Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

05
Jan

 

Blue Spark Technologies has introduced a new wearable device at CES, but it's not a smart watch or a fitness band or even a VR headset. It's a single-use skin patch called TempTraq that connects to your Android (or iOS) phone to track body temperature.

Blue Spark pitches the patch to parents with sick progeny, though it could conceivably be used on or by anyone. The patch affixes to the body under the arm, and transmits temperature information over Bluetooth to its dedicated app.

05
Jan

 

Sony, with the release of its Lifelog API today, is giving developers one more way to build apps and services around your quantified daily activities.

02
Jan
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As you might have noticed, the AP team is pretty fond of Pushbullet. It's an awesome service that keeps your devices linked up and in sync like nothing else. If you've paid attention over the past few weeks, you may have also noticed that our sidebar has gained a pretty big heap of new buttons.

Right under all the other ways you can follow AP, we've added a stack of Pushbullet subscription options that will allow you to subscribe to our posts either all at once, or per category.

22
Dec

Reddit user Ponkers posted an interesting find to /r/Android today, pointing out a significant privacy hole in Skype that essentially allows users to force an Android device to answer a call, making eavesdropping nearly effortless.

Ponkers drew a diagram below, which I feel compelled to include based on its artistic merits, but here's the gist of how the process works.

Assume you have three devices, device 1, device 2, and device 3.

19
Dec

According to Wayne Piekarski, senior developer advocate for Android, Wear, and Glass, the rollout of OTA updates to Android Wear 5.0 is complete now, meaning all users should have - by this point - had the opportunity to download and install the update if their watch is paired with a phone.

Piekarski reminds watch face makers that time is ticking to migrate their faces to the official Watch Face API

17
Dec
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It appears Google really doesn't want to leave any stone unturned when it comes to easing its own apps into material design (no matter how long it may take). The latest to get an incremental refresh is Google Opinion Rewards - the app has been updated with a revised launcher icon (seen in the thumbnail for this post), and a new toolbar inside the app. The icon is a bit closer to material, but doesn't carry the exact same use of shadows as Google's other recent updates.

17
Dec
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Yesterday, Google Cardboard revealed that Maps has a pretty awesome easter egg hidden in plain sight - users can take a look at streetview through Cardboard with a simple tap.

As the gif below explains, users need only double-tap the "look around" FAB in streetview to trigger a stereoscopic view of the location they've looked up.

Slide your phone into a Cardboard viewer, and you can "see the sights" just like you were there (as long as you've got a fast connection, anyway).

17
Dec
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Trello for Android, a popular task management app that describes itself as "a whiteboard with super powers," got a big update today, introducing the app's "first foray into material design." The update comes with revamped layouts, new navigation paradigms, and tons of aesthetic improvements.

In a post to the Trello blog, Dan Lew explains that the revamp was "a ton of work," noting that not a single corner of the interface went unnoticed - the entire interface was given close inspection with Google's new design philosophies in mind, but Lew stresses that the core experience remains the same.

15
Dec
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The short version of this story is that Tse Ho Keung, holder of a patent that is currently within an inch of its life, has so far failed to get any traction in lawsuits against major tech companies (...and Blockbuster), and has resorted to threatening independent developers in a dual effort to either gain money or to avenge the name of his patent by forcibly eliciting amicus briefs and declaratory statements.

11
Dec
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From a recent teardown of Google+ 4.8, it seemed like Google was preparing to offer bandwidth optimizations in the app, with the option to switch on a data conservation option. It looks like that feature has cropped up (thanks David) now, along with a new gender identity setting brought over from the web.

A few days ago, the Google+ team announced that the service would now accommodate those of any gender, not just male or female, by opening up a "custom" option, as well as a method of indicating one's preferred pronoun (the selection includes male, female, and other).

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