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15 Dec 12 A screenshot tour of Verizon’s Android 4.1 update for Galaxy SIII users


Verizon Wireless finally pushed out the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update for Samsung Galaxy SIII users this week. It brings with it a variety of long-awaited Android features, including Google Now, voice search within Maps, and other nifty little touches like camera filters and contextual menus. Samsung has also bundled its premium suite of features with the update to include things like enhancements to the S-Voice personal assistant, as well as a major overhaul to the keyboard input. Verizon Wireless users will also be able to add international roaming to their plans so they can use the phone overseas. Finally, upgraded users in Salt Lake City and Austin will be able to access ISIS wallet (unfortunately, we were not able to try it out in this screenshot tour).

We’ve been waiting for this update for some time now, and although Android 4.2 Jelly Bean was recently released to various Nexus handsets and devices, any software update is better than no update at all. Let’s take a look at several of the Galaxy SIII’s new features.

Google Now and S-Voice

Galaxy SIII users now have access to Google Now, which can be engaged by holding down on the Home button for a few seconds and pressing the Google button, or by holding down the Menu button. Google Now displays pertinent information like driving times, flight information, upcoming meetings, and tracking information for shipments, and it’s all updated in real time.



Samsung also pushed forth updates to its S-Voice application, a digital personal assistant which functions a lot like Apple’s Siri and Google Now.  Its voice sounds sultrier than before, it can recognize more phrases and actions, and you can engage it from the lock screen with a voice command (more on that in a bit).



Camera Improvements

With the Android 4.1 update, Samsung also packaged up a few “premium” features, like camera enhancements. The Camera app has new filters that can be overlaid in real-time and viewed through the Preview window, and it also comes with a low-light shot function. The app also sports a “best face” setting that attempts to capture the best moment in a scene where there’s a lot of movement.





Keyboard

In addition to the standard Android 4.1 features, Samsung has also included a huge update to the Swype application, which comes natively with the Galaxy SIII. The keyboard looks much nicer than it previously did and typing is an easier endeavor. Beforehand, it used to feel like no matter the accuracy with which fingers touched the letters, it would require lots of editing before a message could go out. Now, the keyboard feels just as fluid as on stock Android. (I’m thankful that I can finally ditch the Jelly Bean keyboard plug-in I’ve been using all this time.)


Missing features

After comparing the screenshots in the video that Samsung released last week and the update that hit our own Galaxy SIII unit, we were surprised to find that the Multi-window functionality and Page Buddy did not exist in the Display options. There is no setting for customizing Notification panel, either.



As it turns out, these features are actually a part of Android 4.1.2, and the update that went out today is Android 4.1.1, so we won’t be seeing these features until that particular update hits. You can check out Samsung’s YouTube page for the videos where all the new Premium suite features are explained.

Listing image by Image courtesy of TechnoBuffalo

Article source: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/12/a-screenshot-tour-of-verizons-android-4-1-update-for-galaxy-siii-users/

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12 Jun 12 Android ICS already offers more than what is coming in iOS 6


Apple officially announced iOS 6 yesterday and while it is a welcome update for iOS that I look forward to installing on my iPad 3, most everything Apple revealed can already be done today on Ice Cream Sandwich Android devices.

Apple does a good job of taking existing technology and features and making it more user friendly (they did it with iOS 5 last year), but ICS took Android a long ways and the experience on the HTC One X is fantastic.

Apple stated there are over 200 new features in iOS 6 and we will have to wait until the fall to see everything. Developers will be loading up beta versions soon so we will see some more discussions on features over the next few weeks and months.

They did reveal several major features and functions at WWDC, so let’s take a look and compare them to what we see with existing Android ICS. You can check out the table below that summarizes the differences, followed by more lengthy discussion and my opinions. Don’t forget that Google revealed ICS last year and is likely to show off Jelly Bean this month at Google I/O.

Maps: Apple has always included a Maps application, based on Google Maps. As we discussed in May, Apple has decided to finally put some effort into navigation (powered by TomTom) and will be rolling out their own mapping solution in iOS 6.

