The Moto G has been a big seller for Motorola, and the device has seen pretty much universal praise from owners. However, the international version of the device (as well as the Moto X and Moto E) has an odd interface quirk that's driving some users up a wall. The carrier name sits on the left side of the status bar all the time, essentially making the notification area useless for anyone whose carrier has a name longer than a few characters. To make matters worse, Motorola is using the old, "functions as intended" excuse. Update: Motorola will fix the issue in Android 4.4.3, according to VP Punit Soni.
A while ago, we posted about information we'd received indicating that sometime soon, Google's search functionality (and other actions) would be expanding beyond the Search app, moving into other apps for device-wide search interaction and - eventually - app-specific functionality.
It appears that isn't the only Search trick Google is working on, though. According to the information available to us, Google is working on functionality for now known as KITT (get it?) or "Android Eyes Free" internally. This functionality would allow users to interact with Search without touching or even looking at their device, getting just what they want without any distraction.
Several days ago, it was brought to our attention that Google's Search app finally allowed completely touchless reminders, whereby a user could set a reminder from start to finish without touching the device. Previously, reminders required a touch confirmation at the end of the process. Now, the "voice of Google" simply asks if the user would like the reminder to be set. Saying "yes" will complete the interaction.
It seems this isn't the only server-side switch Google is pulling, though. For a while now, we've been getting tips that the Search app has been returning app results in an interface a little different from the old vertical list view.
During CES this year, Google and NVIDIA announced partnership with GM, Honda, Audi, and Hyundai in forming the Open Automotive Alliance. The initial announcement was predictably sparse on details, noting only the initiative's core principles, and the goal of bringing Android to cars. After hearing approximately nothing about the effort since then, we now have information that gives us a first look at Google's vision for Android in the Car, referred to internally as Gearhead.
Disclaimer: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
Gmail just got an update to version 4.8, an update that brings with it some refreshing UI changes, and a few other features too. First, we'll take a look at the UI tweaks.
First up, the pull-to-refresh animation has been brought into line with the Google Search app - it now cycles through Google's red, yellow, blue, and green brand colors rather than using a simple blue animation. The length of swipe necessary to trigger a refresh has also been shortened.
Like Google's other in-house apps, Gmail has ripped Settings, Help, and Feedback from the overflow menu and put them in the sliding navigation drawer.
As promised, the companion app to Google Glass, MyGlass, got a big update today. The bump from version 2.2 to 3.0 allows for sharing from Maps directly to Glass, but is otherwise purely aesthetic. Users will enjoy a slick new interface centered around a slide-out menu, which breaks out the Glassware Gallery, your active glassware, device info, and selected contacts into separate views.
This arrangement is infinitely more friendly than the previous interface, and glassware is now displayed more richly, with example screenshots in each listing along with a brief description and rundown of permissions. We've yet to see the long-awaited "Boutique," but in the meantime, the few official pieces of glassware available through MyGlass are now shown off better than ever.
We've recently seen plenty of rumors related to Google's future plans for its Search app, from automatically remembering where you parked to reminding you of things when you're with another person, to reminding you to pay bills, down to something as simple as setting a proper timer. Clearly, Google's got plenty of plans for what will happen inside Search. But today, we've got something a little different - this time, it relates to how Google's voice assistant will break out of Search, entering other Google apps to help you do more with your voice and perform more actions with Search in general.
Google is always trying new things, and one of those new things has been left where we can play with it. Yay! The LEGO redesign is an experimental sandbox for mobile search results. The overall look is a little different than the current one, but it's the animations in the results that set it apart. Check out the video below for a demo – left tab is LEGO and right is standard.
So the Google Nexus Twitter account was doing some impromptu support for a user and included a screenshot. How helpful! Well, more helpful than they intended it to be. The screenshot shows a slightly tweaked dialer app with a blue action bar. First they took our #33b5e5, now they're coming after the gray. Actually, I think I'm okay with that.
Most of the time, we execute APK teardowns by comparing the code of older app versions to an updated version. Newly released apps can hold juicy information too, though. We've quickly taken apart Google's newly released camera app and discovered a few tidbits worth mentioning.
Our primary target for this teardown is the strings file. This file holds a wealth of strings not yet revealed in the interface that look like they'll bring missing features back and add some new ones, too.
Photo Sphere Live Wallpaper
One of the most exciting finds in the strings file is reference to "featured" photo spheres, and displaying photo spheres as live wallpapers.