Back at I/O in May last year, Google announced the Android Go initiative; a less intensive version of the OS optimized for cheap phones with little RAM. This was launched in December and to go with it we've seen a number of Google apps get the Go treatment to make them smaller and less memory-hungry.
Apps like Google Maps Go, YouTube Go, Google Go, and Gboard Go are all designed to get the best performance out of the low-cost devices that are typically popular in emerging markets. There's even a brand new app called Files Go that can help you declutter your phone and maintain a healthy amount of free storage.
Google has made public the first release of Android Go—the optimized version of Android for low-end phones targeted toward developing markets, which was announced in May at I/O 2017. Rather than let OEMs stick to outdated Android versions when shipping budget phones, Android Go brings a full, up-to-date experience for devices which ship with 512MB or 1GB RAM.
Straight from the horse's mouth is always the best way to hear about updates, even if it's less-than-stellar news. Today, Sony confirmed its schedule for Jelly Bean updates on its line of phones. For starters, the recently-launched Xperia T and Xperia TX will be upgraded "from mid-Q1 2013." This will put the latest and greatest from Sony a solid six months behind Android 4.1's initial launch and, if our guess is correct, at least a few months behind the possible release of Android 4.2.
After that, the rest of Sony's 2012 lineup, including the Xperia S, Xperia acro S, Xperia ion, Xperia P, Xperia go and Xperia J will all be upgraded to Jelly Bean sometime next year.
The team behind the awesome GO suite of apps have brought the functionality and style of GO Launcher to Android-powered tablets everywhere today (as long as they're running 3.0+), bringing GO Launcher HD out of beta. You may remember our beta coverage earlier this month, in which we got a sneak peak at GO's tablet launcher, and it looks like little has changed. For a launcher that aims to be minimally intrusive yet offer a ton of functionality, however, that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
With GO Launcher HD, users can utilize the dock bar characteristic of ICS' phone interface, adding and rearranging up to 10 shortcuts.
The GO team is, by now, pretty well known - and for good reason. They offer an unbelievable number of ways to overhaul your phone - such as GO SMS Pro, GO Contacts, and GO Keyboard - not to mention dozens of themes for all of their apps. But they are perhaps most well known for GO Launcher EX, and the tons of widgets (and more!) Now, they've released a new one to go with the Launcher: GO Weather Widget.
Three widget sizes are offered (as shown in the left image above): 4x2, 4x1, and 1x1.
We've said it many times before, and I'll say it again: one of the best things about Android is how customizable the entire experience is. One of the easiest and most comprehensive ways to customize your device - aside from rooting and ROMing, that is - is to use a custom launcher such as ADWLauncher EX, GO Launcher EX, and Launcher Pro. Even stock, these apps can revamp your device's appearance and basic behavior, and coupled with the bevy of themes that can be found on the Market, the possibilities are nearly endless.
As a fan of first Launcher Pro Plus, then ADW EX, and now GO Launcher EX (which is absolutely free, by the way), I wanted to show you guys a recent addition to the latter that made it stand out from the rest of the pack even more than it already does. Lately, LPP hasn't given me any reasons to continue using it whatsoever - the app seems to have been abandoned by Fede, and ADW EX, while a very worthy opponent, also fell victim to GO team's fine offering.
Imagine that you want to organize your busy homescreen and swap some icons around.
The unstoppable GO dev team keeps pumping out amazingly polished products seemingly almost every week - they've already won me over on the launcher side with the GO Launcher EX (and its gorgeous Calendar widget), and yesterday they've added Switch GOWidget to their arsenal.
This toggle widget is compact and only occupies one row on the homescreen, showing 4 primary toggles you've configured, but with a single press of the "..." button, it opens up a full page's worth of other toggles along with the phone and media volume sliders. Pressing the Edit button lets you re-order all the items to your liking.
Back in April of this year, we, consumers hungry for anything that legally streams full movies and TV shows, welcomed Android's first high-caliber streaming app done right - HBO GO. With the ability to watch the goodies on the go utilizing an existing HBO subscription, the HBO GO app suddenly made train rides and treadmills a whole lot more fun. Netflix and Hulu followed, but HBO GO still occupies a special place in our hearts as the pioneer encouraging others to push the limits and not be afraid of unleashing more content on mobile.
Seeing the success HBO GO enjoyed after its Android launch, the company started work on its other premium brand called Cinemax, or just Max.