Jelly Bean feature: A more functional notification drop-down [video]

Google took its first steps towards redesigning the Android notification tray in Ice Cream Sandwich, and in the latest version, 4.1 Jelly Bean, it’s taken things a step further, creating truly informative and interactive notification entries that border on widget-like levels of interactivity. In addition to the standard icon-and-label combo we’re used to from earlier Android versions, many Jelly Bean-compatible notifications can be expanded by dragging down with a two-finger gesture. For example, if you’ve got an IM notification, you can swipe down with two fingers to view the first few lines of the message.

In addition, you’ll find that notifications from many Google apps now feature buttons that allow you to perform certain tasks without entering the app. Google Calendar events, for instance, include a button to snooze the event (you can still swipe it away to dismiss it). And after capturing a screenshot, there’s a handy “Share” button that you can use to send it via social networks, or any other sharing app you have installed.

Gmail is where I find this feature most useful, though. Swiping down on a Gmail notifications in Jelly Bean allows you to view a list of subject lines and senders, assuming you’ve got multiple messages waiting. Or alternatively, if there’s just one, you can view the sender, subject line, and the first several lines of the message — more than enough to work out if it’s worth jumping into the app to respond. It’s a great way to take advantage of the extra visual real estate offered by the Nexus 7, and looks good on the Galaxy Nexus too, assuming you’re not already drowning in notifications.

We’ve got a brief video showing of all these features after the break. Also be sure to check out the rest of our Jelly Bean feature articles.

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Google Shipping the Galaxy Nexus again

Just a quick heads up here that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus is once again shipping from the Google Play store, just as Google said it would this week. It’s listed at 3 to 5 days, which is relatively back to normal, considering it’s been a little about two weeks since it was "banned," denied a stay and then saw the ban delayed anyway by an appellate court. Confused? Just know that it has to do with search patents, and that we’re expecting to see the Google Apps retooled to work around Apple’s little piece of paper. It is worth noting, though, that Samsung’s been pulling local-device search from its Galaxy S III line as well (to wit, Sprint and this evening, AT&T).

So if you’ve got $350 to burn and want some Jelly Bean action, hit the link below.

Buy now: Galaxy Nexus unlocked; _thanks to everyone who sent this in!_

http://dlvr.it/1rJHcr

How to manually flash todays Jelly Bean update to your GSM Galaxy Nexus

So you want the latest version of Jelly Bean, but don’t want to wait for your turn at the OTA and don’t want to flash a custom version of it. We completely understand — Not everyone is into that. The good news is that a little bit of hackery (just a little, we promise) and an unlocked bootloader can get you some tasty new Jelly Bean with no wait. And when you’re finished, you’re good as new and completely stock.

You’ll need to be running the takju version of the Galaxy Nexus, with the Google I/O preview of Android 4.1 already installed. This method may work on other versions, but you don’t want to be the guinea pig for that. If you’re not running this hit the forums and look for advice.

You’ll also need a few tools, namely ClockworkMod recovery, the fastboot files you used to unlock your botloader, and the OTA package. Grab them here:

ClockworkMod recovery for the HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus | The OTA package (direct from Google)

Next you’ll need to find the folder where your fastboot installation resides. Place the ClockworkMod recovery image file (it has a .img file extension) in the folder with fastboot. Copy the OTA package zip file to the storage on your phone. Shut your phone off, then hold both volume up and volume down, then press power to enter the bootloader. Now follow along!

* Plug your phone into a high-speed USB port on the host computer.
* Open the command line on the host computer, and browse to the folder where fatsboot and the ClockworkMod image are located.
* At the command line, you’re going to tell your phone to reboot into ClockworkMod. You’re not going to flash anything. If you’re running windows on the host machine, type in _fastboot-windows.exe boot recovery-clockwork-5.5.0.2-maguro.img _. If you’re using a Mac or Linux, type in _fastboot boot recovery-clockwork-5.5.0.2-maguro.img _.
* Your Galaxy Nexus will reboot into ClockworkMod recovery, where you can follow the on screen instructions and flash the OTA package you downloaded and copied to the phone in the beginning of this procedure. 
* When you’re all done, choose to reboot your system from the ClockworkMod recovery menu. You will boot normally, into Jelly Bean, and since we didn’t flash CWM, you’re still 100% stock.

