Earlier today, Google released updated factory images for all of its supported Nexus devices to patch up some reasonably serious vulnerabilities in a core Android library called Stagefright. While we await the stream of OTAs that are sure to follow, there's a fresh code drop to the Android Open Source Project containing security-related patches. Don't expect to see any new features or user-facing changes, this one is all about closing loopholes. Nevertheless, there are some interesting things to peek at.
A quick look at the changelog shows the highest concentration of fixes were made to frameworks/av (audio/visual), which is used extensively in the Stagefright library. Read More
Adidas, the company that made your pair of gym shoes and track pants, has purchased Runtastic. It reportedly paid around $239 million to close the deal.
Around these parts, Runtastic is known for having produced a series of great fitness-related apps. There's Runtastic's running app that got the ball rolling, and there are a couple of cycling ones that do the same thing for bikes. Then there are dedicated offerings for pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, and squats. Some of Runtastic's apps hone in on specific body parts, such as Butt Trainer, Leg Workout, and Six-Pack Abs.
In a blog post, Runtastic says it will remain its own entity within the Adidas Group. Read More
Almost anyone who uses YouTube regularly has seen a video with either 301 or 301+ views, according to the player. Why is this? Well, Google automatically checks videos crossing this threshold of views to see if the visitors are legitimate or just bots designed to pump up the number. From now on, they are tweaking the method to count "real" views in real time and only holding off on adding those that YouTube is unsure about.
Screen capture originally posted at Business Insider.
Stopping at a low-ish number like 301 kept a video with fake views from looking too popular. Read More
Sony announced the Smart B-Trainer at this year's CES as part of its continued efforts to log your life. This fitness-oriented device isn't the wrist band you might expect. Instead, it's a headset. Now Sony has provided a few more details, including a launch time frame. The Smart B-Trainer is scheduled to hit the US this fall.
The SSE-BTR1 headphone-integrated device comes with six sensors. There's a barometer and gyroscope, along with the tech required to measure your acceleration, cardinal direction, GPS location, and heart rate.
The companion app lets you log your runs. This means tracking how far you ran, how long you took, how high you went, how many steps, how quickly you moved, how many calories you burned in the process, and a number of other measurements. Read More
After adding the feature to the web version of Keep in May, Google has updated the Android app to allow users to easily convert their notes into Docs. Sometimes what starts as a stray thought or two that you dump into a note becomes something you want to expand upon. Rather than rewriting or copy and pasting, why not have your notes manager do the heavy lifting for you?
And by easy, I mean easy. Go to a note and head to the overflow menu. Tap "Copy to Google Doc" and the process begins. Keep tells you when it is finished on the bottom of your screen, giving you an "Open" link. Read More
"The Beeb on your wrist" might be mistaken for Cockney slang by some poorly-travelled American blogger, but in this case it's the latest feature to hit the official BBC Worldwide news app. The update to 3.2 for BBC News UK and BBC News Worldwide will send short snippets of stories to your Android Wear device. The only other changes are bug fixes and some layout adjustments for the primary, non-wearable app.
BBC News on a watch is surprisingly usable. A title, header image, and short paragraph for each story are displayed in a sort of mini-RSS style. The layout lets you swipe horizontally and vertically: go up or down to move between the "Top Stories," "My News" (selected on the smartphone app), and "Most Read" categories, and swipe left or right to move between individual stories. Read More
As early as last year, we began seeing quite a few references in teardowns pointing to the ability to overlay music onto videos uploaded in the YouTube app for Android, along with other features like video filters. With the wide rollout of the new YouTube UI, these advanced editing options are finally available to more people, so let's take a look at them.
'Featured,' 'Genre & Mood,' and 'On Device' are the categories you can choose when adding music. The featured section seems to be a catered list of the best generic instrumental tracks that Google has to offer. Read More
I'm from a part of Virginia where you learn different crops not because you're a farmer, but because there isn't much else to look at during the bus ride to school. Similarly, you start to recognize different types of tractors not because you aspire to drive one someday, but because you've spent untold hours stuck behind them on a one lane road.
I moved away as soon as I got the chance, and while I don't yearn to return to such a place, I imagine there are rural expatriates who long to return to the smell of dirt and cow manure. Read More
Google is rolling out the Stagefright patch to Nexus devices as promised, but the bigger news alongside that announcement is a new update policy for Nexus devices. Going forward Google will release security patches for Nexus phones and tablets about once per month, which mirrors Samsung's recently announced Galaxy update program. Google is also making official the length of time you can expect to get Nexus updates. Read More