Did you know that, since the last update to Google Search, developers have been able to utilize offline voice recognition? Previously, any non-system app that wasn't an IME (Input Method Editor) that hoped to recognize your voice without a web connection needed a rather kludgy typing overlay. Since the update though, apps can hear and interpret not just your words, but essentially any command that doesn't explicitly require web access.
Samsung recently starting updating its aging-but-not-dead flagship phone from yesteryear (OK, technically it was the year before that, but yesteryesteryear isn't a thing) to Jelly Bean. And when Samsung updates things, you know what that means, right? Source code. Because a new version of Android brings with it a new kernel. And Android modders want new source to go along with that new kernel. So Samsung delivered, as always.
This go around, it's uploaded the kernel source for the Galaxy S II i9100, as well as Bell Canada's variant, the i9100M BMC.
Amazon isn't exactly impartial when it comes to tablets... you may have heard about this little thing called the Kindle Fire. But they aren't ones to let competition get in the way of a little profit, which is why the latest update to their storefront app includes compatibility with a plethora of new Android tablets, including the coveted Nexus 10. Previously it was limited to Android 4.1 tablets with very specific resolutions.
Last summer, we saw the launch of Tweet Lanes – a beautiful, functional Twitter app that – due to Twitter's reformed API – ceased active development just a few months ago. Today, Chris Lacy has issued a "further update" on the status of development, writing in a post to Google+ "just because I am no longer actively developing Tweet Lanes doesn't mean that development of the app has to stop."
Yes, after "countless requests" to do so (and an offer to sell), Lacy has taken the project open source – opening up the TL client itself, its SocialNetLib library, and its associated AppEngine project.
AT&T's version of the Galaxy Note II is receiving a minor software update this afternoon, presumably patching the Exynos chipset exploit discovered back in December.
The new software version is I317UCAMA4, and the update is 8.45MB in size. AT&T refers to the changes as a "chipset security enhancement," so it's pretty clear that the Exynos exploit fix is probably the major feature of this patch. We've not noticed any other changes as part of the update, and the Android version remains at 4.1.2.
We've all had to deal with it at one point or another: a rogue app hiding out in the background, chomping away on the battery. Or perhaps a bunch of pre-installed junk is taking up all of your device's precious RAM. No matter how you slice it, unwanted background apps are a nuisance. Now, there are a number of ways to do away with these apps, but none of them are what we'd call "great." For example, you could freeze them with Titanium Backup Pro, but then you can't launch them without unfreezing, and that's a pain.
There are plenty of ways to read books, blog posts, and essays on a mobile device. Although, nothing has quite the same feel as a new app called Tapestry. This app offers a cool reading experience for exclusive short stores written by professionals and random people around the internet. Just tap to advance, but there is no going back if you miss something.
Tapestry is whimsical from the start when it makes the tapping mechanic clear by having you tap on specific locations around the screen, only to reveal that you can actually tap anywhere you want.
If Belkin had you excited about its upcoming WeMo Android app at CES this year, good news: the first beta version of the app just landed in the Play Store. According to the app's description, it has only been tested on the Samsung Galaxy S III, but should work on all 4.0+ devices. With that said, some (or even most) of the features may not work properly, as the app is a very early beta.
Before now, I thought that zombies had been added to every conceivable genre with the possible exception of farm implement simulator, and that's only a matter of time. But surprisingly, adding undead minions to a game that millions of office workers use to cling to sanity turns out to be fairly interesting. Despite the title, zombies don't replace mines in Zombie Minesweeper, they just add to the explosive fun. Check out the trailer below.
Don't forget - the Android Police Podcast's live broadcast is every Thursday at 5PM PST (www.androidpolice.com/podcast). The unedited video version of the podcast can be found here - and will likely include various verbal expletives, technical snafus, tangents, and probably a good 5-10 minutes of pre-podcast banter as we prepare. Watch at your own risk!