Google IO 2015 Coverage

Sony Xperia S and AOSP – a Google experiment

Earlier this week, Jean-Baptiste Queru, Google’s Technical Lead on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), announced a new experiment he was starting up. Up to now, the AOSP has focused on Nexus class devices. As Queru explains, AOSP was setup so that in theory it would be possible to plug in files for additional hardware targets. Thus far though, the theory has not translated into practice. Queru hopes this new experiment may change that and help identify and eliminate hurdles present in the theory as it moves to practice.

The target of the experiment is Sony’s Xperia S model. Queru selected the LT26 as it is a fairly powerful device currently on the market, has an unlockable bootloader, and a manufacturer that is friendly toward open source projects and philosophy.

If you are interested in helping out with the effort, check out the source link. Otherwise, keep an eye on this experiment as it may yield positive results not only for the Xperia S, but for other devices as well.

source: Google Groups
via: The Verge

Custom Kernel for the Nexus 7 Brings Huge Performance Boost

One of the biggest advantages of owning an Android device is having the ability to customize not only the interface, but the system settings itself. Part of that includes flashing a custom kernel, which can bring all sorts of enhancements to a variety of levels. Such settings include specifying voltages, underclock or overclock speeds of the CPU, custom color settings. You get the idea.

XDA Senior member clemsyn has created a modified kernel for the Nexus 7 called the Elite Kernel, which is a modified version of the Motley kernel originally created by XDA Senior Member _motley. Hit the break for the list of tweaks this customized kernel brings.

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Ubi Plug-Mounted Android Device Gives Your Phone Eyes and Ears in the Home

A Kickstarter project out of Toronto called Ubi (ubiquitous computer) recently reached its funding goal for a small Android-powered computer that plugs directly into a power socket. The device is packed with sensors and connects to the local Wi-Fi network so it can push notifications about the room’s conditions such as lighting, temperature, sound, movement and even humidity to your smartphone. In addition, the device has a full-sized USB port, headphone jack, RF and Bluetooth capabilities for added connectivity. There’s even an LED light and speakers built in.  Ubi doesn’t have earth shattering specs, but it’s still a decent amount of power and includes an 800MHz processor with 1GB of RAM, will ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and will have its own app ecosystem that will launch with the device. Here are some of the features you can expect when the device ships: Read more

OTA Updates For ROM Users Made A Littler Simpler Thanks TO OTA Update Center

 

OTA updates certainly raises an antenna or two for us Android users. However, it’s much more common for users of devices with their stock software to get the coveted OTA updates— owners of devices running custom ROMs generally speaking are not as privileged to have the luxury. Well now, more ROM users will have the luxury as the team from the OTA Update Center has developed a means to offer a free OTA service to any ROM developer. It works in a straightforward way: app is installed into the ROM system that communicates with the servers to share the various OTA updates to anyone using the particular ROM. The hope is that it’s a more streamlined and simple process in order for users to get updates in a timely and efficient manner.

Those of you who are ROM users (and we know there’s a lot of you out there!) will have to wait for now and see if your ROM developer plans on incorporating the OTA Update Center. Developers on the other hand should definitely give the service a good luck or take it around for a spin and see if it works for them or not.

source: OTA Update Center
via: XDA

Online Nandroid Backup allows Nandroid backups without booting into recovery

 

If you’re an avid Android “rooter” and “ROM flasher,” then I’m sure the Nandroid backup feature that custom recoveries offer has been your best friend. It’s essential to perform a Nandroid backup before you wipe and flash your newly desired ROM in case something goes wrong and you need to restore your phone into a previously working state.

If you’re not familiar with how a traditional Nandroid backup works, you are required to turn the phone off and boot into the recovery to perform the procedure. A typical Nandroid backup takes about 4-6 minutes, thus your phone would be nonoperational for that period of time. An XDA developer by the name of ameer1234567890 found that troublesome as he would constantly miss important calls and texts from his family and took it upon himself in creating  away to perform a Nandroid backup without having to boot into recovery. Online Nandroid Backup allows the user to perform a Nandroid backup without the need to turn your phone off, thus you won’t miss important calls or texts.

Using the program is actually fairly simple and easy to follow:

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Grab Jelly Bean for your 4G LTE Galaxy Nexus

When is a Nexus not a Nexus? When you buy it from Verizon, evidently. It’s long been a gripe of Verizon Nexus owners that their pride and joy often receives the latest and greatest Android update months after the GSM variant. The good news is that whilst Verizon might be standing in the way of progress, the developer community has got your back (as ever!).

Shortly after landing on the AOSP servers, Android build JRO03L has been worked into a custom ROM prime for flashing to your Verizon Galaxy Nexus or Google Nexus 7. Early reports suggest that the build is seamless, offering the pure Jelly Bean experience just as Google intended. If  spending an evening rooting and flashing floats your boat, you can click the link below to get going.

Source:  XDA Developers

Google Nexus 7 morphed into ultimate in-car entertainment system

Lots of people have a love of both automobiles and a love of music. The two seem to go hand in hand. The popularity of the combination drives people to all sorts of attempts to build the ultimate car stereo system. In recent years, a new factor in the equation has emerged – the use of smartphones and tablets to serve as the nerve center for an in-car entertainment system. SonicElectronix recently completed a build for a Dodge RAM that incorporates a Google Nexus 7 tablet into the dash for this purpose. Read more

Holo Launcher HD Brings Jelly Bean-Based Launcher To Ice Cream Sandwich Devices

 

Mobint (of Holo Launcher fame) has developed the brand-spanking new Holo Launcher HD for Android 4.0+ devices. While the launcher brings a delicious stock feel to your Android device— it also is modeled after the newly released Jelly Bean OS. The launcher is also fully customizable with the ability to do things like add additional homescreens (up to 9), a nifty scrollable dock and for those of you who splurge on Holo Launcher Plus— some cool desktop gestures and even icon packs if that strikes your fancy.

Again, if you’re on an Android 4.0+ device, but hate those pesky Android skins, be sure to give the new launcher a try. You can find the Play Store link and QR code once you hit past the break.

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Apex Launcher Beta Brings Home Launcher Based on Jelly Bean

Android Does, the makers of Apex Launcher, have done it again, this time getting you closer to Jelly Bean then ever. Early this week they released a new version of Apex Launcher Beta and it comes complete with the Android 4.1 transitions and the features you have come to know and love. This is because Apex Beta is rebuilt on top of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean based code. You will experience speed enhancements and many other features that JB brought, like auto-resizing when there is no space available, and widgets that auto move when placing them on home screens. Again, this is the Beta version of Apex and not the version that’s currently in the Play Store (ICS based). Hit the break for the full changelog and download link.  Read more