The main stream media outlets like to say that the tablet market is essentially the iPad market. They often ignore wonderful devices like the Motorola Xoom. They shrug off other devices with awesome features becoming something other than being a “big screen phone.” For example, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, with its IR blaster for controlling your entertainment system and the S-Pen for taking notes. The real issue with the Android tablet market is not the hardware, it is the software.
Google realizes this, and to get more people onto their Android ecosystem they want to change this image. Recently there were two posts, a blog post and an informational post, that show Google’s focus on improving the tablet ecosystem.
The first step towards Android tablet dominance is the Tablet App Quality Checklist from the Android Developers Site. Here. Google lays out some basic items that you should focus on for your Tablet App. Items mentioned include optimizing your app for larger tablet screens, using the right resolution graphics to prevent pixelization that comes from stretching and zooming a phone app. Plus, you have more screen real estate on tablets, and they recommend you use it to offer many content intensive screens. For example, instead of just listing headlines, you can show a thumbnail of a photo in a news article in addition to the headline. Other recommendations include adjusting the size of fonts, icons, widgets and touch targets to match tablet screens. Lastly, Google says to not require items that tablets don’t have, such as telephony. They also say to offer at least the same amount of features and functionality as handset apps, if not more.
The second step towards Android tablet acceptance is the Android Developers blog post by Nick Butcher discussing Jelly Bean and Nexus 7, Google’s current flagship tablet. The full SDK for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is now available to developers. Butcher discusses some tips and tricks for optimizing apps for the Nexus 7, and it pretty much follows the checklist discussed above. With the post talking about the Nexus 7’s screen size and its lack of telephony and rear-facing camera. The most important line in his post is perhaps this one.
A lot of work has gone into making Jelly Bean buttery smooth; make sure your app is as well. If you haven’t yet opted in to hardware accelerated rendering then now is the time to implement and test this.
We certainly hope that these checklists and discussions help app developers create wonderful and buttery-smooth tablet apps or tablet versions of handset apps. Google is making a strong push in the tablet market to shake up the iPad’s share. The recent release of a landscape lock and home screen for the Nexus 7 in Android 4.1.2 definitely reinforces this.
[Thank you to XDA Portal Administrator Will Verduzco for the tip!]
The world of Android moves quickly. It seems like only yesterday Google was announcing the Nexus 7 and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean at Google I/O in the Moscone Center. Now we hear that Jean-Baptiste Queru and the crew responsible for the AOSP released an update to 4.1.2.
Along for the ride comes an OTA for the Nexus 7, which now benefits from a landscape-capable default launcher. Another feature present, and one that is accessible from all devices, is a one-touch notification center.
Those of us not lucky enough to be running the Nexus 7 don’t have to wait long at all. In fact, in what is perhaps one of the fastest merges ever, CyanogenMod 10 nightlies now incorporate Android 4.1.2. So if you like being on the cutting edge with the latest version of Android, check out the latest official CyanogenMod 10 nightlies for your device.
For those interested, XDA users have reported that applying the 4.1.2 update on a Nexus 7 retains root for devices running ClockWork Mod Recovery and a stock, unlocked and rooted installation of 4.1.1.
October 3, 2012 By: Former Writer
The Google Nexus 7 has had its share of issues since its release. There are countless threads of users reporting that they had to RMA their Nexus 7 several times before they got a unit that functioned well enough to keep. Many just got refunds. However, that hasn’t stopped the Nexus 7 from being one of the most popular new tablets. Recently, the updated (JRO03R build) driver binaries for the Nexus 7 were released, and they can potentially fix a lot of problems that people are having.
XDA Senior Member Jay Aristide repackaged the binaries for the Nexus 7 for all to share. The package includes the drivers for pretty much everything in the Nexus 7, including:
* WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS by Broadcom
* Touchscreen by ELAN
* Orientation sensor by InvenSense
* Graphics & CPU by nVidia
* DRM by Widevine
Installation can be a bit tricky. While there shouldn’t be any harm in flashing these, it’s a good idea to check and see if the custom ROM you’re using has these drivers in them already. Otherwise, it’s just flash in recovery like any other flashable zip.
These drivers could be more than most bargained for. Some in the community, including XDA Senior Member Hyperrunner have reported that these binaries can be used to fix issues. Hyperrunner’s thread says that the binary drivers can fix unresponsive touch screen issues. Many testers have confirmed that it does seem to help, while some others have reported otherwise. It seems as though the drivers fix the issue if the issue is software related, while hardware related problems remain unaffected.
There could be many more uses for these binary drivers. For more info, go to the original thread.
Who doesn’t like it when development teams launch mass releases? As such it’s not uncommon for us to report a dozen or so devices getting a ROM at once. Another ROM dev team has released their newest release candidate for a staggering 11 devices.
