08
Jul
PushBullet-Thumb

The Pushbullet folks crank new functionality into their nifty push notification app so often that it would almost be more newsworthy if they stopped, but until that day comes, here's another cool feature that we're happy to see in the works. The ability to copy and paste across Android and Windows machines recently made an appearance in the beta version of the app, and a screenshot found its way to Google+.

26
Jun
beeeeeam

Android Beam has been around since 4.0, but the NFC sharing tool has always been a little awkward (I think I've used it successfully twice in three years), since it relies on both phones physically detecting each other in proximity before you can even initiate the sending process. In the preview versions of the "L" release, Beam finally gets its own dedicated option in the standard Android Share menu, which should make it much less ambiguous.

17
Apr
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A new feature has snuck into the Chrome OS dev channel that, while not yet fully baked (okay, it's still mostly a block of ice), could one day allow users to unlock their Chromebooks automatically just by having their phone in close proximity. This feature is "Easy Unlock."

31
Oct
wifi

One more KitKat feature spotlight for the evening. This time, it's Wi-Fi TDLS. Added in Android 4.4, Wi-Fi TDLS, as Google describes it, is "a seamless way to stream media and other data faster between devices already on the same Wi-Fi network." TDLS, for those that don't know, stands for Tunneled Direct Link Setup.

Essentially, Wi-Fi TDLS allows two devices on the same Wi-Fi network to link directly to one another and share data without burdening the network/router/other devices in the process.

31
Oct
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Until now, using emoji in parts of Android besides Hangouts could be a little tricky. Officially, the emoji keyboard was included as part of the iWnn IME, and required users to manually switch using the persistent keyboard notification which appeared any time a user tapped a text field. Even then, users couldn't enjoy the full-color emoji found in Hangouts. This was certainly less than ideal.

Thankfully, Google has spread "Emoji everywhere" with Android 4.4 KitKat, integrating the set of awesome emoji with Google Keyboard for easier access.

06
Sep
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As Cameron explained in his latest "What We Use" entry, technology can change a lot in just one year. Around this time last year, I was running with a 2012 Nexus 7, a Galaxy Tab 10.1, and an Evo LTE. All of those devices have changed since then, as have my favorite apps and other gadgets. The family of devices I use has grown and evolved significantly since last October, so I thought it may be fun to detail just what I use to get through a normal day.

27
Aug
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The Google Search 2.7 APK teardown is now officially the longest one in the history of Android Police. We find a bunch of interesting things, post about them, continue digging, and what do you know - keep running into new stuff. I'm fairly positive there won't be part 4 this time around, as we've squeezed out every last drop from v2.7, but as they say - never say never.

If you haven't read the first two parts yet, you should do so now to cover the bases.

26
Aug
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Last Updated: August 27th, 2013

Just when you thought we were done with the already rather extensive Google Search teardown, another wild teardown appears. Yup, still the same good old Search 2.7, but this time, we found a hidden feature that you will really want, even more than custom hotwords. At least I think you will.

teardowngsearch

Turns out, there's a secret flag within Search that lets you use the hotword, set by default to 'Google,' anywhere in search results instead of just the home Activity.

23
Aug
plusblue

In a post to Google+, CyanogenMod has announced "the death of Power Widgets," offering up an explanation of CM's new solution: a Quick Access Ribbon.

Power Widgets, as the post explains, have been a hit since their birth in CyanogenMod 7, but have languished both in terms of maintenance and usefulness ever since. Their redundancy took another hike with the introduction of Google's Quick Settings shade in stock Android.

"Soon," the post goes on "we will say goodbye to the notification power widgets, discarding their 3000+ lines of code for a sleeker (only 370 new lines), newer, and more efficient method of toggling your settings."

Quick Settings Re-write

The new implementation will offer a sleek, slim ribbon of quick settings tiles determined by the configuration of the actual Quick Settings shade, and will allow the CM team to offer functionality similar to the old power widgets without maintaining a separate stream of code.

31
Jul
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According to a post by David van Tonder earlier this evening, CyanogenMod's 4.3-based 10.2 iteration will be able to boast a "Global Blacklist" among its features.

CyanogenMod is known for its subtle yet incredibly useful additions and tweaks to stock Android, and the new Blacklist will blend right in with a "holo compliant interface".

As the name implies, the blacklist will be truly global – it will support blocking of calls and messages, will be configurable through Settings, Phone, and Messaging, and available to third-party apps via a "new Content Provider API".

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