08
May
Google-Glass-update-640x345
Last Updated: June 4th, 2013

Wow. So when Glass was first making the rounds, we heard a few rumblings about a ridiculously fast update cycle; something like monthly updates. Sure enough, it seems like Google is delivering on that sort-of rumored promise:

2013-05-08-13.52

Today, less than a month after the Glass unit left Google HQ, there's a new update: Version XE5. There's no public change log, but Phandroid says they emailed Google and got back the following list:

New features in XE5:

  • Change to sync policy: require power + wifi for background uploads
  • Crash reporting
  • Incoming G+ notifications (direct shares, comments, +mentions), including ability to comment and +1
  • Incoming Hangout notifications
  • Transcription of queries & messages is now wicked-fast
  • Long-press to search from anywhere in the UI (no longer just from off)
  • International number dialing + SMS
  • Hop animation on disallowed swipes in the UI
  • New On-Head Detection calibration flow
  • Show device Serial Number on Device Info card
  • More reliable estimation of battery charge remaining
  • New recipient-list mosaic

Google+ integration sounds awesome; the only problem is it doesn't actually work right now.

08
May
WeatherSignal

If you fancy yourself a budding meteorologist, OpenSignal's latest app release might just be the resource you've been waiting for. WeatherSignal turns your Android phone into a mobile weather station by tapping into sensors you didn't know your phone had in order to measure local atmospheric readings. With your consent, the app then submits this data to a collaboratively updated weather map for the world to share. Those of you who have used OpenSignal's previous app to find the best local WiFi connections might recognize the concept behind the company's latest initiative.

08
May
nexusae0_image_thumb79

If you're in the modding and theming community, your work is about to get a bit faster, because Smali v2.0 is now in beta and firing on all cylinders. The new version brings multithreaded processing and a few tweaks to the language that should result in cleaner-looking code.

Smali and baksmali are tools for assembling and disassembling the dex format used in Android apks. It's true that tools like this can be used for less than honorable endeavors, but they are also incredibly important to activities like deodexing apps for custom themes, tweaking functionality (like forcing portrait or landscape mode), and even digging around to learn more about various apps.

08
May
nexusae0_cyanogenmod-10-1-m-series-builds-rolling-out-now-for-select-devices-more-coming-soon_th1

Get ready to start downloading, as the CyanogenMod team has started pushing out its first release candidate for 10.1. The CM team only uses the RC moniker to describe software that is believed to be stable and reliable enough for regular daily use. If you are looking for a rock solid version of Android 4.2 for your phone, this is probably the one to get.

2013-05-08_09-55-29

The timing is no coincidence, as this lands exactly one week before a new version of Android is expected to be announced at Google I/O 2013 (probably v4.3).

08
May
lg_optimus_l9-575x500

Uh-oh. According to a support doc released yesterday, T-Mobile has paused the Optimus L9's update to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean because of the new software's less-than-stellar stability. Several users have reported significant battery drain, difficulty receiving calls, and frequent app crashes. Accordingly, T-Mobile wants to "improve performance" before resuming the OTA upgrade.

lgoptimusl9-software-update

T-Mobile announced and began rolling out the Optimus L9 Jelly Bean upgrade on April 22nd, so it's somewhat surprising it took so long to identify problems with the update.

08
May
unnamed

The seas are a dangerous place, lads. The Marauders are thick amongst the waves, and you are but an inexperienced young commander, seeking to make a name at the helm of your fleet. Your ships are heavily armed, but it's going to take more than firepower to stay afloat in Leviathan: Warships. This game is heavy on strategy, long-term planning, and attention to detail. As good as some aspects of this game are, the controls threaten to sink it before we even get out of dry dock.

08
May
whitethumb

Another day, another OTA, this time for Sprint's and AT&T's variants of the Galaxy S4. The updates – which are labeled as builds MDL and I337UCUAMDL, respectively - are beginning to roll out to all Ma Bell and Now Network owners of the GS4, and looks to include a few app, feature, and kernel changes.

Here's what the Sprint update includes:

  • SMS notification enhancements
  • S-Health enhancements

In addition, though not listed in Sprint's official announcement post, we believe this software contains a kernel patch that prevents unauthorized root access.

08
May
1

When I reviewed the First, I realized it was much, much more than just a Facebook experience device. Sure, it's sporting Home out of the box, flashes a Facebook logo during the boot process, and is adorned with that same logo on the back, but it's not just about Facebook. This little diamond in the rough is running stock Android 4.1.2 beneath Facebook Home, so you're quite literally three (or so) taps away from a Nexus-like experience.

08
May
ATT-logo

AT&T continues to pursue an aggressive 4G LTE rollout strategy, activating towers in Missouri, Texas, and North Carolina over the past couple of days for a total of 16 new markets. It's all part of the carrier's larger plan to reach 250 million Americans with LTE coverage by the end of this year. AT&T's LTE network currently covers almost 200 million.

Here's a list of cities graced with AT&T's fastest this week:

  • Jacksonville, Texas
  • Manhattan, Kan.

07
May
unnamed (1)

Spotify's bringing it down to the flo'. Nah, not really, but kind of. The crew behind the venerable music service has released an app update on Google Play, and among bug fixes and a playlist-sorting enhancement, a unique feature is listed in the changelog: "This app looks great in trousers."

yes

The most significant change is playlist and track sorting. The app also now remembers what you were listening to when you last logged out.

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