In an email sent to Google Mobile Services partners on October 5th, Google outlined a significant change to the core GMS package (AKA gapps) for telephony-enabled Android devices (basically, smartphones). As of December 1st, Google will no longer require Hangouts to be bundled with new hardware. An excerpt of that email follows.
Today, we are announcing that Google Duo will replace Hangouts within the suite of core GMS apps, and Hangouts will become GMS Optional for telephony products. This change will take effect on December 1, 2016.
This does not mean Hangouts, or Hangouts for Android, is dead. It does mean that manufacturers may opt to stop including it on smartphones released in 2017, so you'd have to download it from the Play Store after initial setup. Read More
We've talked quite a bit about Fuhu's Nabi 2 tablet, which was designed specifically for children. Given its $200 price tag and powerful Tegra 3 processor, 1GB RAM, and Android 4.0, this device is not only great for the kids, but it packs a punch for parents, as well. (To get a better idea of everything the Nabi has to offer, check out my full review.)
The one downside of the Nabi 2, however, is its lack of Google Apps. That means no Play Store, GMail, GTalk, or any of the other services we've all come to rely on. Thanks to one enterprising dev over at XDA, though, the tablet has been rooted, gotten a custom recovery, and now has full access to Google Apps. Read More
Google just pushed an update v4.1.2 to the Gmail app (up from 4.1.1 and 4.0.5) that brings a few enhancements to Android 4.0+ devices, including improved support for 7" tablets. The full changelog for this update reads as follows:
Android 4.0 (ICS) and up:
- Improved 7" support
- Bug fixes and performance improvements
At first blush there don't appear to be any visual alterations, so we'll just assume that most of these enhancements take place under the hood.
Looks like Google left part of the old changelog in place with this update, as Android 2.2+ received the labels API several months ago
While the bulk of us have been enjoying Google+ from our personal accounts for a few months now, those who exclusively use Google Apps (GApps) have been left in the dark... until today. Google+ is now open to all GApps users, and it even brings some new features for some users.
Additional Sharing Options
When sharing posts on Google+, you have the choice of sharing content with specific users, specific Circles, or publicly. With G+ for GApps users, there is another option: sharing with your organization. This is enabled by default -- no need to create a circle just for your coworkers, fellow students, or anyone else in your organization. Read More
Get it while it's hot, kids - the DROID Incredible 2 is officially merged into CyanogenMod, and the nightly builds are now being pumped out (direct link here). These nightly builds may contain bugs, dragons, and other potentially annoying/broken things - so flash at your own risk. Your Dinc2 will also need to be fully unlocked, meaning you'll have to use the AlphaRevX Beta 2 software, which you can learn about in this post. And you'll need a custom recovery, which you can find here. So, you do need to do some work before you can get your CyanogenMod on. Read More
This probably isn't going to be nearly as exciting as the title might lead you to believe - though it's good news nonetheless.
Techfrom10's Samsung Galaxy S was accidentally given access to the test Android Market via an OTA update, and they stumbled upon some goodies while using it. The Market itself has undergone no noticeable changes aside from the addition of the "Content Rating" information publishers are now asked to include as part of their submissions to the Market, so there's not a lot to see on that end.
However, they did find new versions of Music (much like the previously leaked APK, but presumably a newer version), Desk Clock, Camera, and Gallery. Read More
Right now at MWC, Eric Schmidt is showing off a brand-new, Google-developed Android app: Movie Studio. The app, as the name may suggest, is a video editor. It's designed specifically for Honeycomb tablets, and as a video editor, that sort of makes sense. It's pretty rough trying to edit video on a smaller screen, though not impossible (which is to say, I imagine an XDA port for phones will happen as soon as an APK gets leaked).
Movie Studio will contain most of the features you'd expect in a competitive (*cough* iMovie *cough*) video editing app: transitions, audio import, splicing, A/V timeline, and multi-format export and sharing options. Read More
After getting rooted four days ago, the T-Mobile G2 and its European counterpart, the Desire Z, finally joined the ranks of fully unlocked Android phones, which give us the freedom to replace the ROMs on these devices with something better and more custom.
It took the CyanogenMod team a few days, but the very first CM 6.1 ROM is now available for download. It will work on both the Desire Z and the G2 due to the similarities between the 2 phones. Keep in mind, this is the first nightly build and not a final version in any way - it's not even a release candidate; therefore, bugs should be expected. Read More