It's a good day to be an NVIDIA SHIELD owner. Valve's Android ports of PC shooter classics Portal and Half-Life 2 just dropped in the Play Store for $10 a pop. They're only for the SHIELD (even other devices with the Tegra 4 chipset aren't invited to the party), which is a bit of a mixed blessing - these games really require a full controller to play.
Portal was released nearly seven years ago as part of the Valve Orange Box, which also included a few other games. Seven years is an eternity on the internet, but the excitement was still palpable when Nvidia announced it was working on a version of Portal for the Shield. Now here we are just a weeks later and the game is about to hit the Play Store. The questions we have to ask are...
If you've never heard of Hisense, or you didn't know they made tablets, I wouldn't blame you. And for our part, we've done little to draw attention to its products. That doesn't mean they aren't desirable. People are buying its budget-friendly Sero 7 tablets, and some are even demanding that the source files get released. A quick visit to the company's Facebook page reveals more than a few comments on the matter.
After announcing KitKat and the Nexus 5 earlier today, and releasing the Android 4.4 SDK, tools, and other related goodies, Google has moved on to the next important step - source code. As announced on the Android Building forum, Android 4.4 is now trickling in, bit by bit, into the AOSP repos. If all goes well, we can expect it to complete within several hours.
Update: The source push is 100% complete.
Just like last year, the Google I/O app's source code has been released in an effort to get developers acquainted with Android best practices.
In a post to Google+ today, the Android Developers page outlined some of the things the source code has in store for those curious. Among them are techniques to implement responsive design across phones and tablets, use content providers and implicit intents in app navigation, using sync adapters to provide new content "in a battery-friendly way" and loads more.
Since their announcement last month, we haven't heard too much about the Galaxy Mega 5.8 and 6.3 (barring rumors of a delayed release). That doesn't mean Samsung plans on breaking its pattern of timely (or early, depending on your perspective) kernel source code releases. Keeping with form, Samsung has released kernel source for the 6.3" Mega's I9205 (LTE) variant.
There's no sign of the Mega's I9200 version (or the Mega 5.8) just yet, but given Samsung's track record, we can expect it any time now.
The difference is huge - it's like it went from Cupcake days to Jelly Bean in the blink of an eye. It would be nice if you could update Android the same way, wouldn't it?
Here are some images of the old (visible at archive.org) and new sites side-by-side (can you guess which one is which?):
- U.S.: Sprint and T-Mobile
- Asia: Taiwan and Hong Kong (CHT)
- Europe: unbranded European version, Italy (TIM), France (Bouygues), and Germany (O2).
Of course, the Canadian and Developer Edition had their own releases earlier this month.
Among US carriers, only AT&T and Cincinnati Bell are still unaccounted for, but likely to make their own appearances shortly.
Samsung, continuing its habit of timely code releases, today let fly open source kernel files for a handful of devices including Verizon's newly announced Galaxy Camera (EK-GC120), AT&T's Galaxy SIII Jelly Bean update (SGH-I747), and last but not least, AT&T's Galaxy Tab 8.9 Ice Cream Sandwich release (SGH-I957).
If you've been waiting to get your hands on a fresh batch of kernel source for these devices to tweak, develop, or ogle, now's your chance.
Amazon, "in accordance with certain free and open source software licenses," released today the open source code files for their 8.9" Kindle Fire HD, one of the latest tablets to join their wildly successful e-reader lineup.
The source code release comes about five days before the HD 8.9 was scheduled for official launch (though it actually began shipping today), giving those who want to tinker, develop with, or simply ogle the fresh batch of source a fair lead time.