Yes, the Play Store has been plagued by issues. Not the least of which, if you don't live in the U.S. or Canada, you've probably had an even harder time than most getting your hands on Google's newest flagship phone. If you want to get in on the furiously refreshing action, and you happen to live in the UK or Germany, today is your lucky day! Starting at 5PM local time (GMT for UK, CET for Germany... so pretty soon), you can order the device directly from that search engine all your American friends keep saying has a horrible ordering system.
It's no secret that I'm a big fan of the Nabi 2 tablet for kids. As a father, I was extremely impressed with its vast suite of educational software, ease of use, and overall solid build quality when I reviewed it. The one major drawback of the Nabi 2 is that it's not really meant for pre-school-age children. Sure, it could help give your little little one a headstart, but $200 is a bit much to shell out when they may not even start using the device until the ripe-old age of five. Enter the answer to your quandary: the Nabi Jr.
Sprint and T-Mobile might have beaten the big boys to the punch, but now it's AT&T's turn to get its Galaxy S III updated to (almost) the latest and greatest version of Android. The 4.1.1 update has started showing up for users of the AT&T Galaxy S III (that's the SGH-i747) in the Samsung Kies update and sync software.
I'm going to do my best to make it through this article without making a Portal 2 reference, but this new SwiftKey feature is not making it easy on me. After recently announcing Flow, the Swype-like gesture input method, someone inside SwiftKey HQ thought to themselves "Well, you know, this is great and all, but man, what's with all this raising-my-finger nonsense? So inefficient!" So now the company is demoing Flow Through Space. It's nearly identical to the familiar method, only it predicts your entire sentence without the need to start fresh with each word.
Of course, it would be silly to criticize the utility of shaving a few milliseconds off of text input on a phone or tablet.
With the end of another month comes a fresh batch of Android platform distribution numbers. Like clockwork, Google has once again updated their numbers, showing Gingerbread's cold, withered hand still holding almost 51% of the pie (though it's down from 54.2% in October), with Jelly Bean making gains to 6.7%, up 4% from last month.
Predictably, Ice Cream Sandwich is still making some gains, rising about 2% to 27.5% from October, Honeycomb is holding tight at 1.6% with a mere 0.2% change for API level 13, and pre-2.3 releases are still dropping off (though Cupcake and Donut are still holding on for dear life).
Normally I rip apart APKs looking for news-worthy items and unreleased features, but I've covered everything that's currently out, so this teardown session is going to be a little different. During my usual digging for features, I've stumbled across a surprising amount of unused files, movie references, and canceled beta assets. I've always thought it was a shame that no one knows about them, so today we'll be exploring all the crazy leftover files that ship on our phones and tablets. If you've ever checked out the deleted scenes section of a DVD, this article will be right up your alley.
OK, stay with me here - APIs are important. Case in point, ever notice how whenever one of your favorite apps uses a built-in Google Maps viewer, you suddenly want to open up the real Maps app? (Read: because the web maps viewer is old and ugly and terrible.) Today, that's all about to start changing. With Google Play Services 2.0[.10], Google's introduced a brand-new vector-based embeddable Google Maps view. That means that instead of sending you to a crappy WebKit browser map, apps can now directly call up the engine that powers the Maps app, and presto: native Google Maps in any app.
In case you missed the Black Friday deals on the Galaxy SIII but still want to get your hands on Samsung's flagship smartphone, Amazon's got a deal for you. The retail giant's Wireless arm is offering the Galaxy SIII (in your choice of white, blue, black, or brown) connected to Verizon for just $79.99 when you activate a new account or add a line to your existing service. This beats Amazon's previous deal on the SIII by about $20.00.
With an ample 4.8" Super AMOLED display, 2GB RAM, an 8MP camera, and a slim 7.6mm thick chassis, the Galaxy SIII is no doubt one of the best-spec'ed Android devices available.
The Nexus 4 release has been a mess since the beginning. All across the globe, people tried to get their order in on launch day, and, well, they couldn't. Most who tried were left waiting until Google put them back on sale. That time has already come and gone for the U.S., where the second-coming of Google's newest flagship went about as smoothly as the first (read: not very). Even when sales first went live, the device had a "ships in 1-2 weeks" status, which got longer and longer as the day went on. Now the 8GB version is completely sold out, and the 16GB variant ships in 5-6 weeks.
A lot of people are super confused about how to use the new pinch-to-zoom and swipe to delete / archive features. Here's the breakdown.
Pinch to zoom: You need to go into the General settings menu and enable "Auto-fit messages" to use pinch zooming. Pinch zoom only works when this feature is enabled.
Swipe to delete / archive: The swipe action can be configured from the General settings area as well, look for "Swiping conversation list." You can choose "Archive or delete" - which archives from the Inbox (or strips a label from a non-inbox message and sends it to All Mail), but will only delete a messages from the All Mail / Spam folders (it does nothing in Trash), "Delete only" which deletes from everywhere, or "Do nothing" ...