Sunday, 16 October 2011

AndroidNZ's Week in Android News for 16th October 2011

Welcome to another Week in Android News. If this is your first time we cover what's been going on in the world of technology, and more specifically in the world of Android over the last week. If keeping up with your RSS reader has gotten away from you this week, you can rest easy knowing we'll bring you up to speed after the break.

While this week we didn't have a public figure like Steve Jobs passing, we had a more fundamental figure Dennis Ritchie leaving us. If you don't know who he is then have a read of this great article over at CNN. In brief he was the father of the C programming language, without which we wouldn't have a majority of the technology we use daily - including Android and the Internet.

As we draw closer to the announcement of the Nexus Prime (if it's even called that) there are more and more rumours from so called 'reliable sources' coming out of the woodwork. 

Nexus Prime/Galaxy Nexus Rumour Roundup
  • Eldar Murtazin tries to say that the Nexus Prime is delayed due to patent issues, however a source at 9to5google debunks this
  • AndroidNext report that photos from a 'Galaxy Nexus' phone appear on Picasa briefly, then disappear.
  • More rumours surrounding the 1.5GHz (or is it 1.2GHz) clock speed appear on AndroidForums here and the source also has an opinion about the battery life here
  • Oh, and according to some random guy on Twitter, there are going to be multiple stock Ice Cream Sandwich devices.
In case you're starting to get excited/worried - remember these are only rumours so take 'em with a grain of salt.

Well then, what's really going on with the Nexus Prime?
  • Confirmation that the Nexus Prime won't be delayed further from Samsung UK Sales Director who says it's coming sooner than you think
  • According to Android Community and several other Android news sites: the Ice Cream Sandwich / Nexus Prime event is confirmed for October 19th at 10am in Hong Kong. This means that if you're living at home here in New Zealand you should keep an eye out around 3pm next Wednesday.
  • Android Police have an exclusive look at the widgets available in Ice Cream Sandwich. They also have managed to find evidence of a built in photo editor in the ICS Photo Gallery

Feeling hungry? how about an Ice Cream Sandwich

On the Patent/Lawsuit front:
If you're getting a little worried about the ongoing patent wars affecting Android's success then check out the News in Google
  • Google announces revenue of 9.72 billion for Q3 2011 - up 33% from the same time last year
  • If you watch the webcast you'll find out that there are now 190 million Android phones activated around the world
Google is not going to let these pesky patent wars get in the way of Android being a successful platform.

Device/Technology announcements
  • The Asus Eee Pad Transformer could have a Kal-El bearing sequel as early as November. Android Central have coverage, however their original source has now had a take-down request from Nvidia Poland - hinting that this might be too close to the mark for Nvidia's comfort.
  • LG Claim that their upcoming 720P IPS displays are better than AMOLED, according to a study by Intertek
  • Anandtech has a great article on Qualcomm's S4 SoC - could this rival the Tegra 3? 
  • Qualcomm also released a very strange video about bugs powering handsets 0_o
  • Although this doesn't affect NZ as of yet, AT&T have announced the Motorola Atrix 2 becoming available October 16th
  • The Samsung Galaxy SII HD LTE has shown up in FCC filings - does this mean it's coming to countries outside of South Korea?
App Announcements
It's been a very busy week in the world of Android Apps with several old school games coming to Android and a load of great apps being updated with awesome new functionality. 
  • AndroidNZ's exclusive Great Little War Game giveaway continues until Wednesday the 19th October. Make sure you check it out for a chance to win a free game and exclusive beta access for Rubicon's upcoming titles. 
  • GLWG was also updated this week to fix some multi-touch issues in Honeycomb and bring support to the HTC Sensation. 
  • Classic pervy adventure game Leisure Suit Larry remake is coming to Android 
  • Marvel Comics has been released for Android, read about it on the Marvel website
  • Android Central report that Duke Nukem 3D is coming to Android - surprisingly this is already available on the HP Touchpad - the mind boggles..  
  • Bluestacks have brought out an application for running Android Apps on a PC - Angry Birds anyone? (P.S you can already play Angry Birds via Chrome on a PC)
  • Opera Mobile 11.5 and Opera Mini 6.5 are quietly released
  • Viber 2.1 adds photo, location sharing and better quality audio - especially over 3G. Android Central take a quick look.
  • Astro File manager gets new Honeycomb interface, Phandroid has a rundown of the new features.
  • Claystone release V1.11 of their 3D Launcher, you can read about it here on XDA
  • Rockstar have announced that they will be bringing GTA 3 to the following android handsets: Droid X2, HTC Evo 2, LG Optimus 2X, Motorola Atrix, Samsung Galaxy S2
  • Our resident fitness freak Neets wrote a great review of Cardio Trainer that you can read here
  • We had exclusive coverage when PowerAMP 2.0 Beta was quietly released - one of our brand new writers Nik 'Onslaught86'Turner writes about it here 
  • NZTechFreak also made great walkthrough video of the PowerAMP 2.0 Beta that you can watch below:

  • Engadget review the HTC Sensation XE - the revamp to bring the Sensation to where it should've been in the first place, as well as some analysis of the 'Beats' technology: 
  • T-Mobile USA get a different variant of the Samsung Galaxy SII which has a 1.5GHz Qualcomm chipset. Check out Engadget's review here.
  • Even if you don't like the iPhone you might be interested in checking out a couple of the reviews, at the very least to see how iOS has a new Android inspired notification system. ThisIsMyNext have a decent review of the handset here, and Slashgear compare the iPhone 4S to the Galaxy S II (Qualcomm & Exynos variants) here, and the new iOS5 with copycat notifications is reviewed here
Custom Rom/Modding Section
  • A comprehensive guide to rooting your Samsung Galaxy SII was posted on Tuesday by Dr. Murray 'NZTechFreak' Winiata
  • This week Murray also wrote a great guide on how to backup your rooted Android device.
  • And for those interesting in playing Tegra games on non Tegra devices - he also shows you how to use Chainfire 3D on your rooted handset.
  • CyanogenMod Alpha has been released for the HP TouchPad so for those of you who get a cheap tablet in the firesale, there's hope to convert you to Android!

And lastly, this doesn't quite fit in anywhere but I wrote what I think is a pretty great article on where I see the future of computing headed.