The biggest user-facing change in Android 4.4 KitKat is, without a doubt, the launcher. The new launcher experience provides deeper Google Now integration (it's literally the leftmost homescreen), beautiful transparent navigation buttons and notification bar, always-on Google Now listening, and a much cleaner app drawer. For now, though, this launcher will remain a Nexus 5 exclusive - Google wants to see what the reaction is before expanding this 'Google experience' to other devices or the Play Store-using public.
Welcome back to another week of the Android Police Podcast. To catch us live on Hangouts On Air every Thursday at 5PM PST (subject to change as per the calendar widget below), just head over to androidpolice.com/podcast. For the unedited video show, click here.
In our last Glass Teardown, we found a ton of new commands hidden in the resources of GlassVoice.apk, pulled from the XE10 update. Just a couple of days ago, XE11 rolled out to Explorers, and it's got even more to tell us about future Glass functionality.
In this teardown, we'll take a look at progress on functions XE10 hinted at, new resources that clarify some of our previous discoveries, and a couple of new things as well.
The Nexus 5 was perhaps the worst-kept secret in tech this year, but nonetheless, rumor and speculation built up a category 5 hypestorm around it - everything from the farfetched, like revolutionary camera tech and flexible displays, to the mundane-but-desirable, like a much larger battery or 3GB of RAM.
But now the Nexus 5 is finally here, and Google has, for the most part, built a very iterative product.
Blizzard is a game developer and publisher - maybe you've heard of them. They're responsible for little series like Diablo, Starcraft, and World Of Warcraft, among others. The company's latest effort is an online, multiplayer trading card game called Hearthstone, currently in an invite-only beta on PC. Polygon reports that at the annual BlizzCon in Anaheim, California, the company announced that Hearthstone will be released on Android in 2014.
Hearthstone is loosely set in Blizzard's Warcraft franchise, hence the subtitle "Heroes of Warcraft." Like other collectible card games, it's being built from the ground up on the free-to-play model, though reports from early beta players indicate that it's still easy enough to get into the main game without spending money.
Activating a Nexus 5 on T-Mobile is far from a difficult process, but if you missed out on the first wave of Nexus 5s on Google Play, T-Mobile will soon be ready to sell one to you themselves. The company is launching the latest Nexus handset on November 14th online, and they will introduce it in-stores a week later.
Rather than paying $349 for the phone on Google Play, T-Mobile customers can buy it for $41.99 down, followed by 24 monthly payments of $17.
Remember the BlueStacks App Player? It's been around for a pretty long time now. How long? Until just recently, the software that allowed users to run Android inside of Windows was powered by Gingerbread. Now the emulation software is making the leap to Ice Cream Sandwich, and while it's still two years behind the times, at least it looks somewhat modern. Well, until more devices make the transition to KitKat, that is.
Sprint's network has been undergoing a major reconstruction in the last year or so, but there are still some problems to be ironed out. Suspiciously, it has been Sprint's policy this whole time to pretend that the super-slow 1xRTT network doesn't exist. Instead, its devices just display 3G like everything is okay. The new Nexus 5 is apparently playing ball with Sprint too – if you're in a 1x zone, the phone will still read 3G.
Have a KitKat device? If so, you've made the leap to the latest version of Android faster than most other people. That's the fun part. You've also jumped to Android 4.4 before most apps. That's the not so fun part. While older apps are generally stable and compatible, sometimes an update is in order to iron out the kinks. Thus a new version of Light Flow is now available that makes the app more compatible with Android 4.4 and the Nexus 5.
There's an intense burrito-folding, salsa-serving war being waged out there between Chipotle, Moe's, Qdoba, and other purveyors of delicious tacos. Passions burn hotter than fresh chilies, and I'm not bold enough to throw my weight behind any of the involved establishments. But I will stick my neck out just enough to share that Chipotle's Mobile Ordering app is now open to all locations, and it's awesome.
No, Chipotle doesn't deliver, but the company's app still saves you the effort of standing in line, shouting your order over the sound of hungry children, and asking the server what that goopy red stuff is next to other, slightly darker, goopy red stuff.