Android this week: Chrome updated; MWC previewed; free 50 GB from Box

android-this-week

Google Chrome for Android arrived earlier this month, and this week, it saw its first software update. The browser for Ice Cream Sandwich, or Android 4.0, devices gained a few new features, some bug fixes and availability in more countries; the complete list of supported regions is here. But some handset owners aren’t happy with the update because the browser no longer works on their device.

In the software release notes, Google points out that “Compatibility checks to ensure system prerequisites for Chrome are met.” The browser is specifically made to run on Android 4.0, which at this point only runs officially on two commercially available devices here: the Galaxy Nexus smartphone and the Asus Transformer Prime tablet. Handset owners using custom Android 4.0 ROMs on other phones are experiencing problems: after this update, the browser no longer runs for them.

The issue can’t be specific to all custom ROMs, however. I know this because I’m running an Android 4.0.4 custom ROM on my own Galaxy Nexus. People using a CM9 ROM appear to be having an issue because that ROM appears to Chrome as a version of Gingerbread, not a version of Ice Cream Sandwich. Hopefully, these issues will get resolved as needed because Chrome for Android is by far my favorite browser on any mobile device. It’s a shame that some folks are unable to experience these features in Chrome:

The annual Mobile World Congress event is kicking off this weekend, and aside from some potential Windows Mobile developments, Android is certain to take center stage. Several manufacturers have already pre-announced some of their Android devices, including LG and ZTE to name a few. I have a complete rundown of what devices we know are debuting at MWC along with others we suspect will appear.

Two big Android questions loom in my mind, however: Will Intel finally enter the mobile market with an actual device announcement? And will Google introduce a small tablet of its own? I’d think Intel has to use MWC or the upcoming CTIA event in May to debut its first Android smartphone; likely with Lenovo or Motorola at this point. The company has the chip for such a device; I saw it running Android 4.0 in a tablet last month. The Google tablet is a rumor at this point, and I suspect that if Google is planning a 7-inch slate, it would introduce one at its mid-year Google I/O developer event.

Android device owners looking for more cloud storage gained a big chunk of free capacity this week: Box announced its updated Android client along with a whopping 50 GB of free storage for life to go with it. Found in the Android Market, the new Box 1.6 software adds bulk uploads, commenting on files, shared folders and support for new languages, making it a worthy upgrade.

Since my 16 GB Galaxy Nexus doesn’t have a memory card expansion slot, I jumped on this deal right away; you can never have too much storage in the cloud! Even without the free 50 GB, the new client looks fantastic; take a peek at the interface and new productivity features:

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