It looks more complicated than it is, but if you’re a bit put off or having trouble unlocking your bootloader, head into the forums. They’ll fix you right up, and have you rocking some Jelly Bean goodness in no time. Ummmmm, Jelly Bean.

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Jelly Bean begins rolling out to HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus

Google has announced that the new version of Android, 4.1 Jelly Bean, is now rolling out to GSM/HSPA+ Galaxy Nexus phones — that’s the international model, and the one sold through the Google Play Store in the U.S. We haven’t yet received the update on any of our retail or Google I/O edition Galaxy Nexuses, but Google assures us that the update will begin rolling out today, and continue “over the next several days.” As the Nexus 7 just got its update to Android 4.1.1  (build JRO03C), the same version that recently graced AOSP, it’s likely this will be the version rolled out to the Gnex, too.

If you’re curious about what’s new in Jelly Bean, check out our landing page, and our Jelly Bean feature articles. Writing on the official Nexus Google+ page, Google says that other Galaxy Nexus phones (presumably the CDMA/LTE versions), as well as the Nexus S and Motorola Xoom are due to receive Jelly Bean next. No time frame is provided for this, however.

If you’ve already got the OTA notification on your device, be sure to hit the comments and let us know how you’re getting on with the new version of Android!

Source: +Nexus

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Android 4.1.1 - an early look at a compiled build

As the resident Android Central code-monkey (a badge I proudly wear) I’ve been running on fumes and caffeine to test out the AOSP 4.1.1 code since it dropped last night. You knew I had to do it, I knew I had to do it, so there was no use fighting it. For the nerdly inclined out there, building it is easy — just change the branch to 4.1.1_r1 and go. We’ll update the tutorial in the forums as soon as we’re sure there are no new nuances we need to address. In the meantime, we were curious about the local search “issue” and if Google had made any changes in the code itself to be Apple-certified™.

Building the unedited, bone-stock Android 4.1.1 and using the Google apps from the Google I/O units and their Jelly Bean update, it looks as if on-device search still exists. Our theory (it’s always a guess until Big G says otherwise) is that changes to search will be done with a change to the Google Now and Search applications themselves, which are part of the closed-source Google apps. That’s why we see no changes here — we’re still using the old ones. This theory was further bolstered when we learned that Sprint removed local search from the Galaxy S III, but it could be restored by using the old search box app. 

There are two things to take away here — when we see an OTA update for the Galaxy Nexus, Xoom, and Nexus S, we expect a newer set of G apps that remove the local search options, and that it will be easy enough to restore the functionality if you’re willing to root your phone. 

I’ll keep building and tinkering with 4.1.1, and if I come across any real changes (it seems a bit faster loading apps, but the placebo affect is strong) you’ll be the first to know.

http://dlvr.it/1r01mJ

It really is a Nexus after all

Binaries to use for the 4.1.1 AOSP build for the Verizon Galaxy Nexus have been posted at Google’s Nexus drivers page. This means developers (of the ROM building variety) have the tools they need to build Jelly Bean once the code is fully propagated. 

Just like a proper Nexus should be.

Source: Google Developers

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Jelly Bean feature: Camera app tweaks for easier photo management

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean introduces a couple of new features in the stock camera app, with the aim of making it easier to sort through and prune all those photos you’ve been shooting with zero shutter lag. Currently only available on the Galaxy Nexus (the Nexus 7 doesn’t have a rear camera), the Jelly Bean camera app adds a new animation when photos are being taken, which acts as a visual hint at a new swipe gesture that’s been added. Flick to the left at any time, and you’ll be able to scroll through all the photos you’ve taken. From there, you can crop, rotate or share, just like in the gallery app. Alternatively, pinch to zoom out, and there’s an expanded view from which you can swipe upwards to discard unwanted photos. And at the front of this photo stream is the live feed from your camera, which can be tapped to go back to shooting stills.

We’re not going to pretend the Galaxy Nexus has the best smartphone camera out there — indeed, that 5MP sensor is looking a little long in the tooth when compared to the latest HTC and Samsung offerings. But nevertheless, it’s good to see Google addressing one of the main problems caused by shooting images in rapid succession — the sheer volume of photos you can quickly find yourself with. Check out our video above for a walkthrough of all these new features, or hit the link below to check out our other Jelly Bean feature articles.

