I have a couple requirements for any application that wants to help me with organization: it has to have a functional desktop client to sync to. This is nothing against Android's system, but I find that if I have to do any extended typing on it, my enthusiasm for the app fails (coincidentally, along with my time management skills). This is what's kept me from using Astrid with the enthusiasm everyone seems to be talking about; all my time isn't spent on my phone, so why should I leave my tasks there?
Beginning and experienced developers will appreciate the latest altruistic move by the core Android team member Roman Nurik who, now that the Google I/O conference is over, revealed the full sources for the I/O 2011 Android app for everyone to see.
If you haven't used the app yet, I am here to tell you that it's an Android masterpiece, in both UI/UX (user interface/usability) and coding paradigms. The app utilizes the new Fragments API heavily, so the source should provide plenty of implementation guidelines for those just picking it up.
A lot of interesting products and services have been demoed at Google I/O 2011, including a number of interesting features for Ice Cream Sandwich, Android's forthcoming iteration. One of the less flashier features demoed is the 0-click peer-to-peer NFC sharing. This allows compatible Android devices to share content (contacts, links, YouTube videos) between the devices by simply placing them in close proximity to each other. No app needs to be run and no buttons need to be clicked - hence the "0-click" moniker.
I've never been a big proponent of using folders on my home screen; I'm the kind of guy that can fit all the apps he uses frequently on a 5x5 grid. With the possible exception for a "Games" folder, I find them pretty useless. I mean, the app drawer itself is one big folder, and if there's anything I really need to access, it goes on my front page.
However, I've been playing around with a tool that's making the maintenance and use of folders a bit more practical.
So you have your shiny new tablet in front of you, fire up the market, download the Facebook app, and then it hits you: this app sucks. It was meant for phones, not tablets. Wouldn't it be great if there were a Facebook app that was optimized for tablets? Yeah, that would be pretty rad... Oh, wait, there is! It's called FriendCaster Tab, and according to the developer, it's the first Facebook app optimized for tablets.
The popular do-everything notepad app Catch Notes received an update today that includes full Honeycomb support and provides some advanced features specifically designed for tablets. Among the new features is an improved UI that makes the app much more intuitive on the larger screen. You can now expect to see multiple views on the same screen, which will make note input a much more fluid task, along with an enhanced note editor that will allow for much faster note taking, and better overall organization.
With all the I/O updates today, something managed to fly under our radar just long enough that we only noticed it when checking out the new Music beta. Google's Android Market now suggests applications based on what other users have installed.
While not a particularly ground-breaking update, this should aid in app discovery for those of us who're always looking for new things to install. Check out the Android web Market to see the difference!
Google has announced during its keynote presentation Tuesday morning that it will be bringing movie rentals to the Android Marketplace. Starting at $1.99, these titles will be featured just like apps.
The presenter also demonstrated a "pinning" function, which allows movies to be stored for offline use. This prevents you from losing access to your movie when your network is unavailable, or wish to save your data connection from a heavy workout.
We've had leaked betas of Google's Music 3.0 app for Android for what seems like time eternal now, but Google has finally chosen to make the app public. At least part of it, that is. It sports the same interface as the beta we've all come to know (and love?), but lacks one key feature, mysteriously: a settings menu. That's probably owing to the fact that the previous betas we've seen all contained sync (Google Music) options in the settings menu, and unless you're a beta-invitee (don't worry, none of us have gotten ours yet, either), these options will presumably remain hidden and otherwise inaccessible.
At Google's I/O Keynote Tuesday, it was announced that Android may be worming its way into your house in the near future - not just through your phone, tablet or TV, but through other appliances, as well. Android@Home is a system meant to be used as a conduit between your devices and appliances win your home, like the lighting or music systems.
As it was demonstrated for the keynote audience, the presenters had linked various lights to an application in the tablet, dimming them or turning them off as they performed different actions.