With so many things happening this week surrounding Google's new hardware, it's easy to overlook some of the software updates rolling out. The latest version bump to YouTube Music doesn't include much in the way of visible changes, but a teardown of the apk also reveals some worthwhile additions in the works for the future. As always, the apk is ready and waiting at the APK Mirror link below if the Play Store isn't already serving the latest version to you. Read More
Many of Google's most recent updates have been relatively light on features, turning instead towards cleaning up bugs. However, that doesn't mean there aren't still new things in the works. A couple of recent YouTube updates have been preparing some new features and we've got a teardown to reveal what users can probably look forward to in the future. Read More
Show of hands: how many Android Police readers are still using Android 2.3 or lower on a phone or tablet? According to the latest distribution numbers, it's under one in twenty of Android users worldwide - the rest have upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) or later. (We don't talk about the whole Honeycomb thing anymore.) That being the case, it's understandable why the developers of SwiftKey have decided to stop supporting those older machines with the latest beta version of the custom keyboard app. Read More
Vine is... OK, let's be clear here: Vine is kind of useless. There's literally nothing you can do with Vine that you can't already do with YouTube, unless you count an arbitrary 6.5-second time limit. That being said, there's no reason that Twitter can't improve its property, and it has done just that by boosting the video quality. Newly-created Vines from iOS are now defaulting to 720x720 pixels. Look down there: you can see all the retriever's little golden hairs.
While you can check out the fancy new high-quality Vines on the announcement post, for some reason the developers decided that Android users didn't need the update quite as much as iPhone users did. Read More
Let's get this out of the way first: SecondScreen is not an external extended monitor app for Android. (Though that would be extremely cool.) I think the developer does a bit of a disservice with that name. What it does is force your phone or tablet to use a different resolution in order to make it display correctly - or at least more correctly - when casting the screen to a television via Chromecast or simply using an HDMI cable.
Why? Well, most Android tablets use a 16:10 aspect ratio for their screens - 1280x800 or 1920x1200, instead of the 16:9 resolutions of 1280x720 or 1920x1080, like most phones. Read More
Super ultra mega HD resolution support is coming to a robot-themed OS near you, but before we get into that, let's talk about Android and DPI.
Android devices come in tons of different resolutions, everything from a tiny 128x128 watch screen to the massive 2560x1600 resolution of the Nexus 10. Higher resolution screens need higher resolution apps with higher resolution image files. It doesn't make sense to serve up super-high resolution assets to low resolutions screens, so to make sure the right screens get the right size files, Android has several generalized DPI categories for image assets. Each of these categories matches up with a range of hardware screen DPIs:
- Low DPI (LDPI) = 120DPI
- Medium DPI (MDPI) = 160DPI (The T-Mobile G1)
- High DPI (HDPI) = 240DPI (The Nexus S)
- Extra High DPI (XHDPI) = 320DPI (The Galaxy Nexus/N4)
- Extra Extra High DPI (XXHDPI) = 480DPI (the HTC One)
Apps contain folders for each of these densities, and there are usually a full set of app images in each folder. Read More
Photoshop Touch may not be completely comparable to Adobe's desktop counterpart, but when you compare it to other photo editors on the Android platform, it's still the most powerful piece of software out there. At $10, it better be, too. Today, the best just got a bit better, especially if you own a Nexus 7. The app has improved support for 7" tablets. Though, there's a catch: the resolution on said tabs have to be 1024x768 or higher. Sorry, Galaxy Tab 2 7.0.
In addition, there are a few other performance tweaks added to this version. For starters, brush strokes have been made smoother (great news for anyone using this with a stylus), and a couple new effects have been added, including Lens Flare (pictured above) and Stamp Pattern. Read More
Looking to steal some of Amazon's limelight, Barnes & Noble tonight announced a new duo of NOOK devices that seem to take aim directly at Amazon's newest additions to the Kindle Fire family.
For some reason, B&N's press release covering the announcement focuses primarily on the tablets' weight – both the 7" NOOK HD and its 9" HD+ counterpart are the "lightest HD and full HD tablets," with the HD+ earning the title of "lightest, lowest-priced full HD tablet ever." There's so much more to the new set of NOOK tablets, though. First, let's take a look at some shots. Read More
You may remember Pixel Qi, an ambitious display maker looking to provide users with brilliant displays that not only save energy, but which are actually readable in sunlight. Since we covered their 7" and 10.1" displays way back in May, the company has continued working, announcing in a blog post yesterday a new display which "matches the resolution of the iPad3 screen, and its full image quality including matching or exceeding contrast, color saturation, the viewing angle, and so forth with massive power savings." In the post, Mary Lou Jepsen, founder of Pixel Qi, goes on to explain the display's special low power mode which "runs at a full 100x power reduction from the peak power consumed by the iPad3 screen."
Of course, the new display's ratings in the table above are "proposed" and not quite official just yet. Read More
About a week ago, Engadget ran an article covering two bugs in Android's Messaging app:
- The first involves an issue where users are directed to a different thread than the one they selected from the notifications bar or the main screen of the SMS app
- The second occurs when users are directed to the right thread but end up having their messages sent to a different person than the one involved in the thread
Shortly after, Google changed the bug's priority from "medium" to "critical" on the bugs Google Code page to show that the company cares.
Now, an official Google rep has reached out to perturbed users on the Google Code forums:
Thanks to everyone for your patience while we've been investigating these reports.