In typical Apple fashion, the application has lots of attractive visuals with good functionality. It is their first attempt so there is still work to be done, but the new Maps does provide for turn-by-turn navigation, traffic monitoring (crowd-sourced like Waze), location-based integration in apps, and some great lock screen capability.

There doesn’t appear to be any offline navigation support, which is something that Google just recently announced for Android devices.

It also appears iOS owners will lose bicycle, pedestrian, and transit functions seen in Google Maps on iOS 5. Google Maps Navigation is a tried and tested service and application that will be tough to beat.

Siri: Siri looks to finally be getting some functionality that it should have had at launch, including the ability to launch apps, real-time sports, movie, and restaurant information and integration, and support from auto manufacturers for true eyes-free usage.

As a sports fan, I liked the demos at WWDC. Then again, I follow the sports I enjoy most with dedicated apps anyway so it isn’t as critical as it was made out to be. These functions are great to see in Siri, but I wonder how many people will use it past the week or two novelty period. I only used Siri on my iPhone 4S for reminders after the novelty wore off and rarely see people talking to their phone so am still not yet sold on the practicality of Siri.

Passbook: Passbook looks like it takes the best from multiple 3rd party apps like TripIt, Starbucks, Flixster, and more to provide one location for storing airline info, store reward cards and more. It is not a payment system application, but seems like it could move that way in the future.

Mail enhancements: I almost fell on the floor laughing when I saw how excited people were about multiple email signatures coming to iOS. You can now have a different signature for each email account on your iOS device, WOW

You can also now finally add attachments from within the email client rather than having to go to the Photos app and then create an email. However, attachment support is still extremely limited due to Apple’s closed approach to the file system. You can attach just photos and only one at a time.

iOS 6 will also include a VIP mailbox so you can filter people’s email that you really want to see. One thing I love about HTC Sense is this same ability to have groups that let you quickly filter your email with the touch of a tab. Again, nothing new or groundbreaking for Android, but nice to see Apple catching up.

Facebook: iOS 5 brought some basic Twitter integration to the platform and now we see Apple including some Facebook support. Windows Phone launched with Facebook support and Android is the king of sharing capability with the most extensive support for sharing across a large number of services.

Notification center: Like other devices have for years, iOS 6 will now enable you to quickly reply with a text message when a call comes in and you don’t want to answer it. There will also be a Do Not Disturb feature that seems very handy.

If you do a quick search in the Play Store you can find several of these same type of apps available now for Android devices. I never gave much thought to it, but I might just try a couple of these out and find one for my HTC One X.

FaceTime over 3G: Since the launch of FaceTime on iOS, people have been asking for the ability to use it over a connection other than WiFi. Other developers provided this capability through their apps, Skype, Tango, and others. Apple will be making carriers happy in iOS 6 if people use it a lot with restricted wireless carrier data caps. Again, it’s another feature that was expected and good to finally see, but I prefer using Skype since it is able to be used with more people across all platforms.

Video stabilization: You will find that iOS 6 helps you reduce shaky videos, something seen on other platforms for some time.

Some other interesting new features include:

  • Guided Access enhancements that will help those with challenges use iOS devices.
  • Game Center improvements. (I never use this so maybe the improvements will have me finally trying it out on my iPad.)
  • Full screen landscape support in Safari. (will help with iPad browsing for sure.)
  • Safari browser syncing. (It’s teason why I use Chrome on my computers and HTC One X.)
  • Photo stream sharing.

iOS 6 is a welcome update for iOS fans. iOS 5 Apple borrowed quite a bit from multiple platforms and improved the user interface elements. It looks like they did the same again, but ICS already has some solid user interface elements for these features and the differentiation isn’t as great as it used to be.

With Google likely to reveal Jelly Bean later this month at Google I/O I can understand why analysts predict iOS to continue with a fairly flat rate of adoption. Microsoft may also hit it out of the park with Windows Phone 8 and hopefully we see some of what they have coming soon at their June developer conference.

I personally find the HTC One X to be a better piece of hardware than the iPhone 4S and with the customizations and useful glanceable widgets I intend to update my new iPad to iOS 6, but skip picking up a new iPhone when they are announced.