The ROM series is called LiquidSmooth, and the team has quite a few developers. It is a source-built release derived from AOSP, and it borrows from a number of other development teams such as CyanogenMod and Team EOS. The device list includes:
Galaxy Nexus (maguro)
Galaxy Nexus (toroplus)
Galaxy Nexus (toro)
Samsung Galaxy S III I9300
Sprint Samsung Galaxy S III
Verizon Samsung Galaxy S III
T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S III
AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III
US Cellular Samsung Galaxy S III
Google Nexus 7
Samsung Galaxy Note GT-N7000
It’s quite a hefty list. A few of the features included are:
Lockscreen text color, layouts etc, 5-8 Options
Color & Alignment (Clock)
Custom Navbar Targets (Up to 7)
Custom Navbar Ring Targets (Up to 5)
Customizable Colors throughout the Rom
Liquid Launcher (Custom with extra options)
Liquid Splasher (New Liquid Settings)
Framework optimizations to enhance performance
Ultra Slim Size: Deodexed, Debloated, Zip-Aligned and Opti-png
Startup script control (sysctl, cron, zipalign etc)
Forced Tablet Mode with DPI Changer
Status Bar Mods – Battery, Clock, Provider Name Changer and more…
Toggles (Both AOKP/CM style)
So, in short, there are a lot of devices and a lot of features. There isn’t a running list of issues with these ROMs, so you’ll have to check out your device’s ROM thread to see if anyone is reporting any issues. Given that they are stable releases, there shouldn’t be many. For more details, check out any one of the number of device links above.
Team EOS is an incredibly talented developer group that has brought AOSP goodness to a variety of devices. In the process, they have been featured on the Portal in the past. Now, the dev team has released their latest stable build, version 3, for 5 devices. These include the Motorola Xoom, the Nexus 7, and all three versions of the Galaxy Nexus.
While all builds were released by teameos, the Motorola Xoom version was posted by XDA Recognized Developer solarnz on behalf of the entire team. All 5 builds are, as they claim to be, stable and offer a very large number of features. These include:
Android 4.1.1 AOSP based.
Battery Indicator Mods
Status Bar Color
Navigation Bar Color
Softkeys Long-Press Actions
Navigation Bar Ring Quick Launch Targets
Android Rotation Lock
Hide System Bars
Volume keys switch depending on rotation. So the volume up key is always either on the top or to the right of volume down. (Toggle-able)
Default Volume Control Stream
Advanced power menu with reboot options.
Hiding the status bars via the power menu
Additionally, there are a number of under-the-hood tweaks that help make the ROMs lag less and function better. To learn more, check out one of the thread links below:
There is no doubt that the Nexus 7 is one of the current flagship Android tablets. It’s not the biggest, but it’s a solid, stable device for a great price—and it has great specs as well. However, not everyone can afford to upgrade their tablets, and must stay with what they have. That doesn’t mean that Motorola Xoom owners can’t enjoy some of the feel of the Nexus 7.
XDA Senior Member emofishcake has released a mod that will give the Motorola Xoom many of the elements of the Nexus 7 UI. Currently, the mod includes:
framework.apk for specific device/rom combos (to be pushed to system)
StatBar (same dpi as Navbar symmetrical)
CWM flashable ZIP
use the ZIP to change DPI also
So while it isn’t a major overhaul, it gives you the basic accents to make your Xoom more Nexus 7-like. For now, this is only compatible with the Wingray (WiFi-only) variant of the Xoom, and it has to be running either TeamEOS nightlies, CodenameAndroid, or CM10 nightlies. Support for the other versions and more ROMs is promised in future updates. Additionally, emofishcake is taking feature requests from users to help make the Nexus 7 mod include even more lookalike goodness.
If this is something you’d like to try out, check out the original thread.
Tablet cameras generally don’t live up to their potential. There are a variety of reasons for this, but most notable is that people don’t often use the camera on a tablet. A tablet is too big and bulky to be used as a camera under most circumstances, so OEMs generally don’t put much work into camera software.
That said, this doesn’t mean that the actual camera units themselves are worthless. Rather, they can often be modded to produce better content. Such is the case on the Google Nexus 7, which can now record video at 720p. Installation is simple, requiring that users edit their media_profiles.xml file.
While a flashable zip will most likely come in the future, it’s fun to edit the file manually. XDA Recognized Developer hillbeast who created the guide, includes before and after videos.
For more information, check out the original thread.
We have come quite a long way from the crazy days of chasing thieves in the middle of a crowded marketplace. Nowadays, we typically request refunds on PayPal, call the police to report items stolen,or (on Android devices) use a security app to track your phone down so you can politely ask for it back. What if you could also take a picture of the thief? Now there’s an application that’ll let you do that.
The application is called Hidden Eye. If the perpetrator gets your lock screen pattern wrong too many times, your device’s front facing camera will take a picture of them. This photo is stored on the device, and there is an option to sync it to Dropbox. It can be very, very useful in identifying who has (or had) your device when they shouldn’t have. This is also a great way to catch snooping roommates or other household guests.
Posted to our forums by XDA Senior Member millennium007, the application works for most devices with a front facing camera, including the Nexus 7, despite some early issues with compatibility for the Google tablet. If you have an older device that doesn’t have a front facing camera, the application can still be helpful to you. As the app description states:
Worried that your phone does not have front camera. With HiddenEye, now you can know the someone has tried to snoop into your phone. You can also set alarm if someone is trying to unlock your phone with wrong password. If you have a front camera, then you can see who tried unlocking your phone.
