— Swype (@Swype) February 7, 2014
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.
If you tried reaching one of Google's popular services, such as Gmail, Google+, or Play Music in the last 30 minutes and failed because they're either unavailable, very slow, or have broken in some other way, don't go blaming your ISP - it's one of those rare occasions when Google itself is having some major hiccups.
The company finally updated the Apps Status Dashboard after a surprisingly long delay of over 20 minutes showing all green and is now looking into the issues:
MX Player, one of the most popular video players on the Play Store (and my personal player of choice as of recent), hasn't worked since Android 4.4.1's release. Those who immediately upgraded to 4.4.1 lost access to MX Player and were instead greeted with the following popup:
Annoying, isn't it, especially since the check is implemented from within the app itself rather than by using the maxSdkVersion parameter of the app's manifest?
Last night, Google started a slow rollout of the new Maps with version 7.5. Since the previous version was 7.4, we knew there had to be some key features that prompted the update - it couldn't just be a bug fixer. After thoroughly examining the UI, I was unable to find anything new.
As it turns out, that's because the new feature Google stuffed into the app only shows up upon very specific conditions.
The most obvious new addition to Gmail 4.7 is the Vacation Responder. You can set start and end dates, enter a subject and some text, and check a toggle to only send the vacation response to your contacts.
Google Play Books update 3.1.17 is slowly rolling out, and I'm glad to report that it finally brings a feature a lot of you have been dying to see - book uploading directly from your devices. As always, we have the APK which you can install if you don't see the update just yet right below.
As I already mentioned, you no longer need to go to Google's website to upload your own books - 3.1.17 allows you to upload PDFs and EPUBs directly.
Google only started the Android 4.4.1 update last week, but it looks like a new hotfix is already good to go, as 4.4.2 showed up for Nexus devices in the last hour. So far, we've seen it on the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and the Nexus 7, but it's probably safe to say the Nexus 10 is not going to be far behind. Update: Nexus 10 confirmed too.
With Android 4.4.1's release earlier today, many of you have been asking about and expecting the corresponding factory images, especially for devices without OTAs at this point: the 2012 Nexus 7s, the Wi-Fi 2013 Nexus 7, and the Nexus 10. Factory images can help recover soft-bricked Nexus devices, update the OS or its parts without losing data in case an OTA doesn't want to apply, or go back to stock after trying a custom ROM.
Hurry up, ladies and gentlemen! If you sprint to Walmart between November 20th and 26th, you can apparently pick yourself up a very vintage Moto X running none other than Android 2.3. Those on-screen buttons and #HOLOYOLO accents look pretty spiffy on this fine Gingerbread device, don't they?
Curiously, on November 29th, the same phone not only drops to half price for Black Friday, it also gets a ninja upgrade to Android 4.2 and a $100 Walmart gift card (which is actually a pretty good deal since you're effectively netting 50 bucks - after signing a contract, of course).
Hooray! Shortly after the Nexus 4 OTA zip link was finally discovered, we can now say the same about both data-connected Nexus 7s - the 2012 3G edition and the 2013 LTE. These are the last devices we didn't have manual update links for, so now it's safe to say that the KitKat Nexus rollout has been fully completed.