Like so many of you out there, I have been holding out for an Android tablet that would be well worth my saved pennies, one that I could be proud to stack up against the uppity iPad owners that loiter around the local Starbucks. I'll be the first to admit that this year has been disappointing to say the least – cancelled devices, resistive touch screens, underpowered hardware, and carrier only options have plagued the community thus far, and even while optimistic for 2011, it was clear that I needed a tablet now.
After spending over a month in the release candidate stages, a final (stable) release of Android's most popular ROM has just been pushed out. Cyanogen himself tweeted the news, but also mentioned one small caveat: Samsung devices (read: the Galaxy S line) are left out of the fun, with no ETA. (Update: not available for the HTC Wildfire either.)
What's new in 6.1, you ask? Oh, just a few things:
Common: Update to Android 2.2.1
Common: Various bugfixes from AOSP and CodeAurora
Common: ADWLauncher 1.3.3 - Ander Webbs
Common: Configurable audio focus for music app - Jonas Larsson
Common: APN cleanup (fixes many issues with GPS and MMS) - Cyanogen
Common: Use ARMv6 optimizations for DS/Hero targets - Ninpo
Wow, this went unnoticed for a while, didn't it? On November 23rd, Google's own GoogleinHK YouTube account posted a video walkthrough of the new Google Voice Search in Cantonese. With only 2100 views, this official Google-authored video did not grab anyone's attention, until someone noticed that it featured over a minute of the clearest Gingerbread user interface video we've seen to date. The greens, the blacks - it's all there. Have a look:
Update #2: the original video was pulled but luckily, I found another copy:
Update #3: another mirror, in case Google takes down our YouTube mirror.
For the last 2 weeks, I've been testing a pre-release version of Theft Aware 2.0 - an app that occupies a spot in the familiar Android Security category, alongside WaveSecure, Lookout, and others. And yet, Theft Aware stands so much taller compared to them that they become small, almost invisible, dots. I could hardly contain my excitement and fascination with Theft Aware, but first, I needed to get answers to all of my questions and pass the info to all of you.
And with that, we solidly conclude that Android truly has visited 99% of the mobile form factors out there. That's right, people, the Motorola Droid Pro has arrived in the Android Police offices, and after spending the last week or so with it, I can tell you - with a straight face, nonetheless - that RIM's got serious competition here. The handset isn't exactly all that and a piece of cake, but it's definitely up there, at least for enterprise customers.
Alternative browser Skyfire made waves with a previous update that allowed it to play Flash videos on any device, and the latest update to version 3 has even more features that most other browsers are lacking - built-in Facebook integration, notably similar to recently released PC/Mac browser RockMelt.
In addition to aforementioned ability to play Flash videos, Skyfire now includes the following social features:
Popular Content instantly see what content on the site is most popular with your friends and the Facebook community
Fireplace Feed Reader nothing but the links from your Facebook feed.
LG's Optimus One series (which includes such phones as the Optimus T for T-Mobile, the Optimus S for Sprint, and the recently announced Vortex for Verizon), has been a great hit with customers, so it should come as no surprise that the company's expanding it quickly. Today's Optimus One news comes from US Cellular, who has just announced that the Apex, which is essentially an Optimus One with a keyboard tacked on, will be launching on November 19th for $79.99 after a $80 mail-in rebate.