Have an old Kindle Fire lying around? Don’t trade it in just yet because with a little bit of tinkering, you can turn it into what amounts to a Google (GOOG) Nexus 7. XDA-Developers user “Hashcode” has written up instructions on how to install Android 4.2.1 on an original Kindle Fire with almost every feature intact. If you can live without the microphone (sound still works), deep sleep mode, Swype keyboard, multi-user profiles and USB camera support, then you’re good to go. All of the major tablet features including hardware-accelerated HD video for YouTube and Netflix (NFLX) work smoothly, and Liliputing’s hands-on video suggests the transformation works really well for browsing and games. The only downside is the battery life is not very good. True, you won’t get the Nexus 7′s higher-resolution display or sleeker design either, but it’s still a handy way to repurpose an old tablet. More →
The newest version of Android is chock full of neat features including Photo Sphere, but one thing it’s missing is the entire month of December. Google (GOOG) acknowledged on Monday there is a bug in Android 4.2 that only displays 11 months in a year. The bug report was first circulated by AndroidPolice showing a Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 both running Android 4.2 and both missing December in the People/Contacts app. Users with devices that can be updated to Android 4.2 might want to hold off on doing so until Google fixes this annoying bug.
Following the launch of both the Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet, Google (GOOG) on Tuesday released its Android 4.2 software developer kit (SDK) to app developers. The SDK includes support for new lock screen widgets, the Daydream interactive screen saver mode, secondary displays, multiple user accounts and more. The latest version of Android also includes gesture typing, AirPlay-like Miracast screen sharing, a quick settings pull-down and a new panorama photo feature called Photo Sphere. Additionally, Android Open Source Project technical lead Jean-Baptiste Queru announced in a Google Groups post that the full Android 4.2 source has been merged into the AOSP code and is now available for custom ROM developers. Unfortunately it would seem that both the Nexus S and Motorola Xoom are no longer being supported by Google and for the time being will remain on Android 4.1.2.
It has been five years since Android exploded onto the scene and since then the world’s most popular mobile operating system has seen a variety of enhancements. The first iteration of Android was lackluster to say the least, although each software update has delivered much-needed improvements. Google (GOOG) completely revamped its mobile platform with the release of Ice Cream Sandwich, the operating system that finally integrated smartphones and tablets. Following the release of Android 4.0, the Internet giant added increased security features to its then Android Market, now known as the Play Store. The “Bouncer” feature worked by analyzing apps that were uploaded to the Play Store, although users who chose to install apps through sideloading were left unprotected. With the introduction of Android 4.2, Google has finally brought a new high-powered security feature to the Android platform. More →
Despite canceling its Android event on Monday, Google (GOOG) still managed to announce the Nexus 4 smartphone, Nexus 10 tablet and Android 4.2. While the latest operating system update retains the Jelly Bean name, it brought a bunch of new features to Android such as gesture typing, multi-user accounts for tablets, AirPlay-like Miracast screen sharing and a new panorama photo feature called Photo Sphere. Android 4.2 will debut on the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 on November 13th, however Android enthusiasts can experience some of the latest features even sooner. Hackers from the forums at XDA Developers have managed to port Photo Sphere to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.1. Installing the feature is rather simple, although it does mean that you’ll have to root your device, which in turn will void your warranty. If you are interested in checking out Photo Sphere be sure to check out the source link below.
Despite the cancellation of its grand event in New York City, Hurricane Sandy didn’t stop Google (GOOG) from dropping a bunch of new hardware on the tech world. The Nexus 4 smartphone, the Nexus 10 tablet and a more aggressively priced Nexus 7 (with 3G models) aside, an update to Jelly Bean slipped through the cracks in the form of Android 4.2. One of the coolest new features in Android 4.2 is Photo Sphere — a camera feature that lets you create panoramas from shots taken from any direction. Whereas iOS 6′s panorama mode lets you take photos by sweeping the camera from left to right, Photo Sphere lets you pick a central spot and then snap additional shots, above, below or left and right of the initial image. The software then magically transforms those shots into a smoothed out panorama. A video demonstration of how Photo Sphere works follows below.