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4 years ago

Google I/O 2012 - more than swag and Jelly Beans


You might have heard that we just got back from Google I/O (it was sort of a big deal for Android fans). We're tired, we're cranky, and we're sitting with our sore feet propped up just waiting for next year so we can do it all over again. It's work, but it's the best part of the best job a nerd could ever want. You also probably heard about the "big news" from Google I/O, namely Nexus tablets and Jelly Bean. But that's not what I/O was really all about. 

Google stretched I/O into three days this year, and that gave us 33-percent more of what's really important about the entire event -- code-jams and sessions for developers by developers. Google I/O is all about the code. I had that epiphany sitting in an overcrowded room waiting for one of the great talks from the Android developers to start, looking at the excited faces of people who felt exactly the same way I did. I was there on a press pass, but at heart I'm just a code-monkey (Thanks for this Dr. Lee, I owe it all to you). I've moved away from it as of late, but every time I see brackets or a .h file I can't help but remember what I really am. The under-appreciated folks who gave the talks and answered all our questions left me star-struck, and satisfied in a way that wine or women never will.

The keynotes were impressive, there's no doubt. Skydiving and magic glasses are impossible to ignore. The toys kick ass, and I'll use them until I wear them out, knowing all the while that getting them from Google makes me lucky as hell. But for me, they were just the appetizer for the main course, which was held in each of the smaller rooms where geek-speak ruled the day. Some were more interesting for me than others, some I attended simply to stay abreast of Android's direction, but every one of them was important to the future of technology. Google I/O is good for Google and all their products, but you still have to appreciate the lengths they go to so that we can learn. It really is Mecca for a Google fan.

There's one other thing that a trip to Google I/O (and probably Apple's WWDC or any similar event) will remind you of. In a room full of Android phones, MacBooks, iPhones, and Blackberries (sorry Windows Phone) you realize that squabbles about which platform is better don't amount to a hill of beans and all the noise about lawsuits and rivalry is just that -- noise. We were all there to learn, and we all learned how to make technology better. Better for Android, better for iOS, better for the web, and most importantly, better for you and me. News is news, and we still have to make a bit of noise ourselves, but I want to take this one chance to mention that it doesn't matter what brand of consumer electronics you use, only that you like it.

I've got a head full of Google and Android to try to put into words the next couple of days, but I wanted to start with what's important. I cant wait for next year!

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4 years ago

Amazing Alex from Rovio arriving on Android in July


Rovio's next eagerly awaited title, Amazing Alex, will be with us on Android sometime in July. The above trailer has been created by Rovio confirming such, that we'll be seeing it this month. Sadly, what the trailer doesn't give us, is any sign of gameplay footage. 

Amazing Alex will of course be a follow up title from the developers of the smash hit, Angry Birds franchise. It will  be a physics based puzzle game, with over 100 levels to tackle. Additionally players can design their own levels using 35 different interactive objects. And, in true Rovio style, we're promised regular, free updates. We're looking forward to getting our hands on this one.

Source: Amazing Alex (Rovio)

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4 years ago

Final Fantasy III finally breaks free of Japanese exclusivity, comes with a price tag


The 3D remake of the 90's classic, Final Fantasy III. has been available on Android since March, should you live in Japan. If you're looking for something to occupy, post Google I/O, the title has now become available to the rest of the world as well. 

Priced at a whopping $15.99/£10.99, FInal Fantasy III isn't much of an impulse buy. But, if anyone knows how to make a great game, it's Square Enix. Additionally, the Android version comes with improved 3D visuals, and story sequences that are exclusive to Android. The download also weighs in at 172MB, so worth making sure you've got the space, but it will work on Android 2.2 and above. Time to get your quest on. 

Download: Final Fantasy III

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4 years ago

Android Central Editors' app picks for June 30, 2012


​With Google I/O only just barely behind us, the excitement is probably still running through you. Whether you just flashed some Jellybean love for yourself, or you are just overly excited about any of the announcements, odds are you want a new application to check out on your device. Let's hit the break and check out some of our favorites from this week!

