Those ICS early adopters who want to browse all the Internets, including the ones that are Flash enabled, got some good news today that Flash 11.1 is ready, right on time, for Android 4.0. Currently available in the Android Market, the release date actually says Dec 12th wich was a few days before the release of the Galaxy Nexus in the US.
Adobe of course shelved their Mobile Flash development earlier this year after a dismal earnings report and the need for cost cutting.
Google just announced on the Android Developers’ blog that Android 4.0.3, an incremental update of Ice Cream Sandwich, will become the base version for ICS vendors starting sometime in the “weeks ahead.” As for what’s included in the release, the usual bug fixes, optimizations and a “small number of new APIs for developers”.
Some of the new application programming interfaces include Calendar enhancements, such as the ability to add colors to events, new camera APIs that give apps access to video stabilization and QVGA resolution profiles, accessibility refinements with updated status and error reporting for text-to-speech features, “Improved content access for screen readers,” and other enhancements to “graphics, database, spell-checking, Bluetooth, and more”.
Developers can download the new release to the SDK using the Android SDK Manager.
Google’s Eric Schmidt was recently featured in an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett giving a rare behind-the-scenes look at Google’s second largest World offices in downtown Manhattan. While giving a tour and an exclusive interview, Schmidt explained that one of Google’s strengths is their “lack of direction.”
Schmidt also described the building that holds about 3,000 employees, and he said its staff is split “half and half” into sales/marketing and high quality engineering. He called the office the “world’s best engineering center.” Viewers got a glimpse at the desks of programmers, including some of the Google Docs team, cafeterias, hallways with fake subway grates, meat locker conference rooms, and “huddle rooms” designed to look like New York City apartments.
Viewers also learned some of Schmidt’s views on North Korea, and China’s “horrendous censorship laws”. When asked whether or not “the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs” would be born in China or the United States, Schmidt responded:
The biggest difference philisophically is demonstrated in the logos above. No longer a Google phone, the Verizon Galaxy Nexus is a Verizon LTE phone – for all that is worth.
After 24 hours with the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, I am not going to say something that hasn’t already been guessed, so refer to the previous Galaxy Nexus Review for most of my original thoughts. However, here’s what is different:
The Verizon GN is slightly thicker to house the LTE Radios/antenna and the larger battery required. It’s also slightly heavier, but you will not notice or care about the size difference. Five people, who I’ve given blind tests to, could hardly determine one from the other. Battery life differences will matter more, though, as I have not run through my initial full charge on Verizon. So, that’s a good sign for the LTE version, but I still believe people will be able to go longer on HSPA+. By perhaps saving a little bit of space, Verizon/Samsung opted for an LTE Micro-SIM rather than a full sized one. This is interesting, especially when the International version is a full sized GSM variant.
Bigger also means 32 GB on Verizon’s LTE vs. 16 GB on HSPA+
LTE is faaaast (shocker!) and adds to an already lightning quick phone. Browsing is silly fast here: You have the fastest browser, coupled with one of the fastest processors, and an LTE connection to boot. We’re talking about desktop speeds here folks. Honestly, when I’m on a good LTE connection, it is as fast as Wifi on a Cable broadband connection… almost indistinguishable.
GPS is still a bit laggy compared to other manufacturers; however, since GPS is often tied to the Baseband, I was hoping for improvement. Both versions are the same.
They feel the same processor/GPU wise. There might be some differences, but real world – you won’t notice much.
Verizon Backup Assistant and My Verizon Mobile come on the device. You can delete these from Manage apps, and I’m sure many will.
For $149 on a Verizon LTE plan vs. purchasing the International version for $700+ and getting on an HSPA+ plan from T-Mobile or AT&T, I am going to wager that it is going to sell much faster than the international/unsubsidized (and the lines seem to bear this out). Whatever Verizon did to get the exclusive here was worth it (for them, not for us Google/Samsung customers).
While there are no VCast Apps or navigation apps, it would appear that Google relented in putting its Wallet on the Verizon device. Verizon’s line needs more testing. I anticipate it will be allowed on the device around the time Verizon’s ISIS service arrives in 2012, if ever.
Bottom line: If you are cool with Verizon and their 4G plans, missing out on Google Wallet and battery life isn’t the dominating factor in choosing a phone, so go grab one of these now. This is by far the best Android device on the market (by the way, Verizon is offering a bigger battery pack for $25).
However, if you want to roam internationally, hope to use Google Wallet or want some carrier/plan freedom or need to be on AT&T/T-Mobile, you are going to want the International version. So, pick up another device or wait it out.
Anyway…we’ll have a more in-depth look at this device when we’ve had more time to play.
The program offers various tips to using the Android framework correctly and how to use it in the most efficient manner. While the Android team plans to add more, currently there are only classes for designing multiple screens, improving layout performance, managing audio playback, and more. There are also detailed articles about certain aspects, such as avoiding memory leaks.
Apple also offers similar programs as part of their SDK. With the launch of this program, Google can garner more developers into their program. Check it out!