Offering developer previews is very beneficial to a platform, but it also comes with its own perils. For example, people get upset when a feature that was part of the preview is dropped before the final release. Google has been derided in many a comment section for the removal of night mode in the final Nougat release, and now the hacky night mode enabler apps don't even work anymore. Is Google doing this because it hates you personally? That must be it. Read More
Have a Pixel? Take a closer look at your SIM tray - Google's left a note. Specifically: its address. As though to make it really, really, really clear that this is the Phone by Google, Google has printed its address in Mountain View... on the SIM tray. Which is random. But hey, Google. Here's a closer look at the tray from the Quite black model.
I don't know why Google's address is on the SIM tray, but it is. Also, hopefully no one sends a lost Pixel to Google because they assume this is some obscure way to identify the owner's address. Read More
If you think Chrome's rapid updates are annoying, Google's Phone application might send you over the edge. The last 4.0 update came in August, then 5.1 was included with Pixel devices, then another 4.1 update for non-Android 7.0 users, and now we are at 6.0. So what warrants a major version bump? Not much.
Google Phone 5.1 actually added most of the UI changes you might notice (check out our post about it). The first noticeable change here is when receiving a call, the notification now has larger Answer and Decline buttons. This is also on the Phone 4.1 APK, but it is worth mentioning here. Read More
"Hey Rita, you know phones, right?"
Internal answer: "Here goes another silly question. Brace yourself." External answer: "Uh... yes?!"
"So I'm not sure if my phone has a virus or something. There's this app and I can't uninstall it."
Internal answer: "F%#$$#^@ it's Device Administrator again." External answer: "Nah, don't worry, it's just not letting you uninstall because the app has some feature that needs to be disabled first. (Low mumbling: F^$%ing Device Administrator, WHY?!) Gimme... There, uninstalled."
I can't tell you how many times this has happened over the past couple of years. The first time someone told me they couldn't uninstall an app from their phone, I had to Google it because I'd never encountered something like that before, and that's when I learned that apps that set themselves as Device Administrator (most often, these are apps that can lock the screen) can't be uninstalled unless you deactivated that capability first. Read More
Sometimes a few words just don't get across the depth and range of your emotions. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so what's a GIF worth? I think it's either like a million words or negative words—whatever the case, you can send GIFs directly from the keyboard in Android 7.1. Read More
For many a year, Android users have been seeing a familiar dialog saying 'Android is upgrading' when the operating system updates or in the event a new ROM is flashed, stopping them from using the device until it has finished optimizing apps. Those days are over: with Android 7.1, the 'Android is upgrading' process is now carried out in the background.
In 7.0, this dialog was sped up considerably - as Ryan says, it's almost instant. However, the Android team has gone one step further and removed it completely in 7.1, allowing the process to be carried out mostly silently, apart from a notification in the shade telling you it's doing this, and a progress bar indicating how far it is from complete. Read More
Now that the Galaxy Note7's chance to be this year's best phablet has gone up in flames (sorry, I couldn't resist), LG may have a real shot with the V20. The phone launched a few weeks ago in South Korea, but it still isn't available for purchase here in the US. However, the pricing details for the unlocked model are now out. Read More
Trying to set a timer on cameras, both on smartphones and dedicated units, can be a pain. Google Camera 4.2, which currently can only be installed on Android 7.1 or higher, allows you to take photos with the "OK google, take a picture" voice command.
Once you say the magic words, the Camera app will open (if it isn't already) and start a 3-second timer. After the time is up, the photo will be taken. Previously, using that command would only open the camera - not actually take a photo. You can also say "OK google, take a selfie" to take a picture with your device's front camera. This should make using a selfie stick much easier. Read More
Software navigation keys have always worked pretty much identical to physical ones, with one exception. Rotating the device would always cause the navigation bar to move to the right side of the screen. This might not seem like a problem, but if you are flipping your phone clockwise, the nav bar essentially jumps from one side of the phone to the other. Read More
Google has posted the first set of factory images for the Pixel (sailfish) and Pixel XL (marlin) on its developer site, along with driver binaries for the devices. Three image versions are available: NDE63H, NDE63L, and NDE63P. The third one began rolling out to Verizon devices today as an OTA update. The full OTA images are available here, as well.
That NDE63P update supposedly brings Wi-Fi fixes, so if you're on an earlier build and having trouble, this OTA may resolve it (I personally am still having 2.4/5GHz switching issues even on the 63P build).
You can download the factory images and the driver binaries at the links below which, yes, still contain 'Nexus' in the page title. Read More