People have been buzzing about Google's Fuchsia project, an open source operating system that popped up on GitHub a few months ago. Some have even speculated that Fuchsia could be a replacement for Android down the road. Someone brought this up at the Android Fireside Chat, and VP of engineering for Android Dave Burke replied by basically not talking about Fuchsia. Read More
A pretty nifty new feature was talked about at last night's Android Fireside Chat. In addition to the other O features and the rest of the announcements at I/O, it was revealed that we'll soon be able to update our graphics drivers through the Play Store. This is a feature that is presumably only going to be present in O. There's no word yet on the specifics as to how that might work, or which OEMs or chipset manufacturers might be interested in taking advantage of it, but as of yesterday we know it's coming. Read More
Rovio's ever popular Angry Birds has become something of a phenomenon, with multiple games spanning different genres and billions of downloads. The franchise shows no signs of slowing down either. With movie tie-ins and spin-offs aplenty, the Finnish company continues to find new ways to push the series. It's been a long time coming, but the next evolution (ahem) of the game on Android is almost ready for primetime. Angry Birds Evolution will be released in the US next month and you can now pre-register for it, with a free starter pack worth $7.99 up for grabs for anyone who does so today. Read More
What happens when you take an iconic Breakout-style block-breaker and collide it with a classic alien shooter? Arkanoid vs Space Invaders is what, and Square Enix has just released the game on the Play Store. Both retro games were arcade champions of their time, with Space Invaders hitting machines in the late 1970s and Arkanoid coming later in the mid-1980s. Both are sure to have a great deal of loyal, nostalgic fans who may find this mashup of interest. Read More
NVIDIA's SHIELD TV is one of the best Android TV set-top boxes on the market (though the competition isn't that heated threr), but it's also quickly becoming one of the best overall video set-top boxes, even with Roku, Amazon, and Apple in the game. It was only a couple of weeks ago that the SHIELD TV added 4K streaming from Google Play Movies, and now it's announcing a couple of other improvements to its casting feature.
A new Google Cast Receiver update has opened up new capabilities to the SHIELD TV and NVIDIA was quick to jump on board and verify they all work as intended. Read More
If you're considering building a new VR game or app experience, you may be facing new challenges in how to create realistic scenes, how to move your characters across space without dizzying the player, and how to choose between click and gesture controls depending on what's best for your setting.
Daydream Elements is a new open-source app by Google that provides tech demos for many scenarios regarding these 3 areas: locomotion, menus and virtual controls, and rendering and lighting. There's also a full documentation page with explanations and details on each aspect, plus the source code on GitHub, so you should have everything at your disposal. Read More
Smartwatches have been available for a few years, but I'm not sure we have yet found a really legitimate and indispensable use for them. I have been wearing one for nearly three years, but I rarely interact with it and I forget it's there most days. Yet, it has become a necessity for me as I keep my phone silent to avoid the deluge of WhatsApp, Slack, Gmail, and more notifications while working in the serious and quiet environment of a pharmacy. Nothing is more distracting than continuous beeps and boops while you're trying to counsel a patient, so the watch helps me know what is crucial to attend to and what can wait until the patient has left. Read More
Dual speaker-equipped phones like the HTC U11, Nexus 6P, and Axon 7 may have better sound than their competitors, but the fact of the matter is that a phone's sound will never beat out a standalone speaker's. So if you want good portable sound and don't yet own a Bluetooth speaker, the UE ROLL 2 may be worth considering. Given its capabilities, the ROLL 2 is a no-brainer at just $45, which is less than half of its MSRP. Read More
There are a few reasons why your phone or tablet stops getting Android updates. One reason could be that the maker of your device's processor (e.g. Qualcomm or MediaTek) never updated the drivers for newer versions of Android. This is why no phones or tablets with the Snapdragon 800/801 chip ever officially received Android 7.0 Nougat, including the Nexus 5.
Google announced Project Treble a week ago, which aims to solve this particular problem by separating the Android OS from the 'Vendor interface' (the part with all the low-level drivers and binary blobs). The vendor interface under Project Treble is also designed to be forwards-compatible, meaning that it shouldn't have to be updated for every Android update, in theory. Read More
Android has never really been designed for use on desktop or laptop PCs, but various ports like Android x86 and Remix OS have appeared over the years. Now that Android apps can run on Chromebooks, perhaps Google thought it was finally time to implement pointer capture support in Android.
Starting with Android O, apps can capture a device's mouse pointer using the new requestPointerCapture method. Read More