Another day, another set of leaked images exposing what we can expect to see in Android 4.4 "KitKat." These images sprung up on Tutto Android, a popular Italian Android blog, and they largely confirm the location-related changes we detailed yesterday. First, the current Location access screen will, presumably, simply be called Location. On this screen the checkboxes labeled GPS Satellites and Wi-Fi & mobile network location have been removed and are replaced with more simplified options that replicate the same functionality: High accuracy, battery saving, and device sensors. Read More
Several days ago, I started a series of rumor posts on my personal Google+ account discussing some Android rumors I felt were interesting enough to share, but didn't feel confident enough yet to do so here on the site. The posts were heavily prefixed with disclaimers that none of them may turn out to be true but that I had a certain level of confidence to talk about them in public unofficially. Read More
In a detailed post to Google+ this morning, Googler Virgil Dobjanschi announced new and enhanced features for the Google+ Android app. They'll be arriving in an update to version 4.1, set to go live today. According to Dobjanschi, the changes are focused on additions and revisions suggested by end users, and looking at the list, we're inclined to believe him.
First of all: no more Google+ Messenger. Ha-lay-freakin-lujah. Since the new Hangouts app has effectively replaced G+ messenger on the web, the mobile version is following suit, meaning you won't ever have to see that extraneous icon in your app drawer again. Read More
When Google updated Maps earlier this summer, Latitude was no where to be found. It turned out that the days of Google's location tracking and sharing service were over. We suspect that Latitude is another victim of Google+, which introduced the ability to check into locations and share current locations in new posts not long before Google announced that it was retiring Latitude. Today is the last day to export your data from the service, so hop on it if you want to maintain access to this data. Read More
Just yesterday, Google posted to its Android blog about Android Device Manager – a tool that will help Android users keep their phones and data safe by offering location and remote wiping/locking features that third party solutions have until now been filling in for.
This morning, users started reporting that the service was rolling out to their devices already. Indeed, Android Device Manager is getting introduced by way of Google Play Services version 3.2.25, but it's not complete just yet. Read More
Android 4.3 has a hidden feature! It's called "App Ops" and it lets you selectively disable some permissions for your apps. Is some misbehaving app constantly pinging your location and draining your battery in a few hours? You can fix that now.
Update! Optional permissions at install
I'm working on my full 4.3 teardown, but I just ran across this and had to add it here:
<string name="grant_confirm_question">Do you want to grant the following permissions?
If you eagerly updated your Android device to the shiny new version of Google Maps yesterday, only to despair at the absence of Google's Latitude location tracking/sharing service, there's a good reason for that. Latitude is going the way of Google Reader, and the service will disappear completely on August 9th. Google has made the change official on the "About Latitude" page of the Maps for mobile support hub, explaining that Latitude for iPhone, the Latitude API, and the various web services will be retired as well. Read More
After a few months of testing, Sony has announced its my Xperia service will be hitting all regions in the next few weeks. This system will provide remote management of 2012 and 2013 Xperia devices. Smartphones are expensive – it's nice of Sony to help you keep track of it.
Once it is deployed in your country, my Xperia will come in the form of a new app that can be enabled in settings. Read More
Foursquare is a neat way to keep your friends appraised of your location and activities, as is the custom in this day and age. With the help of Samsung, you can now see all your Foursquare check-ins through a living timeline called Time Machine. Even if you don't have a Foursquare account, check out the demo. It's really cool.
Time Machine is an aerial view of your check-ins laid out chronologically. Read More