by the possibility that, once Google is the owner of this portfolio, Google can abuse these patents, linking some patents with its Android devices.
You're a robot scout in space. Your name is iDaTank. You're relaxing, enjoying a nice day of whatever it is robots do on their One Fine Day off, when suddenly you get a transmission! There's a sequence of unidentified signals out in space! Since you're a robot, you are concerned with such things. So, the adventure begins to track down the source of the signal. And it had been such a fine day...