Android L is probably just a few weeks away, but Google's partners already have the code to begin designing updates. That's why SamMobile was able to get a hold of a nearly complete build of Android L on the Galaxy S5. It looks pretty much like you'd expect a Samsung ROM to look, but there's definitely some L influence.
It's hard to believe that it's been nearly a year since Google rebranded Play Magazines to Newsstand, essentially combining Magazines and Currents into one app. While we've seen updates come and go to Newsstand over the months, today's update marks the biggest one yet: a complete makeover.
According to the Android Blog, Newsstand is now using Material Design, which incorporates "larger images, more contextual headers, and smoother transitions" into the overall feel of the app.
Re-entering PINs or patterns to unlock a smartphone several hundred times a day is a mind-numbing process, so it comes as no surprise that a couple thousand people have rallied behind a way to prevent them from having to do so. SALT is a Bluetooth-connected card that goes into your wallet and, as long as it's in range, saves you from having to interact with a lockscreen. Once it's not in reach, the lockscreen returns.
You'll have to excuse me, I'm a little out of it. After a few short sessions with Entwined Challenge, going back to a boring writing window is kind of like dunking your head in ice water. This abstract casual game comes from developer Pixelopus, the maker of the full Entwined game on the PS4, PS3, and PS Vita. Now you can get a bite-sized version of the experience on your Android device, Sony or not, in the Play Store.
Roku already gave users the ability to stream content from their Android devices to their set top boxes, but now the company is taking things a bit further. Instead of select files, the company will give people to capability to stream whatever is on their screen. We've seen this from Miracast devices, we've seen it from Chromecast, and now we're seeing it from Roku. Update: In fact, Roku is using Miracast to deliver this functionality.
You can now use at least some Android apps as stand-alone Chrome extensions on your laptop or desktop, with a little bit of hacking. The handy Chrome APK Packager made that process much easier... at least until Google booted it off of the Play Store, presumably for a copyright violation. The creator of the tool, who goes by "bpear96" on XDA, said that he would have to change the name in order to keep the app on Google's playground.
Honda and NVIDIA have partnered up to supply future 2015 Civic, Civic Tourer and CR-V owners with a Tegra-powered infotainment system for them to totally not interact with while driving. The interface will be based on Android, but it's utilizing the aging (or at this point, we can just say old) build of 4.0.4. We may be excited to see Android work its way into more cars, but Auto, this is not.
If you practically live out of your car like I do, there are probably cables loosely hanging from just about every outlet, and at least a couple awkwardly laying across the passenger seat. Even if you're not sporting a ride with a Bluetooth-enabled stereo, you can get rid of at least one cable by adding your own car kit to the mix. You could already get the GOgroove SMARTmini AUX Bluetooth Audio Receiver Car Kit for just $24.99 from Amazon, but now you can also knock another $5 off with a coupon code at checkout.
Samsung has been sending the somewhat overdue Android 4.4.4 update to its flagship devices for the last few weeks, and according to this support page, it's now the Sprint Galaxy S5's turn. The Sprint CDMA edition of the S5 should be receiving the latest stable build of Android now, though we haven't actually found any users who are getting it this morning. Given the way that US carriers tend to stagger the rollouts for just about everything, that isn't all that surprising.
The Play Store has a spot next to each device in your list for an image of that particular phone or tablet. This whole time it's pretty much only been Nexus devices that had the image instead of a generic white outline. Now all of a sudden almost all phones and tablets have an image, which looks much nicer.