One of the most prominent new features on the Galaxy Nexus, and Ice Cream Sandwich, is that the soft-keys are displayed right on the screen. While the notion is a sound one, there will always be those who miss some of the legacy features left behind. In this case, those would be the Menu and Search keys, stalwarts of Android's interface paradigm since its release with the G1. What was once four buttons - Home, Menu, Back, Search* - has been whittled down to just Home and Back, along with the introduction of the new multitasking-purposed App Switcher button.
You know what you need on a Tuesday morning? Some news about three of the most anticipated things coming out before the end of the year all wrapped into one video: the ASUS Transformer Prime, the Tegra 3 processor, and Ice Cream Sandwich.
After the release of the Ice Cream Sandwich source code, the guys at NVIDIA got together with the Prime crew from ASUS to get a build working on the Prime as quickly as possible.
If you don't know who Trevor Eckhart is, you might remember a little piece we published earlier this year about a massive HTC data vulnerability caused by the company's data-logging operations. Trevor was the guy who found that vulnerability and did almost all of the legwork in investigating it. Since then, Trevor has been hard at work looking at more mobile data logging applications used by various manufacturers, including one written by a company called Carrier IQ.
Dear Android Custom ROM developers: I love most of you. Really. You're part of what makes Android so awesome, because you're so enthusiastic about it, and about making it better. Because of you, we have awesome things like CyanogenMod.
I want to give you some numbers. Let's just look at some popular Android devices:
- T-Mobile Galaxy S II: 9
- AT&T Galaxy S II: 8
- HTC ThunderBolt: 23
- DROID BIONIC: 7
- Epic 4G Touch: 10
What do these figures represent?
Adobe, the company that has effectively become the authority on digital media creation, recently released their family of Touch Apps for Android. This release brought six amazing tools to the hands of design professionals everywhere, enabling incredibly breezy, fluid creation, editing, and concept workflow experiences for just $10.00 a pop. Perhaps more impressive than the apps themselves is Adobe's Creative Cloud. The Creative Cloud is essentially a cloud storage space, which allows users to upload and download content, to and from tablets or desktop machines.
Earlier this month, Adobe announced that it would be halting development on the mobile version of Flash, which included support for Android devices. More recently, it was realized that the current version of Flash isn't compatible with Ice Cream Sandwich, leaving early adopters of the Galaxy Nexus without the ability to view flash content on the web.
Adobe has now confirmed that it will be bringing Flash to ICS devices before the end of 2011, but it will not support any version of Android past 4.0.
For those who are anxious to get their hands on Ice Cream Sandwich, another bit of Android's newest iteration has slipped out. This time, we've got the ICS keyboard. While it doesn't include the live voice-to-text functionality we were impressed by at Google's announcement (though there are options related to the microphone button in the keyboard's settings), it does bring some nice improvements to the table over Gingerbread's keyboard.
Love 'em or hate 'em, Beats are a hit. Annual sales of the pricey headgear are reported to approach half a billion dollars a year. During a recession, no less! My favorite Android handset maker, HTC, has even entered into a partnership with the company that promises to play your music "the way it was meant to be heard." I can't personally speak to the quality of the sound, but I'm sure any enhancement would be lost on me; audiophiles would turn their nose up at the paltry 192kbps quality I rip my CD collection to.
ODIN is a handy, yet powerful tool for Android-powered Samsung devices that allows users to flash firmware updates and kernels using a relatively simple interface.
Looking to channel the power of the ODIN tool into something a bit more, well, mobile, developer Chainfire has released Mobile ODIN, a tool that allows rooted users to flash firmware straight from the app's interface.
What's more, Mobile ODIN Pro comes with a tool called EverRoot, which will ensure that no matter what you're flashing, you'll maintain root privileges, even if you're attempting to update your device with a leaked version of official firmware.
GTKA4.0 is back! (That's right. We're cool enough to abbreviate now.) Welcome to Part 5: Contacts. The Contacts app has seen the biggest change of any app from Gingerbread to Ice Cream Sandwich. Everything is different. It's not even called "Contacts" anymore, It prefers to be called the "People" app. We've got a lot to cover.
Unfortunately, unless you have a Nexus device (I don't), it's almost impossible to get a hold of a fully functional, stock Gingerbread contacts app.