operating system

Android 4+ now running on more devices than any other flavor

For very long time the most common flavor of Android running on mobile devices was the rather old and outdated Android 2.3 Gingerbread. While there are several newer versions of the Android operating system that had been on the market for a long time, Gingerbread still held the majority of the Android market share. That has finally begun to change.

Java portion of Android ported to C#

Here's yet another Android project that leaves the question of "why" hanging while retorting with a resounding "why not?" A team of independent developers have created version of Android's Java codebase that can run entirely in the older C# programming language, with no Java to be seen. At this point it's more of a computer science exercise than anything else, but if certain megacorps get their way, it could be a viable alternative to standard Android.

Latest Linux kernel release adds Android code

It's often forgotten these days, but at its heart Android is a Linux-based operating system (with a healthy dose of C and Java thrown in). Today that association gets a little closer, as the primary Linux kernel version 3.3 is adding some Android-specific code into the primary development branch. Android is technically a "fork" of Linux, but this brings a little of the work that Google and others have done on the Android Open Source project back into the main Linux project directly.

Android x86 adds Ethernet and VirtualBox support

There's been a lot of talk about desktop modes i Android this week, but many don't realize that you can install an experimental build of Android on your laptop or desktop computer right now. Android-x86 is a derivative of open-source Android that runs on standard Intel-compliant hardware, i.e. the vast majority of computers out there. The latest modified version from Android-Dev.ro adds two important features: Ethernet networking support (for small computers like the Atom-based "net-tops" that lack WiFi) and virtualization, so that eager users can try out Android in Virtual Box, VMware or similar programs.

Ubuntu for Android gets a hands-on video

Canonical's brand-spanking new combination of Android and the Ubuntu Linux distribution is easily the most exciting software development for Android since Ice Cream Sandwich. Basically it packs an ARM-based version of Ubuntu into a standard Android phone, activating it only when docked to a computer via HDMI. The software and basic capabilities were announced earlier today, but a Canonical employee was nice enough to post a live demonstration of Ubuntu on Android to YouTube.

Canonical brings Android and Ubuntu together in perfect Unity

Yesterday we spoke briefly about a rumored feature in Android Jelly Bean that could turn any Android smartphone into a dockable desktop computer. Turns out that FOSS publisher Canonical seems to be one step ahead of El Goog: they've managed to cram both Ubuntu and Android Gingerbread onto the same hardware. In effect, it's like using two different machines in different modes: when the smartphone is in its "normal" mode, it works like any Android handset. When it's docked, you get access to the full Ubuntu interface. Based on the screenshots, you can run Android applications withing the Ubuntu interface, but probably no the other way around. You'll also be able to view the phone's screen while using Ubuntu on a monitor.

Android Community App of the Week: Android 4.0 web browser

In my tenure here at Android Community, I haven't been shy about my love for Dolphin Browser HD. It's one of those apps that I immediately download on every phone and tablet I review, simply because I've grown to depend on its features and expandability. But after a week with the Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich, I've found to my amazement that I just don't need it any more. The default browser that comes with Android 4.0 incorporates all of the features that made Dolphin a must-have, and it's faster and more stable to boot.

Cotton Candy is a tiny Android desktop computer… on a stick

People have been building integrated Linux thin clients that can fit in the palm of your hand for years, but now there's a more modern approach. Startup company FXI Technologies has applied the same idea to Android, putting a fully functional build of Gingerbread on a flash-drive sized device with easy connection to HDMI displays and input devices. The gadget is at the prototype stage now, but the company hopes to sell it for $200 by this time next year.

HTC considering the purchase of its own Android OS alternative

While HTC has been extremely successful in both Android and Windows Mobile OS platforms we have been hearing a bit of chatter about the possibility of HTC acquiring and designing their own Android OS alternative to call their own. Obviously this can be speculated when a company as big as HTC is so successful with smartphones but we are getting details that they've even been discussing this "internally" according to sources.
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