Now that a KitKat build for the Galaxy Note 3 has leaked, people have started reporting new things that they're finding. Though most of the major features of Google's latest Android version are present, the "tap and pay" option is conspicuously absent. Further, it appears host card emulation has been disabled altogether. This is curious given the fact that Isis Mobile Wallet, which is partially backed by AT&T and nowhere to be found on the official Android 4.3 builds, is preinstalled on the leaked firmware. Read More
As a follow up to our recent PSA on bootloader quirks with GPE devices, we thought it would be a good idea to shed some light on a bootloader anomaly which affects both Nexus and GPE devices. Recently, there have been changes to the way unlocking happens behind the scenes. These changes can result in a device that infinitely boots into recovery.
Traditionally, when you decide to unlock and flash a custom recovery, the procedure goes something like this:
- You type "fastboot oem unlock" from the command line.
In addition to things like stock Android and being carrier-unlocked, one of the big features of Nexus and Google Play Edition devices that Android power users love is an easily unlockable bootloader. While OEMs and carriers often make a policy of locking their devices' bootloaders to prevent installation of unauthorized software, Google makes it very easy for us to tinker with devices bearing its brand. All you really need to unlock a Google device is a tool called "fastboot," which is made available through the Android SDK. Read More
With Android 4.4.1's release earlier today, many of you have been asking about and expecting the corresponding factory images, especially for devices without OTAs at this point: the 2012 Nexus 7s, the Wi-Fi 2013 Nexus 7, and the Nexus 10. Factory images can help recover soft-bricked Nexus devices, update the OS or its parts without losing data in case an OTA doesn't want to apply, or go back to stock after trying a custom ROM. Read More
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a game version of a popular and hilarious music video, an interesting take on the vertical platformer, and a reversal of the old Donkey Kong standard. Read More
When it comes time to pull the trigger on a new app, the reviews are typically what make or break the decision. If the app's instable, laden with malware, full of bugs, or is generally all-around janky, the reviews give us a heads up. The only problem is that it's difficult to sift through all the reviews to find the ones most relevant to our needs. This used to not be a problem, but the ability to filter reviews went the way of the dodo following the Play Store's relatively recent redesign. Read More
The new Play Store is certainly snazzy, but a lot of the functionality of the older site has been missing ever since it got a fresh coat of digital paint. One of the most bemoaned omissions was contextual keyboard shortcuts, especially handy for touch typists whose fingers never leave the keys. (ThinkPad users, I'm looking at you.) Good news, everyone: as of late yesterday, they're back.
On any single app listing, press the left or right arrow keys to navigate between the posted screenshots. Read More
So, there's this extremely minor Google Music update floating around in the "rollout" ether that will take you from 5.1.1107K to 5.1.1109K. I poked around in it and found a few boring changes related to Chromecasting, but the "new feature" that some people will really notice is the removal of the SD card hack we told you about last month.
That's right, update to 1109; lose a feature. They basically killed the little activities shortcut that allowed you to set the option, and removed the SD card preference from the settings storage. Read More
Were you hoping to gather 'round the flatscreen and Chromecast with your local Android Users Group for the live stream of Google's next Nexus event? Too bad: at the moment, YouTube live stream videos just won't work with Chromecast, as demonstrated by our tipster Nathan. We tried it using the Lollapalooza 2013 live stream, and sure enough, it just won't display.
This lack of functionality is documented in Google's support page as well, though the reason isn't clear. Read More
There's no denying the usefulness of a keyboard when doing a lot of text input on Android, and there's no shortage of Bluetooth options that fit the bill perfectly. Anyone who spends a lot of time in email or a text editor likely has one of these handy little accessories laying around, but if that user also owns a Nexus device with 4.3, then they're in for a bit of a surprise the next time it's paired up: many Bluetooth keyboards no longer work post-update. Read More