alpha

LibreOffice Android port progresses to prototype

A few months ago we brought you news that LibreOffice, the open source offshoot of popular free office suite Open Office, was headed to Android. While it would be wrong to say that the team of developers is making rapid progress, progress is nonetheless being made. The prototype app for Android tablets (Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich) was recently shown off in a single screenshot. Without passing too much judgement this early in development, I can say this: for those frustrated with the relatively sparse feature-sets of mobile office suites like Google Docs, it'll be well worth the wait.

ClockworkMod Tether gives root-free tethering access for all

A lot of you are probably quite familiar with ClockworkMod Recovery, hands-down the most popular custom recovery out there for ROM junkies. Developer Koush has just released another ambitious community-minded project, ClockworkMod Tether, and it's pretty much exactly what you'd expect. The non-market app connects to a Windows, Linux or OS X PC over a USB connection (not WiFi or Bluetooth), and doesn't require any special root permissions or other mods. A separate PC app is required, much like other, similar programs that have been in use for years. Naturally, the app is free. Koush (Koushik Dutta) claims that the program is undetectable by carriers, almost all of which charge for the privilege of sharing your paid smartphone data. The app is in its alpha release, but according to early comments, it's already commendably stable. The developer notes that while most of the software nuts and bolts are in place, the user interface is unfinished, and will be seeing a lot more polish in the future. The current version will expire on Saturday, January 7th, but a newer version should be out by then. Future releases may include a Bluetooth version, as well as better client apps for all supported operating systems. Trying it out on my Galaxy Nexus with a Windows 7 PC seems to work like a charm, though it's not quite as fast as official tethering. Koush is one of the most highly regarded modder/developers out there, and with good reason - expect to see fast and comprehensive updates for ClockworkMod Tether over the next few months. Don't expect this one in the Android Market any time soon. [via Androinica]

Notion Ink delivers Ice Cream Sandwich alpha ROM for Adam tablet

Would you hark at that: Notion Ink has seen fit to grace its most ardent customers with an alpha version of its Ice Cream Sandwich update. The company posted the Adam tablet ROM on its official blog, along with the source code it's based on. Now that's what I call customer service! Any Adam user can download and install the ROM at their pleasure, though of course there's still a few bugs to squash.

CyanogenMod for the HP TouchPad reaches Alpha 3.5, delivers better gaming performance

Most of the excitement in the custom ROM world is circling around Ice Cream Sandwich at the moment, but we haven't forgotten about the best tablet deal of the year. In the latest incremental update to the HP TouchPad version of popular custom ROM CyanogenMod 7.2, the team has focused on UI and gaming improvements, allowing the TouchPad to be at least as capable at 3D gaming as a modern mid-range Android smartphone. Alpha version 3.5 is available for download at RootzWiki now.

CyanogenMod for the HP TouchPad gets upgraded to Alpha 3

There's a lot of folks out there in Internet Land who picked up an HP TouchPad on the cheap just so they could eventually run Android on it. We posted a rundown of RootzWiki's Alpha 2 version of CyanogenMod 7.1 for the TouchPad, with generally favorable results - it's amazingly stable for an alpha release on hardware that doesn't officially support it. The hardworking folks at RootzWiki have released a third alpha version, fixing various bugs and performance issues.

Firefox alpha adds Flash support and really bad timing

Flash developers and enthusiasts are still reeling after Adobe dropped support for the mobile version. But the convergence of Flash users and Firefox fans (including yours truly) should get a little joy out of the fact that Mozilla is going forward with its Flash support. So far the Android version of Firefox doesn't work with Flash, but you can head over to Mozilla's web page and download the latest "Aurora" alpha to give the just-added feature a try. Naturally the implementation is a little buggy, and it doesn't help that Firefox Mobile isn't a speed demon in the best of conditions. But it works, sort of, and if you live in Firefox and rely on that one extension or Sync's bookmarks, you're one step closer to a single browser solution. Flash is expected to be available for the full (Android Market) version of Firefox sometime in 2012. Android fans and Flash devs were livid when Adobe announced that they would end support as part of a restructuring. The last major update for the Android version is in the Market now, though Adobe has stated that they'll continue with periodic bug and stability updates. Adobe will begin shifting its mobile focus to HTML5 tools and AIR, while the desktop version of Flash is still - for the moment - in active development.
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