More: Check out more Jelly Bean features

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From the Editor’s Desk: Welcome back, Nexus

That headline’s been written for a week now, but it’s certainly taken on new meaning in the past few days. With the announcement of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and a preview release coming out of Google I/O, I’ve found myself back on the Galaxy Nexus full-time. That comes after couple months on the HTC One X (mostly loved it) and the Galaxy S III (again, mostly loved it). 

For those of you new to Android, the Galaxy Nexus is the third iteration of the “Pure Google” phone. It’s an annual project from Google that gives developers a stable hardware platform on which to work, though it probably won’t quite be on the cutting edge of the available technology. (That’s true from the time of the original Nexus One, as well as the Nexus S.) It also is the one true “stock” experience, meaning there are no carrier or manufacturer customizations. (Here comes another caveat, though: The Galaxy Nexus on Sprint and Verizon has had a couple apps added.) It’s also completely customizable from a modding standpoint, which makes it the Holy Grail for those who like to tinker. The bootloader’s unlockable with a single terminal command, and gaining root access is trivial.

Returning to the Nexus has been easy enough; I always enjoyed the stock ICS experience in the first place. Jelly Bean really has made it that much better. Here are a few thoughts on coming back:

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The Galaxy Nexus is back at the Google Play store - sort of

We heard it was going to happen, and today the Galaxy Nexus has appeared with a price and an “add to cart” button again in Google Play, but things are still a bit off. Prior to the sales ban, we were able to click and get almost instant gratification knowing the phone was shipping out immediately, but now we’re seeing a two to three week delay. We’re not sure if this is a way to get time to make changes to skirt Apple’s legal team, but it sounds reasonable.

All we know is that with Jelly Bean, this is the phone to have. We’re glad to see that add to cart button. If you’ve been thinking about it, might want to click it now before the next round of courtroom lunacy happens.

Order the Galaxy Nexus from Google Play_. Thanks everyone who sent this in!_

http://dlvr.it/1qFWBS

Appeals court delays Galaxy Nexus ban

A federal appeals court today said that Google and Samsung can resume selling the Galaxy Nexus while awaiting a response from Apple, Bloomberg reported this afternoon. The temporary stay is in effect until Apple responds on July 12.

The case reached the appeals level after U.S. District Judge in the past week ruled that Android was infringing on a search patent owned by Apple (also known as the ‘604 or “Siri” patent) and that the Galaxy Nexus could no longer be sold until the infringing feature was removed or changed.

Google on Tuesday listed the Galaxy Nexus as “Coming soon” in the Google Play store, and it remains that way as of this writing. Google earlier this week told ABC News that it expects to have a workaround next week, and that the Galaxy Nexus should resume shipping then.

Source: Bloomberg

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Jelly Bean feature: A buttery new home screen launcher

Following its total re-vamp in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Google has spent the past six months fine-tuning the stock Android launcher in version 4.1, Jelly Bean. A couple of changes to the way icons and widgets are added and managed, in addition to some serious speed improvements, make for a much more usable launcher in the new version of Android.

Firstly, home screen elements now intelligently move and resize each other to fit into the allocated space on the home screen. For example, if there’s a stray icon in the way of a large widget you want to place down, you’re no longer required to move or delete it before doing so. Instead, the Jelly Bean launcher lets you bump existing elements out of the way as you drag new stuff onto the screen.  (You’ll know if something’s about to be moved, as it’ll wiggle ever so slightly in its new position.) Similarly, you can also budge icons and widgets around when resizing existing stuff.

The second big launcher change in Jelly Bean is probably the most noticeable — the improvement in speed, as part of what Google’s dubbed “Project Butter”. This is the overarching name for all the different techniques that’ve been employed to improve perceived performance by cutting down on lag and stuttery transition animations, and the impact on the launcher is dramatic to say the least. The 3D app drawer animation, previously prone to lag in ICS, is silky smooth in Jelly Bean. And live wallpapers which slowed things to a crawl on Android 4.0 now glide along effortlessly.

For a complete walkthrough of the new and improved Android 4.1 Jelly Bean launcher on the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7, check out our hands-on video after the break. And be sure to check out our other Jelly Bean feature showcases if you haven’t already.

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Samsung Galaxy Nexus to resume shipping next week, Google tells ABC News

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus — which is still listed on the Google Play Devices site but was relegated to “Coming soon” status this week because of a federal injunction stemming from an Apple patent lawsuit — should resume shipping next week, Google told _ABC News_. 

