In the "news that will ease your OCD" category, Android "L" finally adds proper support for the battery percentage trick we were first made aware of in Android 4.4. Yes, you still have to download an app from XDA (or use a couple lines of ADB commands) from this post to get it working in the first place, but in the "L" release it no longer periodically disappears or decides not to work in certain situations.
|David Ruddock||David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.|
There have been rumblings of RAW-style image capture support in Android for some time now, and it looks like the "L" release will finally bring photographers everywhere the freedom to individually process and archive their smartphone photos DSLR-style. The "L" developer documentation specifically mentions the new DngCreator class, an API that will allow camera apps to capture images and save them in the Digital Negative format, an open standard published by Adobe as a more generally-compatible alternative to RAW images (which generally require OEM or camera-specific plugins).
Ever wondered why you have to open up a PDF in Android on Chrome or using a 3rd-party viewer? Well, it's because up until now Android hasn't had a native PDF rendering tool in place. As of Android "L," it does. If you're on Android 4.4 or below, try opening a PDF in the Drive app - you'll be sent to whatever your native PDF viewing tool happens to be.
Now, if you're on the "L" preview release, do the same thing in Drive (make sure no PDF viewers are installed, that might break this behavior), and you'll see the PDF displays natively in the app.
Google has just released the "L" preview factory images for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013) Wi-Fi, and you can get them right now. Here are direct links:
- Nexus 5 (GSM/LTE) "hammerhead": hammerhead-lpv79-preview-ac1d8a8e.tgz
- Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi) "razor": razor-lpv79-preview-d0ddf8ce.tgz
Go! And if you're a developer, the "L" preview SDK is available now, as well.
Developers, ROMers, countrymen - lend me your ears, because the SDKs for both the Android "L" release preview and Android Wear have just landed. Just fire up the SDK manager (be sure to update your SDK tools!) and you should see both are ready for downloading immediately, so you can start digging around in the latest Android releases.
The Wear SDK was actually released as a preview a few months back, but today is the real deal, with all the Wear resources you'll need to get developing great wearable experiences for the Gear Live, LG G Watch, and Moto 360.
Google Drive received a substantial bump to version 2.0 today, bring it up from version 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11. The new app doesn't seem to have many user-facing changes outside a single big one we noticed, in the form of a brand-new UI in the file details view. Take a look below.
This new interface is substantially more modern, completely ditching the top bar in favor of a blown-up document preview and a grid of buttons that make performing tasks with your files much easier.
If you're still toting around a stock AT&T Galaxy Note II, good news: your phone is finally getting Android 4.4.2. The rollout should be starting now, and includes all of the basic 4.4 goodies you can expect coming from 4.3, like wireless printing, the new storage access framework, SMS default app selection, Google Wallet tap-to-pay support, and a few others. Here's Samsung's full changelog:
OS upgrade to Android 4.4.2 KitKat
- New Lock Screen Access
- Media Controls - full-screen album art and media controls when listening to music
- Camera Shortcut - access the Camera application right from the lock screen
- Improved user experience when multiple messaging apps are installed - All SMS and MMS messages are together in the same app, alongside other conversations and video calls.
A quick glance at the OneDrive 2.6 changelog on the Play Store probably would have you saying "meh," but if you actually read it closely, it's more of a "seriously Microsoft, are you kidding me?" The multi-billion dollar software giant's Android app for its cloud-based storage service was apparently lacking a little something called "search" until its most recent update. So now you can actually find your files and folders in OneDrive without aimlessly navigating through them with no help.
I know, it's I/O day and there are a lot more exciting things going on than OTA updates to Google Glass, but hey, the news is the news, right? The XE18.3 build should be rolling out to explorers now, and it adds a couple changes that make Glass a bit easier to use. First, pairing has been simplified with a walkthrough for the setup process. Second, Glass now has a user-accessible recovery mode.
Audi has long been a car brand associated with advanced technology in the luxury segment, often taking risks well before their primary competitors BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus, are willing to step up to the plate. Audi will also be the first of those brands to offer vehicles with Android Auto integration, according to a press release issued by the VW-owned mark today.
Audi states that beginning in 2015, all-new vehicle models with Audi MMI infotainment (I always gag on that word) systems will be Android Auto-ready.