The Google Pixel phones' development has had a big week; just a few days ago, the Verizon and EE variants had their bootloaders unlocked. Now, Chainfire, the famed developer of SuperSU and FlashFire, has debuted a systemless root method for the Pixels.
Due to the Pixels' odd partition structure (two system, two boot, two vendor, zero recovery, and zero cache partitions), Chainfire's root method required a bit of re-engineering. It's pretty impressive how quickly he was able to do this, but we'd expect no less from him. Read More
Over the past few days Android users have been noticing an annoying notification that pops up after using the Facebook app and watching any video. It says "Cast Device Not Connected," and includes a play and close button... and that's it. The notification opens the Facebook app when it's tapped, but the buttons don't do anything and it can't be dismissed with the usual swipe. The only way to kill the notification is to force close Facebook. Read More
It's fun to see developers duking it out — peacefully — over who adds the most new features first. Action Launcher's and Nova Launcher's devs are a great example. And it's all for the good of the platform and early adopters. Take Android 7.1's launcher app shortcuts. Action Launcher was the first to add them preemptively, Nova Launcher followed by enabling them even on earlier versions of Android, and now Action Launcher is implementing gestures with them to let you open the app shortcuts pop-up and select one of the shortcuts in one go. Read More
Music is definitely everywhere. From our own personal libraries and streaming stations to advertisements and entertainment, it is a fundamental part of who we are as individuals and as a culture (for better or for worse). Since music is just noise (how's that for a scientific breakthrough), I have always found it neat to see the visual representation of the soundwaves in line with the song that is playing. Back when Windows Media Player was a thing, I always turned on the visualizer, finding it much more entertaining than staring at the album art — or worse, the placeholder image when no art was available. Read More
The first major update to Allo, version 2.0, added a number of much-needed improvements. However, WhatsApp users may note that chat themes are still missing in Allo. 9to5Google has managed to enable some hidden themes included with the update, which can be activated on a per-user basis. Read More
To most people, Halloween means witches, ghosts, and ghouls. Google's obviously gone with this definition too, since the animations on Android Pay have been updated to include a range of the undead, pumpkins, witches, wizards, ghosts, ghouls, and skeletons. Read More
It's been a little over two weeks since I received my Google Pixel (XL) review unit, so I thought I would provide an addendum to our review based on more time with the phone. I won't be covering every category I did in the review. But I will try to give you the broad strokes on areas where my thoughts haven't changed much, and some of the specifics where they have.
Look, feel, and form
I still think this phone looks a bit dull. Other members of the team disagree, though! And I think that really is the subjective nature of design coming into play here. Read More
Everyone was intrigued when Fossil announced it would make Android Wear devices. After all, it makes "real" watches, so maybe its smartwatches would be a cut above. The Q Founder was an okay smartwatch for its time. It was a little big, but it looked nice and had a fast Intel SoC. Now, Fossil is back with the Q Marshal and Q Wander. These smartwatches are some of the first to have the wearable-focused Snapdragon 2100 chip, but is that enough to make them a good purchase? Sadly, not really. Read More
DoubleTwist got its start way back in the early days of Android, when users wanted an easy way to sync music from iTunes to their non-Apple phones. (And also, this was back when human beings still used iTunes.) The scope of the music player has broadened and generalized since then... and truth be told, it's kind of stalled as well, especially since the Cloud Player came out. The last update it had before today was way back in February. But today's bump is significant: in addition to a new user interface, it brings baked-in support for Chromecast, Android Wear, and Android Auto. Read More