The life of a mobile application developer is a tedious one – they're not only responsible for building apps but also ensuring they work on as many of the 900 million Google-certified Android devices that have been activated over the last five years as possible. Of course, Android OS versions start to die out over time, and new versions – along with new handsets – emerge, making this a never-ending cycle of test-update-test-update. App-device compatibility plays a crucial role in an app's success, especially on the latest devices.
Up until now, this has been a bit of a sore area for devs: there are so many devices in use right now, it's hard to ensure compatibility with all of them outside of doing time-consuming work like opening a beta program and keeping track of the bugs. Read More
Dateline: 1999. A 12-year-old Jeremiah Rice spends every cent of his allowance at the local Pizza Hut's dingy game room, trying to perfect an S-Class run on the brand new Crazy Taxi arcade unit. Another fourteen years have passed, and SEGA's ode to irresponsible driving isn't exactly the technical marvel it once was, but it's every bit as fun. And a single fiver will let you play as much as you want on Android.
Crazy Taxi is from a different age, before sedate casual games were the norm. It laughs at the idea of realism, driving by new features like bump-mapping and realistic physics engines, giving them the finger as it power drifts over a drawbridge. Read More
Google has just started sending out invites to an event scheduled for next Wednesday morning – that's July 24th. It's being billed as "breakfast with Sundar Puchai," the head of Chrome and Android. It's probably going to be Android-related, but details were not provided.
This event will come just one day after Verizon's Droid announcement. Sundar Pichai could be hosting the gathering to announce a new Nexus 7, Android 4.3, the Moto X, or all three. That would sure overshadow Verizon. We'll keep an eye on this.
Community developer LlabTooFeR has reason to believe that Android 4.2 will, in fact, be coming to HTC's One S. A series of tweets late last night between Llab and a few followers indicate that the One S "Ville" model (the version using a Snapdragon S4 processor) will receive Android 4.2 one way or another.
The tweet directly contradicts an official statement from HTC two weeks ago that all One S handsets would be left on Android 4.1 with Sense 4+. Read More
Samsung announced this spring that security app LoJack would soon be built into the Galaxy S4. The necessary firmware arrived on most North American variants of the S4 in recent weeks, and now the service is live to take advantage of it. LoJack can be activated on your Galaxy S4 today for $29.99 per year. In return for your money you get phone tracking, remote wipe, and recovery assistance.
The LoJack app is built into the firmware of the device, making it persistent through factory resets (but probably not ROM flashes). This can be done manually on rooted devices with apps like Cerberus, but the people able to do that aren't really the market Samsung and Absolute Software (the maker of LoJack for Mobile) are going for. Read More
Bjork's Biophilia part-album, part-app is an educational experience that teaches kids both about music and the natural sciences. That it helps prevent risky behavior by giving youth a chance to experience an acid trip without doing drugs is an added perk. At some point there appears to be a dis-embodied pelvis making love with the moon, suggesting that some type of abstract sexual education may have slipped in as well. Now all of this is available in the Play Store, two years after Biophilia's iOS debut.
These first impressions may be misleading, as the experience has already spread throughout cities across the world via the Biophilia Educational Program. Read More
Prepare to temper your expectations, HTC One owners on Sprint. In the coming days you will see the update notification pop up, but it's not Android 4.2. It's not even a very substantial update. But hey, it's still an update, and that's more than a lot of phones get.
With little fanfare, the first available devices running Nvidia's Tegra 4 ARM chip have popped up at Best Buy and Amazon. The Toshiba Excite Write and Pro tablets are 10.1-inch slates based on Tegra 4, whereas the Pure is another Tegra 3 device. All three new slates appear to be available for purchase right now.
The Tegra 3-based Pure tablet is a midrange affair with a 1280x800 resolution 10.1-inch screen. It comes with 16GB of storage and 1GB of RAM. The specs are okay when you considering the asking price of $299.99 ($266.42 at Amazon). The real headliners of Toshiba's surprise tablets are the Pro and Write. Read More
For the desktop/web power user, the If This, Then That (IFFT) service is invaluable - it powers more than a few behind-the-scenes processes here at Android Police, for example. So it's easy to see why taking that idea into the physical world has got a lot of people excited. They've responded by funding the WigWag Kickstarter project, a combination device/service that talks to and controls some of the more common home automation gadgets through a central hardware hub. The project's $50,000 goal has been smashed in less than half its two-month run time - it's currently sitting at over $130,000. Read More
At a time when T-Mobile is trying to redefine the less-than-stellar reputation of wireless carriers, it looks like regional player US Cellular has taken a big step backwards. The company is no longer allowing customers to access the upgrade reward in the Belief Project, which allowed those who had completed an eighteen month contract to buy a new phone at the subsidized price without signing another contract. After July 27th, US Cellular customers will have the same old contractual ball and chain if they buy a new device at the advertised price.
The news comes from Engadget, which confirmed the change with US Cellular after being tipped by an anonymous source. Read More