In the custom ROM world, there's one name that can't be denied or avoided: CyanogenMod. It's the reigning champ of all custom ROMs, and for good reason - it's amazing. The CM team is always finding ways to innovate and bring new features to stock Android, resurrect older devices, and remove manufacturer/carrier restraints from modern devices.
Apparently we're not the only ones who think so, either - CyanogenMod hit one million unique installs last night.
Reports from CES 2012 indicate that Windows Phone 7 may be a competitive mobile platform, however Microsoft has decided to hedge its bets and continue making money from Android by signing a patent-licensing agreement with LG. The terms of the agreement will likely require LG to pay Microsoft royalties for all LG tablets, phones, and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome OS platform. This deal likely mirrors Microsoft's ten previous patent-licensing agreements with Android and Chrome OS manufacturers, including Samsung, HTC, Acer, and ViewSonic.
Guess what - all of the G9 tablets are scheduled to receive ICS starting the first week of February (they did let everyone know it would happen "in the near future" a few days ago, but we were able to get the most up-to-date timeline today).
That's the phrase Larry Page used to describe Google's recent shut down of underperforming products. Stop flooding the market with crap, and focus on fewer, higher quality products. Now it seems Motorola has somehowgotten the exact same idea.
AllThingsD reports that Motorola "plans to release fewer new models this year, in an effort to concentrate its marketing dollars." I hope they are concentrating their design, polish, and update efforts too.
If you haven't notice, the Google Search app for Android received an update a little bit ago. This update is for users running Android 2.2 or 2.3 and brings some UI and performance enhancements. Once updated, this is what you'll see:
New color scheme and simplified UI
Faster, more responsive searches
Enhanced suggestions and query editing
Better localized suggestions and search results for more countries
Long press to remove history items
You can also tap that little arrow to the right of a search suggestion to add it to your search term before searching, making the whole process a little faster.
It's finally happening - Intel processors are coming to Android phones, for better or for worse (we tend to think it's going to be the former). The world's first Intel smartphone? The Lenovo K800. But the real question is, is it actually going to be any good? Judging by the short time we spent with the device earlier today, the answer is a pretty emphatic "nope." The device in question has a 1280x720 4.5" display, 1.6GHz Z2460 Atom processor (single core with hyperthreading), and an 8MP camera.
First off, let's talk about the GoGear Connect 3.5 media player. We don't have much information on this device yet, but we do know that it's the latest Wi-Fi-enabled touch screen MP4 player from Philips. It runs on Gingerbread and will likely see a custom interface overlay from Philips. The device will offer access to hundreds of thousands of apps from the Android Market, as well as Skype communication with a front-facing camera, 720p HD video playback on a 3.5" screen, and sound enhancing technology.
We stopped by the Sony booth earlier this morning at CES, and got some hands-on time with the very first Sony smartphones (Sony-Ericsson is no more, subject to regulatory approval) - the Xperia Ion and the Xperia S. While these devices were designed before the Sony Ericsson breakup, they'll be marketed as Sony devices when they hit retail channels.