We're all happy to see Android 4.3 finally make its appearance, especially as it brings some pretty important and positive low-level improvements like Bluetooth Low Energy and TRIM support. Unfortunately, new versions often introduce new bugs that slip by even the most diligent testers. Jelly Bean 4.2 had its fair share of issues, including an almost comically bad oversight: the total annihilation of December in the stock Contacts app. This is why each major release is often followed by a couple of bug fix OTAs in the following weeks.
In the greater history of computer gaming, Linux is a relative newcomer, still missing out on quite a few AAA titles and only recently gaining access to Steam. While the library of games is growing for the open-sourced OS, the actual development process is still locked in to Windows. Most of the tools used for designing 3D models (e.g. Blender), landscapes, and other graphics have made the transition to Linux, but the primary coding tools are mysteriously absent.
A little bit of connecting the dots has revealed that Qualcomm is the reason behind the new Nexus 7's lack of factory image / driver binary support. This has long-time AOSP maintainer Jean-Baptiste Quéru pretty upset. Upset enough that he is "quitting AOSP."
It's not clear if this means JBQ is quitting his job at Google (though the fact that he even wrote this kind of suggests he may be quitting / has quit), or that he's moving to a different part of the company / Android group.
Update: Looks like we were right.
ROM developers and Android tinkering enthusiasts alike have probably noticed at this point that the new iteration of the Nexus 7, unveiled two weeks ago, does not yet have factory images or driver binaries posted on the appropriate Google Developers page. A similar issue plagued the Nexus 4 in its early days, though eventually images were posted. At the time, legal issues were speculated as a possible reason for the delay, and Android build maintainer JBQ - largely responsible for the images / binaries - said only this in response: "I can't comment."
With the new Nexus 7, JBQ has not outright said that legal problems with Qualcomm are preventing the factory images (and possibly the driver binaries) from being published, but a quick look at the relevant evidence makes it pretty duh-obvious that's what's going on.
There seems to be a surge of mobile photography accessories on Kickstarter these days. Really, the trend makes sense – mobile manufacturers consistently tout their handsets' camera capabilities, and most everyone is prone to snapping shots with their phones. The desire to get better quality photos out of the most convenient cameras around is natural.
It looks like the new Google Play Services rolling out today held one more surprise besides hints of Android Device Manager. With the latest update, Android's Photo Sphere viewer can make use of the on-board compass, allowing you to navigate a sphere just by moving your device, much like Streetview's "Compass Mode."
To enter compass mode, users need only press the arrow icon in the lower left corner of the screen.
Just yesterday, Google posted to its Android blog about Android Device Manager – a tool that will help Android users keep their phones and data safe by offering location and remote wiping/locking features that third party solutions have until now been filling in for.
This morning, users started reporting that the service was rolling out to their devices already. Indeed, Android Device Manager is getting introduced by way of Google Play Services version 3.2.25, but it's not complete just yet.
Sprint announced the Flash back in November last year, when it launched with Android 4.0. Well, it's finally getting an update to Android 4.1... 9 months later. Ugh. The new software version is N9100V1.0.0B15. Improvements aside from things like Google Now and expandable notifications include enhancements to the camera app, which now includes blink detection, flash mode toggle, an EXIF data menu, and a detailed settings menu.
You can start checking for the update on your device now, though the rollout may be staged over the next week or two.
While we haven't heard much on the Android 4.3 update news front for the One or Galaxy S4 GPE other than "soon," it sounds like soon really may mean soon. HTC just released the Android 4.3-based kernel source and framework files for the One GPE on HTCdev.
The corresponding software version for the source and framework is 3.06.1700.10, while the kernel version remains unchanged at 3.4.10. You can download the kernel right here, and the framework files here.
There's no denying the usefulness of a keyboard when doing a lot of text input on Android, and there's no shortage of Bluetooth options that fit the bill perfectly. Anyone who spends a lot of time in email or a text editor likely has one of these handy little accessories laying around, but if that user also owns a Nexus device with 4.3, then they're in for a bit of a surprise the next time it's paired up: many Bluetooth keyboards no longer work post-update.