One of these days, Google is going to release Android 4.3 Jelly Bean for smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Until then, we’ll have to dig through leaked pre-release builds to figure out what new features may be on the way.
We’ve already learned a few things about WiFi and Bluetooth behavior, support for third party apps which change the way notifications work, and new developer options. Now it looks like there may also be an option to organize the apps and widgets in you app drawer in new ways.
Incidentally, if you happen to be running a Samsung Galaxy S4 with the leaked build of Android 4.3, now you can root the operating system.
Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.
- Android 4.3 may let you sort apps, widgets in the app drawer by frequency of use
Google still hasn’t officially introduced its next-generation Android operating system, but folks have been digging into a leaked build that hit the streets recently. One of the hidden features hidden in the code appears to be the ability to sort apps and widgets by favorites — determined by how often you use them. You can also still sort apps alphabetically if you’d like. [myce]
- Feedly becomes a real RSS reader, adds OPML import, export
Since the announce of Google Reader’s demise, Feedly has emerged as one of the most powerful (and popular) alternatives. Over the past few months, Feedly has been adding servers, features, and design tweaks. Now moving to Feedly is also a bit safer and easier — you can import a list of feeds by uploading an OPML file and export your feed list in OPML format if you want to move to another service. Sure, these features are old hat for most RSS readers, but they’re an important step in making Feedly a real Google Reader replacement. [Feedly]
- Samsung acquires video hardware/software startup Boxee
Boxee has evolved from software makers working on a spinoff of XBMC to a hardware company selling set-top-boxes for streaming media from the internet, to employees of Samsung. [New York Times]
- Microsoft, Hardware makers working to improve touchpad performance on Windows laptops
Touchpads on Windows computers are a bit of a touchy subject with some users. While they generally let you move an on-screen cursor and click where you need to, performance and responsiveness can be a bit wonky — especially when you add in things like multi-touch and swiping gestures. Microsoft is working with Synaptics, Elan, and Intel to improve things with Windows 8.1. [The Verge]
- Acer’s 8 inch Windows 8 tablet reviewed
The Acer Iconia W3 is the first Windows 8 tablet with an 8.1 inch display. It’s inexpensive, comes with Microsoft Office pre-loaded, and has a kind of lousy screen and slow performance. It might not be bad for the price, and it can run full desktop apps. But you’d probably enjoy time spent with a cheaper tablet running a mobile OS. [Laptop Mag]
- EnyTech’s Android TV box has a design that stands out
Unfortunately, that’s because it looks sort of like a smoke detector. The box has an Amlogic ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 1GB of RAM, and runs Android 4.2.2. [AndroidPC.es]
- Looks like Windows Phone devices with 1080p screens could be on the way
There are a growing number of Android smartphones with 1920 x 1080 pixel displays. A peek at the developer tools for Windows Phone 8 suggests that we could see 1080p Windows Phone devices soon as well. [The Verge]