Google's begun rolling out an update to Maps, bumping it from version 7.5 to version 7.6 just after flipping the switch on dynamic rerouting. Officially, what's new in the update hasn't been laid out, but as usual we've managed to get the APK and take a quick peek inside. In this post, we'll outline some of the new, interesting bits we've found in the new app, and those who don't want to wait for the update can grab the APK themselves at the bottom of the post.
|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.|
It's that time again - each month, Google updates the developer dashboard to reflect Android's latest platform distribution numbers, determined according to devices that have accessed the Play Store in a seven-day period.
Last month, we saw KitKat make a small leap to 1.4% - it's made another tiny gain, rising to 1.8% of devices, while Jelly Bean has gone from 59.1% up to 60.7%. Gingerbread meanwhile continues its death march, letting 1.2% slip through its icy grasp, falling to an even 20% of devices.
As Google Glass continues toward an inevitable public release, users (and developers) are still trying to puzzle out exactly what the device is best suited for. There are games, cooking apps, news alert apps, and of course a tidy bundle of Google services in the slowly expanding list of official Glassware. Of course, there's more to Glass than official Glassware. Developers are making some fairly compelling tools for Google's eyeball computer, and Brivo Labs, in an effort to "explore the future of wearable technology," recently published a demonstration of one such tool.
Today, Google finally opened the Chromecast up to developers in a meaningful way, releasing the Google Cast SDK and integrating the relevant Android API into Google Play Services, the ever-growing backbone of Google's Android-based offerings. The update has already begun its rollout. Of course, that means we're going to look inside and see what's new, and we've also got a download for those who just can't wait for Play Services 4.2 to hit their device.
Privacy and technology maintain a tenuous relationship, and the balance between convenient features and personal security is always one worth keeping in mind as users make the most of their devices' capabilities. To that end, Chainfire has released a new proof of concept app that aims to give users at least some peace of mind when it comes to the - for lack of a better term - trackability of their devices, specifically related to Wi-Fi.
Google may have just sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo, but it seems the giant may have kept one of the manufacturer's juiciest pieces (besides patents) to itself.
According to Pocket-lint, Lenovo has confirmed that Google will be keeping Moto's Advanced Technology and Projects group, notably responsible for Project Ara, the modular phone project announced in October in collaboration with Phonebloks, and other experimental ventures.
The team, led by former DARPA Director Regina Dugan is said by the Verge to be heading to Google's Android team, reporting to Sundar Pichai.
Through its official global blog, Samsung today announced a new patent licensing deal reached with Google, whereby both companies will have access to each other's existing patents and those filed over the next ten years, covering "a broad range of technologies and business areas."
The cross-licensing agreement is described by Google's Deputy General Counsel for Patents, Allen Lo, as one that will help the two giants "reduce the potential for litigation, and focus instead on innovation." Indeed that has been a popular refrain as both Google and Samsung have historically faced (and continue to face) patent challenges from various other companies on various grounds.
To celebrate the beginning of the pro cycling season (starting with the Tour Down Under in Australia) Recon, maker of HUD devices for athletes, is offering $100 off any of its HUD offerings.
Readers may remember Recon for Jet, the heads-up glasses that run Jelly Bean and compete against the still nascent Google Glass for the hearts and minds of athletes. The glasses debuted last Spring, with "Pilot Edition" units going up for pre-order last June.
The incomparable @evleaks has offered up another look at Samsung's alleged UI experimentation, this time showing what would appear to be predictive search or information cards, similar to those offered by Google Now. Split into two parts, the collection shows everything from home temperature automation to exercise tracking to flight info, package tracking, appointments, and plenty more.
What differentiates the cards from Google's own service (design aside) is apparent social integration beyond birthdays and commutes.