Sunday, 22 January 2012

The Week in Android News for 22 January 2012

Steve Wozniak likes what you can do with Android
This week has not had the same flurry of announcements that there were during CES, instead the news has been more varied and there has been an increase in the Android/iOS tensions.  I expect more rumours to begin circulating in the coming month as we lead into MWC at the end of February

If you're keen to see what's been happening in the world of Android for the last week then keep reading after the jump.

News

Device & Technology Announcements


Image courtesy of electronista.com
In case you were living under a rock last week, The Verge has roundups of the tablets and phones announced at CES. As for this week's announcements read on below.

Tablets:
  • Notion Ink has confirmed their sequel to the ill-fated Adam tablet, unsurprisingly named the Adam II
  • This news might be disappointing for some but Asus have said that they currently have no plans for a 3G enabled Transformer Prime. They didn't rule out a 3G enabled TF700T however
  • I'm fairly certain this has been announced before but Asus have said that the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) update for the original transformer is coming 'soon' as it's being approved by Google currently
  • Coby, a relative unknown has announced some low-end tablets that will run ICS
  • Motorola released Honeycomb for their Xoom tablet, surprisingly over a week after it came out on the Transformer Prime
Phones:
Image courtesy of pocketnow.com
  • Sony's 2012 launch schedule leaked, you can't really tell a whole lot from the code names but prices are included
  • Rumours of LG's X3 device have been abound this week with a supposed 4.7" 720p screen and quad core Tegra 3 processor
  • Although ICS hasn't yet been released for the Galaxy Note, there has been a maintenance release that introduces some interesting new features including a one handed mode for typing

Accessories:
It's a pocket sized controller!
  • SteelSeries have announced a pretty cool mobile game controller that will apparently work over bluetooth with Android devices
Technologies:
Image courtesy of spectrum.ieee.org
  • Samsung's VP of Product Innovation has been cited saying that battery life is an issue they hope to tackle with devices coming out this year
  • Some smart folk over at the London Centre for Nanotechnology have been tinkering with solar panels in OLED smartphone displays. While not quite viable yet, these could be a boon for those running out of juice on their phones all the time
  • The NSA have released the source code for their Security Enhanced Android, if you're a developer there might be features you want to build into your next rom

    On the Patent/Lawsuit front

    • Samsung may begin fighting back against Apple with hints of their new aggressive stance revealed in this article by ArtooDetoo
    • Of course Apple are continuing their tirade against everything Samsung, this time they are pursuing them over 10 devices in German courts


    App News

    • The hit iOS game Temple Run is coming to Android as a free app with in-game purchasing, there is no release date as of yet
    • According this interview with Madfinger Games, the multi-player expansion for the hit 3rd person shooter Shadowgun is due in Q1 2012 for Tegra 3 devices
    • The CyanogenMod team have released their new music app which will be featured in the CM9 release of their rom
    • Google Sky Map is sort of dead, but not - it's been open sourced by Google
    Yep, Wikipedia
    • Wikipedia released their official Android app this week, around the same time they blacked out for the SOPA protests coincidentally
    • The ICS only launcher replacement Nova Launcher got an upgrade to include folder icons and infinite home screen scrolling
    • Can't get enough Counter-Strike on the go? you're in luck as a CS 1.6 clone using Unity3D has been released over on XDA
    • A somewhat lame Call of Duty companion app has been released, check it out if you're into pointless apps
    • WebOS Twitter client Carbon is finally coming to Android
    • Polarbit are releasing a sequel to their highly popular Reckless Racing game and calling it *gasp* Reckless Racing 2. It's due on Feb 2nd if you're interested
    • Speaking of Polarbit, they also have an Arctic themed game called Penguin Palooza that just came out for $0.99 USD
    • Been playing GTA3 on your Android device but feeling stifled by the lack of modding community?  Well stifle no longer, GTA3 Mobile Modding now has a website dedicated to the modification of the Android game
    • If you have somehow managed to get a Hulu plus subscription here in New Zealand but always wanted to watch your shows on the go, now you can with the hacked Android application

    The Industry
    Image courtesy of Nielsen

    • Nielsen have released some statistics for smartphone sales in Q4, 2011 and things aren't looking good for RIM, iOS and Android both keep increasing their market share and it's clear that the battle is not over yet. 
    • We knew Samsung had a strong focus on their home country South Korea, what we didn't know was how much Koreans love Samsung. Apparently 10% of their population own a Samsung Galaxy SII with over 5 million units sold

    Interesting other stuff
    That is Windows 7, not Android btw
    • Have you been pining for a way to make your Windows 7 desktop look more Android-esque? Well some dude over at Flickr did and he made an ICS themed desktop! check it out over on Lifehacker
    • Apparently "Woz" (Steve Wozniak) Apple's co-founder said some nice things about Android, he still uses an iPhone as his primary device though..



    Reviews



    • Gianpy has reviewed the SGP Ultra Capsule for Samsung's Galaxy Nexus
    • He has also reviewed another case, the Incipio Sylicrilic
    • Over at Engadget they've reviewed the decidedly mid-range handset - the Huawei Honor. Turns out it's not a bad device and performs very admirably for it's humble single core beginnings
    • Over at Anandtech they have a decent review of the Galaxy Nexus and ICS, it doesn't have a very good analysis of the performance however
    • Looking for a minimalist word processing app for your Android tablet? well like the bible says, seek and you will find - Jotterpad HD is free and Androinica has a short review



    How To's
    • Over at AndroidCentral they have a How To for flashing ICS to the stock LTE Motorola Xoom
    • If you're interested in modding your Galaxy Nexus, there's a new version of the Toolkit that helps you to do it. Here's the guide over at XDA

    If you feel there's anything important we've missed, let us know in the comments below.