Android fosters a wide and varied app ecosystem, enabling companies both large and small to produce compelling software. The ability to write an app and easily distribute it to most of the world has given rise to independent developers like Chris Lacy, the man behind Action Launcher, Tweet Lanes, and most recently, Link Bubble. Chris took some time to answer a few questions and tell us a little about his experiences developing apps for Android.
If you've got a printer in your home or office, there's a pretty good chance it's made by Epson. Since the announcement of KitKat's new printer support, you might have also been looking forward to being able to send a document straight from your Android device to your Epson printer. Good news: that dream is now a reality. The manufacturer just announced that it has released a plugin to enable native printing support on Android KitKat.
Yesterday, Google began rolling out a small update to the Newsstand app, bumping it up from 3.2 to 3.2.1. While the version number suggests this was only a bug fix -and it mostly is- there were still a couple of interesting additions discovered during a teardown.
Google is adding a helpful walkthrough for people who are new to Newsstand. Until now, the app has lacked a proper "onboarding" step for the first time an app is run.
If you happen to own an Atrix HD from AT&T, get ready for something you haven't seen in a very long time: a firmware update. Unfortunately, this is only a "security enhancement" and not an upgrade to the Android operating system. Motorola hasn't specified exactly what this update is supposed to fix, but it's almost certainly a patch for the Heartbleed bug that was widely reported last month.
The last update to the Atrix HD shipped out at the end of 2012, which brought it from 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) to 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean).
Alongside the launch of the brand new super-budget Moto E, Motorola also announced an improved variant of its marginally more expensive Moto G. The updated version is now equipped with an LTE radio and an SD card slot. Naturally, the price of the LTE model is also a bit higher at $219, which is still a bargain. Oh yeah, now it also comes in white!
This is certainly a boon to those seeking a low-cost device, but don't want to settle on 3G speeds.
There it is folks, the Moto E has been announced. We've known about it for a little while thanks to a couple of leaks, one of which even included specs. Today, Motorola held an event in India to officially launch the budget handset, starting it at just 6999 Rupees (about $117 USD). Shortly after the show was over, US pre-orders also went live with a starting price of $129 without contract.
Next month will be the two-year anniversary of Gmail becoming the most widely used email service on the planet. While it remains the uncontested champion, the Gmail app for Android struck its own accomplishment last week as it became the first conventional app in the Play Store to reach 1 billion downloads. Technically, the Google Play services package crossed the same mark back in January, but it is automatically installed on any device equipped with the Play Store and running Android 2.2 or higher.
Just minutes ago we posted about the discovery of an Android 4.4.3 changelog in AOSP and we've already found some interesting information. Among the individual project repositories, there are a few dedicated to Google-supported devices, mostly those in the Nexus family. In particular, we came across new references to an HTC device codenamed "Flounder," and another device belonging to Google with the name "Molly." This is the first time that these names have appeared in AOSP.
With most versions of Android, we're not used to seeing a changelog until a few hours after the AOSP code has been fully uploaded and somebody has had time to generate a comprehensive list. Imagine our surprise when such a list for KitKat 4.4.3 was discovered simply lying around on Google's servers. The file, named KK-MR2_changelist.txt, is located amidst Android's platform documentation. This is something of a first, since we'll actually learn about what's to come before the code is even available.
There should be no doubt, Google is getting ready to make a lot of announcements at I/O. If we've learned anything from past experiences, Google starts packing its apps full of surprises in the weeks leading up to the big show. The latest update to Play Services started rolling out yesterday and it has grown by a whopping 4 MB, almost 30% larger than the previous version. There's obviously a lot of stuff to look at, so let's just jump right in.