GTKA is back! For those that don't know, this is the series where we compare the new version of Android to the previous one, in excruciating detail. I'm going to dub this the "Miscellaneous edition," because there is a bunch of new things I want to talk about, but they don't really fit into a nice, organized category. (This doesn't mean I'm running out of things to talk about, not by a long shot.) The usual GTKA style applies, Ice Cream Sandwich is on the left, Jelly Bean is on the right.
Piracy is a major issue for Android, and even more so for Android developers, which is why Jelly Bean introduced App Encryption. But this may be a case of the cure being worse than the disease: hundreds of developers of paid apps have chimed in on a Google Code thread, claiming that the encryption (or more accurately, the location of installed and encrypted apps from the Google Play Store) makes their apps entirely unusable, as account information and other stored data is removed after a device reboot.
Mobint, the dev team behind the original Holo Launcher (for Android 2.2+ devices), decided to jump into the Android 4.0+ launcher party recently with their latest entry in the Play Store – Holo Launcher HD.
Holo Launcher HD, like its older counterpart, gives your home screen the 4.x panache we've come to know and love, but is specifically modeled after Jelly Bean, and is only compatible with devices running 4.0 and above.
If you're serious about security on your Android phone or tablet, you probably know that the Face Unlock feature introduced in Ice Cream Sandwich is a long way from secure. While Google didn't make any claims to the contrary, it looks like the extra "Liveness check" (which requires the user to blink after the initial scan) is almost as susceptible. A group of YouTube users demonstrated how to get past the check with a photo taken off of Facebook and just a few minutes of Photoshopping.
In a post to Google's Android Building group today, Jean-Baptiste Queru once again acted as the bearer of good tidings for developers and tweakers everywhere, announcing that "a new set of proprietary binaries for Jelly Bean are available."
The new batch of binaries includes those of the Nexus S and Nexus S 4G (Crespo and Crespo4G respectively), the latter of which we just recently saw added into the AOSP fold.
Sudo Make Me An App has just released Sudo QuickLaunch to the Play Store, an app that handily replaces Google Search's swipe-up gesture in Jelly Bean with a list of your favorite apps.
If you're like me, you hit the search bar in Jelly Bean more often than you swipe up to get to Google Search, so Sudo QuickLaunch is a welcome addition that not only makes that gesture useful, but can keep your home screen clutter-free.
Recently, a Sony representative took to Facebook to announce the company's Jelly Bean plans for some of its Xperia devices. As it turns out, Sony wasn't too pleased with this move and has now backpedaled on everything the rep said, adding that it was still "actively investigating" Jelly Bean upgrade options. In the meantime, the rollout of Ice Cream Sandwich to Xperia S and 2011 Xperia smartphones will continue as planned.
After owners of the Nexus S i9023 and i9020T got an official 4.1.1 Jelly Bean OTA last night, the update has become available for the Nexus S' i9020A variant as well.
Just like before, the update can be downloaded straight from Google's servers, though Google has indicated that the OTA should be rolling out to Nexus S phones on "a number of carriers," meaning the wait for an automatic update prompt shouldn't be long.
Good news for Nexus S owners – your OTA update to 4.1.1 Jelly Bean is ready and at least one user has reported it rolling out to his i9023 already.
The 114MB update, which brings the Nexus S' build up to JRO03E, is also available to download directly from Google's server for users with either the i9023 or i9020T hardware variants. For those wondering, this update shouldn't wipe data during installation.