From poorly-executed "leaks" to potential legitimate sightings, there's been a lot of hubbub about Google's supposed unified messaging service, likely called Babel. This isn't necessarily surprising. After all, if you asked most Android enthusiasts what feature they most wanted from the platform in its next iteration, you'd hear a lot about unified messaging. We've tried to stay clear of covering every flurry of Babel-related murmurings so far, but today we saw something new – Google+ user Patric Dhawaan posted a screenshot of what he says is a notification in Gmail, triggered when "pruning" his inbox.
As we all know, Facebook had an announcement earlier this week. The most pervasive social media outlet on the planet announced Facebook Home – a product that essentially amounts to a highly integrated launcher for your Android phone. It also announced the HTC First, a phone optimized for Home, offering a fully Facebook-ed experience.
The launcher is actually pretty nice – features like the unfortunately-named Chat Heads are almost enough to sell this writer on the idea of making an Android hamburger out of a phone, with Facebook Home serving as the top bun (or maybe the lettuce).
Well, it's that time again – time for the monthly update to Android's Platform Distribution Numbers. Each month, Google publishes the latest figures, letting developers know what versions of Android are currently dominating active devices.
This month, we're seeing a familiar pattern – Gingerbread is continuing its slow descent, hitting 39.8%, down from 44.2% this time last month. Meanwhile the latest and greatest – Jelly Bean – accounts for exactly 25% of the overall distribution, meaning it's finally hit one quarter of all tallied devices.
Go ahead and file this one in the Super Cool Tech category. A Russian blog, Rozetked.ru, posted video of a Galaxy S2 running two copies of Android at the same time. The three-and-a-half minute video takes us through a demo switching between a pair of ROMs while playing music from both, proving that the hardware resources can be shared. After the audio segment, we are shown decently high frame rates on a 3D benchmarking app and Angry Birds.
April Fool's 2013 is here (at least in some time zones), and the Internet has already given birth to a few early pranks. We will spend the next two days second-guessing every piece of written content, getting rickrolled, and generally feeling the way members of bomb squads do on their missions.And we will
hate love every minute of it.
So, let's take a look at the best Android, mobile, and Google-related jokes that hit the web this year.
Yesterday, we finally decided to get to the bottom of Google Keep's new font, Roboto Slab. Shortly before that, however, we had an internal discussion about Keep's strange UI/UX. The app is beautiful – there's no denying that – but weird when considered alongside Google's other in-house apps. What's more, I'm of the opinion that the app isn't just a one-off in terms of design – I think that Keep, along with a few other hints, could give us some insight into what we'll see in the next version of Android (which we might see in May at Google I/O).
Google Keep, the app that Goog sprung as (almost) a surprise recently, is interesting. Its functionality is undoubtedly handy, and – if Google chooses to pursue the service in earnest – it could actually be a decent competitor to other note taking apps like Evernote.
Something else has had us interested though, and that's Keep's UI and UX. There are a few weird things going on, but one stuck out: what is that serif font?
Released last fall, Samsung's Galaxy Express is a plucky mid-range handset with – for those who don't know – a 4.5" Super AMOLED display (constrained by an underwhelming 480x800 resolution), a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, and a gig of RAM.
If you happen to be carrying around a Galaxy Express, listen up – AT&T, in a post to its Consumer Blog, announced today that an Android 4.1 update has begun rolling out to users, bringing with it everything you'd expect, from Google Now and rich notifications to Samsung-specific enhancements like Easy Mode, Blocking Mode (to keep unwanted calls and texts at bay), and a lock screen news ticker.
The PadFone 2 may have received its Jelly Bean update at the end of last year, but original PadFone owners haven't been so lucky. Fortunately, ASUS has decided to level the playing field again, releasing an update for the original device with Android 4.1.1.
In addition to the OS upgrade, the latest update also provides some improvements to other areas of the phone. Here's the full changelog: