Well, it's official - the "project" Xoom owners have been waiting for is an update to Ice Cream Sandwich, meant as a soak test, expected to last through the weekend. Moto has begun pushing the new software as of 9pm PST. An anonymous tipster has provided us with shots of a private section of Motorola's official XOOM support forum, which confirm that the update is going live to those lucky enough to join the test group.
Google is finally showing developers what an Android app should look like. Android Design is Google's freshly launched style guide for Ice Cream Sandwich. It outlines everything developers should do to make a high quality app that "fits in" with the rest of ICS.
Most of the big stuff is covered: Icons, color swatches, grid layouts, writing style, touch feedback - it's beautiful. Apps are normally all over the place, it will be really nice to see some consistency.
In the custom ROM world, there's one name that can't be denied or avoided: CyanogenMod. It's the reigning champ of all custom ROMs, and for good reason - it's amazing. The CM team is always finding ways to innovate and bring new features to stock Android, resurrect older devices, and remove manufacturer/carrier restraints from modern devices.
Apparently we're not the only ones who think so, either - CyanogenMod hit one million unique installs last night.
Reports from CES 2012 indicate that Windows Phone 7 may be a competitive mobile platform, however Microsoft has decided to hedge its bets and continue making money from Android by signing a patent-licensing agreement with LG. The terms of the agreement will likely require LG to pay Microsoft royalties for all LG tablets, phones, and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome OS platform. This deal likely mirrors Microsoft's ten previous patent-licensing agreements with Android and Chrome OS manufacturers, including Samsung, HTC, Acer, and ViewSonic.
Guess what - all of the G9 tablets are scheduled to receive ICS starting the first week of February (they did let everyone know it would happen "in the near future" a few days ago, but we were able to get the most up-to-date timeline today).
The Ar.Drone, an awesome quad-copter by Parrot which we took a close look at back in September, just got a major upgrade. Parrot has unveiled the Ar.Drone 2.0, which brings many revisions (enhancements) to the original concept.
Update: Here's a look at the Ar.Drone 2.0 in action. Watch it flip!
One of the most notable improvements is that the drone's onboard camera can now beam 720p HD video back to your device.
Yesterday, Nvidia's CEO announced that the Ice Cream Sandwich (that's Android 4.0 for those of you new to the game) update for the quad-core Asus Transformer Prime would begin rolling out immediately. Sure enough, users started receiving the update, and we managed to snag and host the OTA ourselves (as well as help you prevent it from breaking root). For most, the update brought everything you'd expect from the hot new version of Android: even smoother, snappier performance, sleeker transitions, and various other perks.
Intel and Lenovo just announced the world's first Intel-powered Android smartphone: the K800. It utilizes Intel's Medfield mobile platform, with what we assume is the Atom Z2460 1.6GHz processor. Intel and Lenovo claim that the new Medfield platform is a "no compromise" mobile processor in terms of performance and battery life, though no exact figures were quoted. It actually looks pretty similar to Intel's reference device, and will be available in China (no US availability announced) some time in Q2.