As if you needed another reason to lust after the Nexus 5 and/or Android 4.4, Google just announced a huge new feature for the default Phone app in KitKat. The new version of the dialer/contacts app will match incoming numbers against Google's various databases to provide an automatic caller ID for businesses using Google Places, as we've already seen. But starting next year, this feature will be applied to people as well.
For a smartphone operating system, Android hasn't always had the best features for, you know... calls. One of the especially annoying omissions has long been caller ID, but Android 4.4 takes a big step toward fixing that. If you get a call from a business that Google knows, it lets you know on KitKat's incoming call screen. Neat.
Courtesy of an anonymous tipster, we've got a nice weekend treat for those caught up in Nexus season rumor hysteria. A document, purported to be an internal Service Manual for the LG-D821 and posted to scribd, gives us an in-depth look at the next Nexus phone.
There's a lot of technical information, flow charts, diagrams, and photos of silicon here, but there are a few things worth picking out before you dive into the full document.
Back in February, we detailed the specs of the the Neptune Pine, a strangely-named smartwatch that doubles as a smartphone. If you've been chomping at the bit in anticipation of wearing this monstrosity's 2.5" display on your wrist, the time has come. The Neptune Pine is now available for pre-order at NeptunePine.com, lightening your bank account to the tune of $335 for the 16GB version or $395 for the 32GB model.
Note from Artem: Mark Murphy, also known as CommonsWare and CommonsGuy, is one of the top 10 contributors to StackOverflow (he's currently #8). He's the Chuck Norris of Android development, with over 300,000 StackOverflow reputation points. I am honored by his decision to accept my offer to join the AndroidPolice team of contributors.
The User Defense series of posts will highlight relatively easy ways in which users can improve the privacy and security of their use of Android devices.
The leakiest and one of the most mysterious phones in recent history just got a little less mysterious as @evleaks dropped the first official press renders onto our sleepy heads late Friday night. The OS is close to stock (it's Android 4.2.2 for now, but we fully expect 4.3 soon after its release), the cameras are where they're supposed to be, the on-screen buttons make us happy, and overall, it's not such a bad-looker for a mid-spec, affordable device.
In a short press release sent out this evening, LG announced that it would be ditching the word (is it a word?) "Optimus" from its premium branding, opting to keep only the "G".
Furthermore, the release reaffirms the name of the company's upcoming flagship – G2.
The release contained one other tidbit – going forward, "LG's premium 4:3 display smartphones will be rebranded as simply 'Vu'." Yes, there will be at least one more Vu, if not more.
For the unfamiliar, Ashley Madison is a dating site that enables couples in monogamous relationships to find partners for illicit affairs. That's the baseline we're starting from. The company's new app, however, takes this concept one step further by providing users with disposable phone numbers that can be used for calling and texting without your spouse finding out.
The BlackBook app doesn't include access to the social network itself, so it's purely used for correspondence.
Google Voice is a great service for replacing your carrier's voicemail and texting options. If you need something that's a bit more robust, however, SendHub has launched on Android and allows business-class users to set up a phone number (or set of numbers) and get texting and calling for free or cheap, depending on what class of service you need.
Free users can get 60 voice minutes, 500 messages, and 3 groups of 50 contacts for their first line.