Custom ROMs move fast... as long as you're willing to flash nightly builds. Just days after adding the settings search feature from Android L, CyanogenMod is getting some handy cursor control keys, but they're not where you'd expect – they pop up in the navigation bar at the bottom of the screen.
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.
He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM
Google started rolling out a massive improvement to voice search in the Google Search app last week by enabling "Ok Google" hotword detection everywhere. Really cool, but it has been slowly making its way to users on a per-account basis. Tired of waiting? Just a few taps, and you can (maybe) get instant access to the feature. Note: Probably US English only.
HTC has had a rough time in recent years as Samsung has risen to dominance in the Android device market. The resulting slump culminated in a year of losses for the Taiwanese OEM, but today's Q2 2014 numbers signal a potential turnaround. HTC had a small profit of NT$2.26 billion ($75 million) over the last three months.
Android L is overflowing with new features and clever little tweaks, but none of that will be official until later this year. Not wanting to wait around, the CM folks have already borrowed (or "kanged" if you must) a feature from Android L. In the 0701 nightly builds, there is now a handy universal settings search button.
Accessories used to be limited to cases, spare batteries, and the like, but now it can mean smart watches and (overpriced) headphones that cost almost as much as your phone. That's why T-Mobile wants to make it easier to blow cash on them. According to TmoNews, T-Mobile will begin offering Equipment Installment Plans (EIP) for accessories on July 20th.
You know all about Pushbullet by now – it's that file/text/notification/everything else pushing app that's so outrageously useful that you have to wonder why it's free. Today there's a treat rolling out to Pushbullet users on Windows in particular, and it makes sending files to your devices mega-easy. Just right-click and send.
Google has just announced its acquisition of music streaming and curation service Songza. We don't have any details on the value of the deal, but Songza is by no means a heavyweight in the music streaming ecosystem. The deal was rumored a few weeks ago with a possible purchase price for Songza at about $15 million (that's 0.015 Instagrams). Only in the land of Google acquisitions is that a small number.