Late last week, an eagle-eyed XDA user and Galaxy S7 edge owner noticed an app in the Galaxy Apps store entitled "Galaxy beta program." Not unexpectedly, many owners of Galaxy S7-series phones, myself included, got excited. Now, thanks to a major oversight on Samsung's part, we've got a ton of information about Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Beta Program.
Starting November 9th, select Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge models in the United States, United Kingdom, South Korea, and China will be permitted to enroll in the Galaxy Beta Program. This program will allow participants to try out Android 7.0 Nougat, in hopes that they'll provide feedback helpful to engineers. Read More
It was not too long ago that Samsung gave U.K. owners of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge the ability to enroll their devices in the Marshmallow beta program. This marked a step outside of Samsung's norm, which was internal testing of major software updates. So here we are in the latter part of 2016 and Samsung seems to be following its new methodology... At least, it looked that way briefly. Read More
Ever since the Nougat update officially debuted for the Nexus 5X, Nexus 9 WiFi, and several other Google devices, Nexus 6 owners have been left hung out to dry with their mere Android N Developer Previews. A short while after that, Google informed us that the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 LTE Nougat updates would be rolling out "in the coming weeks." Well, it's been three weeks since that statement, and Android 7.0 Nougat is finally rolling out to Nexus 6 owners. Read More
The Nextbit Robin is a nice phone, but it's the software that makes or breaks the experience. People who purchase one are not merely getting nice hardware and specs, they're buying the idea of using remote servers to offload apps and data they've run out of space for on their phones.
Nextbit designs this software, and now it's looking for testers. Read More
Google's approach to releasing preview firmware for upcoming versions of Android is evolving into a pretty cool system that allows developers to simply sign up a device and wait for the OTAs to come rolling in. However, no product launch is perfect, and this one is causing some real problems for some users. Complaints started rolling into the Nexus Help Form and AOSP Issue Tracker about devices that were left unable to boot after attempting to install the OTA. This problem is greatly compounded by the fact that many users are not able to unlock their bootloaders, which means they can't fix the issue with a factory image. Read More
BBC iPlayer is Internet streaming's gift to the UK. The service is packed to the brim with British TV shows and documentaries, and the Android app offers a nice way to consume as much as you can.
And while you're at it, now you can get a taste of upcoming features as well. The BBC has launched an official beta testing program in the Play Store. It's open to anyone with a Google account and an Android device, as long as they live in the UK. Read More
Following VLC on Android over the last couple of months has felt a little bit like a shell game. It all started in December when VideoLAN declared VLC was finally leaving behind its Beta status. The app retained the same package name, org.videolan.vlc.betav7neon, but was to be considered stable. Earlier this month, a brand new version 1.0 VLC app appeared in the Play Store with a package name and title devoid of the word 'beta.' This new app was to become the channel for stable releases, while the original listing was again repurposed for beta releases. This only lasted a few days before the new version vanished from the Play Store on devices and ceased to be installable from the web, at least for many of us. Read More
The Kwikset Kevo Bluetooth-enabled door lock lets owners unlock a door just by tapping a finger against it, as long as their phones are in range. It's a cool piece of tech, something we reported on over a year ago when it first hit the market. Android compatibility was in the works, but a few roadblocks popped up along the way.
The primary issue centered around Android's lack of proper support for Bluetooth Smart. To explain the situation briefly, Bluetooth Smart has two roles: Central and Peripheral. With the release of KitKat, Android gained support for the necessary Central role, but it's only with the release of Lollipop that it can handle Peripheral as well. Read More
Let's be clear about this: developers don't have any kind of obligation to update their apps for the Android L preview release. It's a preview - by definition, it's not ready for prime time, and developers shouldn't have to immediately treat it like consumer software. That said, it's nice to see that some have already begun to prepare for the full Android L release later this year. Even relatively large players like Twitter are getting in on the action.
The primary Twitter app available on the Play Store is currently crashing when installed on Android L preview releases. But the beta build, available via the Google Groups program, has been given a speedy update just a few days after the release of Android L at Google I/O. Read More