One of the less exciting (but still important) announcements at Google I/O 2014 was that Google will be adopting part of Samsung KNOX as a security platform in Android itself. KNOX, which is currently only on Samsung devices, is a business-oriented security solution that keeps work and personal data separate and secure on a single device. Sounds pretty good, right? Not to BlackBerry CEO John Chen, but you know what is good enough?
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.
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.
We've known since late May that the LG G3 was on its way to Sprint, it's just been a matter of finding out when and for how much. Well, the deets are in. The G3 will be available for pre-order starting July 11th, with the actual purchase date being the 18th. Sprint customers can get the phone for 24 monthly payments of $25, which totals up to an even $600.
Those who hop on the deal using Sprint Easy Pay before July 24th and register by August 7th may be eligible to get $150 back in the form of a rewards card.
Owners of the LTE variant of the Nexus 7 2013 have kind of been left out in the cold when it comes to the latest Android updates. While most of the other current Nexus devices (including the WiFi version of the same tablet) are running Android 4.4.4, a lot of N7 LTE users are still back on 4.4.2. Those who know their way around a bootloader can install the factory image for 4.4.3, but until now there was no standard over-the-air update.
I'd just like to thank Google for expanding Android to two new platforms this year (Android TV doesn't count). Now we've got twice as many opportunities to talk about over-the-air software updates. The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live, both running nearly identical builds of Android Wear, are being updated to the slightly newer KMV78V build today. Owners should be seeing the update alert over the next few days if they haven't already.
In comparison with just a few years ago, Wi-Fi is pretty fast, especially if you've upgraded to a 5GHz router. But there's no reason that it can't be faster. To that end, electronics OEM supplier Qualcomm has purchased Wilocity, a California startup specializing in 60GHz 802.11ad Wi-Fi, also known as WiGig. This standard is still in the latter stages of development, but when it starts appearing in devices sometime next year, it should be able to sustain wireless data speeds of up to seven gigabits per second.
A couple of days ago, AOSP was graced with a series of freshly created "l-preview" branches and a massive push of brand new code. As we know now, quite a bit of that code push wasn't truly representative of the L developer preview. (Very sneaky, Google.) Most of the truly new updates belonged to GPL-licensed projects, which Google is obligated to release in a timely fashion. The remaining projects with "l-preview" branches were filled with a recent snapshot from the Master branch.