As expected, Google [finally] took the wraps off Android 4.3 At today's "Breakfast with Sundar Pichai" event. On the surface, 4.3 is all too familiar, as it essentially looks identical to 4.2 in that there isn't a single distinctive thing to tell the two apart from a UI perspective. However, that doesn't mean there isn't anything new – it's all under the hood, baby.
Let's take a look at what's new:
- Multi-user with restricted profiles – content control on the user level
- Bluetooth Low Energy support
- OpenGL ES 3.0
- New DRM APIs – Netflix is the first to support it, full 1080p streaming
- ...a lot more new APIs
Android 4.3 will be available on the new Nexus 7 at launch, and will also be rolling out to the Nexus 4, current Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and the Galaxy Nexus beginning today. Read More
Google has announced the much-anticipated successor to the Nexus 7, released a little over a year ago, today at a small press conference. Hugo Barra introduced the device, which has been leaked extensively in the past month (several of those times being here, more recently).
The new Nexus 7 is thinner by 1.8mm, and narrower by 2.75mm on each side of the bezel in portrait orientation. It's also 50 grams lighter. Read More
The new Nexus 7, which has already been fully revealed and benchmarked earlier today, just popped up on BestBuy.com for pre-order in both 16 and 32 GB capacities. As expected, the refreshed 2013 N7 runs:
- Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (you can read about some of the new Android 4.3 features here)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro @ 1.5GHz processor with Adreno 320 GPU
- 2GB DDR3 RAM
- 7" 1920x1200 IPS display with antifingerprint and scratch-resistant glass
- 16/32GB internal storage
- 5MP rear and 1.2MP front-facing cameras
- BT 4.0
- Notification LED
- No SD card (did you really expect one?)
- 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi
- Qi wireless charging-compatible
- 3,950 mAh battery (up to 9 hours of active use)
- 7.9" x 4.5" x 0.3"
Wireless charging isn't mentioned, so I'm becoming less and less convinced it's capable of such a feat. Read More
Google jumped the gun just a little bit and shipped tomorrow's version of Google Music today, which means we've got about 12 hours to spoil even more of the surprises Google has in store for us at their "Breakfast with Sundar Pichai" event. Let's get to it.
Music ships with all sorts of support for something called "Chromecast." It's basically Google's version of Airplay. Check this out:
<string name="error_start_session_failed">Unable to start a session with the Chromecast device.</string>
<string name="error_session_ended">Lost connectivity with the Chromecast device.</string>
<string name="error_ramp_command_failed">Failed to control the media.</string>
<string name="error_no_session">Not currently connected to the Chromecast device.</string>
Connect to a remote device, and start playing media! Read More
So, the folks at Canonical have been talking up their Ubuntu smartphone platform for a little over six months. Today they revealed their ultimate plan to revolutionize the smartphone world, a fantastic Death Star of a concept device: the Ubuntu Edge. It's a beautiful slab of metal that features some of the most outlandish mobile hardware ever seen, it runs Ubuntu for smartphones, doubles as a dockable ARM-powered desktop, and dual-boots Android. Read More
It's been quite some time since we heard major release information from the ROM developers at the Android Open Kang Project, or as the cool kids call them, AOKP. After three months of relative quiet (though plenty of development and testing has been going on behind the scenes) The team just announced AOKP Jelly Bean Milestone 2, a complete and hopefully bug-free build that brings a ton of new features. Read More
Some devices get all the ROMs. Of course, for the Google Play Edition of the Galaxy S4, that's kind of the point. Late last month an early version of Android 4.3 was leaked for the phone right around the time of its Play Store debut, and now an even newer build labeled "JWR66V" has popped up. According to XDA Developers forum poster Jahon, it was build on July the 11th, and now it's been re-packaged into a ROM file flashable in the custom recovery of your choice. Read More
Several hours ago, an Android 4.3 system dump was leaked for the Nexus 4. As it turns out, even though the bootloader and the radios weren't included, the system dump is totally bootable. I'm running it right now. If you want to try it out, it's easy to do so, but be prepared to have your bootloader unlocked and flash some zips via a custom recovery. If you don't know what any of this means, I suggest you get familiarized with Android flashing first. Read More
For the past few hours, I've been observing a curious case of Jeff Williams on Google+. Jeff posted a screenshot of what he claimed was a Nexus 4 he bought from a Googler... with a build of Android 4.3 on it. The same build, JWR66N, that we saw leaked earlier on a Galaxy S4 GPE by SamMobile.
In disbelief, some have called him a hoaxer, but a number of resourceful folks decided to get Jeff on IRC (channel #Android43 on freenode) and worked with him for hours, trying over and over to get the magical system dump that would prove Jeff's story to be real. Read More
Community developer LlabTooFeR has reason to believe that Android 4.2 will, in fact, be coming to HTC's One S. A series of tweets late last night between Llab and a few followers indicate that the One S "Ville" model (the version using a Snapdragon S4 processor) will receive Android 4.2 one way or another.