My first computer was an old laptop with a dead battery and a dial-up modem. It ran Windows XP, but I didn't have the money to buy expensive software like Microsoft Office or PhotoShop. I discovered OpenOffice.org, AbiWord, and GIMP. I used Firefox, Thunderbird, and Pidgin.
Back then free cloud services weren't yet around, and I didn't have a strong enough Internet connection even if they were. Without an understanding of what open source software was, such applications gradually formed the majority of what I used. When I later went to college, I embraced Linux, and my appreciation for open source software grew. Read More
Link Bubble is the Facebook Chat Heads of browsers, a way to open links and save them for later without having to hop around between apps. Over the summer, developer Chris Lacy sold the app off. Under new management, the app became available for free within a month.
New features and fixes have made their way to the app in the months since, but now we see another sizable shift for the app. Read More
Last week Motorola released the code necessary for developers to dive into the underpinnings of the Android 6.0 update for the Moto X Pure Edition. Now the company is pushing out those files for last year's flagship, the 2014 Moto X. These follow the Android 5.1 code that hit GitHub in July. Read More
The world of open source collaborative projects can be murky at times, and throwing crowdfunding into the mix doesn't make it any clearer. This odd intersection is the source of much drama in the small but passionate community that wants to see Android become as widespread on the desktop as it is on mobile. Members of the open source development team over at the Android-x86 Project, which aims to make Android operable on standard PC hardware, claim that Kickstarter project Console OS has "stolen" Android x86 code and presented it, at least in part, as its own creation.
This is where things start to get complicated. Read More
Google has steadfastly refused to add a reboot option to the power menu in stock Android over the years. In fact, it removed everything other than "power off" from that menu in Lollipop. Users have been asking for a reboot option forever, and now Sony is asking for it too. Sony has opened a bug tracker issue and submitted a patch to add it, but Google does not appear to be biting. Read More
Many of Google's most important products reply upon making computers behave more like people. Whether you're talking about speech recognition or the new Smart Reply feature of Inbox, you need a machine to understand abstract concepts. Google makes this happen with a machine learning system called TensorFlow, and today the company has decided to open source this platform so anyone around the world can use it for research and product development. Read More