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Articles Tagged:

improvements

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Stock Android Isn't Perfect: Jelly Bean 4.2 Edition

A few months ago I wrote "Stock Android Isn't Perfect," an article where I turned my usual harsh UX critique on stock Android, instead of just picking on TouchWiz and Sense all the time in my reviews. The article went over pretty well, and even got a few responses from Googlers! I didn't cover everything that was wrong with Android, though, and there have been a bunch of updates since the original article, so it's about time I wrote a sequel.

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OUYA Controllers Get Some Tweaks For The Better, Thanks To Developer Input

Remember when developers got their pre-release Ouya kits and started showing them off? In those videos, the controllers looked kinda crummy. Thankfully, the company said those were absolutely not indicative of the final design that will go out to consumers. Turns out, they really weren't! The company has detailed some changes and they sound pretty good.

For starters, the D-pad design has changed from a disconnected disc to the typical cross style that we've all gotten used to since the NES.

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Google Rolls Out Aesthetic And Functional Improvements To Mobile And Tablet Search Quick Answers

In a post to its "Inside Search" blog, Google announced today that several improvements are currently being rolled out to mobile search (for phones and tablets), making some of the engine's quick answers "richer, more beautiful, and more interactive."

In the recent past, users have enjoyed improvements to weather and calculator searches, with handy interactive cards (reminiscent of Google Now's visual style).

Google is now updating a heaping handful of other quick answer features including finance, currency conversion, unit conversion, dictionary definitions, local time lookup, and holiday and sunrise times.

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Google I/O Day One Roundup – Jelly Bean, Google Glass, Two New Nexus Devices, And So Much More

Google's I/O conference, in usual form, kicked off with an explosive start.  The day's news saw the revelation of things we've been waiting to see for months. Things we've heard rumor of, wished for, and even (quite accurately) predicted. With all the things we saw, it only seems right to round up all the day's news in one place. Grab a snack, because we've got a lot to talk about.

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Jelly Bean Feature Closer Look: Project Butter Means Enhanced Animations, Transitions, And More Responsive Apps That "Anticipate" Your Touch

Another major enhancement we've just learned about with the announcement of Jelly Bean is called Project Butter. Butter (so named likely due to the colloquialism "smooth as butter") represents a new, more efficient processing framework for Android's latest and greatest iteration, making the OS much faster (allowing animation up to 60fps). Android 4.1 also makes apps more responsive, reducing touch latency and "anticipating where your finger will be at the time of screen refresh."

"How is such an enhancement possible?" I can almost hear you wondering.

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Facebook For Android Updated To 1.9.4 With Performance Improvements And Bug Fixes

Facebook's Android team pushed out an incremental update v1.9.4 today with "improved performance and various bug fixes." Just what those improvements and bug fixes are will remain a mystery - the only useful part of such changelogs is we know what they didn't do in this release.

So, what did those who updated think of increased performance?

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Business as usual then - got it.

Facebook on my Epic Touch has never seemed particularly slow UI-wise, but pulling data takes uncomfortably long even on Wi-Fi.

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[New App] Chainfire Brings Us SuperSU, A Souped-Up Version Of Superuser With Some Super New Features

"If it's not broken, don't fix it" is a wise and popular mantra among anyone who fixes anything. Developers, on the other hand, couldn't care less. Enter SuperSu. While Superuser has been a staple of root usage for a long time now, XDA developer Chainfire (who has also brought us many other fantastic apps), has taken what already works and made it even better.

supsersu1 supsersu2 supsersu3

SuperSU performs the usual tasks of managing superuser access, with a few added benefits, including logging superuser access, temporary unroot, and it even works in recovery.

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T-Mobile Turns Attention To Network Quality After AT&T Deal Falls Through

Following the collapse of T-Mobile's planned $39 billion deal with AT&T, the magenta carrier has turned its attention to network quality and performance to draw new customers. Chief Executive Philipp Humm provided comment on the situation Wednesday:

We have a very clear spike on value compared to everyone else. Now it's about bringing the quality phase alive. That's something that during the transition phase kind of suffered.

Magenta lost more than 467,000 contract customers over the 10 months it worked with AT&T on the ill-fated takeover, focusing not on network enhancements, but instead on completing the deal.  Humm noted that T-Mobile will have a more clear business plan later this month, but said that the company may consider asset sales.

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Sprint Announces Major 3G Network Enhancements For San Francisco Bay Area, Takes A Step In The Right Direction

Sprint announced earlier today that customers in San Francisco's Bay Area "can have happy holidays this year with increased 3G coverage." For those who haven't been obsessively checking the enhancement tracker on Sprint's network site, the Now Network has implemented 130  capacity upgrades in the Bay Area over the past 90 days alone, with 62 more enhancements planned for the next 90 days.

Christopher Brydon, Sprint's Northern California Area Director, had this to say about the recent improvements:

Not only can customers in the Bay Area enjoy a better network experience, they can do so without worrying about their bill.

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ATRIX 4G OTA Update Change Log Shows HSUPA And Call Quality Fixes, Coming Soon

ATRIX 4G users rejoice - HSUPA will soon be here, and without any sort of hacky flashing requiring root access. The official Motorola update page for the ATRIX 4G's latest OTA, 4.1.83, has appeared on Motorola's website today. Here's the change log "highlights" according to Moto:

Data Speed
Increased speed at which data can travel on the network.

Data Connection
Improvements to prevent interruptions to data connection.

Screen
Improvements to prevent screen from freezing.

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