To learn more, head over to the application thread.
September 3, 2012 By: Haroon Q. Raja
AOKP fans who are also lucky owners of Google Nexus 7, you’re in for a treat! If you have been waiting to get the latest Jelly Bean-based AOKP on your device, your wait is now over. Official AOKP nightlies have started rolling out for the Nexus 7. For those of you who are still surprisingly unfamiliar with AOKP, it’s an AOSP-based Android ROM that has gained a lot of critical acclaim over the past year, and has made its reputation as one of the most popular Android ROMs available for multiple devices, along with CyanogenMod and MIUI.
When Jelly Bean source was first released, XDA members wasted no time putting it on anything and everything. This was also helped immensely by a guide by XDA Recognized Developer dastin1015 to help users learn to compile Jelly Bean. As Jelly Bean has become more commonplace around here, more device specific guides have been writte. Among the latest is a guide to compile CyanogenMod 10 for the Nexus 7.
The tutorial comes in a Google Document shared by XDA Recognized Developer fattire. To start, users need to be running Linux. Next, they simply follow the instructions and end up with a booting ROM. While we talk quite a bit about compiling source code here at XDA, fattire has compiled (see what I did there?) a list of reasons why compiling ROMs yourself is beneficial.
You never, ever have to wait for a nightly
You can add or remove as-yet uncommitted features with ease.
You learn how Android works under the hood
You learn how to use Linux
You’ll learn how to use git
You may, even accidentally, pick up a little C, Java, C++, and learn about the build system.
You can personalize Android– make your own tweaks, replace kernels, modules, graphics, add or remove projects, overclock, underclock etc. In other words, you have control over every aspect of your device’s functionality. Your build is custom to you.
You can audit the code for potential security issues such as back doors or trojans (as opposed to just trusting a random person who posts a build). Since CM10 source is open, you can examine every commit, and there are many eyes looking at the code. (does not apply to proprietary blobs, but these are pulled from your device, so you have and are using them already)
You can contribute features/fixes back upstream
You can start ports to other as-yet-unsupported devices (start by copying folders from similar devices to devices/manufacturer/model)
You come to really understand that Android phones and tablets are full-fledged general-purpose computers just like laptops and desktops.
AAAAND….you get huge bragging rights
So the question remains: What are you waiting for? Getting the latest CM on one of Android’s most loved tablets is as simple as following a Google Doc guide. To learn more, head to the original thread.
Very recently, we brought you news of an awesome toolkit for the Nexus 7. It brought many features and gave Nexus 7 users a stable tool to do a lot of things. However since it was for Windows users only, many Mac users were left longing for their own. Thankfully, there is now a toolkit available for Mac users to easily flash and modify their Nexus 7 devices.
Released by XDA Senior Member techfanatic9, the tool is actually based off of a number of scripts that previously wouldn’t work on a Mac. This is especially helpful for users who aren’t familiar with Nexus devices or Android in general. It provides Mac users with a number of features, including:
* Root Nexus 7
* Restore / Unroot Nexus 7 to Stock 4.1
* Install ClockworkMod Recovery on Nexus 7
* Unlock Bootloader on Nexus 7
* Lock Bootloader on Nexus 7
Given that Mac-compatible root methods often come late, it’s nice to see that the toolkit appear on the Nexus 7. Additionally, techfanatic9 has released each feature as a separate script, meaning that you can download each piece as needed or download the full set to have the full tool. For more information, check out the toolkit thread.
We recently told you about the CyanogenMod team beginning work on CM10. Now, a significant milestone has been reached: CM10 Nightlies have appeared for select devices. For those who aren’t familiar, a nightly build is an automatic build incorporating the latest changes in CM source for a device. Yesterday, CyanogenMod released the list of those devices that would be getting the first round of nightlies:
# The US SGS3 variants (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint)
# The Galaxy Nexus variants
# The Nexus S varaints
# The Nexus 7
# The Transformer and Transformer Prime
# The SGS1 variants (Vibrant, Captivate, International, and i9000b)
# The SGS2 i9100g
# P3 and P5 tablets
That list will grow as other devices become ready and receive the blessing from their maintainers to begin nightlies. Be sure to keep your eyes open for when your device joins the list.
Update: We’ve received various reports from XDA Forum Member Scotto70 and others that the Nexus 7 build is currently nonfunctional. So if you’ve got a N7, we recommend that you hold off for the time being!
The Nexus 7 is quickly becoming the most popular Android tablet. Unsurprisingly, it has amassed a large community of developers who have produced some great tools and utilities for the device. A common utility for popular devices is the ‘one-click’ root tool. XDA Senior Moderator and Recognized Developer mskip has created such a tool for Nexus 7 users that contains one-click root functionality and much more. Some of the notable functions include:
As impressive as the current function list is, mskip has also added capability to apply upcoming mods to the tablet (though there are none available as of yet). Both new and existing Nexus 7 users will surely find this toolkit to be extremely helpful. To download the utility, head to the release thread, and be sure to thank mskip for putting it together!