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Ice Cream Sandwich tweak: disable the home screen search bar

The new launcher for Ice Cream Sandwich is definitely one of its finer UI points, but at least one feature has minimalism fans seeing red. The Google Search bar gets its own reserved spot at the top of the launcher, now that physical buttons are optional and the Search button isn't included by default. This is the sort of stuff that the XDA-Developers boys live and breathe, so naturally they found a way to get rid of it for a clean and more customizable home screen.

Ice Cream Sandwich gets dedicated search button mod

Google may be a search company first and foremost, but Ice Cream Sandwich shifts Android away from a dedicated search button and replaces it with the app switcher. Using virtual buttons has benefits for modders, however, and MoDaCo's Paul O'Brien has wasted no time in adding a dedicated search option in the ICS button bar. As you'd expect, tapping it brings up the search dialog, just as the dedicated search buttons on previous Android phones would do. Google hasn't exactly excised search from Android 4.0 altogether - in fact the homescreen now has a persistent search box across the top, that's carried over all five panes - but this dedicated key makes it a little easier. Sometimes it's the little tweaks that can make the most difference to daily use, and this could well be one of them. No word on when exactly Paul might release the mod at this stage, but he tells us it will be "very shortly."

A week with CyanogenMod on the HP TouchPad [Video]

Like many out there, I jumped at the chance to get my hands on an HP TouchPad during its initial $99 fire sale specifically for the purpose of running Android on it. It's a very similar motive for when I bought a Barnes & Noble Nook Color, though in this case, I got a whole lot more tablet for the money. Like the Nook Color, the best (but not the first) option for running a full version of Android is the venerated CyanogenMod, now on its seventh version. I've spent the last week or so installing, customizing and generally playing with the one-two hardware and software combination - here are my impressions.

TouchPad Android port continues: H/W acceleration, more [Video]

Work on the HP TouchPad Android port continues, with the Cyanogenmod team releasing a new video demonstrating its latest milestone. Both of the TouchPad's 1.5GHz cores can now be used, all of the sound issues have been addressed, and there's some impressive 3D gaming to be had, too. Hardware accelerated video is also now functional, which means smooth playback of 720p HD video locally stored on the tablet itself, as well as high-quality YouTube playback. Obviously there's WiFi support, along with the accelerometer, audio system and more. The intention is still to provide a dual-boot system, capable of loading either Android or the original webOS of the TouchPad. Unfortunately there's no public ROM for owners to try out themselves; that'll be ready when it's ready, the Cyanogenmod team insists. [youtube ApfeSj4Ql6Q]

HP TouchPad with Cyanogenmod Benchmarked [Early Build]

If you've got a TouchPad and you're here reading Android Community, chances are you know what CyanongenMod 7 is and what it means for TouchPad users. Last we spoke, CyanogenMod was THIS CLOSE to being complete - of course even THIS CLOSE is relative, so we're still not quite there yet. That said, some intrepid folks out there in alpha-build-land have taken it upon themselves to benchmark the still incomplete software / hardware combo. Would you like to know more? Click!

HP TouchPad CyanogenMod 7 Build THIS CLOSE to Complete

If you thought you'd never see CyanogenMod 7 working on that $99 TouchPad you picked up a few weeks ago, you've clearly got no faith in the awesomeness of others. Last we heard, the TouchPad had been given multitouch support for an Android port, but now we know the CyanogenMod 7 build to be a few steps ahead, nearly ready for a full release! All they've got left to get working, apparently, is Wi-fi support and a few other tinier bugs. Sound like the system for you?

HoneyBar Removes Status Bar from Android Tablets on command

It's always good to have options, and with Android, there's no mobile OS on earth with more of them - right? Turns out that's not always true, or so it is if you ask any number of developers on the Android circuit, just so long as they're looking for total and complete control they'll never completely be satisfied. Thus, there must be apps such as this: HoneyBar, an app which requires root but gives you the ability to get rid of your Android 3.x Honeycomb status bar whenever you like, with just a tap of a button.

HP TouchPad Ad Revenue Reaches Android Levels in 10 Days

While it appears that the HP TouchPad is now sold out completely (or so we're lead to believe,) the cash flow has just begun - in ad form. It's not HP who will be profiting in this little situation right here, but they can count on developers of apps making a pretty penny in the last week and a half to be reconsidering their move away from webOS in the wake of HP's ditching of the hardware. As ad agency Jumptap, a group that works with mobile ads for both Android and webOS, amongst others, reports, in just the past 10 days the ad revenue of the TouchPad has nearly caught up with Android tablets.
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