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4 years ago

Ice Cream Sandwich now available for everyone with a Droid RAZR/RAZR MAXX


Who needs push when you've got pull? The Ice Cream Sandwich update for the Motorola Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX has been trickling out for a week or so now. But today it's available to anyone with those devices. Just hit the menu button, choose Settings>About and get your ICS on.

And while you're at it, be sure to check out our preview of what you'll be getting in the update.

More: Droid RAZR forums; RAZR MAXX forums

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4 years ago

Sprint pushing Samsung Galaxy S III security software update


For those of you with a Sprint Samsung Galaxy S III in your hands, Sprint has noted that a software update will soon be pushed (if it hasn't been already) to your device. The update labeled as software version L710VPLF9 is only showing as being a security update for the device so it appears there may not be any other bugs squashing happening but as we know it, not all changes tend to get listed so you'll have to give it a go and then let us know if you spot anything else. Did you get the update yet? Drop a note in the comments or in the Android Central forums if you did and want to talk about it.

Source: Sprint

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4 years ago

Android 4.1 factory image for the Nexus 7 is now available online


Did you take your tinkering on your brand new Nexus 7 a little bit to far? Looking to bring it back to its original status, and fix whatever you may have already broken? If you have been patiently waiting for the factory image to appear, you are in luck as it has been posted online, and ready for you to download. So if you are in need of the files, or just want to take a look around a little bit deeper, be sure to hit the source link and grab it for yourself now!

Source: Google Developers

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4 years ago

Apple wins a preliminary injunction against the Galaxy Nexus; we're giving one away right this second!


Apple ... blah blah blah ... Google ... blah blah blah ... Patent ... blah blah blah ... Search ... blah blah blah ... Banned ... Blah blah blah.

Frankly, Scarlett, I don't give a shit. Lawyers are doing what lawyers are wont to do. This is only growing more ridiculous with each passing day.

In fact, here's how much I don't care. We're going to give away another Galaxy Nexus right here, right now. Because despite this ruling, they're still shipping. It's just lawyers being lawyers.

Here's how to win: Leave a comment in this post about how messed up all this patent nonsense is. We'll pick a winner by noon EST Saturday, June 30. Everyone's invited. Not just in the U.S.

Here are a few links about today's news, if you still wanna read more: ReutersFOSS Patents

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4 years ago

Google I/O debrief from Android HQ


Google I/O 2012 is winding down and what a developer conference it was. If you missed any of Android Central's coverage, you'll want to grab yourself a cool bevvie, kick back and catch up on a ton of reading. Or, if you have only 3m47s to spare, you can watch the video above for Phil and Alex's quick recap on the big news of the week. 

We figured there could be no better setting for an I/O debrief than from the home of Android, so this one is coming at you straight from Android HQ, also known as Building 44 at Google's Mountain View Campus. And if you're wondering where Jerry is, well, he skipped the road trip to hang back in SF and take in more I/O sessions. That guy is hardcore.

Why are you still reading this? Hit play!!

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4 years ago

Google Analytics for Android now available in the Google Play Store


There is a countless number of websites out there on the internet these days and chances are if you're the owner of one who is seriously interested in maintaining it, you're looking at your traffic on a daily basis. One such service for doing so is Google Analytics and for a long time now, Google has ignored putting out an Android app for the service.That ends now though, as Google Analytics is available for download in the Google Play Store. The feature set looks nice though, it does seem to be a little short with this first iteration:

  • Real-Time: See the number of visitors you currently have and a list of the pages (for websites) or screens (for apps) that are currently popular.
  • Dashboard: Monitor the KPIs and user metrics you care about the most. By default, you’ll see your Daily Unique Visitors and your Goal Conversion Rate, but you can customize the dashboard to change which reports, metrics, or segments you see. 
  • Automatic and Customized Alerts: Google Analytics detects statistical anomalies in your data and can send you an alert when something unusual happens. See either automatic alerts, or customize your settings to send alerts based on your own benchmarks.

