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.
If you're going to be messing around with custom ROMs at all, it's a good idea to have a nandroid backup at the ready. A recent backup can save you a lot of time and heartache if things end up going sideways. However, backing up your system used to mean rebooting into recovery and waiting for 5-10 minutes while everything progressed. That's not the end of the world, but every barrier to backing up makes people less likely to do it.
Last month, owners of Toshiba's 10-inch Thrive tablet were dealt a blow when the manufacturer announced that the tablet's official update to Ice Cream Sandwich would be delayed to "early Fall." This news came several months after Toshiba had initially indicated an "end of Spring" release target for the update.
After all of that, it appears that the Thrive is finally receiving its update to Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich today – for real this time.
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.
If you still had any doubts at this point that the HTC Rezound Ice Cream Sandwich update was indeed rolling out as reported by the first batch of users, let me dispel them right now. Verizon Wireless just updated the official document detailing the Android 4.0.3 rollout (it's indeed HTC build version 3.14.605.12 and Sense 3.6). Here are some screenshots of the doc along with the changelog:
The HTC Rezound ICS update finally started rolling out today, and what do you know - it looks like the same version 3.14.605.12 that we've been holding onto for a few weeks. Since the OTA version matches the RUU we have, we're releasing it for those who don't necessarily feel like waiting for the staggered update or want an ability to restore back to full stock, or simply want to roll their own custom ROM.
After countless leaks, a rumor of questionable origin, and a missed target release timeline of June-July, it looks like Verizon has opened the flood gates, and the HTC Rezound ICS update has started rolling out to the first batch of users, just a few days late.
Update: Verizon just officially confirmed.
The 299MB OTA bears the same version 3.14.605.12 that we heard about a few weeks ago and may take several months to become fully available to 100% of devices.