An unexpected treat came zooming out of Google HQ today as Android 4.4.4 OTAs and factory images have started rolling out for Nexus devices. The changes have already been posted to AOSP and Al Sutton quickly followed up with a list of the changes that make up the latest update. Since 4.4.3 is only 2 weeks old, and I/O is merely a week away, we had a feeling this was just a security update, and it looks like that's all it is.
Google, in a continued effort to break stock Android apps out of Android, has just added Email to the Play Store. It's the Email app you know and love from Android, but with a few added features. For the initial Play Store debut, Google has beefed up security (in unspecified ways) for Gmail accounts, improved the account setup flow, added printing to the app, and fixed "other bugs."
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
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Today's roundup is presented by Persist+ Volume Control.
Android Police alum and current Ars Technica editor Ron Amadeo has been hard at work on something that might be of interest to you. Head on over to Ars and you can read Ron's 40,000 word history of Android. Yes, 40,000 words – for reference, the classic novella Animal Farm is about 10k words shorter. I can only hope Ron's bosses will unchain him from his desk and allow him to sleep now.
According to a new exclusive from Forbes, Google is working on preparing a service called Google Fit. Forbes says the service will aggregate and manage health and fitness data collected from sources like wearables and fitness trackers, and it will offer new APIs to developers for integration with the service.
According to Forbes, it's unclear whether Google's HealthKit competitor will debut with the next version of Android, but evidently the company is set to unveil the service, along with new partnerships with wearable manufacturers, at this year's I/O conference (which for those keeping count is just under two weeks away).
There have been a lot of leaks and rumors leading up to Google I/O this year. From Gmail to your Android device's home screen, nothing has been spared. Through all of this, we've seen some really interesting and non-traditional Android app designs, with matching web counterparts, that have made readers rightfully question their validity, and Google's design direction.
We've received new information related to what appears to be a new design paradigm for all Google's products across all platforms that should help explain what we've been seeing - say hello to Quantum Paper.
The Escort SmartRadar, as its name might imply, is a radar and laser detector. If you've been looking to get a radar detector for a bargain, the Escort might be the device for you, and Groupon has it at a nice discount. The site is offering the Escort SmartRadar for $199.99, a significant discount compared to Amazon's $411 price tag or Best Buy's $360 clearance option.
You may be wondering why we're covering a deal on a radar and laser detector.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Today's roundup is sponsored by Wonder Wood from Herocraft.
A couple of months ago, we posted one of our early Google Search/Now rumors, and it was something of a long range rumor compared to others. While things like parking reminders, proper timer management, and bill pay reminders have already seen their public release, the ability to set contact-based reminders ("remind me when I'm with this person"), hasn't come forward yet. But it will likely appear very soon with a new feature in Android called Nearby, which will allow new interactions between you and nearby people, places, and things.
The Chrome Web Store may not be the first place you hit up in your search for Android apps, but that doesn't mean it isn't there to help you out. Google's centralized location for all things Chrome - apps, extensions, themes - now has a label that marks whenever something you're looking at is also available for Android. If you click the corresponding hyperlink, it will shoot you straight out to the correct Play Store page.