It depends on how compelling the new iPhone hardware is, but iOS 6 isn’t compelling enough itself to sway me from Android or Windows Phone.

Related ZDNet and CNET coverage

Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/cell-phones/android-ics-already-offers-more-than-what-is-coming-in-ios-6/7769

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12 Jun 12 Android Reaches 900000 Daily Activations


Android’s chief architect, Andy Rubin, took to Twitter over the weekend to share the news that Google’s mobile platform is being activated on 900,000 devices each and every day. Google doesn’t provide a breakdown of those activations, so that massive number includes smartphones, tablets, Kindles, and other devices running Android.

It would appear that Google is on the cusp of reaching one million devices activated each day. But can it? Android’s adoption rate has slowed in recent months. Let’s take a look at the numbers.

The last time we heard from Google about the Android daily activation rate was in February. The number at the point was 850,000 daily activations. It took four months (February to June) to grow by 50,000 activations.

Prior to that, Google announced 700,000 daily activations in December 2011. The time to jump 150,000 activations–from 700,000 to 850,000–took only two months. Of course, that included the holiday shopping season. Two months for 150,000 (between December and February), followed by four months to climb 50,000 (between February and June) shows a huge slowdown in the growth rate. This has been backed up by reports from the likes of IDC, Nielsen, and others that say Android’s growth is throttling down a bit.

[ Want longer battery life? A faster browser? A way to zap annoying ads? See 10 Ways To Get More From Android Devices. ]

In October 2011, the activation rate was 550,000 per day. The daily activation rate climbed by 150,000 between October and December, a two-month stretch. Nearly a year ago, in July 2011, the activation rate was 500,000 per day.

Looking at the data, it’s clear that the holiday season was a boon to Android’s activation rate. At its current rate of growth–50,000 new daily activations over a four-month period–Google won’t reach 1,000,000 daily activations until February 2013. Is there anything that can help speed up the adoption rate?

Sure, compelling new hardware and software.

Samsung will certainly do its part in the coming weeks and months with the availability of the Galaxy S III. It lands at five major U.S. carriers in the next four weeks, and is already available for sale in markets around the globe. It’s the Korean firm’s flagship device for the year, and based on initial reactions, it will be a big seller.

Google is also prepping a new, lower-cost tablet for release in the next month or so. The Asus-made Nexus tablet is expected to make its first appearance at the Google I/O conference in several weeks. Based on the price point and specs of this device, it could help bolster flagging Android tablet sales.

Perhaps more important, however, will be Android 5.0 Jelly Bean. Jelly Bean is expected to show up at I/O along with the Nexus tablet. It needs to be more successful than the previous version of Android. Eight months after its release, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has been installed on fewer than 8% of Android devices. That’s miserable. Despite Google’s promise to make device system upgrades easier and faster, it simply hasn’t happened. Can Jelly Bean improve that rate at which smartphone and tablet buyers install the latest version of the software–and the rate at which buyers snap up Android devices?

Mobile Connect addresses the strategic direction that will define enterprise IT for the next decade–building and managing information systems that run on a mobile platform. Mobile Connect will bring together enterprise mobility thought leaders to discuss the innovations in mobile, and how forward-thinking companies are getting the technology to work for them, providing unprecedented business value. It happens in Boston, June 18-20. Register today.

Article source: http://www.informationweek.com/news/mobility/smart_phones/240001809

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03 Jun 12 Android this week: Nexus 7 Tablet surfaces; Flipboard opens beta; MotoActv …


At its annual I/O developer event, Google is widely expected to debut a Nexus Tablet that it will sell directly to consumers. Conversation about such a device started up several months ago, but as of this week, there’s evidence of the actual device. Dubbed the Nexus 7 — which could be an internal code name as opposed to an actual product name — several websites have been visited by this device, or perhaps different variations of the device for testing. Our own server logs show nearly a hundred hits from what appears to be a 7-inch tablet running with 1280 x 768 resolution and Nvidia’s Tegra 3 processor.

