08
Jun
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If you're fortunate enough to have Ice Cream Sandwich on your smartphone (either officially or unofficially), then you already know that the stock launcher is a huge improvement over previous versions of Android. However, it's not perfect.

Enter my personal favorite third-party launcher for ICS devices: Nova. This isn't the first time that we've mentioned Nova Launcher on AP, but it just received an update that definitely brings some note-worthy enhancements to an already-great application.

07
Jun
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Version 5 of the popular music-identifying app SoundHound just hit the Play Store, bringing a handful of enhancements and improvements to the app.

The first thing you'll notice is the new interface, which features a new homescreen with a "carousel of content" where you'll find top songs, most shared songs, and most tweeted songs. Also in the carousel is a new "song stream" feature where you can hear new singles from various artists directly within the SoundHound App.

07
Jun
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Version 3.0 of HD Widgets landed in the Play Store this morning, bringing a completely overhauled interface, all new widgets, and far more customizations that ever before along with it. I've been playing with the release candidate for the last couple of days (though I've been using HD Widgets for quite a while), and I have to say: this is the best version of HD Widgets yet.

HD Widgets

For starters, all of the standard widgets have been updated with more color options, better customization, new backgrounds, and more overall detail.

06
Jun
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Google has just announced at today's Maps events that Google Maps offline download feature, previously a "labs" option inside the Google Maps for Android app, is going official. According to the Google, the feature is "coming soon." Unfortunately, there was no word on support for offline navigation.

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Here's are some (less than great) shots of the interface in action on a tablet:

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From what we can tell, the interface has been improved and it is now much easier to make an offline area selection than it was in the Labs version of the feature.

06
Jun
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Last Updated: August 2nd, 2012

Google TV is one of those products that Google tends to forget about most of the year. Today, though, the platform is getting some love as Sony Google TV devices are getting a firmware update to version 2.1.1. Included in the update will be the ability play movies rented via Google Play (about time) as well as watching movies via youtube.com/movies.

Logitech's update, on the other hand, is less straightforward.

05
Jun
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Google has just published the fully flashable image for the 4.0.4 update to the Verizon Galaxy Nexus (mysid). This allows users who either have been unable to receive the OTA due to using a custom ROM, or simply haven't updated, to flash their devices with a complete OS image, as opposed to using an incremental update file.

mysid

This will erase all of your data, so if you do flash it, be sure to back up your stuff.

04
Jun
xoom

It's been a long time coming, particularly for the pioneer Android tablet, but the Ice Cream Sandwich update for Verizon's 4G Xoom is rolling out today as expected. The update brings the Xoom to the very latest version of Android available - 4.0.4.

An over-the-air rollout has started today, but if you are too impatient to wait for that, you have the option of installing the update manually (this method requires the use of a USB host cable):

04
Jun
smartwatch

If you own a Sony SmartWatch, you may want to ignore the impending update to the SmartWatch app on the Play Store right now. Some users are reporting that, after updating the required app, their watches are experiencing random reboots, notifications no longer working, and random disconnects. We've reached out to Sony for comment, but so far we've heard nothing back.

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It appears that version 1.2.33 of the software began causing problems.

01
Jun
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It is once again time to gather round and take a look at the Android platform distribution chart, Google's periodic pie chart which records the distribution of our friend Andy's various versions.

This time around, there isn't a whole lot to be surprised about – Gingerbread (2.3-2.3.7) handily outweighs all other Android versions, snatching up 65% of the overall pie. Froyo (2.2), which deftly dominated the chart just under a year ago, has shrunk to a comparatively teeny 19.1%. 

Meanwhile, Android's latest (and greatest) iteration – Ice Cream Sandwich – is slowly making progress, having clawed its way up to 7.1% of the chart.

01
Jun
T-Mobile-Samsung-Galaxy-S-II-official-launch-date

T-Mobile just announced via Twitter that its iteration of the Galaxy S II will be getting the Android 4.0 bump come June 11th.

No update doc is yet available on T-Mobile's website illustrating the changes, but one should be coming sooner rather than later.

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