One of the most prominent new features on the Galaxy Nexus, and Ice Cream Sandwich, is that the soft-keys are displayed right on the screen. While the notion is a sound one, there will always be those who miss some of the legacy features left behind. In this case, those would be the Menu and Search keys, stalwarts of Android's interface paradigm since its release with the G1. What was once four buttons - Home, Menu, Back, Search* - has been whittled down to just Home and Back, along with the introduction of the new multitasking-purposed App Switcher button.
Dear Android Custom ROM developers: I love most of you. Really. You're part of what makes Android so awesome, because you're so enthusiastic about it, and about making it better. Because of you, we have awesome things like CyanogenMod.
I want to give you some numbers. Let's just look at some popular Android devices:
ODIN is a handy, yet powerful tool for Android-powered Samsung devices that allows users to flash firmware updates and kernels using a relatively simple interface.
Looking to channel the power of the ODIN tool into something a bit more, well, mobile, developer Chainfire has released Mobile ODIN, a tool that allows rooted users to flash firmware straight from the app's interface.
What's more, Mobile ODIN Pro comes with a tool called EverRoot, which will ensure that no matter what you're flashing, you'll maintain root privileges, even if you're attempting to update your device with a leaked version of official firmware.
You might remember this video, which cropped up earlier this month, showing off an Android-powered contraption that mixed drinks automatically. Well, it would appear that the device, lovingly named iZac, (after a barbot from the popular show Futurama) has made its official debut, mixing real cocktails for patrons at the Creative Sandbox in Sydney.
Right now, iZac can handle dispensing up to six liquids, and the Android interface includes an "I'm Feeling Lucky" option, which ostensibly creates a totally random concoction for those feeling bold.
This diminutive little guy is more than meets the eye. It weighs 21 grams, which is the same as the bag of the Cotton Candy it is codenamed after. The unassuming USB stick is actually an Android 2.3 Gingerbread powered device that packs a wallop. Here are its specs:
Dual-core 1.2-GHz Samsung Exynos ARM CPU
microSD card slot
The magic happens when you plug Cotton Candy into a Windows or OSX device.
Since before the launch of Amazon's Kindle Fire, the Android community has been atwitter, planning to break through the shopping giant's custom Android variant to achieve a true Android experience. Coming one step closer to that, BriefMobile has provided detailed instructions on how to get the Android Market running on Amazon's affordable 7" slate.
Of course, the Kindle Fire is not compatible with all the apps in the Market, so you may notice a few missing.
In what is undoubtedly one of the coolest mods I've seen in months, developer picard666 has released an interactive Mario lockscreen for MIUI. So awesome, in fact, that words can't properly describe it. Take a look at the "diagram":
The top cloud shows the current time, and the two clouds below show calls and messages (left and right, respectively). To unlock into calls or messages, you take control of Mario and have to make him hit the corresponding coin box - a coin pops out (optionally with the accompanying sound), then your phone launches the appropriate app.
Unlike some vendors which shall remain unnamed (*cough*, HTC, *cough*), Amazon didn't make us wait for the mandatory open source bits of the Android Fire's kernel and released them over at their Source Code page the same day the tablets themselves started arriving in consumers' hands. The download, which comes as a compressed tar.gz, weighs in at a whopping 809MB.
The source code should allow for custom ROMs and tweaks to the OS, which we can hopefully expect soon, considering the Fire has already been rooted.
The Kindle Fire, Amazon’s content-subsidized tablet, has been arriving to the delight of people all across the U.S. The heavily-skinned Gingerbread Android device has left many questions in the minds of the Android and Gadget community. For instance, will we be able to install apps outside of the Amazon Appstore? How about using adb? And, of course, the most important question of all - can the Fire be rooted?
If you remember, Amazon said it wouldn't do anything special to prevent rooting or interfere with those who want to customize their devices in other ways (although the status of the bootloader is unknown at this time).
Developer bponury, the mind behind WifiKill and FaceNiff, has created something that looks pretty awesome, if you're the owner of a GSM-enabled HTC Evo 3D. That something is the Slide 2 Wake kernel, which allows you to wake and lock your device by sliding a finger across your Evo 3D's capacitive buttons. The kernel is still in its very early stages, but seems to perform quite well.
While the kernel is only running on one very specific device for now, there is hope for at least a port to the CDMA variant of the 3D, and perhaps other devices with capacitive buttons as well.