Android L is overflowing with new features and clever little tweaks, but none of that will be official until later this year. Not wanting to wait around, the CM folks have already borrowed (or "kanged" if you must) a feature from Android L. In the 0701 nightly builds, there is now a handy universal settings search button.
There are a few noteworthy changes in the latest Google Search update, but we've spotted one more that deserves some exploration. Ever since Google rolled out its new voice interactions as part of Google Now, settings control has been strangely absent. With v3.4 it's kind of there.
Update 6/30/14: Search v3.5 seems to have added Bluetooth support, but it still doesn't do what you really want it to.
In the new Google Search, you can say things like "turn WiFi off," and the device will automatically open the correct settings menu.
Have a KitKat device? If so, you've made the leap to the latest version of Android faster than most other people. That's the fun part. You've also jumped to Android 4.4 before most apps. That's the not so fun part. While older apps are generally stable and compatible, sometimes an update is in order to iron out the kinks. Thus a new version of Light Flow is now available that makes the app more compatible with Android 4.4 and the Nexus 5.
In a post to Google+, CyanogenMod has announced "the death of Power Widgets," offering up an explanation of CM's new solution: a Quick Access Ribbon.
Power Widgets, as the post explains, have been a hit since their birth in CyanogenMod 7, but have languished both in terms of maintenance and usefulness ever since. Their redundancy took another hike with the introduction of Google's Quick Settings shade in stock Android.
"Soon," the post goes on "we will say goodbye to the notification power widgets, discarding their 3000+ lines of code for a sleeker (only 370 new lines), newer, and more efficient method of toggling your settings."
The new implementation will offer a sleek, slim ribbon of quick settings tiles determined by the configuration of the actual Quick Settings shade, and will allow the CM team to offer functionality similar to the old power widgets without maintaining a separate stream of code.
In addition to the Connect Chrome extension, yet another of Motorola's specially-built pieces of software has gone live before today's Moto X press event. This time it's an Android app, apparently designed to easily sync between an old phone and a new one. It's called Motorola Migrate, and it's available now for all phones running Android 2.2 or higher.
The idea is pretty simple: log into the Motorola service on your old phone, select among call history, text messages, SIM card contacts, media, and some very basic settings, open Migrate on your new phone, scan a QR code, and get going.
It's pretty common for Android apps to playfully emulate hot new features from the iOS platform, but rarely have the done so as completely as Control Panel. This app apes the iOS 7 Control Panel feature, a swipe up settings toggle and shortcut screen. It even lacks substantial configuration options, thus completing the iOS illusion.
Light Flow is the kind of app that best showcases Android's sensibilities: esoteric, amazingly customizable, and downright impossible on other platforms. The popular notification manager for devices with LED indicator lights has just had a big update to version 3.8, most notably bringing support for the popular NinjaSMS texting app. NinjaSMS users, make sure you're running the latest version of both apps, and enable Light Flow in the settings menu.
If you're like us, you have an obsession with new apps. When you try every new app you come across though, you're bound for disappointment. After all, not every app can be a paragon of functionality, style, and convenience. With that in mind, we go through the long list of new apps submitted to the Play Store every couple of weeks and bring you the best. Even that, though, can be a little too much to digest for some users.
We're back! If you are somehow just joining us, where have you been? This is Getting To Know Android, the series where we milk every little detail out of the latest version of Android and put other change logs to shame.
Expect this version to be heavy on the pictures because, honestly, we're getting down to the bottom of the barrel here. There won't be much left to cover after this.