Google's Android Developer's site got a massive overhaul today, with a brand new UI, tons of new features, and a unified guide for developers on how to design, develop, and distribute their apps all in one place. The new site is fantastic-looking. Clearly Google wants to engage developers more and give them more guidance on how to succeed on the Play Store. So, what say we take a tour?
For anyone who's been kept in the dark, or just doesn't know everything there is to know about Android yet, Google's provided newcomers with a section just to tout the advantages of developing for Android.
About a month ago, Motorola updated its Ice Cream Sandwich update timeline. While we've already seen one update go live on schedule, we're still waiting on official word for the rest of the handsets on the list. Late last night, however, an ICS ROM for the Droid Bionic surfaced, and it seems to be a mostly-complete build.
Flashing this is extremely risky, and could potentially brick your device. You've been warned!
Say what you will about Sony and its mobile products, but the complete transparency regarding ICS updates on the 2011 Xperia line has been nothing short of impressive. In their most recent blog post, Sony has detailed the ICS update for the Xperia S, which is rolling out now.
The update features a new features a new suite of entertainment apps: Walkman, Album, and, Movies. According to Sony:
The “WALKMAN” application blends the best of signature Sony audio technology with social features; to discover the music your friends like and share personal favorites.
Following last month's Transformer Pad 300 (TF300) OTA update to v184.108.40.206, ASUS is pushing out a new bug fixer v220.127.116.11 with a host of improvements, the most notable one of which is the upgraded camera firmware. I just completed the process on my tablet, and it only took a few minutes.
So what's new in .30? This question is answered by none other than... ASUS Finland, of course, which provided the upcoming changelog almost a week ago on the Facebook page in all its Engrish glory:
TF300T ICS v18.104.22.168 - SYSTEM – improve stability of Chrome browser - SYSTEM – improve camera performance - Pictures more colorful - better audio- white balance(AWB) and auto-focus(AE) - better continues-auto-focus (CAF) - SYSTEM – fix the bug “wifi occasionally fail to connect after resume from suspend status” - Appbackup – fix the bug “have to key-in password again after change screen orientation”
To force your device to check for this update, go to Settings > About > System Firmware Update and press Check Update.
One of the coolest features of Google Maps is the ability to show live traffic patterns on major roadways. Now, Google is rolling out this feature to seven new countries, as well as expanding coverage in 19 others. The new countries in the inner circle are Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Mexico, Peru, Romania and South Africa. Exciting!
As users of the service are no doubt aware, having your country or city covered doesn't necessarily mean every street is covered.
Owners of Archos' G9 series of tablets should be receiving an update today, bringing the software version of their devices to 4.0.7. The update contains mostly bug fixes, but also enhances graphics performance:
And you thought carriers/manufacturers didn't care about their customers! You should be ashamed of yourself! Turns out that carriers actually do care - why else would Big Red be preparing an OTA update for the old school Droid Incredible. Sure, it's far from a major update, but it it something:
Device Features, Improvements, & Fixes
Record and send a Visual Voice Mail to up to 10 recipients while seeing all parties in a list.
Popular deals service Groupon has had its Android app facelifted, resulting in a new look, as well as a couple new features and services. Take a look at the brand-new UI:
As you can see, the app now looks looks decidedly more Ice Cream Sandwich-y, has added a universal share button, and swipeable categories. You'll also notice new categories for Pets and Rewards (spend enough money at certain businesses and you get loyalty rewards).
Back at CES in January we got a first glance at Sony's latest flagship phone, the Xperia Ion. In our time with it, the device made an impression with its 720P display and 12 megapixel camera. As expected, this device is finally showing up on AT&T with an announcement today of the device's availability later this month.
As you can see, this is a phone with some serious media credentials.