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It’s been a very Google-centric week at Liliputing. Looking back over the most popular stories of the past week, we have stories about Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, Google’s Nexus 7, and Google’s new $35 Chromecast media streaming device.
Canonical’s crowd-funding campaign for an Ubuntu smartphone also generated a lot of interest — but even though the Ubuntu Edge is designed to run Canonical’s open source operating system, it also dual boots Google’s Android OS (since there are far more apps available for Android than Ubuntu mobile at this point, and who wants to spend $800 on a phone that can’t run much software?)
Here are some of the most popular stories from Liliputing from the week of July 27th through August 2nd.
- Android 4.3 ported to x86, runs on desktop, laptop computers
Android may be designed for small touchscreen devices such as phones and tablets. But that doesn’t mean you can’t run it on a laptop. Folks at the Android X86 project have been porting Android to run on Intel and AMD chips for years, and now there’s a build of Android 4.3 which even includes hardware-accelerated graphics for some AMD chips.
- Lilbits (7-29-2013): Android 4.3 speeds up the original Nexus 7
Google introduced a new Nexus 7 tablet in July. It has a better screen, a faster processor, and a thinner design than the 2012 model. But that doesn’t mean you need to buy a new tablet to get a new experience — existing Nexus 7 owners have noted that the recent Android 4.3 software update improves responsiveness of last year’s tablet.
- Ubuntu Edge raises an impressive $7 million in a week, still running behind goal
Canonical wants to build an unusual smartphone that dual boots Android and Ubuntu and which works like a PC when you connect it to a docking station and plug in a mouse, keyboard, and monitor. The company launched a crowd-funding campaign and raised 10 percent of its $32 million goal on day one. The going has been much slower since then.
- Kobo Arc 10 HD tablet with Tegra 4, 2560 x 1600 pixel display in the works?
Kobo isn’t the household name in the US that Amazon and Barnes & Noble are. But the company’s been offering eReaders and Android tablets for years. And if you trust the leaked benchmarks that hit the web this summer, it looks like the company’s next one is a doozy.
- Dell’s Project Ophelia mini PC now shipping to beta testers
Like the idea of a tiny device that you plug into a TV to run Android apps on a big screen, but don’t like the idea of giving your money to a Chinese company you may never have heard of, like Rikomagic or Tronsmart? Dell’s answer is coming soon. Project Ophelia units went out to beta testers this week, and the retail version should be available later this year for around $100.
- Google Chromecast exploit: run a root shell on Google’s $35 media streamer (update: obsolete?)
Good news, bad news, and good news: Developers figured out how to root Google’s Chromecast device. Then Google pushed a software update that removes the security hole that was used by that exploit. But hey, it *was* a security flaw, right? So it’s kind of a good thing it was patched… it’d just be nice if there was another way to gain root access.
I’m not sure about the Chromecast. It seems too underpowered and limited for much except its announced purpose. Expect to see these for $19.95 on clearance before long. It might be a new direction for Google though, eventually producing a closer competitor to Roku (or Apple TV if you’re locked into the iTunes box).
Got my Chromecast yesterday.
Pretty neat little device for what it does, though I think ultimately that I may have more fun tinkering with an Android stick like the CX-919.
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