Look what just appeared on my Nexus 10 around midnight tonight. Yes, that’s Android 4.2.1! This is a small 1MB update that fixes the now infamous December bug. Other potential changes could include improved battery life and stability, but without an official changelog that’s just speculation at the moment. In any case, this is the magic of the Nexus program… quick updates with no manufacturer or carrier interference.
Anyone else get the update yet? Are you noticing anything different? Let us know in the comments below!
If you know anything about User Experience (UX) Design, you’ve read Steve Krug’s popular book “Don’t Make Me Think”, now an industry manual on how best to approach Web usability. The basic premise of good UX, according to Krug, is to reduce the amount of thinking a user is required to do to successfully use a Web site. This is also known as the K.I.S.S. method (“Keep It Simple, Stupid”), and is today being applied not only to Web sites, but to all software, including mobile operating systems.
Hit the break to find out why this may not be the most elegant approach to mobile OS design.
Finding just the right case for my Nexus 7 has been a challenge. I’ve tried the effective and highly flexible, yet very bulky rooCASE, as well as the updated Ultra Slim rooCASE. Both of these serve their purposes well, with the Ultra Slim edging out the original due to its much slimmer profile.
But there is another class of case that I needed to check out. Currently, my phone is an HTC Evo 4G LTE and I’ve been using a Cruzerlite TPU case on that for a while and I love it. TPU stands for Thermoplastic Polyurethane, which is a class of plastic that has many great properties for an electronics case, including elasticity, transparency, oil resistance, and durability. My Evo has never felt so protected.
So when I saw that Cruzerlite was making a TPU case for the Nexus 7, I jumped on it. After spending a couple of weeks using the case, I decided to write up a review with my thoughts. Hit the break for all the details.
I got a nice little surprise on my drive into the office today. While stopped at a red light, I looked at my Evo 4G LTE that I have mounted on my dash, and the 4G icon was on! I quickly opened up the Speedtest.net app and ran a quick test while still stopped at the light. Hit the break to see the results:
Good news for those of you sporting a Sony Xperia Ion. Official CyanogenMod nightlies are now available for your device. Codenamed aoba, the first CM9 build for the Ion is ready for download from get.cm. Also remember to flash the GApps .zip after flashing CM9 to get the latest Google apps installed. Links below.
When I reviewed the original rooCASE for the Nexus 7, I commented that it was a nice case, but it was just way too thick. Well, it sounds like rooCASE heard me and now they’ve come out with the rooCASE Ultra Slim Vegan Leather Folio Case, which is a mere 17mm thick. They’ve also made some other improvements along the way, but not everything is peaches and cream.
Read on past the break to see how the new Ultra Slim rooCASE stacks up!
Vic Gundotra announced today that Google+, in just one year, has hit the 400 million total user milestone. He also mentioned that Google’s social network has 100 million active users per month, including both Web and mobile users. It still has some catching up to do to reach Facebook’s 955 million active users per month, but it took Facebook much longer than a year to reach those numbers.
With Android activating over a million devices daily, Google+ only stands to keep growing, and that’s a good thing. Personally, I prefer Google’s UI over Facebook’s, and the overall user experience feels cleaner. But with so many people I know still on Facebook and not “upgraded” to G+, both social networks are still required. This is most likely true for most of us.
Do you use Google+? Exclusively, or in combination with Facebook? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.
Like many people, I do a little buying and selling on eBay from time to time, so it would stand to reason I would have the eBay Android app installed on my phone and tablet. Using the app was always easy, but… how can I put this nicely… it looked like what an app would look like if it were made in the 90’s. Yeah, not at all modern.
But today eBay brought themselves back into this century with the release of version 2.0. The new modern look is clean, simple, and very usable. The face lift is not the only thing eBay added. They also added eBay Motors support, bidding history, and more. Hit the break for the full changelog and a screenshot.
We already heard that Samsung would be releasing more colors for the Galaxy S III. The Garnet Red version is now available exclusively at Carphone Warehouse in the UK and is available at the same price as other colors and on all the carriers that Carphone Warehouse serves. In the US, AT&T has been carrying the Garnet Red version for a little while, but this is the first we’ve seen it in Europe.
