May 03, 2013, 10:51 AM — I'll kick off this roundup by eating a little crow -- I pooh-poohed the notion that Google might not be rolling out Key Lime Pie at this year's I/O conference in last week's installment, saying that I'd still be expecting Android 5.0 to show up in San Francisco.
To my chagrin, however, the evidence pointing to an incremental release instead of a full-on new version of the software has mounted quickly, and it's certainly starting to look like I was dead wrong. Mea culpa.
On to that evidence -- Android Police was one of several well-known Android sites to dip into its server logs and note that it had been visited by devices running Android 4.3 -- not Android 5.0. Android Police also noted that the IP ranges of the Android 4.3 visitors corresponded with known Google employees, which they had used in the past to scope out upcoming new versions of the software.
[ IN THE NEWS: Google Play changes bring cautious optimism on Android security ]
What's more, the article says, Google assigns version numbers to new Android builds anywhere from a few weeks to "a couple months max" before release -- which means that, with I/O just a couple of weeks away, it seems likely that they'd have seen it show up in their logs by now.
Of course, as we've seen, it's important not to jump to conclusions -- there are still no hard facts about what Google's going to roll out at its big developer conference, so this is all very preliminary. However, the server log information, while circumstantial and inconclusive, does make it look very much like we're not going to see Android 5.0 at Google I/O.
Careful, root-seekers -- there's apparently a website out there that's offering to root any Android device for a $30 fee. That's right, any Android version, on any device -- root-android.org says it can handle it. (The link provided here is for reference purposes only -- as I'm about to make clear, it's probably not a great idea to avail yourself of the site's services. Also, there's an audio ad that plays automatically.)
Of course, as sites like Android Authority were quick to point out, there's a lot about this that doesn't add up. Getting root access is a process that differs widely among Android devices, and there are plenty of devices that, as yet, simply can't be rooted. More importantly, rooting methods are almost universally available for free, so the idea of paying $30 doesn't make any sense.
Realistically, if you're the kind of person interested in rooting, you ought to be tech-savvy enough to figure out how to do it yourself -- if you're not, rooting is probably not something you should be considering to begin with. I concur with Android Authority and the other sites that publicized this service -- stay well away.
Samsung posted a video on Monday, explaining the design philosophy behind the Galaxy S 4. It's both highly interesting and a little confusing.
You get a sense of the enormous amount of attention paid to each microscopic detail by Samsung's design team, which is pretty impressive. But the clip is also riddled with contradictory design-speak twaddle -- please, someone tell me if this is "evolutionary" or "like nothing I've ever seen before!"
It's also sort of strange that everyone's so excited about the way the phone interprets your behavior and offers contextual options (e.g., saying "would you like to create a photo album" if you take a bunch of pictures) -- is this not a design trend that got pretty well run out of town with Microsoft's Clippy?
Speaking of the Galaxy S 4, you're out of luck if you're looking to get it through Best Buy on Sprint -- Android Central reports that pre-order customers recently got an email pushing back delivery dates by between two and three weeks. That, combined with general delays in Sprint stores getting Galaxy S 4s, likely points to supply problems for Samsung. Just like the rival HTC One!
Going back to Android Police for a moment -- they have a good piece on the Microsoft-created Android app that's designed to smooth your transition from Android to Windows Phone by checking to see if your Android apps are available on Windows Phone.
Apparently, the app is kind of a train wreck, giving totally bizarre info on available apps and refusing to work when your battery life is below 50% for some reason.
Read more about software in Network World's Software section.