One of the great things about Android's ecosystem is the number of indie developers who are able to enter the market successfully, providing a great product and inspiring would-be developers to join in. For many though, Android development in general is a mysterious topic. How an app or game goes from an idea to an entry in the Play Store is unknown, but (thankfully) not unknowable.
Of course, considering how major development studios bring apps to life doesn't require too much thought – major companies like EA, Disney, or Rockstar have no problem hiring designers and developers to crank out and maintain polished apps.
Google I/O isn't even finished yet, and everyone's favorite search company has already shaken things up quite a bit. One of the biggest things Google announced was Google Events. Google said that this new feature would allow users to coordinate events and share them with others. What Google didn't say was that with the addition of this feature, Google+ is ready. Cooked until golden brown and ready to be served. And, guys?
We knew it was coming, and now it's finally here. Google+ Events. And it's even bigger than we ever thought it could be. Google has gone beyond mere RSVP. Google wants your Events page to be central to your real-life get-togethers, before, during, and after the event. In addition to tying into Google Calendar, Events serve as a central place for all your event photos, organized chronologically that can be uploaded by all guests.
Google just dropped an update to its social networking app for mobile. Unlike some other apps, Google's brought a ton of new features that are actually useful. The Stream is now faster, doesn't immediately jump to the top of the feed when the app automatically refreshes, and shortens entries so you can see more of them at once.
A few other improvements have been made. A new What's Hot! section allows you to follow what everyone is talking about, in an obvious attempt to compete with Twitter's trending topics.
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.
Earlier today, I received my review unit Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus, Samsung's latest addition to the Tab family of products. Now, you probably thought, upon hearing about this little device, "gee, this is just another scaled-down version of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 - boring." But you thought wrong - very wrong.
The Tab 7.0 Plus has a little hardware secret in its diminutive package, and that secret's name is Exynos.
Got you on the title for a second, didn't I? With all the buzz (har har) surrounding Google+ lately, there's been near endless speculation about whether the new social network will have what it takes to "defeat" its biggest competitor: Facebook. In fact, it seems taken for granted that Google+ and Facebook are like oil and water - two things that simply cannot co-exist in harmony. As you may have guessed from my title, I think this is an absolutely silly discussion.
This week, Google revealed its most serious attempt at social networking yet, Google+. Despite being released just a few days ago, it's easy to see that it's a much more accessible, polished attempt than Google's previous attempts, namely Google Wave and Google Buzz. It brings a familiar interface, but clearly bears the Google mark: clean, minimal, but with some well thought-out improvements.