Several weeks ago, we caught wind of Android 4.4.3 and some of the changes it could bring, consisting mostly of bug fixes, both big and small. At this point, according to several sources familiar with the matter, Android 4.4.3 has entered internal testing outside of the core Android team - a process otherwise known as dogfooding. The final release isn't expected to hit public devices for a number of weeks, so those of you expecting it any day now will have to wait just a bit longer.
It's been just over three months since we gave you an exclusive look at EnergySense, Google's attempt to jump start their home management offerings. Now it looks like they're ending support for the project, closing down the web and Android apps that are currently in the test phase. This is the email sent to the EnergySense testers from Google.
Subject: EnergySense program winddown Greetings Trusted Testers,
Our Trusted Tester trial has come to an official close, and in the next two weeks Google will stop actively supporting EnergySense.
If you've ever written an iOS or Android app, or if you've been part of a beta testing group, there's a chance that you've run into TestFlight. The service provides software to help with deploying beta apps to users and collect usage statistics and bug reports for developers. One year ago today, the company announced its plans to expand beyond the iOS world and begin serving Android developers, as well. What followed was a short private beta that ended in May.
Since CyanogenMod became Cyanogen Inc., we've been anticipating a quick and easy CM Installer that would make flashing to the "CyanogenMod experience" fast, simple, and less "hideous" than the current process.
The CM team is currently canvassing G+ for usability testers, with the stated goal of taking the process of installing third-party ROMs (specifically CyanogenMod) and streamlining it, making it less intimidating and more accessible to more users.
After running through the installation process for myself, I can confirm that it does just that.
Between Hangouts, the gorgeous new Maps, Play Music All Access, and everything else discussed in I/O's opening keynote this morning, several revisions to the Play Store developer's console were announced.
Perhaps the most interesting addition to the console will be an organized method for alpha and beta testing, and staged rollouts. Basically, developers can select alpha and beta testers, receiving all feedback directly (instead of through reviews) and, when the time comes, roll out the app to certain percentages of the user base.
Update: It looks like Facebook has killed the leak remotely. Users who installed it are now reporting that their feeds have gone dark. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted.
Facebook Home, the company's trumpeted home screen replacement effort, has been a popular point of discussion since before it was announced.
For those who missed the announcement, Facebook is looking to replace your device's normal launcher with a continuous in-your-face social bonanza, featuring a huge news feed on your lock screen, a new pop-up chat called Chat Heads, and pretty complete integration with the social network, allowing for status, photo, and other updates on the fly.
Popular beta testing platform TestFlight has officially announced its arrival to Android in private beta form, in a post to the TestFlight blog. If you're wondering how popular TestFlight really is, the same post should provide some reference: the service has been trusted with smoothing the process of beta app deployment for over 300,000 iOS apps. Needless to say, its expansion to Android is big news.
Of course, Android already has HockeyApp.net, and the Play Store offers private app deployment, TestFlight provides the ingredients for an impressively sleek beta testing process with secure deployment, tracking, and – perhaps best of all – centralized feedback.
Popular benchmark and performance test maker Futuremark today announced that their 3DMark product, "the world's most popular benchmark and PC test," will be getting an update that brings it to Windows, Windows, RT, Android, and iOS, allowing the tool to join the ranks of cross-platform benchmarkers like the popular GeekBench.
The new version of 3DMark, which is expected to hit "before the end of the year," will include three all-new tests designed to benchmark devices from smartphones all the way up to high-performance gaming PCs.
Well, that was fast. Android 4.1.2 was just released to AOSP last week, and Motorola has already started pushing the Wi-Fi XOOM's update out to soak testers. This isn't a huge jump in terms of functionality, and the incremental update will bump the XOOM from build JRO03H (4.1.1) to JZO54K (4.1.2).
Of course, those who aren't soak testers are probably wondering how they can get this update now. The beauty of Google-supported hardware like the Wi-FI XOOM (which is, for all intents and purposes a Nexus device), is that Big G makes updates likes this one available almost immediately.
One of the biggest drawbacks to buying apps on things like the Play Store is wondering if it does what you need it to do before you put your money on the line. AppSurfer, an India-based startup, is building a platform to alleviate this concern and give developers a web-based tool to let users test drive their apps before they buy. If this sounds familiar, it's because Amazon allows customers to do this very thing on its Appstore.