Updates are still a huge pain point for many Android OEMs, but Google's usually been okay with them. Historically, devices with the Nexus nameplate have received around two years' worth of updates; for instance, the LG-made Nexus 5, which was released in late 2013, is stuck (officially) on Marshmallow, which was released in late 2015. That trend seems to be continuing with the Pixel phones. Read More
The number of people playing Pokémon GO has declined in recent months, but the player base is still huge compared to most mobile games. The loss of casual players is probably down to the slow rate of improvements, but today there are a few significant changes rolling out. As we previously reported, Pokémon GO now has capture bonuses and improved training at gyms. Read More
When it comes to mobile data, where customers almost always have a limited pool of access to work with, less is more. That's the principle behind the "delta" updates to apps that Google introduced way back in 2012, which in most cases allows the Play Store to download only the incrementally updated parts of an app rather than the entire APK. Now a new tweak to the delta update algorithm has made the updates themselves even smaller. Read More
You usually have to get a car with Android Auto pre-installed if you want the feature to ever be available to you, but Hyundai has embraced Google's car platform more so than others. It just announced an update is available for some of its 2015, 2016, and 2017 models that adds Android Auto and CarPlay. You can install them yourself or go to a dealership and pay them to do it. Read More
According to a Bloomberg article published this morning, Google has been actively tracking the time it takes Android device manufacturers to update their handsets to a new version of the Android OS. Better yet? There are supposedly discussions happening inside Google as to whether or not to make the stats public, as a sort of "name and shame" directive to encourage manufacturers and carriers alike to update their handsets more quickly. To which I respond: oh god yes please, do this, Google.
The report also mentions a few other tidbits that are interesting, and we'll get to those, but let's focus on what I will now call The Android Update Wall Of Shame, which should very much be what it is called if Google does, in fact, publish it. Read More
As most of our readers know, an update to the Play Store rolled out a couple of days ago with a feature many of us have been requesting for nearly three years: the ability to join and leave beta test groups from within the Play Store. For reasons we can only speculate about, the join/leave capability was disabled about 24 hours later. While the headlining feature was covered in our original post, there are still a couple of interesting tidbits waiting for the teardown treatment. Read More
LG has been criticized for its decision to remove the app drawer on the G5, but its UX 5.0 demo video a while back said the app drawer option was returning. The best it could do in the short term was publish the old UX 4.0 home screen in SmartWorld, but now an updated home interface for the G5 is rolling out that adds the app drawer option. Read More
NVIDIA started rolling the Android 6.0 update out to its original SHIELD Tablet yesterday after getting the K1 variant on Marshmallow a few weeks ago. Things haven't been going awesomely for early upgraders, though. NVIDIA has pulled the SHIELD update while it investigates an issue that can break WiFi connectivity on the tablet. Read More
This week the latest batch of over-the-air security updates started rolling out to Nexus devices, most going under version LMY48M. Google also posted the goods online in the form of factory images. The company then went on to provide a list of the security fixes.
Eight make the list, with one having actually been exploited in the wild. Though whether this was used maliciously or just someone rooting their own device is unclear. None of the vulnerabilities are newly disclosed. Read More
Chances are that if you're in the recovery interface of your phone, it's because you broke something, need to force an update, and you're just fiddling with things. The stock recovery doesn't have a ton of options, which is why alternatives like ClockworkMod and TWRP exist. Still, the stock recovery in Android M is a little more capable than before.