Thinking about picking up a Nexus 7? You might want to get on that before the end of this month (right here), as the $25 Play Store credit promotion Google announced with its slate at Google I/O expires on September 30th. That means you must redeem the promotion before that date by signing into your Nexus 7 with a Google Wallet-linked Google account (that has a credit or debit card on file).
If you've been following the Play Store-related news cycle recently, you are probably well aware that Google is on the verge of releasing gift cards for use on Play Store's digital goods. The Redeem functionality, along with a new Wishlist, came with the new Play Store APK v3.8.15 that started rolling out yesterday but, unfortunately, the UI does not expose it yet.
There is no web interface for redemption either, but after digging through the APK, I discovered that it was set to intercept calls to http://play.google.com/redeem.
In the middle of a rousing discussion on G+ about the uniformity of Jelly Bean's new default app dialog (GTKA article forthcoming), Adam Powell, an Android framework engineer, clued us in to the following Jelly Bean protip:
You know the app pickers in Jelly Bean? These things:
They've been given a makeover in JB.
You thought you knew everything there was to know about the Nexus 7? Well, you thought wrong. A curious owner of the device started doing what any totally rational person does with a brand-new tablet: expose it to magnetic forces. The results yielded an as-yet hidden feature in the Nexus 7, in the form a magnetic smart cover sensor. Simply take a magnet and put it up against the front or back of your Nexus 7 along the bottom left-hand side while in portrait mode with the display on, and you can see the effect for yourself.
Following yesterday's Jelly Bean AOSP invasion, the HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus is now receiving the release build 4.1.1 (JRO03C) of Jelly Bean. That's indeed great news, but since the rollout is usually staggered, not all phones are allowed to receive it the second it's out there. If you're rooted or have an unlocked bootloader, why not just bypass the line and flash the update manually? I just did, and it took only a few minutes.
Earlier today, an eager marketing person suggested we review an innovative new app that every Android user like totally needs, dude - Android Defrag. Created by Enlightened Software House, the app promised to "Increase your Android Mobile & Tablets Performance Speeds, Battery and Memory Today." There was a Pro version too, and it only cost a buck - what a deal! Here, check out this gem's full description:
Update: Here are some more comparison photos from a different Nexus 7.
After upgrading my Galaxy Nexus (GSM) to Jelly Bean last night (I know, I know, I'm a few days late), I unlocked its bootloader (the usual fastboot oem unlock) and commenced rooting, which I thought would only take a minute or two. However, after almost 2 hours of pushing, flashing, rebooting, and trying no less than 5 different root methods, I still didn't have root. Something must have changed under the hood, and no root method I was trying was working (even PaulOBrien's SuperBoot).
Have you been annoyed by the "SmartSync" battery-saving feature found on HTC's newest phones? If you're not familiar with this aspect of Sense 4.0, that might make, well, sense. HTC has been fairly quiet about how exactly its battery optimizations in Sense work, but SmartSync is a big part of it, especially when it comes to saving juice overnight.
All Sense 4 phones (HTC One X, XL, S, V and EVO 4G LTE) utilize this feature to reduce battery consumption in the wee-hours, specifically from 12AM to 7AM.