There have been rumblings of RAW-style image capture support in Android for some time now, and it looks like the "L" release will finally bring photographers everywhere the freedom to individually process and archive their smartphone photos DSLR-style. The "L" developer documentation specifically mentions the new DngCreator class, an API that will allow camera apps to capture images and save them in the Digital Negative format, an open standard published by Adobe as a more generally-compatible alternative to RAW images (which generally require OEM or camera-specific plugins).
Ever wondered why you have to open up a PDF in Android on Chrome or using a 3rd-party viewer? Well, it's because up until now Android hasn't had a native PDF rendering tool in place. As of Android "L," it does. If you're on Android 4.4 or below, try opening a PDF in the Drive app - you'll be sent to whatever your native PDF viewing tool happens to be.
Now, if you're on the "L" preview release, do the same thing in Drive (make sure no PDF viewers are installed, that might break this behavior), and you'll see the PDF displays natively in the app.
The images are live, and that means developers (and not developers) all over the world are getting their first taste of whatever version Android L is going to be (I assume 5.0). This is the most significant change Android has ever seen, but the version we're getting is slightly different than what Google showed off at I/O, but let's take a quick look at what we do get to play with.
Google has just released the "L" preview factory images for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013) Wi-Fi, and you can get them right now. Here are direct links:
- Nexus 5 (GSM/LTE) "hammerhead": hammerhead-lpv79-preview-ac1d8a8e.tgz
- Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi) "razor": razor-lpv79-preview-d0ddf8ce.tgz
Go! And if you're a developer, the "L" preview SDK is available now, as well.
Google's ATAP team is doing cool stuff with Project Tango – like sending it into space to help astronauts do stuff. Of course, those of us on earth also want to get our hands on this upcoming tech to see what it's all about, as well (though probably not for the $1k asking price of the dev unit). According to ATAP team member Regina Dugan in a talk today at I/O 2014, there should be a retail version made by LG hitting the streets next year.
Developers, ROMers, countrymen - lend me your ears, because the SDKs for both the Android "L" release preview and Android Wear have just landed. Just fire up the SDK manager (be sure to update your SDK tools!) and you should see both are ready for downloading immediately, so you can start digging around in the latest Android releases.
The Wear SDK was actually released as a preview a few months back, but today is the real deal, with all the Wear resources you'll need to get developing great wearable experiences for the Gear Live, LG G Watch, and Moto 360.
Of particular interest in this video is the way the display works. When not in use, the Moto 360 display appears to be on, but very dim. So you'd be able to look at your wrist and see the time without touching it.
Update: If you want to flash this new version of Keep, you'll need the latest GMS (Google Play Services) package, released yesterday, as well - you can get it here.
Just one day after Google's expanded introduction of Android Wear at I/O, one of the apps demonstrated in the keynote is being updated to support it. Most of us can't get our hands on the LG G Watch or the Samsung Gear Live until July, but for those who actually attended I/O, and who have one or the other as some awesome swag, the latest update to Google's Keep notation and reminder app will be a welcome one.
Lyft is a great alternative in between taxis and public transit, but the somewhat egalitarian nature of the service means you don't always know what to expect. Recently Lyft rolled out its Lyft Plus premium service in San Francisco. Lyft Plus still relies on independent drivers, but they've been sold special white Ford Explorers customized by Lyft to meet a higher standard than you'll usually see in normal Lift vehicles.
Lyft Plus Explorers seat up to six passengers in leather seats, making them a pretty good choice if you've got a handful of people that need to go somewhere and you'd rather not cram into someone's Civic.