The official listing for the “Pure Google” device now says “Soon with Android 4.1, Jelly Bean,” and it had been shipping up until late Tuesday, following a federal judge’s ruling that a preliminary injunction against the device would not be stayed. While Apple’s lawsuit isn’t scheduled to go to trial until the spring of 2014, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled that Samsung was unlikely to win, and that the PI was to stand. Google, for its part, had said it had a fix in the works, so we figured any delay in shipping would be brief, and that appears to be the case.

That also means that we likely will see an update push out over the air to existing devices, though what Google intends to change remains unclear. The lawsuit stemmed from the famed infamous ‘604 patent (aka the “Siri” patent), which protects searching multiple sources from a single interface, and using heuristics for the results. That’s what Siri does, and it’s also what Google’s search bar does. It’s not yet known whether the search bar will be removed (a drastic measure, to be sure), or if Google will change the way it searches and parses results.

Source: ABC News

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Jelly Bean feature: Sending photos and videos over Android Beam

In Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Android Beam — that’s the NFC-based device-to-device transfer service — has been augmented to support sending photo and video content. This is done from within the Gallery app, and can be activated by holding two NFC (Near-Field Communication)-supporting Jelly Bean devices back-to-back while one has an image or video open. Then, when prompted, tap the screen to send, just like earlier Android Beam incarnations. File transfers themselves are handled by Bluetooth, so depending on your device’s Bluetooth version support, your transfer speeds may vary. However, it is nice to see the hassle associated with Bluetooth file transfers all but eliminated thanks to NFC and Android Beam.

Android Beam’s latest upgrade also means it can support transferring multiple files. Simply long press on a photo or video in the Gallery app, select as many items as you like, then hold the devices back-to-back to send. Like we said, though, the fact that Bluetooth is used for all the heavy lifting means that you probably won’t want to send too much stuff over Android Beam if you can help it. In our experience, though, it’s worked out pretty well for smaller stuff.

We should note, however, that while the new Android Beam shares a lot in common with the Samsung Galaxy S III’s S Beam, the two technologies aren’t compatible. Samsung’s uses Wifi Direct for file transfers after an NFC connection has been established, compared to Android Beam’s Bluetooth. So sending photos from a Jelly Bean-equipped Galaxy Nexus to an ICS-running Galaxy S III won’t be possible. (And actually, this may present something of a technical headache when the S III eventually gets Jelly Bean.)

In any case, if you want to check out how this all works in more detail, you can find out hands-on video of photo and video transfers over Android Beam after the break.

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The Galaxy Nexus Ban - this, too, shall pass

It was a hell of a way to end the day, and a hell of a way to wake up. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus has been “banned.” As of this morning, the holiest of holy days Americans can celebrate outside of a house of God, a day that celebrates slipping the shackles of tyranny, the Galaxy Nexus remains “banned.” That we’re even mentioning its name — let alone still giving them away out of contempt as much as generosity — almost makes it seem like we’re sneaking smokes in the bathroom.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

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Judge Upholds Sales Ban on Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Sales of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 have been halted by a federal judge in a patent dispute between Samsung and Apple. _Image: Samsung_

Samsung is suffering an eight-day losing streak in its patent battle with Apple. The latest loss to be played out in a San Jose courtroom: A judge has rejected Samsung’s request to overturn a temporary sales ban on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh shot down Samsung’s request to throw out her June 26 decision to place a preliminary sales stoppage on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 because she ruled it looked too much like Apple’s iPad, according to a Bloomberg report.

At the core of the ongoing patent dispute between the two rivals is Apple’s contention that Samsung’s phones and tablets are rip-offs of the iPhone and iPad. Both Samsung and Apple are also accusing each other of infringing on technology patents as well. In her decision to issue the sales block before the suit goes to trial, Koh said, “The Court noted that the GalaxyTab 10.1 is ‘virtually indistinguishable’ from Apple’s iPad and iPad 2.”

On Friday, Koh issued a preliminary sales ban on Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphone as well. But that halt wasn’t issued because the Nexus looks too much like the iPhone. Rather, Koh ordered a sales stoppage to the Nexus due to Apple’s claim that the flagship Android phone infringes on a patent pertaining to “unified search” as seen in the iPhone’s voice assistant app Siri.

Officials at Samsung were unavailable for comment by press time. The patent fight is set to go to trial on July 30. http://dlvr.it/1pNh4n