28
Jun
currents

Google Currents has always been a pretty impressive app - arguably the best Android news aggregator around town. Especially praised has been its beautiful UI; however, that didn't stop Google from looking at what it had and making it even better.

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Indeed, the app just hit version 1.5.1, and the UI has been updated to "Android standards." Notably, the top navigation bar now features "auto hide" and "touch-to-show" controls, and it includes the library/trending toggle that was previously located elsewhere.

19
Sep
Let Android Be Android, part 2

Introduction

It's now been exactly a year (minus one day) since I published my very first editorial for Android Police, Let Android Be Android. A lot has changed since - dual-core CPUs are now table stakes for a high-end smartphone; Android has evolved from an exclusively mobile OS to a software powerhouse for phones and tablets alike; and we've been given several seminars on stretching the truth about the speed of a wireless network (yep, that would be the "4G" drama).

01
Jul
image

Skype, one of the most popular audio/video calling applications on the desktop and now property of Microsoft, has been long criticized for lacking any video support on Android and being generally unstable and prone to crashing. In an effort to rectify the situation and raise that 3.6-star Market average, the company released a major version update minutes ago from 1.0.0.983 to 2.0.0.45.

The update finally brings video calling, albeit to only a small subset of devices:

  • Google Nexus S
  • HTC Desire S
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia neo
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia pro

Update 7/1/11: The Nexus S 4G and the European Nexus S were added to the list of supported devices after a small 2.0.0.47 update today.

11
Jan
Screen shot 2011-01-10 at 8.37.05 PM

Introduction

If there's one thing CES told us about the upcoming twelve months in technology, it's that 2011 will be the year of Android tablets. And with noteworthy entries such as the Motorola XOOM, ASUS' lineup, and the T-Mobile G-Slate, it looks like the tablets' quality might be just as high as their quantity - at least hardware-wise.

But what about the software? After all, isn't a device's OS what makes or breaks it?

11
Dec
market_thumb1

Remember the new, upgraded Android market we told you about last night? Well, now it appears that the APK has been ripped and posted for all to enjoy (or loathe, depending on your personal feelings).

You can find it here  (mirrored by us) and it brings with it all the UI changes and issues (15 minute refund limit) we discussed earlier. I should warn you that as of now, the APK we have only works for stock Android 2.2 devices.

10
Dec
mototablet12102010

You could say December 7th ended with a bang - after a day crammed full of Gingerbread goodness, Andy Rubin came on stage at D: Dive Into Mobile to tease a next-gen Honeycomb tablet. Unfortunately, Google's VP of Engineering didn't give us a very in-depth look, so most of us were left hungry for more.

mototablet12102010

And more we have - in addition to the picture you're seeing above, Taiwanese forum member goldenstone provided us with the following specs:

  • 1280x800 display
  • 32 GB EMMC storage as well as a microSD card slot
  • NVIDIA Tegra 2 T20 dual-core CPU with 3D performance re-optimization
  • Gyroscope
  • 5 MP rear camera
  • 2 MP front-facing cam

Oh, and Motorola's got something hidden up its sleeve for those of you still bickering over which size is best - there will be both seven and ten-inch editions of the device.

07
Dec
image

Last night, Andy Rubin appeared at AllThingsD's D: Dive Into Mobile conference and, to everyone's surprise, demoed not a Gingerbread, but a Honeycomb Motorola tablet, which ran on a next generation dual-core processor. If you want to read more about the demo, head over to our report from yesterday; however, if you want to jump right into action and see the demo in all its glory, AllThingsD just posted a full 9-minute video of Andy's interview for everyone's enjoyment.

02
Dec
image

Wow, this went unnoticed for a while, didn't it? On November 23rd, Google's own GoogleinHK YouTube account posted a video walkthrough of the new Google Voice Search in Cantonese. With only 2100 views, this official Google-authored video did not grab anyone's attention, until someone noticed that it featured over a minute of the clearest Gingerbread user interface video we've seen to date. The greens, the blacks - it's all there. Have a look:

Update #2: the original video was pulled but luckily, I found another copy:

Update #3: another mirror, in case Google takes down our YouTube mirror.

26
Oct
image

One of the reasons I love Android is because you can customize the heck out of your experience. Replacing the stock launcher with Launcher Pro is pretty much the first thing I do now when I get a new phone because of the innovations a hard-working, smart, and dedicated engineer (Fede) can bring to the table.

However, Launcher Pro is not too much different from the stock UI, outside of tweaks and other little but important things - same goes for ADW and other home replacements.

26
Jul
Android SS1

Ever notice how Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp all use (nearly) the same start screen implementation?

snap20100726_155133 snap20100726_155137 snap20100726_155143

Apparently this is no coincidence. A presentation given at an Android Developer conference is urging app developers to conform to this design when developing their own apps. Why? Consistency lends itself to usability.

Android has long been a victim of its own openness—many claim it is a “geek” or “technophile” operating system. This stigma can, in part, be traced to the fact that Android apps have not been held accountable to any but the most lax standards (Eg, doesn’t blow up your phone) to be featured in the Android Market.

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