Google Play Services version 6.5 began rolling out to users a few days ago, and as we work on an APK teardown to see what's under the hood, it looks like there's at least one more user-facing change in the update. Specifically, Android's system update screen is prettier.
The screen which, until now, consisted of the same drab title, horizontal break, "last checked" text, and "check now" button, has been granted a better design treatment.
One of Samsung's claims to fame is a feature meant to improve productivity on mobile devices. One that users of stock Android and manufacturer skins alike have been yearning for for a while. That feature is multi-window, which allows users to run two apps on the screen at once, dragging and dropping between the two.
The problem is no one has been able to get it right yet. A company in the mobile space - in this writer's opinion - has yet to perfect the balance between utility and intuition when it comes to multi-window functionality on tablets (or phones, though I haven't used the Note 4 yet), but a post to Android Internals in March confirmed that Google had been working on the programmatic side of multi-window in stock Android.
I think everyone knows by now that Motorola had to make a few sacrifices with the Moto 360, one of which I personally still notice every time I wear it - the flat tire look. The small blacked out area on the bottom of the watch contains the ambient sensor and a few other components that didn't fit elsewhere in this design, at least in the amount of time the company had to deliver the first iteration to consumers.
Over the last day or so we've been seeing reports that Google is now replacing broken Nexus 5 units under its Google Play warranty program, even if those specific phones were damaged by an accidental fall or water damage. That's a pretty significant shift from the usual warranty coverage on the Play Store and elsewhere, which tends to cover a replacement or repair only if the unit is defective or malfunctioning.
New devices almost always have some sort of defect buyers should be on the lookout for, and the new Kindle Fire HDX tablet is no exception. Now that Amazon's newest Android device is getting into people's hands, reports are beginning to surface of a strange purple or blue haze around the edge of the screen.
The issue seems present on all edges of the screen equally, and is particularly evident on white backgrounds.
In stock Android, capturing a screenshot from your device is as easy as pressing the Power button and the Volume Down button simultaneously. Recording video from the device's screen however can be a little trickier.
Looking, as always, to enhance the stock Android experience with awesome new touches, the CyanogenMod team (specifically Koushik Dutta) is working on integrating screen recording through an easy Volume Up + Power combination.
With that simple key combination, users will be able to record their device's screen, with audio and touch indicators thrown in for added utility.
If you've always wanted a phone with a big, curved screen, LG wants to grant your wish. To that end the company is now mass-producing flexible OLED screen panels, presumably for an upcoming device or class of devices. The screen itself (not the phone or tablet that it's going into) will be 6 inches diagonally, .44mm thin, and just 7.2 grams.
If you've been holding off on a new phone purchase to get a look at Samsung's Galaxy Note III first, you won't have long to wait: the company is all set to unveil it at their pre-IFA event on September 4th. The Note III has proven surprisingly leak-resistant, but this morning we got the first bit of possibly significant information comparing an alleged screen panel for the new model to the Note II from 2012.
Still hunting for a bargain on the Nexus 7? Adorama might have what you're looking for. The purveyor of cameras and other gadgets is offering up a new 32GB Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi) with a travel case (in grey, blue or pink) for just $229.99. That's $20.00 less than the price of a new 32GB Nexus 7 from the Play Store, plus a travel case that's $19.99 (and only available in blue) in the same.
From poorly-executed "leaks" to potential legitimate sightings, there's been a lot of hubbub about Google's supposed unified messaging service, likely called Babel. This isn't necessarily surprising. After all, if you asked most Android enthusiasts what feature they most wanted from the platform in its next iteration, you'd hear a lot about unified messaging. We've tried to stay clear of covering every flurry of Babel-related murmurings so far, but today we saw something new – Google+ user Patric Dhawaan posted a screenshot of what he says is a notification in Gmail, triggered when "pruning" his inbox.