Other data points from the logs show the Nexus 7, expected to be built by Asus, to be running Android 4.1, which looks to be the Jelly Bean version of Android. That follows Ice Cream Sandwich, or Android 4.0, which is currently on newer devices and will soon be arriving on T-Mobile’s Galaxy S II smartphone. According to our logs the browser used to visit the site has varied between the native Android browser, Chrome for Android and Currents; Google’s Flipboard-like app for news and social network reading.

Google’s I/O event takes place late in June, so we only have a few weeks to wait and see if the next Nexus is a tablet. I see little reason to doubt it as Google typically uses a single device to show off major software advances; if the company has Android 4.1 ready to roll, a new smartphone or tablet is sure to spotlight it. And since Google has jumped back into the direct sales game — it now sells a GSM Galaxy Nexus without contract for $399 — it makes sense that a Wi-Fi tablet priced at $249 or less could be the next piece of hardware for sale in Google Play.

The mention of Google Currents reminds me that Flipboard is still generally an iOS only product as only one phone officially has Flipboard for Android: Samsung’s Galaxy S III. But the Flipboard team is looking to expand its software release to other Android phones, this week opening up a beta program. You can get in on the beta simply by providing your email address here and then waiting a short bit. I filled out the form and had a download link in under 24 hours. My first look at the app shows it to be a great reading experience, just as it is on my iPhone and iPad.

For a smaller screened reading experience, I’m now turning to the Android-powered Motorola MotoActv on my wrist. A software update released this week added support for Twitter messages and Facebook wall posts on the smart watch / health tracker.

The data comes from a Bluetooth-connected Android phone and is great for quick reading, although you can also retweet and like posts directly from your wrist thanks to the capacitive touchscreen. What started out as a wearable GPS tracking device for exercise is fast becoming a capable Android smart watch.

Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
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Article source: http://gigaom.com/mobile/android-this-week-nexus-7-tablet-surfaces-flipboard-opens-beta-motoactv-gets-social/

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31 May 12 Android 5 Jelly Bean: I Say Innovation, You Say Fragmentation…


Ah, June. The beginning of summer, when the kids are finally released from school, and Gadgets are finally released from the Purgatory between Digitimes Taiwan rumor and Midwestern Best Buy store shelf.

The hottest gadget rumor, lately even hotter than the iPhone 5, and wayyy hotter than the quickly-dismissed Facebook phone, is the Google Nexus tablet. This would be Google’s second attempt at mobile hardware – its Google Nexus smartphone was a non-starter. It will allegedly be built by Asus, not Google’s recently-swallowed Motorola Mobility, and run Nvidia’s quad-core Tegra 3 chipset. It will be 7 inches, cost a Kindle-matching $200 and be the debut of the latest Android update, version 5.0, aka Jelly Bean.

For consumers, Jelly Bean should indeed be sweet. Rumors say goodies include a Siri-like voice assistant, Google’s suddenly market-leading Chrome Web browser, better touch keyboard, more integration with Google services and more tablet-specific features.

For enterprises, rumored features they would care about include the ability to run on laptops (and possibly even dual-boot with Microsoft Windows), a file system, increased protection from malware, including the dumping of Adobe’s already-dying mobile Flash player.

The other good news for enterprises is that Jelly Bean heralds a new era wherein Google will only release one major Android update per year.

How sweet will Android Jelly Bean be for enterprises?

Credit: Shutterstock.com

Google started off frenetically, taking the ’ship early, ship often’ mantra literally. In 2009, Google released three updates to Android (Cupcake, Donut and Eclair). After complaints, it slowed the pace to bi-annual updates in the last two years.

The problem is that Google’s hardware partners still haven’t caught up. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is only running on about 5% of devices today. Almost two-thirds of devices are still running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Even Android 2.1 Eclair, released 2.5 years ago, has more users than ICS.

The Samsungs and HTCs of this world remain slow about releasing their newest hardware with the latest Android update installed (though the vendors would retort that Google’s processes are to blame). They are also excruciatingly slow about making Android updates available to devices already out in the field (if at all).

