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Initial thoughts on Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) and the Galaxy Nexus

That was a fun hour! Live-tweeting the Ice Cream Sandwich live stream, thanks to good ol’ YouTube!

Overall, there is a LOT more polish, everything works incredibly speedily, and the native UI looks and feels better in a million different ways. Stop putting your stupid skins over it, manufacturers; you can’t improve on this.

The Galaxy Nexus looks quite Nexus S-like. 4.65 inch super AMOLED WTFBBQ gorgeous screen, 1280×720 native resolution, 4G / LTE capable, and 3 virtual, on-screen (anchored at the bottom) buttons replacing the physical hardware ones.

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Android niceties: My Android app visual scrapbook

A few weekends ago—to play around with Tumblr more than anything—I started Android niceties.

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I describe it on the blog as…

A collection of screenshots encompassing some of the best looking Android apps, and / or apps with interesting user interfaces, hopefully providing some inspiration or insight into Android UI conventions.

Please note: These apps aren’t all 100% unique to Android in their UI conventions, and some have iPhone equivalents, but I didn’t want to keep it PURELY, UNIQUELY Android if I felt the UI still worked, and didn’t do Android a disservice (e.g. a Back button)

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Siri, publish my thoughts on the iPhone 4S

The new iPhone was announced today. Let’s just look past all the idiocy proliferated by the mass media around “IT’S A 4S, NOT A 5”.

A dual-core A5 Chip, 8MP camera, full 1080p HD video recording and voice commands integrated into some apps through their Siri acquisition.

Siri is getting all the attention. It only works on the iPhone 4S.

I’ve used the voice-to-text features on my Android for over a year, and the only time I’ve found it actually useful is to dictate a text message while driving.

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Where I went yesterday, via my Android phone

You know what? I’m glad this whole phones keeping track of everywhere you go thing happened, because, pushing all those pesky, minor concerns about privacy away, it’s really kind of cool!

Hot on the heels of the iPhone tool that showed us the smorgasbord of data that’s being stored, someone decided to see what Google / Android does. It turns out they store location information as well, just, no way near as much as Apple

After a period of time, 12 hours for cellular data and 48 hours for WiFi data, has passed, the location data is renewed by a new request from Google. It is also limited to a maximum number of entries so that the database doesn’t grow too large. 

Swindon says that the location file pulled from his phone contained roughly 13,000 entries related to cellular network tracking. By contrast the Android file is limited to only 50 entries in the cellular location database.

via The Next Web

Maybe it is just a bug, or lazy programming or whatever on Apple’s part, but it makes sense, especially in Google’s case, where they delete / refresh the data, and you can see it being useful for location-based services.

This same someone that decided to see what Google do, created a Python script that you can feed the Wi-Fi and Cell cache files into, and then output into a .gpx format, to eventually visualise on Google Maps, so I just went ahead and tried it out, purely with my Cell cache file.

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Samsung Galaxy S. First impressions.

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I was forced to buy a new phone yesterday, my previous phone being an HTC Magic. I bought a Samsung Galaxy S based purely on the word of 3 different people. I didn’t even know the specs on the thing. I didn’t even know how it looked. Thank god then that the phone is so frakn amazing, because buyer’s remorse is a bitch!

Oh, and this ain’t no detailed Engadget review going through each aspect of the phone. It is purely what I’ve experienced over the last 1.5 days.

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My year with Android keyboards

I was looking through Android and Me’s Top 10 app downloads of the week [a great weekly perusal], and came across SwiftKey, touted for its word prediction capabilities, and thought I might as well try it out. Several hours later and I can’t contain my love for it, but I was feeling nostalgic, and felt compelled to chronicle my year in Android keyboards.

I think it’s actually a bit past my one year Android anniversary, and no doubt the marriage will only continue to blossom, although I might have to cheat on Mrs. HTC Magic soon. There were also no problems with the ceremony and venue, like others have sadly experienced recently.

Thanks to Android Central for the majority of the keyboard screenshots; I honestly couldn’t be bothered.

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