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.

31
Oct
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Yet another facet of KitKat worth pointing out today is the addition of new security enhancements to the OS. Security is one area that's frequently sensationalized with Android - it seems that every few days a scare story about Android malware creeps onto my Google News page. Google's eliminating security arguments (and possible arguments) one at a time, though, and has made a few key enhancements this time around.

First among them is a change to SELinux.

31
Oct
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Until now, using emoji in parts of Android besides Hangouts could be a little tricky. Officially, the emoji keyboard was included as part of the iWnn IME, and required users to manually switch using the persistent keyboard notification which appeared any time a user tapped a text field. Even then, users couldn't enjoy the full-color emoji found in Hangouts. This was certainly less than ideal.

Thankfully, Google has spread "Emoji everywhere" with Android 4.4 KitKat, integrating the set of awesome emoji with Google Keyboard for easier access.

31
Oct
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This afternoon, Motorola's Punit Soni shared a post on Google+ to follow up on the company's earlier "more to share soon..." post. Soni's post pointed users toward Motorola Mobility's online upgrade checking interface, which tells users whether or not their Motorola device will be receiving any planned updates.

The tool now confirms that Android 4.4 KitKat will be coming to the Moto X along with the DROID Mini, Ultra, and Maxx.

31
Oct
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If you've got (a lot of) spare time on your hands this evening and a burning desire to know literally everything new in AOSP with Android 4.4 KitKat, Funky Android has done the work for you, providing a complete, comprehensive log of all commits made from 4.3_r2.1 (JSS15J) all the way up to 4.4_r1 (KRT16M).

The list is extremely lengthy, but includes handy links to Google's Android Source site where you can find more info about each commit.

31
Oct
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Hot on the heels of its release, the Nexus 5's factory image and drivers (including those from Qualcomm) have already been posted. As usual, the Nexus 5's newly uploaded assets are right in line with the rest of the Nexus family, though no other members of the family have gotten a 4.4 update just yet. Those developers or enthusiasts who want something to play with can hit the appropriate link below to grab the image and/or drivers.

31
Oct
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If you can't get enough information about Android 4.4 KitKat but you're tired of reading and want something easier - say, a video - you're in luck. Today, new episodes of DevBytes and Android Design In Action were released specifically to give developers and designers alike a brief, informative, easy-to-digest look at what's new.

Today's Android Design In Action covers a lot. Everything from the Nexus 5's display (640x360dp) to the Design Guide's new branding section is covered, along with plenty of other topics.

31
Oct
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About a month ago, we found some enticing goodies in Hangouts' 1.2 update. Specifically, we found evidence of activity statuses - rich status messages that would allow you to set a status with accompanying iconography for things like biking, driving, laptop, tablet, and phone. Some of these, (like biking and driving) we predicted, may be set automatically by Hangouts. The teardown also revealed the possibility of moods, using the bouncy yellow fellow found on Google+.

30
Oct
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In a move that's sure to please Glass explorers, Google's added a "Glassware" tab to the online MyGlass interface. The Glassware "Boutique" is something many expected to come with the XE10 update, after Google began accepting submissions for review. The update came without a peep about the boutique, but we found plenty of ways new Glassware could hook its claws into your Glass once approved.

While no new apps have been added to the Glassware section at the time of writing, it would seem Google's getting ready to provide easy access to approved apps.

30
Oct
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Last night, Glass Explorer Cecilia Abadie shared a post asking fellow Google+ users for some advice. Abadie had been given a traffic ticket "for wearing Google Glass while driving" and wondered if the cop was wrong, or if driving with Glass is already illegal in California.

Accompanying the post, Abadie shared a photo of the ticket itself.

Screen Shot 2013-10-29 at 11.08.32 PM

It’s easy to be angry that the cop would choose to list wearing Google Glass while driving as an infraction, but it’s also important to note that the ticket in question lists a speeding infraction as well.

29
Oct
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One of the many photography-oriented announcements made during today's Google+ event was Snapseed's new HDR Scape filter, one which promised to produce awesome photos with a dynamic range that's deliciously high.

Unlike stock camera HDR modes, Vic Gundotra was sure to point out on stage today that Snapseed's HDR Scape filter doesn't approximate tonal mapping effects by measuring pixel brightness, but instead detects pixel edge contrast, which according to Gundotra should produce more realistic effects, close to what you might achieve with a set of bracketed exposures from a "real" camera.

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