And here's reason number 249 not to install beta software onto a device that's critical to your everyday life. Android Auto users who have upgraded their Nexus phones to the latest version of the Android N Developer Preview are reporting that Google Maps navigation is no longer working in the car interface. (Remember, Android Auto isn't an independent system - it needs a powered-up and connected phone in order to work.) The Maps app is simply crashing on launch and returning users to the Auto home screen. Read More
The Play Store is officially on Chrome OS! Sort of. It’s out for one device - the ASUS Chromebook Flip - and only on the developer release channel, which means bugs. But I’ve been playing with it since last night and thought I’d share some of my thoughts and general experience with Android apps on Chrome as they’ve launched.
First, in response to your inevitable question “Does <app here> work?” let me lay out a simple set of preemptive answers.
- Does it require telephony (SMS/phone)? Then no.
- Does it require GPS? Then no.
- Does it require a rear camera? Then no.
Android N is making some changes to the notification shade, not least among them the addition of settings toggles at the top of the screen without opening quick settings. In previous preview builds these were toggles as you'd expect, but DP4 changes it up. Now, the WiFi and Bluetooth buttons open the full modal connection list screen. The response from users has not been positive. Read More
A year ago today Google announced Android Security Rewards, an expansion of its Vulnerability Rewards Program. Find a vulnerability, tell Google about it, help them fix the issue, and take home money. That's the concept, and it's a common one in the tech industry.
Google handed out over half a million bucks to 82 individuals over the past year. This averaged out to $2,200 per reward. Researchers averaged higher payouts, at $6,700. One, @heisecode, received $75,750 for 26 vulnerability reports. 15 researchers received $10,000 or more. Read More
Introduced just two short months ago in Android N Developer Preview 2, the calculator quick settings tile has been removed in the latest N beta release. N Developer Preview 4 has killed the nascent shortcut, though it's unclear if it will be coming back in time for N's final release. The tile itself was actually, well, kind of lame - instead of doing what you'd think it would do and opening some kind of mini or floating mode for the stock Android calculator, it just straight up opened the full calculator app. Read More
Let me just start this article with the following caveats: one, Google makes it more than clear that not everything will work in a Developer Preview Android build, or in the new beta system in general. Two, Android Pay is hardly an essential service - suddenly losing access to it doesn't make your credit or debit cards stop working. Three, it's easy enough to get it back by flashing an older Developer Preview or stock build on any Nexus device that's likely to run into this particular problem. Read More
Android is mainly a touch environment, but it has had rudimentary support for mice and keyboards for years. Mice will be getting more useful in Android N with the addition of a new mouse cursor API, which is available in its final form as of dev preview 4. The cursor can actually change to indicate actions just like on a desktop OS. Read More
If you have tried the Play Movies & TV app on Android TV and weren't in love with its player controls, it might be time to give it a new try. A fresh update to v3.15 started rolling out to set-top boxes and televisions yesterday. There are a couple of cosmetic changes, most notably the banner on the launcher screen, but the big change comes in the form of updated player controls that are faster and easier to use.
- New launcher banner
- Updated player controls
New Launcher Banner
Left: old. Right: new.
After the latest visual rebranding of Google Play, most of the primary apps were updated to the new icons within about a week. Read More
Android N Developer Preview 4 is out and it marks a very important milestone in Google's release schedule: the API for the next version of Android is officially final and developers can begin posting apps built for it to the Play Store. In fact, this is a first for Android, never before have developers been able to post apps to the Play Store targeting a preview version of Android. Users can now look forward to trying out 3rd-party apps that target Android N without jumping through hoops with individual APKs.
You can now publish apps that use API level 24 to Google Play, in alpha, beta, and production release channels.