So if you’re in the UK and fancy a flashy red S III, hit the source link.
Well, folks, the July 2012 ComScore numbers are in and we’re seeing more of the same… Samsung and Android are both still leading in market share. Sammy posted a 25.6 percent lead in the U.S. market, down 0.3 percent from April, but still dominant overall. Samsung nemesis Apple went up 1.9 percent for a total of 16.3 percent in the U.S.
On the OS front it’s what you’d expect… Android is up 1.4 percent to 52.2 percent overall and Apple is also up 2 percent to 33.4 percent overall. Microsoft dropped 0.4 percent and owns 3.6 percent of the market, and poor RIM took the biggest hit with a 2.1 percent drop and holds only 9.5 percent of the market.
Really no surprises here. The trends continue. For a more detailed analysis, hit the source link.
The CyanogenMod team has recently merged a new feature into their Jelly Bean code called Quick Message, which displays a popup notification when you receive a text message. The popup includes the ability to reply from the popup, swipe to other messages, view the message in your SMS app, and dismiss the notification.
Quick Message was built by developer David van Tonder and added to CM10 nightlies a couple of days ago. Yesterday, van Tonder and CyanogenMod announced an update that adds a Quick Reply option to the SMS notification in Android’s notification shade. This option is only available if the Quick Message popup is disabled and if the message is a single SMS or a thread from the same sender. CyanogenMod says that the feature is still in progress, so there may be bugs, but if you’re installing nightlies, you’re used to that.
Google’s experimental AOSP project was announced last month, which promises to bring the latest open source Android to the Sony Xperia S. Sony seems to be following through on their part by releasing their closed-source binaries, which are required for this project to be viable. These binary files are essentially closed boxes of proprietary code (custom drivers, graphics firmware, etc.) which drive the Sony hardware specifically. Without these files, it would be nearly impossible to get an AOSP build working properly.
Sony has also stated their commitment to the innovation that open source brings, and says that these binaries should allow an AOSP build of Android to boot to the home screen. Of course, these files won’t be useful to the casual custom ROM fan until developers manage to make stable builds from them, but this is the first important step to getting a full-fledged AOSP build of Android running on the Xperia S.
The Patent Wars of 2012 already claimed one victim to the tune of $1.05 billion, and they don’t seem to be stopping any time soon. Now it seems it’s time to get the grown-ups involved. According to reports from Reuters, Google CEO Larry Page and Apple CEO Tim Cook have been conducting closed-door meetings about patents, intellectual property issues, and other things CEO’s talk about.
Apparently, the two head-honchos already had a phone talk last week, and talks at lower levels are also occurring between the companies. More talks between Page and Cook are expected in the coming weeks, but a Friday appointment has apparently been postponed to an unknown date, and for unknown reasons, though it could just be scheduling conflicts.
We’re not sure exactly what the talks involve, but one source has speculated that it could be the beginning of a truce about the disputes over basic features and functions in Android. I would tend to think these two would more likely talk at a higher level, discussing a possible broad settlement, rather than getting bogged down in the minute details of every issue. One thing’s for certain, though. The majority of their differences revolve around the rapidly growing mobile space, which is obviously of crucial important to both companies.
I, for one, applaud the intent of these discussions, and hope it can bring an end to all the litigation, which is only good for the lawyers involved. Will it bear fruit? I hope so, but I’m not holding my breath.
On Monday, a filing was made with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in which Motorola Mobility (Google) and Apple entered into a standard-essential (FRAND) patent license agreement. The agreement states that Apple is now licensed to use Motorola’s FRAND patents in Germany. The royalty rate has yet to be set.
Now you have to understand, when it comes to standard-essential patents, the patent owner (Moto) must agree to a licensing deal with a competitor (Apple) if that competitor makes an offer to accept a licensing arrangement. The patent holder cannot refuse without blatantly violating antitrust law. That also means that Apple is essentially admitting to infringing the patents and is liable for past damages.
The filing only covers “cellular standard-essential” patents, leaving Wi-Fi and video codecs open for a later fight. Or separate licensing deals could be struck for those if both parties are tired of fighting.
Hmm, perhaps Microsoft had the right idea all along avoiding the courts and sleeping with its enemies instead. It sure is much less expensive.