We had high hopes for the Nexus 5's camera, and while we haven't gone so far as to call it awful, we wouldn't rush to call it much more than a general improvement over last year's offering. It tops what the Nexus 4 brought to the table, but it doesn't quite match what other manufacturers have come up with since. Yet Google doesn't like this narrative, so its moving forward with efforts to brand its latest handset as the perfect companion for capturing any moment.
Two days ago, Google officially launched Newsstand, an app that combines Play Magazines and Currents to offer an all-in-one-place news source. To celebrate the launch of this new product, the company is now offering several magazines for free or at a discounted rate, presumably so potential customers can get their feet wet and see what the mag experience is all about.
There's a pretty wide variety of titles available for free and/or cheap right now, including MaximumPC, Men's Health, People, PC Gamer, Maxim, Wired, Women's Health, Entertainment Weekly, Runners, In Style, Sports Illustrated, BeerAdvocate, Vanity Fair, Bicycling, Linux Format, Redbook, and a lot more.
There is a growing selection of third party cases already available for the Nexus 5, but Google's offerings, tucked away at the bottom of the Play Store page, are poised to be the first ones many people see. There are two types of cases available: the official bumper case and the LG QuickCover. Liam provided a quick look at the former option already, but what about the latter? It's a solid, snug-fitting case that I strongly want to recommend, but at $49, doing so doesn't come easy.
Official Nexus accessories are always exciting. Not just because we get to have cool new official toys for our phones, but because Google has such a bad reputation for releasing official accessories (remember that Nexus 10 dock from the holiday video last year?) that when one does become available, it's like a treat.
It is with this in mind that I approached the bright red version of the official Nexus 5 bumper case, and decided to give it a review.
According to the official Drive Google+ page, the Android client for Google's cloud-based file and document manager will be receiving an update "over the next few days" adding new, richer editing features, as well as a few smaller feature tweaks. It looks like a lot of these features have already been available on the version of Drive that shipped with KitKat (1.2.403.9), though the one rolling out today is even newer.
Remember how the physical Google Wallet card showed up in some APK teardowns only to be removed without a word from Google? Well, it's back and you can place an order for it right now. Google says the card should be delivered to interested parties in 10-12 days.
The Wallet card will let you pay for items at any retailer, even those that don't have the little NFC kiosks Wallet has thus far relied upon.
Google made a big deal out of the Qi-compatible wireless charger last year, but it took months to finally arrive. This year Google's updated Nexus Wireless Charger is making its entrance in a much more timely manner. You can order it right now and it'll ship on or around November 22nd.
The Nexus charger is compatible with all recent devices with Qi technology – the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and 2013 Nexus 7.
Back in October, Google announced a rewards program that would give financial incentives for "down-to-earth, proactive improvements" to security across third-party open-source projects that Google deems "vital to the health of the entire Internet."
Starting with core infrastructure services, Chrome foundations and other "high impact libraries," Google vowed to expand the program soon. Today, in an entry to the official security blog, Google announced that the program has been expanded in scope to include open-source bits of Android, found in AOSP, and several other projects.
One of the advantages to Android's open source nature is that we can poke around in the source code, looking for interesting stuff. This is how we've become aware of some things Google has planned for the stock camera experience. Code from the Android Open Source Project shows that a new camera API has been in development, but it was pulled last month because it wasn't ready for release with KitKat.
There are a plethora of little visual tweaks in Android 4.4, but few of them will be in your face as much as the new white status bar icons. The decision to move away from Holo blue was a bit surprising, but removing the color-based connectivity indicator? What gives? Well, a Google engineer has chimed in on Google+ to explain the rationale.