With last month's release of the Android N Preview, the Tools team launched a preview release of Android Studio 2.1. Not only did the new version add support for the N Preview SDK, but it also brought a few important important and welcomed additions, including adoption and support for many of the language features in Java 8, a semi-official switch to the Jack compiler, an updated New Project wizard, and further improvements to the new and faster Android Emulator. As of today, Android Studio 2.1 has been promoted to Stable and is available to all developers.
The biggest advantage of updating and switching to the Jack compiler, aside from playing with new Android N APIs like Launcher Shortcuts, is probably the addition of Lambda Expressions.
If you're a regular user of Instagram, you may soon notice some nice changes to its look. The photo sharing service appears to be quietly rolling out a tweaked UI to some users, likely via a server-side switch. There hasn't been any official announcement from the company yet, but on the surface it looks like a lot of the blue has been toned down in favor of black, and there are new icons for the photo controls.
Normally this would be the point where people would put in a cliché joke about people taking pictures of their food, but I'm going to refrain because I actually love Instagram.
The LG G5 is available now, and while it's not garnering great reviews, LG appears to be pushing on with the whole replaceable module idea. Russian site [email protected] has been able to get ahold of the G5 SE, a lite version of the G5, and has reviewed the phone before its official release.
As was reported a few days ago, the G5 SE isn't that special; it's essentially a lower-spec version of the G5, packing less brunt for less money. The 4GB of RAM in the flagship has been downgraded to 3GB, while the new Snapdragon 820 has been similarly taken down a peg to the Snapdragon 652.
Google is always making little changes here and there that aren't worth going into detail on, but you add up enough little changes and baby, you got a stew going. Er, I mean a post. A blog post... like this one. At any rate, the Google+ app has been updated to v7.7 and the web got a feature update a few days ago.
Everyone else will see popular websites such as Facebook and YouTube show up in the Top Sites panel at first launch. Notifications about tabs opened in the background now list URLs. Firefox 46 will also request permissions as needed instead of when first installed, thanks to Android 6.0.
Google's Nearby API is one of the coolest things developers aren't using. I mean, they are, but not as often as I had hoped. Radon is a new sharing app based on Nearby, and it's pretty cool. Just share something to Radon, and it will search for target devices in close proximity with WiFi, Bluetooth, and ultrasonic pulses.
Sometimes you have to wait a long time to get the announcement that the latest version of Android is coming to a device that you own. That period of time can be agonizing, especially when you have your eyes set on a particular feature.
The experience is only made worse when the announcement doesn't bring an update any closer.
It would appear HTC is not done with the "One" branding. The company has just announced the One S9, a device that appears to slot into the same not-quite-flagship space as the A9. In fact, it looks like a cross between the M9 and the A9. This device comes with a MediaTek SoC and just 16GB of on-board storage, so it's not exactly competition for the HTC 10. You probably won't be able to buy it where you live anyway.
NVIDIA's SHIELD is the best stand-alone Android TV device on the market... in an admittedly limited field of competitors. At $200 with an included controller, it's at a fairly premium price for a set-top box (the top-of-the-line Roku streaming gadget is $130, for example). But if you plan to take advantage of its unique PC game streaming capability or NVIDIA's growing stable of exclusive Android games, it's not unreasonable for two bills. Now the pot gets a little sweeter: for a limited time, NVIDIA will throw in a second controller with a SHIELD TV purchase.