Buried deep within the changelog of Android 4.1.2 that arrived today is a very welcomed change to the way expandable notifications are handled by the OS. Introduced in Jelly Bean, expanding and collapsing notifications originally required two fingers to operate. Not anymore! A handy gesture now allows easy expansion and collapsing with just one finger, making it easier to perform this task while holding a device in one hand.
Collapsing is a little tricky at first and requires first pulling down and then up.
While we still wait for newer products like Play Movies or Play Books to reach a wider audience, Google's been hard at work bringing a slightly more useful product to additional countries: Google Maps with Navigation. After bringing voice navigation to India, nine more new countries are being added to the supported list for the Navigation beta. Including the following:
United Arab Emirates
Unfortunately, the service will require Android 4.0 or higher.
After announcing its financials for the second quarter with money bleeding left and right, Sprint decided to follow up the negatives with a few positives and switched subjects to something a little less gory - upcoming 4G LTE markets. Before Labor Day, which happens to be September 3rd this year, the following areas will be lit up with speedy (but probably patchy) LTE:
Manhattan/Junction City, KS
Compared to dozens of cities announced at every Verizon and AT&T 4G expansion, Sprint is definitely lagging behind, but we're hoping they will be picking up the pace towards the end of the year and into next year when the Network Vision rollout is supposed to be completed.
One of the coolest features of Google Maps is the ability to show live traffic patterns on major roadways. Now, Google is rolling out this feature to seven new countries, as well as expanding coverage in 19 others. The new countries in the inner circle are Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Mexico, Peru, Romania and South Africa. Exciting!
As users of the service are no doubt aware, having your country or city covered doesn't necessarily mean every street is covered.
T-Mobile sent out a press release late last night to announce just what they're doing with the consolation prize from AT&T's failed bid to take over the company. Unsurprisingly, the company is using the $4 billion and spectrum licenses to do exactly what they need to stay competitive with other carriers: expand their HSPA+ coverage and, more importantly, roll out LTE.
According to the press release, we can expect T-Mo to continue expanding and improving their HSPA+ for the remainder of 2012:
As part of the company's network modernization effort, T-Mobile also plans to launch 4G HSPA+ service in the 1900 MHz band in a large number of markets by the end of the year.
Say what you will about Verizon's data plan costs (and we all will), but at least the company works for that money. The LTE rollout continues as Verizon announces expansions to what professionals are calling "a whole lot" of California markets, as well as Reno, Nevada. Most have already had LTE, but if you've ever yelled in frustration when you lose that precious LTE signal while driving down Highway 99 in Fresno, your commute is about to get easier.
Madfinger Games has just rolled out an update to their uber-hit third-person shooter Shadowgun, and this time around they have included more than just some bug fixes. The most significant aspect of the update is a new free expansion called "The Leftover" - check out the trailer:
The Leftover "directly follows the events of the original SHADOWGUN" and features:
4 new levels
New enemy creature
New type of gaming interaction
The update brings some new effects and features to the original campaign, as well:
Camera shakes and bullet trails
Player can now roll
Tuned difficulty, weapons, and enemies
Better, more intensive gaming experience
The THD version of the game (with improved graphics and additional effects to take advantage of the extra horsepower Tegra 3 provides) hasn't yet been updated, and there's no official word as to when it will be.