By going to one update a year, providing better previews to key hardware and software partners, and clamping down on roadmap rumors, Cupertino-style, Google can go a long way towards turning a negative (fragmentation) into a positive (sustained, regular innovation).

I am also hoping that the lack of leaks about hard-core enterprise features in Jelly Bean are only because these kinds of features aren’t sexy enough for the Rumor Mill.

Broadly speaking, Android remains the least secure and manageable of the major mobile platforms, partly because it lacks those features itself, but mostly because it doesn’t allow third-party developers to easily implement them.

If Google opens up a significant number of Android APIs related to securing and managing devices, this would improve its reputation immensely, and overnight turn it into a true enterprise and BYOD contender versus iOS.

In the meantime, enterprises wanting to deploy Android should turn to devices like the Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets. Samsung has done special engineering work to enable certain Mobile Device Management (MDM) software like SAP Afaria to have more control and security features. As a result, SAP has approved Galaxy devices for employee use, and now has more than 1,000 workers using them.

Article source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/sybase/android-5-jelly-bean-i-say-innovation-you-say-fragmentation/3253

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30 May 12 Android 5 Jelly Bean: I Say Innovation, You Say Fragmentation…


Ah, June. The beginning of summer, when the kids are finally released from school, and Gadgets are finally released from the Purgatory between Digitimes Taiwan rumor and Midwestern Best Buy store shelf.

The hottest gadget rumor, lately even hotter than the iPhone 5, and wayyy hotter than the quickly-dismissed Facebook phone, is the Google Nexus tablet. This would be Google’s second attempt at mobile hardware – its Google Nexus smartphone was a non-starter. It will allegedly be built by Asus, not Google’s recently-swallowed Motorola Mobility, and run Nvidia‘s quad-core Tegra 3 chipset. It will be 7 inches, cost a Kindle-matching $200 and be the debut of the latest Android update, version 5.0, aka Jelly Bean.

For consumers, Jelly Bean should indeed be sweet. Rumors say goodies include a Siri-like voice assistant, Google’s suddenly market-leading Chrome Web browser, better touch keyboard, more integration with Google services and more tablet-specific features.

For enterprises, rumored features they would care about include the ability to run on laptops (and possibly even dual-boot with Microsoft Windows), a file system, increased protection from malware, including the dumping of Adobe’s already-dying mobile Flash player.

The other good news for enterprises is that Jelly Bean heralds a new era wherein Google will only release one major Android update per year.

How sweet will Android Jelly Bean be for enterprises?

Credit: Shutterstock.com

Google started off frenetically, taking the ‘ship early, ship often’ mantra literally. In 2009, Google released three updates to Android (Cupcake, Donut and Eclair). After complaints, it slowed the pace to bi-annual updates in the last two years.

The problem is that Google’s hardware partners still haven’t caught up. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is only running on about 5% of devices today. Almost two-thirds of devices are still running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Even Android 2.1 Eclair, released 2.5 years ago, has more users than ICS.

The Samsungs and HTCs of this world remain slow about releasing their newest hardware with the latest Android update installed (though the vendors would retort that Google’s processes are to blame). They are also excruciatingly slow about making Android updates available to devices already out in the field (if at all).

Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2012/05/30/android-5-jelly-bean-i-say-innovation-you-say-fragmentation/

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26 May 12 Google’s Motorola buy seen boosting Android in workplace


Computerworld - With the closing of Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility this week, talk of the possibilities for Android in the enterprise has spiked.

While Android has taken the consumer market by storm — the OS runs 59% of smartphones shipped in the first quarter of 2012 — IT managers remain wary that maintaining security and control of consumer Android devices devices used by workers may be difficult if not impossible, according to various surveys.

IT managers say they can’t get the Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools they need to control Android devices brought into the workplace by employees, analysts have said.

Gartner recently reported that it has found adoption of Android tablets and smartphones in large business has so far been “severely limited” because of the complexities of managing devices from multiple vendors running different versions of Android.

A Gartner survey in April found that only 9% of enterprises have made or plan to make Android their primary mobile platform in the next year. That compares to 58% of enterprises that use or plan to use Apple’s iOS and 20% who favor Research in Motion’s BlackBerry OS.

