With Ice Cream Sandwich on the horizon, we at AP thought it would be a good idea to give you a roundup of what Google's been cooking up in Building 44. We actually know a good deal about the future of Android; I'm talking real, solid facts. These are features Android engineers have demoed or talked about, and acquisitions Google has made related to Android technology. We even have pretty clear timelines for most of them.
When we first reported on Motorola's alleged Xoom 2, very few - if any - details were certain. An anonymous tipster has been piling on the information since then, however, providing photos, (some) specs, and perhaps the most interesting detail of all - a second, smaller version of the Xoom 2, expected to be billed as an "e-reader replacement."
The Xoom 2's smaller relative appears to have the same rear buttons (power and volume rocker) as its larger counterpart, and a generally similar form factor, if not yet completely polished.
The update isn't showing up on Rogers' own website yet (under the Support tab), but if you go through Samsung's Kies upgrade software (go here, click Support, then Download), you should find it sitting in plain view, itching to jump over to your device.
Galaxy S users, if you've upgraded, let us know how it went and if you experienced any issues.
Nexus One owners, you've got an update waiting for you this evening. The version number is 2.3.6 (GRK39F), which will apply right over 2.3.4 GRJ22. If you still haven't gotten yours OTA, we've got the download link and instructions below.
As for the changes it brings, we haven't gotten much to go on except for the following blurb: "important bug fixes and security patches." If it's anything like the Nexus S 2.3.6 update, it will contain a fix for the voice search bug (was this even a problem on the Nexus One?
Update: After receiving a distraught email from Team ACS, it has been brought to our attention that their root method may not be the cause of signal loss on the Epic 4G Touch. We're currently researching the details and will update this post accordingly.
Update x2: According to new information we received, there have been reports of this same issue happening on non-rooted phones. We're not sure how things got twisted around to point the finger at rooted devices, but we do know that Sprint is looking into it.
The HP TouchPad Android port has been a fascinating journey to follow. Last we spoke of the device, Team CM showed off multitouch and GPU acceleration; and, since then, great strides have been made in the way of the port. Basically everything works as it should now, including Wi-Fi, sound, the accelerometer, 3D games, and video acceleration.
While everything appears to be running smoothly, Team CM reminds us that this is still a closed alpha build and it's not quite ready for the masses, as "things still aren't as reliable as [they'd] like."
For more information on the status of the project, check out this thread over at RootzWiki.
Let's be honest: the Parrot AR.Drone is awesome. It's an awesome idea, it's an awesome design, and we had super high hopes for it. Unfortunately, one huge, massive, undeniable flaw means this bird will spend most of its life on the ground: battery life. It's that bad.
But before I, admittedly sadly, twist that dagger into the heart of this toy, let's go over what it does well - and why we're optimistic about Parrot's future smartphone-controlled vehicles.
It's now been exactly a year (minus one day) since I published my very first editorial for Android Police, Let Android Be Android. A lot has changed since - dual-core CPUs are now table stakes for a high-end smartphone; Android has evolved from an exclusively mobile OS to a software powerhouse for phones and tablets alike; and we've been given several seminars on stretching the truth about the speed of a wireless network (yep, that would be the "4G" drama).
HTC Merge users on US Cellular, your day has come. Forget about Froyo, aka Android 2.2, and zoom straight to the latest version of Android available for non-Nexus phones - 2.3.4 "Gingerbread" (HTC version 3.10.573.1 to be exact - the image below taken from the update guide is outdated).
The update will need to be applied on a computer using HTC Sync and will wipe your device clean of emails, contacts, calendars, apps, bookmarks, and any other personalization - it'll basically be back to stock.