Google Maps. Material design. That's pretty much all I need to say, right? Here it is.
The new version of maps isn't just a visual overhaul, though - a few functional tidbits are packed in as well. Deeper Uber integration will allow you to see the estimated pickup time for an Uber, as well as the estimated fare based on the directions you're currently seeking under the transit or walking direction modes. Read More
Google's developers are notorious for including little jokes and easter eggs throughout all of their products. When your job consists of writing thousands of lines of code and testing obscure bugs, you're going to lose your mind without some kind of outlet. We usually see their sense of humor show up in Google Doodles, easter eggs, and even in the occasional bug report.
This time we're diving straight into the Android SDK to check out a function called isUserAGoat. Read More
There's a surprising lack of options when it comes to Android audiobooks. Sure, there's Audible, but its metered subscription service isn't an ideal solution for a lot of people, and other services tend to be light on content. Audiobook enthusiasts now have another alternative: Barnes & Noble. NOOK (ALL CAPS) Audiobooks is available as a free download on any Android 4.0+ device, though I'm betting that only those in the US can actually buy books. Read More
Android 5.0 is a new age for rooting on Android. Google's latest security enhancements require more hackery to circumvent and the Nexus 9's 64-bit software complicates matters even further. Still, after just a few hours, Chainfire has updated SuperSU to work on the Nexus 9, but there are a few extra steps.
So, the brief previews of the Moto Maxx that made it look like a de-branded DROID Turbo turned out to be right on the money. Motorola just announced the device on its official blog, complete with a spec list that matches Verizon's DROID flagship spec for spec. This generic version of the phone has the same fantastic screen, processor, battery, and camera combo... but you're not going to get your hands on the Moto Maxx any time soon unless you live in Brazil or Mexico. Read More
Following its similar deal with Samsung earlier this year, Google has just entered a cross-licensing patent agreement with South Korea's second largest smartphone manufacturer, LG Electronics. The deal covers both companies' current patents and those filed over the next ten years. The patents in question span "a broad range of products and technologies" as per LG's press release.
LG's relationship with Google has been solid over the past couple of years, with the company getting chosen to develop two Nexus devices. Read More
Update: Apparently Google is doing something different with the Nexus 9's binary release: there isn't one. According to Bill Yi, a regular Google poster, the necessary proprietary drivers are actually included on a separate partition of the Volantis software image. That would explain why the LRX21L release is almost twice as big as the last KitKat images for previous devices.
Proprietary Binaries are also available for Fugu. No proprietary binaries are needed for Volantis.
Look, we know most of you are probably more eager to see Lollipop software images for devices that you actually have instead of the ones that have just been released. But Google seems to be taking its sweet time with those, so in the meantime, we've got the software image and binary drivers for the Nexus Player. That's nice, right? Hello? Anyone reading this?
Actually, the software for the Nexus Player will be very important for the future of Google's Android TV platform - this is the showcase device for the next generation of Google-powered set-top boxes, for better or worse. Read More
Over the last few years, few topics have been more hotly contested by Android users and developers than how SD cards are handled by the OS. Back in February, I discussed some of Google's changes during the transition from Android 2.3 to 4.0, and then how more recent policy changes ultimately led to 3rd-party applications losing most of their access to removable storage. By the time I/O came around, Google acknowledged that KitKat's newly added Storage Access Framework still didn't offer enough range for apps to get their work done. Read More