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. The update, which users report taking around 30 minutes to download, is rolling out automatically now.
In a post to Toshiba's Thrive forums earlier, a rep announced the update, indicating that it includes improved video and audio performance, improved camera functions, and improved signal strength/connectivity.
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.
Besides providing a smooth Jelly Bean aesthetic, the launcher has plenty of customizable options, making it a competitive entry in the current fray of ICS/JB launchers. Users can add up to 9 home screen pages, each with icon grids up to 10x10, utilize a scrollable dock with up to 7 icons per page, use gestures to open apps (something that can't be said of Nova's free offering), and apply icon packs compatible with either ADW or Launcherpro, in addition to a handful of other handy features.
There's no question – HTC's latest flagship, the One X, is a fantastic device. One major gripe that users have had from day one however (besides broken multitasking) was the pesky menu bar that served to replace its missing capacitive counterpart. Any time users opened an app that wasn't optimized with the Ice Cream Sandwich-style "action overflow" button, the large black bar would appear.
All that is changing for owners of the AT&T-connected One X today though, as a 270MB OTA update (carrying software build 2.20.502.7 and bringing the handset up to ICS 4.0.4) eliminates the bar, instead giving users options to remap the device's multitask key to follow one of three sets of behavior: Always open recent apps, press for menu and long press for recent apps, or press for recent apps and long press for menu.
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.
The technique is ridiculously easy: find a relatively clear photo of your mark, use a photo editor (Paint.NET in this case) to cover his or her eyes with their corresponding skin tone, and flash the original and modified images on a monitor.
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:
With this upgrade, your device will now run on Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich). Additionally, here are some feature enhancements included with this software release.
Applications & Widgets + V CAST Media Manager has been updated to Backup Assistant Plus with an enhanced user experience.
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.
Because I don't have a Rezound myself, I can only verify that the build number in the RUU matches up (3.14.605.12), and there are mentions of 1.16.002 and 2.10.002 which are also both present in the OTA's PRI version.
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. That's the bad news.
The good news is that we've actually been in the possession of the full .12 RUU for a while but haven't bothered releasing it unless we could verify it was indeed the final OTA (it seemed too minor compared to the previous .10 leak).
Following last month's major update to the Android Asset Studio, the studio's Device Frame Generator has been given a new home under the "Distribute" tab at developer.android.com. For those not familiar, the Device Frame Generator is a tool that allows developers (or anyone, really) to wrap their screenshots in high-quality images of real devices, creating a stunning context for your app (or mockup).
Along with its new location, the generator has a new name: Device Art Generator. Users of the old generator will be happy to know that it has maintained its original functionality (like options for adding screen glare or shadow to your generated image), and works just as well (if not better) than before.
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.
The set also includes updates to the both the GSM Galaxy Nexus (maguro), and Verizon's Galaxy Nexus (toro, which itself is ever so close to full AOSP support).
Conspicuously absent from the party is Sprint's variant of the Galaxy Nexus, but there's no surprise there.
Google has again updated the current platform version numbers, and they show a reasonably good uptick in the usage of Android 4.0 variants. However, Google's new baby, Jelly Bean, is still bumping along at less than 1% even with all those Nexus 7 tablets.
Last time Android 4.0 was almost 11%, so those new devices and updates are definitely helping. Gingerbread was, and still is the majority of devices, but it's dropped a few points from roughly 64% to a touch over 60% now. As a reminder, Gingerbread is 20 months old now, and there's really no reason for it to still be so prevalent when ICS has had over half a year to build.