We've been seeing leaks about a new Google Play Store UI, that we all thought was going to be released at I/O this year. Nope! The rollout starts today, chaps! According to a post over on the official Android blog, the fancy card-based UI is coming to Android phones and tablets running Froyo (v2.2) and up. Worldwide, the new version will be available "over the next few weeks.
Oh, and you should be happy to know that the ugly pattern across the Action Bar is, in fact, not part of the final release. Additionally, the blog post touts a continuous scrolling interface that will show you more recommendations as you move down the page.
In a world full of Galaxy devices, some are great, some are good, and some make you scratch your head as to why they even exist in the first place. Among those considered by most to be good (or even great), we have the Note series. It all started with an oversized phone set to change the way people use their mobile devices. And it did just that – soon after it was followed by a bigger, better successor and a 10-inch tablet wearing the same name.
While there's no shortage of other 10-inch Android tablets to choose from, there is one space that has yet to really be covered by a high-end Android device: eight inches.
We've been seeing leak after leak about Google's rumored unified messaging service. Now, as more details get seemingly confirmed and and we even get a look at the possibly near-finished app, clearly this is the time for Google to acquire a competing IM service, right? Well, not so much, according to AllThingsD. As it turns out, Mountain View is not about to buy WhatsApp, a company that makes a product that Google is currently nearly done building itself. Just in case you were wondering.
This contradicts rumors that WhatsApp would be selling to Google for close to $1 billion.
FairSearch Europe—a coalition of Google competitors or legal adversaries including, among others, Microsoft, Nokia, and Oracle—has filed a complaint with the European Union alleging that Google is abusing its dominant OS position in the mobile market to push its own set of apps.
The group claims that Android is used "as a deceptive way to build advantages for key Google apps in 70 percent of the smartphones shipped today," pointing out that manufacturers have to agree to a certain set of rules requiring inclusion or placement of certain apps. If they want to use Google apps, of course. Manufacturers are free to use Android for whatever purpose they choose without them, if they think that will be a greater benefit.
When it comes to keeping your data safe, you can never be too careful. And while there are a slew of various anti-virus apps available for Android, there are few that provide the type of protection that can be obtained from Bitdefender.
Enter the team's newest app: Bitdefender Antivirus Free. This app offers all the goodness of Bitdefender's antivirus protection – minus some of the advanced features of the company's Mobile Security suite – at absolutely no cost. This is a fantastic solution for anyone looking to get some of the best anti-virus protection available for Android without having to spend a penny.
Update x2: The update is rolling out again as of April 8th. Hopefully it'll last this time.
Update: Turns out that T-Mo recently halted the update. At this point there's no word on why it was delayed, but the carrier updated the support page to reflect the change, noting that it is "paused until further notice." We'll let you know when it starts rolling out again.
If you picked up the T-Mobile-branded version of Samsung's newest 10-inch slate that doesn't have "note" in the name, you may want to head into the Settings menu and tap the update button, as T-Mo has quietly started pushing the Android 4.1.2 update to the device.
Definition: A "nightly" is a bleeding edge release that is built on a daily basis, usually at night after a full day's worth of new code has been committed.
It could oftentimes be unstable and not properly tested, lacking any changelogs, but eventually evolving into alphas, betas, release candidates, and finally stable releases.
If you're still holding onto your B&N Nook Tablet, you might be excited to know that the aging slate can now run Android 4.2, courtesy of CyanogenMod. The Nook Tablet (codename 'acclaim') got its first taste of CM10.1 nightlies a few days ago, and they've been churning them out on a daily basis since.
Native PlayStation DualShock game controller support is a feature Sony fans have been clamoring for on Android for some time now. So long, in fact, that there's a very popular app devoted strictly to making this possible for rooted users. But requiring root access is definitely a major roadblock for some people, and an official solution from Sony has remained elusive - until now.
A video of the soon-to-be-released Xperia SP phone shows off built-in DualShock 3 pairing functionality, and it seems to work great.
The catch is that in order to pair the controller, a USB OTG cable (and USB host support on the phone itself) is required initially.
If you own a RAZR HD, RAZR MAXX HD, RAZR M, or Atrix HD, and you've been waiting for the day when sweet bootloader-unlocking goodness arrives, wait no more: Dan Rosenberg has come to the rescue yet again.
Dan just published a tool that will allow you to unlock any of the above-mentioned Moto devices, assuming you have root access on your phone. Just have a working superuser app on your device, download the tool, connect to your PC with USB debugging enabled, and run the included script. From there, follow the instructions.
There are a few catches. First, you must be rooted - some 4.1.2 builds for the supported devices do not yet have a working root method.
Don't let your eyes deceive you. That is not a Galaxy S III (or IV) you're seeing. No, that is a new phone from Samsung. Yes, it has a name. You know what else it has? A 4.7" 800x480 display powered by a 1.2GHz quad core processor. What's that? You want to know the name? No, you don't. You want to hear about the 5MP camera, or the 8 whole GB of internal storage!
Let me tell you all about how this phone is a decent device for mid-range customers. Not cutting edge, but not too terrible, either. Hmm? You still want me to tell you the name?