No doubt Google will expand the effort here once they get some feedback but one major gripe right now is the fact you can only use the accounts on your device for access. So if your Google Analytics account is associated to an email you don't use often, you'll need to add it to your device in order to view the information. Overall though, it looks pretty sharp and is certainly useful for pulling stats on the go.

Download: Google Analytics; More Info: Analytics Blog

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4 years ago

HTC teases something incredible for next week, it's the Droid Incredible 4G LTE


We've gone hands-on with it; we've compared it to the HTC EVO 4G LTE plus, Verizon and HTC have made it official. Now it looks as though we may actually see the Droid Incredible 4G LTE finally land into some consumers hands according to a tweet sent out by HTC.

Next week, we've got some special fun headed your way. We hear it's going to be INCREDIBLE. 

We don't think we're reading into it too much here, so if you had your eyes and heart set on the Droid Incredible 4G LTE you only have a few more days to wait and then you can give one a home. Any takers? Specs can be found here if you're looking for them.

Source: @HTCUSA

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4 years ago

Google Currents to be part of Jelly Bean OTA for Nexus devices


As you'll know if you've been following our Google I/O coverage, Google Currents will ship on the Nexus 7 tablet when it launches next month. But now it's been revealed that Google's digital magazine app will also be part of the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OTA that'll be sent to ICS-running Nexus devices around the same time. An email sent to currents partners today indicate that Currents' user base is set to increase significantly as it goes from an optional app on the Play Store to a part of the core collection of Google apps. As such, we'd also expect to see Currents shipping out on future Google-certified Jelly Bean devices, as it becomes a more established member of the Google apps family.

If you're using Currents, be sure to add Android Central to your library today.

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4 years ago

Jelly Bean apps, Help installing old apps [From the Forums]


Just in case you missed out on some of the Android news today, now is the time to go ahead and get yourself fully caught up. Here on the blogs and in the Android Central Forums there is plenty to talk about. Have some questions? Need some help or just looking to chat Android? You know where to go, check out some of the threads below to get started.

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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4 years ago

Project Glass Session shows a day in the life of a mother and daughter


We know you kids out there love you some Project Glass. So, we thought it worth sharing the latest  Google video that has emerged in the shadow of Google I/O

This one, titled Glass Session, shows a day in the life of Madame and Bebe Gayno, with Madame of course wearing a set/pair of the 'glasses.' It's not quite as impressive as Sergey Brin's skydiving extravaganza, but it does further emphasize one key point. Google Hangouts are going to feature quite prominently. That, and we're likely to see a lot more before the first developers get their hands on these things next year. 

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4 years ago

Face Unlock in Jelly Bean gets a 'Liveness check'


One of the more frivolous features introduced into Android with Ice Cream Sandwich, was the Face Unlock. While it's always been something cool to show off against your iPhone toting friends, it's never really been overly useful, or secure. It's not the most reliable feature in the world,  and it can be duped by a photograph, and generally makes unlocking your phone longer. 

Enter Jelly Bean, and an improvement to Face Unlock. Pointed out in the Android Central Forums, by member ​Jays2Kings​, within the security settings menu in Jelly Bean is a new option -- Liveness check.

So, this is supposed to get round the potential picture duping issue, by making it so Face Unlock will check for the person in front of it blinking. In other words, making sure you're alive. While it's good to see solutions for potential security risks, ​Jays2Kings ​also points out that it doesn't really pick up normal blinking too well. Seems that it works best when you have your eyes open really wide, and all it seems to do is to further slow down the process of unlocking your phone with Face Unlock

How about you guys? Anyone who's running one of the Jelly Bean ROM's already out there, and tried this out, shout out in the comments and let us know how it works for you. 

​thanks Jays2Kings!

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