Manufacturer user interfaces (UIs) can be a bit of a hot-button topic in the Android world. Some prefer vanilla Android, à la CyanogenMod. Others have no issue with them whatsoever, and even actively seek to restore some of the functionality. (Others still prefer to roll their own, or like the ability to switch at will...
While we've had a chance to put Samsung's upcoming flagship Tab 10.1 tablet through 3 weeks of rigorous testing, there was one thing left that we could not touch - the custom TouchWiz UX tablet interface, also known as TouchWiz 4.0. If you remember, Samsung announced last week that the first tablet units would be running pure Honeycomb, just like our review unit, with the TouchWiz upgrade arriving over-the-air sometime after.
Ahh, Google I/O, how we'll miss you for the next 365 days or so. The last 2 days have been filled with anticipation, knowledge, surprises, excitement, and fun - the perfect recipe for happy developers. As a developer myself, I've picked up heaps of new information, especially from the SDK Tools and ADT session by Tor Norbye and Xavier Ducrohet, and viewing the keynotes was simply a blast.
As you may have seen yesterday, day 1 keynote and sessions were already posted last night, and now the same fate reached the sessions and keynote from day 2.
It's that time of the week again folks - time to hit the polls. This week's question is one that'll allow you to express what you think an Android handset should let you do in terms of customization, modification, and other various tinkering (think rooting, custom ROMs, kernels, etc). Basically, we want to know how important it is for you, as a consumer, that your next phone be easy to customize.
It's April 28th, the official release date for the 2nd generation Droid Incredible from HTC, and if you haven't studied this phone in detail yet, you're probably wondering just what exactly has changed since the original "Dinc" entered the market last April. Let's have a look, shall we?
First and foremost, just like the Droid 2 Global Edition, the new Incredible 2 is a world phone with both CDMA and GSM frequencies.
When it comes to testing bandwidth throughput of your Android device, the Speedtest.net app is considered a de facto standard - it's functional, the UI is gorgeous, and there is a good chance they have a server pretty close to your location. I've tried all the speed testing programs in the Market, and always kept coming back to this one. For a long time the app has remained unchanged on the Market, lagging behind its iOS counterpart and its shiny new user interface.
Yesterday at CTIA, Samsung unveiled its revamped Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the all-new Galaxy Tab 8.9 (check out our live coverage of the event). Unfortunately, that's about all Samsung did with them - neither was ever powered on. Samsung's CTIA exhibit housed the new devices in glass security cases (as you can see below), while early "prototypes" of the 8.9 and 10.1 running Honeycomb with Samsung's TouchWiz 4.0 overlay were available for hands-on time, in order to demonstrate some of the software the company plans to include when the devices are released.
If you've been dying to imitate the Honeycomb UI on your device, things have certainly been looking up for you lately. First we saw the digital and analog clock widgets hit, and shortly after, Honeybread was released. Then, just a few days ago, the stunning Honeycomb boot animation dropped. Now, XDA members have come through again with a LWP inspired by the stock Honeycomb wallpaper.
Developers nemuro and Xaffron teamed up to create the LWP, and are offering it for free for the time being.
Android has advanced by leaps and bounds with the last few revisions. Android 2.2 (Froyo) famously brought massive performance improvements, 2.3 (Gingerbread) brought many subtle (and in sum, quietly substantial) usability and UI improvements, while 3.0 (Honeycomb) is bringing an entirely new UI to the OS.