We saw a video yesterday of a Samsung Galaxy S III running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, with a revamped notification bar and access to Google Now. Fast forward 24 hours, and you can now get hold of that firmware yourself to try it out on your very own Galaxy S III.
One of the most common complaints against Google's Play Store is the lack of certain content or functionality in countries outside the US. Google has been making progress in expanding access to other corners of the globe, though. You may remember, for example, that Play Books hit France just last month after Play Movies opened for the French in March and for Spain in June.
Today, Google (finally) brought Play Movie rentals to Germany, much to the delight of German users who have been asking for more Play content for quite some time.
A new Google Play Store v3.8.15 apk started rolling out to Android devices today, but upon running through its UI, I was unable to uncover anything different from the versions before that. Yet the apk size gained a few
pounds kilobytes, and not knowing what the 300KB of code and resources added was killing me. Not to worry, a few minutes later, I decoded both 3.7.15 and 3.8.15 and compared their contents.
In something of a surprise, it appears Samsung has already been hard at work on preparing the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update for the Galaxy S III, as evidence by this YouTube video posted by AndroidMX. The build is labeled as i9300XADLG4. It's definitely looking legit, and while the visual changes to the Galaxy S III in Jelly Bean seem minor, there's no doubt that many owners of the device are absolutely chomping at the bit for access to Google Now in its full, un-ported glory.
I remember the first time I really heard about Flash for Android. Well, maybe not heard about it. The first time I got sort of excited about it. It was in San Francisco, at a trendy Spanish-restaurant-meets-brewery back in the summer of 2010. The taps were pouring freely (and by that, I mean free of charge), tasty little hors d'oeuvres came at us from from all directions, and everyone was having a good, if typically nerdy-awkward, time.
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.
Two weeks after ICS first hit the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe and mere days after the kernel source release, the delicious 254MB update has now reached the States. The Android version is 4.0.4, and the Samsung version is IMM76D.UELPL (also P7510UELPL depending on where you look). Go ahead and check for it manually if you don't see a notification just yet or fire up Kies.
Congratulations to all the Wi-Fi Tab 10.1 owners.
As most of our readers are surely aware, the Apple vs Samsung case is still boiling, and over the course of nearly two weeks since the trial's beginning, document after document has revealed juicy details from both sides regarding previously unreleased designs, plans, and even sales figures. While so far we've avoided piecemeal coverage of the case's twists and turns, a new development (reported earlier this evening by The Verge) reveals something particularly interesting.
I know I'm starting off with a question here that most Android fans are going to have a knee-jerk reaction to - "absolutely not, the more Android-powered smart-stuff out there the better." After all, we want to live in a world where our refrigerators know what's inside them, where our laundry lets us know on our phones when it's done, and our cars' infotainment systems aren't so god-effing-awful (even the best ones really are terrible).
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.