We’ve all been awaiting Key Lime Pie with baited breath, but Google’s once again surprised us with an incremental update to Android. 4.3, which is still called Jelly Bean and largely keeps the same interface we’ve all grown to know and love.
That being said, while 4.3 is an incremental update, it’s also an important one. Google’s bringing some much-needed features to Android that will make life easier for both OEMs like Samsung and HTC as well as average users. Read on to find out about some of the features that most excite us about Android 4.3.
Last week we had Nexus 7s and Chromecasts. This week, the fun rolls on with Kindle Fire rumours and Google Glass expansion. Let’s take a look at what’s been going on! (more…)
It’s been a busy week in the world of Android, with Google’s Android and Chrome event hosting a bunch of pretty major announcements, including an update to one of our favourite 7-inch tablets. Let’s dive in and take a look! (more…)
The signs have been here for a few years. Being a services company with reach spanning from your web browser to your mobile phone, Google has been pushing for a better integration of all of the digital aspects of your life. For a long time now, you could visit the Play Store from your computer and click one button to have an app installed on your device. Or if you used Google Talk on the web and on your phone, you might have noticed that it only received notifications on the device you most recently used to send a message.
But apart from these rare examples, it always felt like the digital pieces of our lives were synchronizing together, working the same way with the same set of data, but never in intelligent tandem. Synchronous but not unified. That’s what I had been waiting for, and this year’s I/O as well as this week’s Google event got me excited. The wheels are in motion and we’re finally moving toward a future where all the digital fragments in our possession become one entity.
Google’s Nexus program has been absolutely vital to the Android ecosystem over the years. In fact, most of the Nexus devices came along right when they were needed, acting as a guide for the Android OEMs. A couple months ago, the Android ecosystem was completely shocked when Hugo Berra took the stage at Google I/O. While many were expecting a new Nexus 7 to follow in last year’s pattern, Hugo dropped something different entirely. He showcased a Samsung Galaxy S4 with stock Android.
The excitement and speculation this generated only increased when Sundar Pichai announced a similar take on the HTC One at The Wall Street Journal’s D11 conference. People were of course very pleased to have two popular flagships running stock Android, but they were also concerned about the future of the Nexus program. There were rumors going around that some companies were losing interest in Nexus phones which only fuelled the speculation that the program might be finished. This, obviously, is not the case as the Android ecosystem needs a Nexus device now more than ever.
Despite how much I am involved with Android now, and my ever-growing addiction to the platform over the past couple of years, I was surprised to reckon a few weeks ago that I have never experienced Android like it was created and meant to be — ie. on a Nexus device. I have owned and used an HTC Desire Z, an Iconia A100 tablet, a Samsung Galaxy S3 and an LG Optimus 4X HD, but never a Nexus device. That’s because I live in Lebanon, where Nexus devices are a black market rarity and Samsung is everywhere.
However, I eventually managed to convince the local LG team to lend me a Nexus 4 for review. And *insert expletives* I’m blown away.
In the third of a series on Android.Appstorm, I look in turn at each of the Android manufacturers and the changes they make to Android’s start up, interface and basic functionality. In each case, does the end result justify the huge investment in programming time and the resulting delays for end users in seeing each new version and update for the Android OS?
Having surprised myself by proclaiming both Samsung’s TouchWiz and HTC’s Sense to deliver more advantages than disadvantages, and given that Sony’s Xperia UI is arguably slightly closer to stock Android than the other two, you might probably guess at the same outcome here too, but for this ‘skin’, I’m definitely swinging the other way.
Good news: it’s time to say goodbye to those sleepless nights wondering whether Apple and Amazon’s clash of the app stores will ever end, although Google Latitude’s going to be on the way out. Let’s take a look at this very software-themed week in the world of Android! (more…)
There’s been more Samsung news this week with an official number of shipped units being shared for the S4 from the company. However, the first week of July has also brought us an interesting development on the previously-restricted Falcon Pro Twitter client, the first tablet update for video-sharing service Vine and an EOL announcement for one HTC One S. At the risk of an embarrassing Summer-themed pun, let’s dive in!
What would a week in Android be without some sort of Samsung release? Fans of continuity won’t be disappointed this week then, with the company’s family of Galaxy Tab 3s getting a United States release date. Talking of fans, those who appreciate Imgur should also be pleased with the news that the image host has launched an Android app, bringing their service to a native mobile experience on your Android handset.
Let’s launch in and take a look around…