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.
One problem that Android app developers (specifically game developers) have had to face is the size limit for apps in the Android Market, because up until now it's been a measly 50MB. For most apps that is more than enough, but for others - like graphically intense games, for example - it's not even close, so developers had to jump through hoops and implement downloading of additional resources manually. Remember Spectral Souls with its 1GB of data?
One of the Android Market's biggest downsides has always been the inability to buy/sell apps in certain areas of the world. It looks like Google has been hard at work tackling this issue, though, as the reach of Android app purchases is extending to 99 more countries, for a total of 131.
This is probably some of the biggest Market-related news to come out of I/O this year, especially for citizens of the affected countries.
If you haven't been to the web version of the Android Market today, I suggest you go take a look. Google has thrown in a few new features, like trending apps and top grossing apps from the past 30 days. Not only that, but the navigation is much more intuitive, as the top paid and top free apps have been revamped, along with the addition of top games in the sidebar.
- The International market is taking over - U.S. 70% majority in 2010, but now international is 60% in 2011
- The new Market dashboard for developers will now let them view and exclude any of the 300+ Android devices, per app
- Starting in June, a new format called Multi-APK will be launched to bundle multiple APKs into one package
If you just can't get enough first-person-shooter action in your life, then you'll be glad to know that Gameloft released a port of its popular iOS title Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus in the Android Market this morning. Up until now, this game was available exclusively through Gameloft's website, so hopefully this means that we'll start to see more GL titles hit the Android Market moving forward.
This game itself looks like it really lives up to all of the FPS goodness that we've all come to expect from modern games - fast gameplay, multiplayer, and all of the headshots that you can handle.
Yesterday at Google I/O, The Goog announced the next version of Honeycomb (Android 3.1), and said that the first tablet to see the update would be the Verizon version of the Motorola XOOM. Motorola followed up that announcement with an official statement today, including when the other XOOM variants could expect to see to get some updated Honeycomb action.
XOOM owners will be able to enjoy some nice improvements with this update, including support for the new Movies feature in the Android Market, resizable widgets, full support for the newest version of Adobe Flash player (10.2), which brings drastic improvements to performance and stability; and support for USB peripherals like game controllers, keyboards, and mice.
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.
In the world of Android, devices have to go through a certain right-of-passage in order to really be embraced by the community. Part of the journey is becoming rooted, and thanks to XDA Forum member Chandon, the LG G-Slate has officially passed this portion of the test.
- Rooting Explained + Top 5 Benefits Of Rooting
- Top Android Apps Every Rooted User Should Know About: Part 1 (Apps 1-8),Part 2 (Apps 9-16), Part 3 (Apps 17-25)
- How To Fully Back Up And Restore Your Android Phone Using Nandroid Backup
The process is nowhere near as easy as it is for, say, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, so don't expect a simply copy/paste or even a one-click root.
The Galaxy Tab 10.1 hasn't even been in our hands more than 12 hours, but it has already been rooted. Turns out Samsung left absolutely no protection on the device, and rooting it is even easier than rooting a XOOM, and that says a lot (the XOOM was meant to be easily unlocked and rooted).
For comparison, the XOOM root requires fast oem unlock and data wipe, while the Galaxy Tab 10.1 root process is as simple as mounting the file system for writing and copying su and SuperUser.apk to it, all of which is packaged into a nice flashable zip file.