Some analysts say they are hopeful that Motorola’s 2011 purchase of MDM software maker 3LM will improve IT’s ability to manage and secure Android, perhaps in time for the release of the coming Jelly Bean and/or Android 5.0 versions.

Analysts say 3LM is not true MDM, but that its software includes a layer of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that could make Android work better with third-party MDM software, analysts said.

Though Google is expected to use 3LM to improve Android manageability, the company wouldn’t comment on its plans for the software. Many analysts expect to gain insight into Google’s plans at its Google I/O conference in late June.

Today, IT shops rely mostly on Exchange ActiveSync to manage Android devices used by workers for job tasks. However, analysts have said that ActiveSync lacks the sophistication required by IT shops.

“ActiveSync is a really low-end solution for MDM,” said Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates.

“Now that Google owns Moto (Motorola Mobility), I expect the Moto folks to start feeding back into base Android some of the technology they have developed. This is the primary reason that Google bought Moto, in my opinion,” Gold added.

Gold predicted that the addition of Motorola Mobility will provide Android with “much more capable management interfaces and APIs.” While that won’t help current and past Android versions, it will mean enhanced security at enterprise standards for future Android versions, he added.

“None of this helps the Android enterprise users in the short term, unless they decide to work with MDM from Enterproid and others like Good that have a ‘two-persona’ capability on a device,” Gold said. He explained that “two-persona” refers to the ability to partition data on a smartphone or tablets so that a user’s personal photos and music won’t be destroyed if an IT shops wipes off sensitive corporate data from a mobile device.

Full coverage: Google

Article source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9227491/Google_s_Motorola_buy_seen_boosting_Android_in_workplace_

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23 May 12 HTC’s latest Android 4.0 device update list is Google’s signal to retake …


Google Android Bikes

HTC has published a detailed list of which of its phones will get an Ice Cream Sandwich update and when. With some updates not expected until September, Google needs to retake control of Android, and its rumored new store could be the prefect opportunity to do so.

HTC has published a complete list of all its phones that will receive an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, along with approximate timings, and a projected completion date of late August.

If this had been published six months ago, with an end of January finish date, it would have been acceptable; but instead some devices will still be waiting for Android 4.0 when Android 5.0 has been announced.

According to the list, owners of the Amaze 4G, Evo 4G+, Velocity, Vivid, Sensation, Sensation 4G, Sensation XL and Sensation XE all should be running Ice Cream Sandwich by the end of June, if they’re not already.

Then, before the end of July, the Desire S, the Evo 3D, Evo Design 4G, Incredible S, Rezound and Rhyme will join them. Bringing up the rear is the Thunderbolt, Desire HD and the Droid Incredible 2, all of which should have the update by the end of August.

All of these approximate dates should then have 45 days added to them, as according to HTC, that’s how long it’ll take the networks to test and approve the new software.

A long time coming

Here are some dates for you, as it has been a while so the exact amount of time this has taken may have slipped your mind. Android 4.0 and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus were announced on October 19, and HTC first started talking about updates just a few weeks later.

We can call that seven months ago, and the worst case scenario is that phones such as the Thunderbolt may still be waiting for Android 4.0 in September 2012, nearly a year afterwards.

HTC’s not the only one, as Motorola released a similar list a few days ago, and the majority of eligible devices can expect an update between July and September. Sony and Samsung haven’t done much better, but at least the Galaxy S2 saga is almost at an end.

Jelly Bean and the new Google Store

In just over a month’s time the doors to the annual Google I/O conference will open, so we’ll probably get our first look at Jelly Bean, the codename for the next version of Android, and the cycle will start all over again.

But if the rumors of a Google store with a collection of Nexus devices for sale pan out, the misery of waiting for software updates may be about to end, and the company could be preparing to start afresh.

The prospect of a new Google store with, for example, three phones at different price points and two tablets with different screen sizes, all running Jelly Bean and all with guaranteed updates for the foreseeable future, is a tempting possibility.

It could be Google’s chance to retake control of Android, embrace its fans, and leave those who don’t care about software updates to happily enjoy their manufacturer user interfaces.

