01
Jul
router

Android's upcoming L release, currently available in developer preview form, has a lot of improvements to its networking and Wi-Fi capability. One of the smaller additions that will nonetheless make a few people very, very happy is the user-facing reporting of Wi-Fi frequencies. Translation: you can finally see whether the Wi-Fi network you're connected to is using the 2.4GHz band or the 5GHz band.

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Left, center: separate network frequencies in Android L (note the SSID).

31
Oct
wifi

One more KitKat feature spotlight for the evening. This time, it's Wi-Fi TDLS. Added in Android 4.4, Wi-Fi TDLS, as Google describes it, is "a seamless way to stream media and other data faster between devices already on the same Wi-Fi network." TDLS, for those that don't know, stands for Tunneled Direct Link Setup.

Essentially, Wi-Fi TDLS allows two devices on the same Wi-Fi network to link directly to one another and share data without burdening the network/router/other devices in the process.

31
Oct
image

Until now, using emoji in parts of Android besides Hangouts could be a little tricky. Officially, the emoji keyboard was included as part of the iWnn IME, and required users to manually switch using the persistent keyboard notification which appeared any time a user tapped a text field. Even then, users couldn't enjoy the full-color emoji found in Hangouts. This was certainly less than ideal.

Thankfully, Google has spread "Emoji everywhere" with Android 4.4 KitKat, integrating the set of awesome emoji with Google Keyboard for easier access.