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+. Read More
We're used to seeing huge waits for carrier-branded devices to receive updates to the latest and greatest version of Android. Actually, sometimes they don't arrive until the next version has been announced. HTC is trying to set a new standard, apparently. After pushing 4.3 out to most of the HTC One variants, it is pledging to get 4.4 rolled out to all devices in the US within 90 days. The Google Play edition One? Read More
It looks like Google learned a lot from the botched Nexus 4 launch. Not only did most orders seemingly go off without a hitch, but the company has already start shipping some orders. I got the notification about 20 minutes ago that my 16GB Nexus 5 has already shipped, and I'm not the only one – we've already received several tips from users saying the same thing.
However, some other members of the AP team haven't yet received theirs. Read More
Many mobile users who regularly access their files across multiple devices have found that relying on cloud storage just makes life simpler, but many of us don't keep our files stored in just one place. Now Android 4.4 is rolling out a new way to open files within apps that makes accessing all of these providers both easier and prettier. With KitKat's new storage access framework, apps that prompt users to browse for files will open a sidebar navigation menu that lists recent files, available cloud storage providers, and files stored internally. Read More
If you've never heard of the Bluetooth MAP profile, I don't blame you. Bluetooth profiles are super, super boring stuff. But stay with me here, because you may be more interested in MAP than you thought.
Do you own a car that is "Bluetooth-enabled"? If your car's model year is somewhere in the neighborhood of the last 3 to 4 years and supports Bluetooth, it probably uses the MAP standard to communicate with your phone. Read More
For a smartphone operating system, Android hasn't always had the best features for, you know... calls. One of the especially annoying omissions has long been caller ID, but Android 4.4 takes a big step toward fixing that. If you get a call from a business that Google knows, it lets you know on KitKat's incoming call screen. Neat.
The Play Store is consistently pelted with new apps that always run in the background, counting our steps, tracking our location, or listening to us as we sleep. These tasks require that a process remains in an active state, and whenever there's any activity going on within a smartphone, battery life takes a hit. Android 4.4 reduces the impact of these processes with new support for hardware sensor batching.
This optimization allows Android to collect and deliver sensor events in clumps, rather than keep track of them individually. Read More
This feature is perhaps bigger news for app developers than end users, but it's an important one nonetheless. Ever used an app that feels really slow, clunky, and unresponsive - almost like a mobile web page? It probably is one! You see, many publishers of apps out there don't actually build real mobile apps. Credit card companies, cell phone carriers, airlines - you know, the sort of companies you kind of live to hate. Read More
If you can tear your gaze away from KitKat and Nexus news today, there's actually other stuff going on in the Android world. The indefatigable Evleaks has just posted what he claims is a photo (of a photo) of the Moto G, which he himself was sent via a tip. It looks a lot like the Moto X, but as some have predicted, with more low-end specs.
According to the tweet, the phone will use the same screen size and resolution as the Moto X, and both the front and rear of the body look remarkably similar to Motorola's current flagship. Read More
If you do any sort of document editing from your phone, there's a good chance you've needed to print something at some point. Or maybe you need a quick copy of an image and don't want to go through all the trouble of transferring it to your computer and then printing. Or maybe there's some other scenario that I can't think of right now when you've needed to print something from mobile. Read More