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Stock Android Isn't Perfect: These Are The Things I Can't Stand About Jelly Bean

In my reviews, I frequently abuse and pick apart TouchWiz, Sense, and MotoBlur. I point out flaws, say "that's stupid," and wonder what the heck was going on when someone approved whatever half-baked change they've come up with. A lot of the UIs shipping on phones today are bad.

But it's not just the 3rd-party skins. Stock Android isn't perfect either, and that's what we're here to talk about today. Jelly Bean has all sorts of confusing user interfaces, weird bugs, things that don't make any sense, and things that desperately need polishing.

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A History of Pre-Cupcake Android Codenames

You know the Android codenames, right? Starting with Android 1.5, they're alphabetical snacks - Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jelly Bean. But what about before 1.5? What were those called? And why did they start with C? We've got real answers from real Googlers.

Wikipedia's Android Version History is a pretty awesome article, but, as of a few days ago, it was erroneously calling 1.0 and 1.1 "Astro" and "Bender." We had never heard of this, and there wasn't a good source attached to it, so we took to G+ to set the record straight.

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Editorial: What Has Alibaba's Aliyun Shown Us About Google's Assertion Of Control Over Android?

In the last week, many tech-savvy westerners have gotten more familiar than they probably would have ever liked to with a Chinese company by the name of Alibaba. Most of those people still probably aren't aware just quite how huge the Hangzhou-based firm is.

Its net worth is somewhere in the neighborhood of $30-$40 billion. It employs over 25,000 people. Its campus is a piece of architecture worth appreciating on its own merits.

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Samsung Drops First Jelly Bean Kernel Source, For Euro Version Of Galaxy S III LTE (GT-i9305)

Samsung has just released the kernel source for one its devices running Jelly Bean for the first time; specifically, the Galaxy S III LTE that will be released in various markets across Europe (such as the UK's Everything Everywhere network) next month.

This version of the phone, though, is significantly different from the LTE-enabled variant we have here in the US. Instead of a dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, the GT-i9305 Galaxy S III is using an Exynos 4412 quad-core in tandem with an in-house Samsung LTE baseband chip.

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Aliyun App Store Confirmed To Be Distributing Pirated Android Apps, Many From Another Pirate Site

A couple of days ago, we ran a story about a circulating rumor that Google had expressed strong concerns with the launch of an Acer phone powered by Chinese Internet firm Alibaba's Aliyun OS. As the post explained, Alibaba claimed that Google had warned Acer that releasing the CloudMobile A800 could result in the search giant "terminating its Android-related cooperation and other technology licensing with [Acer]." These rather strong words led to speculation over just what the issue could be with Aliyun, and whether Google had issued the warning at all.

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Google On Acer's Canceled Phone Launch: 'Non-Compatible Versions Of Android, Like Aliyun, Weaken The Ecosystem'

Last night, we reported on some pretty strange rumors concerning an Acer product launch set to take place Thursday in Shanghai. The rumor was that Google had put its foot down over Acer's announcement of an Aliyun-powered smartphone, and threatened to "terminate all android-related cooperation" with the Taiwanese manufacturer should it proceed with the CloudMobile A800's introduction.

In case you missed the story, Aliyun is an OS developed by Alibaba Group, China's largest Internet firm by transactions.

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Google Introduces "Apps Focus" On The Play Store - Bringing Together Topical Collections Of Great Apps

Notice something new on the Play Store today? Google just added another featured area that should provide just a little more discoverability for apps with slightly narrower audiences, in the form of the "Apps Focus" section.

The first Apps Focus topic? Fashion and Style - bringing together a collection of some of the best apps for the chic-minded. While I can't say this one's up my alley in particular (seriously, what do I know about fashion?), I'm definitely interested in seeing where Google takes the Apps Focus feature in the future.

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Nissan And Infiniti Are Going To Start Processing Car Lease Returns With An App

Have you ever found yourself annoyed that returning a leased vehicle to the dealer takes too long and requires too much paper? Well, if you're a car dealership, you actually might find this to be a real hassle. And it's a problem Nissan has decided to tackle in the US. Starting this month, Nissan and Infiniti dealers will use an app (for iOS or Android) to return a customer's leased vehicle to the dealership.

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[Update: Rolling Out] Verizon's Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Update LP11 Arriving With ICS Soon

The support docs for Verizon's variant of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 have just been updated with details of a new OTA LP11 that will bring Ice Cream Sandwich. The update for the Wi-Fi version started rolling out in the US several weeks ago, and T-Mo started pushing the update through Kies to its variant earlier this month.

It's nice to see Verizon make right in a somewhat timely manner, as this update brings some really nice features to the device, and the addition of ICS makes it feel like an entirely new tablet.

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Acer Reportedly Cancels Announcement Of Aliyun-Powered Smartphone Following Google Warning, Says Alibaba

Earlier this evening, Nasdaq reported that Taiwanese manufacturer Acer decided to cancel a press conference scheduled for Thursday, which would have seen the announcement of Acer's CloudMobile A800.

The smartphone, which would have been unveiled in Shanghai, was set to run on Aliyun, a mobile OS developed by a Chinese Internet firm called Alibaba Group, the largest internet firm in China by transactions. Acer indicated that the press conference was canceled after Google, according to Nasdaq, "expressed concerns about the smartphone."

An anonymous official at Acer commented that "Acer will continue to communicate with Google and the company still wants to launch the new smartphone based on Alibaba software."

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