Ice Cream Sandwich will be the first phone version of Android to support virtual buttons. It seems like a lot of people don’t "get" the whole idea behind them. If used correctly, virtual buttons will be way better than the painted on Back/Home/Menu/Search we have now. So I figured I would lay out the benefits for everyone and hopefully start a nice discussion.
Head Android honcho Andy Rubin made a cameo earlier today at Intel's Developer Forum to announce something we've all know was coming for a while now: Android support for Intel chips -- namely, the low-powered Atom processor.
Beginning next year, all versions of Android will come ready to run on Intel silicon from the core of the system up, and to show the progress that has already been made on that front, an Android-powered tablet and phone running on an Intel Medifield chip was displayed.
Each month, Research2Guidance puts out a report on Android Market paid apps, which includes how they stack up against each other. The current state of the Market is somewhat of a surprise, as weather and business apps hold the top two grossing spots, with productivity, media & video, and books & reference rounding out the top five. However, one of the most downloaded categories on the Market - games - doesn't show up on the list until number seven, suggesting users would rather download a free game, rather than pay for one.
Google has made good on its promise to expand carrier billing for the Android Market internationally today, introducing the feature to customers on various carriers in three countries. This is great news for consumers, and even better news for developers.
South Korean users on SK Telecom and KT Corporation, UK users on Vodafone UK, and German users on Vodafone DE will all be receiving access to direct carrier billing in the coming weeks.
From the beginning, Android users have been trying to guess what's in store for the OS, even down to what the next version will be called. While many have speculated on what Ice Cream Sandwich's successor will be named, This is my Next reported today that a "trusted source" revealed that the next version of Android will in fact be called Jelly Bean.
As usual we have no idea what version number this will be, but the source also divulged that "game-changing" features will be integrated into Jelly Bean, some of which were initially meant for Ice Cream Sandwich.
Earlier today we reported, with great skepticism, that Sony Ericsson would be bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to all of its Xperia devices. It looks like our doubts were dead on, as SE told Slashgear that "no such decision has been made."
Update: We knew it was too good to be true, and Sony Ericsson has released an official statement on the matter. Let's just say that Xperia devices may not be seeing ICS after all.
It seems Sony-Ericsson's PR arm has found its way straight to the heart of Android fanboys: by promising major OS updates. There really is no better feeling for an Android phone owner than knowing that, at some point, their phone will be getting the bump to the latest version of the Android operating system - and not left to die on the streets of software obsolescence.
At Google I/O this year, the newest version of Android was officially announced. Codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich, it aims to bring Honeycomb features to phones, Gingerbread features to tablets, and everything in between. The official announcement left us without a firm release date -- only that it would be released in Q4 of this year.
At the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco today, though, Eric Schmidt let a bit more info slip:
It's now been more than seven months since we first caught wind of the Serval project, which promised to allow Android users to make phone calls when conventional cell networks aren't available or simply don't work. Recently, however, the team's initial stab at network-free communication - an Android app called "Serval Mesh" - has landed in the Market.
As briefly mentioned in the above video, the Serval team also has another form of network-less phone calls in the pipelines: an inexpensive, relatively small phone tower that can be dropped into disaster areas by air.
Nope, Verizon still hasn't changed its mind about skipping the Galaxy S II, but if BGR's latest exclusive proves to be true, Android fans on Big Red needn't be disappointed. Indeed, the carrier is said to be launching the Samsung DROID Prime - likely a rebranded version of the long-rumored Nexus Prime - as early as this October.
The DROID Prime's primary claim to fame will, of course, be its operating system: BGR says it'll be the first Ice Cream Sandwich device on the market.