Raise your hand if you like carrier apps added to your phone. Anyone. Go ahead, don't be shy. Well if you don't, here's a great example of why companies like AT&T should leave the software alone. An over-the-air update to 4.4.4 for the carrier-customized version of the Galaxy Note 3 was sent out on November 28th, then unceremoniously pulled. A previous message on the support page explained why:
Our readers in Quebec may want to temper their excitement for any upcoming Lollipop updates. According to this lengthy thread on Google's Android issue tracker, a number of French-speaking users are seeing system-breaking bugs. When setting an Android 5.0 device's language to Canadian French, it will periodically experience a SystemUI crash, usually when plugged in to charge or sync. The problem only seems to be affecting those who select "Français (Canada)," not "Français (France)."
So far users on the Nexus 5, Nexus 7 2013, and Nexus 9 are experiencing this problem, all running release builds of Lollipop.
Into every life a little rain must fall. Across every software update a few bugs will crawl. The most glaring problem for new users of Android 5.0 on the Nexus 7 2013 is a bug that appears to be stopping video playback dead. You can see a few users reporting the issue here, and we've seen it on at least one Android Police staff member's tablet. The good news is that there appear to be a few ways that you can fix it.
Yesterday we reported on the appearance of several redesigned emoji in the keyboard Google's rolling out with Android 5.0. In the piece, I concentrated on the improved consistency brought in by the tweaks. As it turns out, there was one more change hidden in plain sight among the others, and its importance shadows all others. Google has quietly addressed a bug report that has lingered for years.
Let's take a look at the issue at hand here.
We were all elated when Hangouts finally gained the ability to make direct calls and text messages on Android. But that upgrade also seems to have broken a few features on the desktop (Chrome extension) version of the service: several users started reporting that they couldn't see incoming Google Voice text messages or recorded voicemails on their laptop or desktop computers, starting on September 12th. Good news, everyone: it looks like that problem is solved.
Emoji are a staple in conversations for many, many people. They offer a colorful, language-agnostic way to convey thoughts and intent that can’t always come across in a wall of text. Instant messaging is the most common home to these little pictograms, but it's not unheard of for them to appear elsewhere, particularly within contact names. Unfortunately, when Emoji are used to decorate contacts in Gmail, it can interfere with the syncing service and prevent those contacts from crossing between devices.
Google's recently launched Android Wear platform had a bit of a rough weekend when it ran into an unexpected snag regarding paid apps – it couldn't install them. It turns out that the behavior could be traced to a Play Store security feature that was responsible for encrypting paid apps to make them more difficult to pirate; but in doing so, it had also made it impossible to extract and install any micro-apps contained within the apk.
A particularly aggravating issue happens to be plaguing a number of Gmail users on Android as of late. Affected people report a complete loss of the ability to sync their accounts, both manually and automatically. The cause is still unknown, but users report experiencing it following the 4.8 update. Yet clearing updates and returning back to a previous version doesn't fix the problem, suggesting some other source is to blame.
For the last several days, an unknown number of Android users have been getting inconsistent results when using the built-in Google Search app on their phones and tablets. And by "inconsistent," I mean that they aren't getting any at all, instead being greeted by the enigmatic message "can't load search results" whenever they try to use it. While none of the Android Police staff have experienced this, threads on Google Code, Google Groups, and Reddit continue to receive replies.
Ask anybody that spends time in the security circles and they'll tell you that every large software project is bound to have a few long-standing vulnerabilities in the code. Fortunately, there are usually a few people who are paid to close up those holes so you, the customer, don't find yourself the victim of nefarious evildoers someday. Like so many before it, the latest update to Android came with a boatload of changes, at least one of which fixes a potentially dangerous vulnerability that can be used for numerous attacks, including a way to acquire root.