One of the fundamental differences between Android and every other mobile operating system is the practically unrestricted capability to run services. Without this freedom we could not enjoy something as powerful as a homescreen widget or as straight-forward as a Twitter client with background updates. Aside from games and very simple utilities, it’s becoming increasingly rare to find an app that doesn’t run a service, at least for a short span of time.
Intel's progress into the Android ecosystem hasn't exactly been earth-shattering. The number of high-end and mid-range smartphones equipped with an ATOM CPU still number in the single digits, making the x86 architecture a fairly low priority for app developers. In addition, Intel's emulator images have always lacked support for the Google APIs, leaving developers without the ability to test common staples like Google Maps or push messaging. Fortunately, that issue was recently rectified with KitKat as Google and Intel have finally shipped an x86 system image with Google API support.
After the rollout of XE12 in mid-December and the announcement that January would not bring an update, Glass Explorers have been anxiously awaiting the release of XE14, originally due in February. As it turns out, they were to be disappointed. In a posting to the private Glass Community forum late yesterday, Teresa Z explained that XE14 had missed its February deadline. The reason: it simply wasn't ready to be released. Unfortunately, no details were given with regard to the timeline for the next update.
If you're a fan of source code (and who isn't?), you might be excited to know HTC has released the code for Power To Give. The Power To Give initiative was officially announced a few days ago at MWC with its corresponding app in the Play Store. Today, the HTC Dev portal posted a full source drop of the project, including the app and various platform-specific versions of the server code.
Samsung started pushing an update to KitKat for the Exynos variant of the Galaxy S4 (GT-i9500) less than a week ago. Now, it's time for the Snapdragon-equipped S4 (GT-i9505) to see some action. In addition to the standard Android 4.4.2 feature set, this update will also bring some tweaks to the lockscreen, including a shortcut to the camera and full-screen album art during music playback, an improved landscape-mode keyboard, several bug fixes, and the now standard white KitKat status icons.
Update: The seller raised the price up to $199.99. Time to look elsewhere.
The 2013 Nexus 7 is about 6 months into its lifecycle and that means the refurbished units are making their way out to the deal sites. Just a few days ago Woot had both 16GB and 32GB models on sale for $169.99 and $199.99, respectively. Today, we have a seller on eBay with the 16GB model for only $159.99.
Owners of the HTC One on AT&T have been patiently waiting for their update to KitKat since Friday's announcement that it had passed technical approval. According to AT&T's blog, the OTA just started rolling out to big blue customers earlier today. In addition to all of the Android 4.4 goodness, this update boasts improvements to the user interface, phone app, caller ID, BlinkFeed, and the long awaited update to Sense 5.5.
When it comes right down to it, there’s a pretty short list of things everybody simply expects a cell phone to be able to do well: making and receiving calls and text messages. We must be able to trust that our phones aren’t failing at the most basic types of communication. Unfortunately, some people have found that the Nexus 5 can’t always be trusted to let them know when somebody is calling or texting them.
If you've been eyeing the Qualcomm Toq, but $350 was a bit much for your taste, it might be time to take another look. Qualcomm just dropped the price of its smartwatch by a Benjamin, leaving it at a more palatable $250 with free shipping. This puts the full-color wearable at a mere $1 above the price of its closest competitor, the black & white-only Pebble Steel.
The timing may not be a coincidence after a report from Bloomberg suggested HTC is making a smartwatch based on the Toq and plans to show it off at Mobile World Congress.
While recently re-examining the Google Play Store policies, we took another look at the rules against keyword spam and what the company suggests for app descriptions. Developers are advised to stay away from classic spam techniques like repetitive keywords, exceedingly long descriptions, and unrelated keywords or references. Publishers will often use these tactics in an attempt to sneak their apps into unrelated search results. One of the most interesting of these recommendations comes at the tail end of the page where Google advises against referencing other apps you've published.