It's Nougat day, finally. Google's latest and greatest version of Android is beginning its slow rollout to Nexus devices, plus the Pixel C and General Mobile 4G. Dev preview devices are getting the OTA almost immediately, but devices on Marshmallow are taking a little longer. Google has said it could take a week or two for everyone to get the OTA, but you don't need to wait that long. We're collecting the full Nougat OTA links right here. Read More
We already consider ES File Explorer to be the simplest way to sideload APKs to Android TV, but we didn't realize our old approach was actually the complicated one. Read More
In part two of our series on manually flashing OTAs to Android Wear devices, we're going to take a look at the Asus ZenWatch.
Before beginning, make sure you have the following:
- The latest Google USB driver and platform tools, both of which can be installed via the Android SDK.
- The OTA ZIP file that you want to flash.
How To Flash
- Go into the Settings app on your watch, then scroll down to "About," and tap on it.
- Scroll down to the build number and repeatedly tap on it until you see a toast notification telling you that you are now a developer.
Veteran Android users, particularly those who stick to Nexus devices, are well aware of the fact that you can usually flash OTA updates manually once someone pulls a link to the actual update file. This normally provides a much better option than waiting for your device to get the update sent to it, which could take weeks. Android Wear has this functionality as well, but each watch is a little different in terms of proper procedures for doing so. We're going to run a series of posts on how to manually flash updates to each Android Wear device that supports it (sorry, Moto 360 users) in the hopes of providing some clarity on the issue. Read More
The preview release of Android M has shown magnificent growth in the platform. There are new things for everybody to enjoy. While we're always excited to see new APIs and cool features – not to mention some pretty important bug fixes – we shouldn't overlook the interesting changes that have also come to the tools we use to work with Android and our devices on a different level. The preview SDK brings an updated version of ADB with a few new commands, including a handy new shortcut to reboot directly into Sideload Mode.
The new commands are visible on ADB's help text. Read More
Sling TV, a new hardware-free, online-only television service from the people behind Dish Network, is the most exciting thing to happen to IPTV in years. It's a $20-per-month alternative to cable and satellite that you access via the web, or more probably, apps on your mobile device or set-top I box. Sling TV is live today, offering a handful of notable cable channels with more available as paid extras.
The service is launching with an Android app, which is a refreshing change from some other online services we could mention. Read More
When Android runs on a TV, it's still Android, there are just a few checks in place to make sure users aren't installing unprepared phone apps to their big screens all willy-nilly, creating the kind of awful UI experience that could make a techie cry and any one else scrunch their face in confusion. In a way, Google's only trying to protect us from ourselves. Most TV viewers will want nothing to do with such shenanigans, so only apps that have been updated and declared compatible with Android TV work with the platform out of the box.
But this is Android, so it's possible to get around this restriction. Read More
The existence of Android 4.4.1 for the Nexus 5 was only confirmed by Google today, and here we have the update ready to go in no time. If you've got Google's latest and greatest Android phone, get ready to see some better pictures. We have the link for the OTA file (build KOT49E), so you don't have to wait on the update to reach you naturally.
You hear a lot of reports about malware and other undesirable third-party apps these days, especially from security researchers (and people who want to sell you something to make you feel safe). It's undeniable that malicious apps are a problem on an open system, but new data from Google indicates that the amount of actual harm being done might be negligible. QZ.com reports on a presentation from Google's Android Security Chief Adrian Ludwig at the Virus Conference in Berlin. He estimates that .001% of Android apps are able to get past Google's defenses.
That number includes both apps on the Google Play Store and 1.5 billion side-loaded or non-Play Store app installs, at least on devices that also include the Play Store and its Verify Apps feature. Read More
Update: Director of Product Management for Google Wallet Peter Hazlehurst dropped by our comments section below to confirm that Wallet is not compatible with the new Nexus 7 for the same reason as the HTC One Play Edition – the device does not carry a secure element, the small bit of hardware required to store encrypted card credentials on a device. This is required in order for Wallet to function, well, securely.
If you're the owner of a 2013 Nexus 7 and if were planning on using Google's own mobile payment solution with the NFC-toting slab, you may be surprised to learn that Google Wallet is in fact not compatible with the latest seven-inch addition to the Nexus family. Read More