Article source: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/htcs-latest-android-4-0-device-update-list-is-googles-signal-to-retake-control-of-the-os-in-time-for-jelly-bean/

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18 May 12 We’re not waiting for Android 5 ‘Jelly Bean,’ developers say


Unconfirmed reports say that Android 5 “Jelly Bean” could be released this fall, featuring such improvements as Chrome browser integration, better enterprise security, better power management, and maybe dual-booting support for Microsoft’s Windows 8. Google did not respond to requests for comment about its future OS plans.

Android malware usnig real apps as disguise wrappers

But Android developers at this week’s AnDevCon developer conference were too busy dealing with current releases like Android 4 “Ice Cream Sandwich” to stall their development efforts for yet another OS upgrade. “You have to deal with what’s available now,” said Chris Morris,
a developer for the Weather Channel.

[ Xamarin this week began offering a designer tool for Android applications that will work with Microsoft's Visual Studio IDE. | Subscribe to InfoWorld's Developer World newsletter for the latest insights and news on software development. ]

“Jelly Bean” does sound interesting, said Michael Luongo, a developer specializing in media-sharing application at TechSmith.
He’s been building “Ice Cream Sandwich” applications for about six months. “Everybody I think wants to monetize [their application]
now,” so news of a possible new Android version isn’t derailing current efforts.

Developers David Mathisen, of Allegiance Software, and Teresa Jiminez Arreola, of France Telecom Ramp;D, had similar sentiments.
Neither wants to hold off and wait for Android’s next upgrade. “I want to make sure that everybody can use our app that has
an Android phone,” Mathisen said. But Jiminez Arreola did acknowledge Android fragmentation as a problem: “Sometimes, you
need to implement different tools to actually make the application work in different versions,” she said. For example, there
are four versions of Android used in current devices: 2.2 “Froyo,” 2.3 “Gingerbread,” 3.0 “Honeycomb,” and 4.0 “Ice Cream
Sandwich.” The upgrade of recent and current devices to the universal “Ice Cream Sandwich” has been slow.

Next month’s Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco could provide a forum for Google to officially unveil “Jelly Bean.” In the meantime, developers at AnDevCon
learned about happenings in the Android development tools space, including the anticipated arrival of a GL debugger, which
will provide support for the OpenGL 2D/3D graphics API, such as to debug rendering artifacts and rendering issues, said Romain
Guy, a software engineer at Google.

This article, “We’re not waiting for Android 5 ‘Jelly Bean,’ developers say,” was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Read more about application development in InfoWorld’s Application Development Channel.

Article source: http://www.networkworld.com/news/2012/051812-we39re-not-waiting-for-android-259426.html?hpg1=bn

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06 Mar 12 Next Android flavor: Key Lime Pie, but where’s Chrome?


PC World - The newest cavity-inducing Android operating system code name will be Key Lime Pie, according to The Verge. No details are available about Key Lime Pie aside from a possible 2013 release date, so it’s unclear if the OS is intended for smartphones, tablets, or a sweet mash-up of both.

That Google is working on future operating systems isn’t a shocker, but even mentioning Key Lime Pie makes the Android release schedule seem glutted. After all, Ice Cream Sandwich isn’t even available on most Android phones; and Jelly Bean, intended for tablets, still has only a rumored Spring 2012 release date. The good news is that the 2013 date suggests that Google is slowing down with the releases a little bit, which will give Android fans some breathing room.

I think the next Android flavor should be Chrome. The idea of chomping into a slick metallic lollipop doesn’t exactly induce Pavlovian dribbles, but Google needs to stop cycling between smartphone and tablet operating systems and focus on a cohesive one-stop-shop product.

And there’s no time like the present. Now that Microsoft has created an inspired ecosystem with Windows 8, one that could crumble the walls of Apple’s fanboy-driven garden, Android’s lack of cross-platform functionality is sticking out like a sore thumb — one that will only swell further as long as Google pops out countless Android iterations.

Article source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9224873/Next_Android_flavor_Key_Lime_Pie_but_where_39_s_Chrome_?taxonomyId=15

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