From its announcement at Google I/O to today, we keep uncovering new information and subtle details regarding the new permission system in Android 6.0. What we weren't able to know, however, was how OEMs were going to treat (or be forced to treat) this new feature. Would they be able to remove it completely? Circumvent it for their own apps? Could they abuse it to grant permissions to bloatware? Well, we now have our answers thanks to the updated Marshmallow Compatibility Definition Document.
In it, Google explains that apps that target API level 23 will have to request permissions to access certain protected features. Read More
Few Android OEMs take their updates as seriously and as extensively as Sony does, and Marshmallow is no exception. Ever since the source code for Android 6.0.0 was released by Google, the company revealed which devices in its portfolio will get it (hint: they go as far back as the Xperia Z2), released AOSP binaries for a slew of devices including its new Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact, and announced concept Marshmallow builds for the Z3 and Z3 Compact that are open for 10,000 testers. Now these builds are starting to roll to users who signed up for them and you have more opportunities to try them out if you own a compatible smartphone. Read More
Nexus Imprint on the new Nexus phones is fantastic compared to other fingerprint sensors. It's fast and incredibly accurate. The setup process is painless too. How will other devices with fingerprint sensors on Android 6.0 fare? They should at least get the job done if they follow the new rules. Google has listed the requirements for OEMs to make sure their sensors work correctly in Marshmallow. Read More
Of all the features added in Android 6.0, Doze might be the most exciting. For years Android has struggled with battery life due to apps running in the background when they aren't supposed to, and Marshmallow could finally put a stop to it. To make sure device makers play ball, Google's Android 6.0 Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) explicitly requires Marshmallow phones to include Doze, and OEMs aren't allowed to monkey around with it. Read More
With every major Android release comes a new version of Google's not-so-famous Android Compatibility Definition Document. As reading goes, it is roughly between the excitement level of "doing your taxes" and "doing somebody else's taxes." Which is to say, I am well-caffeinated this morning. Anyway, the newest version of the CDD for Android 6.0 contains a change we've been on the lookout for since Lollipop was announced last year: mandatory full-disk encryption.
Since the announcement of encryption being enabled by default of the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, Google has been on the encryption warpath (rightfully so!), and did in fact attempt to make this change in the initial Lollipop CDD back in January. Read More
Huawei is one of the largest smartphone makers in the world, and while it may not be anywhere near as prominent outside of China as it is domestically, the brand is attracting an increasing amount of attention. You could say part of this is due to the company producing one of this year's Nexuses, but credit also goes out to an increasingly attractive portfolio of hardware.
Still, making decent phones is only part of the process. You also have to support them, an area where Huawei has had an awkward track record.
So Huawei has announced which phones it intends to upgrade to Android 6.0. Read More
Motorola started to cultivate a reputation for reliable and quick Android updates after the company was acquired by Google... then began to shoot itself in the foot following the Marshmallow release. It looks like the company is still interested in timely updates for its flagship phones, at least: Motorola Senior Director David Schuster told his Google+ followers that engineers have already begun testing Android 6.0 on the Moto X Pure Edition (that's the new Moto X Style if you live outside the US).
"There have been a couple reports of a Marshmallow "soak test" that has started for Moto X 2015 Pure Edition.
Have you been having trouble casting videos or other content to your Chromecast or Android TV device lately? You're not alone - we've been getting tips for the last day from all over the Android world about casting failures, and based on threads on Reddit, XDA, Google's support forums, and even NVIDIA's SHIELD forums, the issue has been affecting hundreds and possibly thousands of people. Various culprits have been suspected, from a recent Marshmallow update for the Nexus Player to compatibility tweaks for the new Chromecast model. According to a Reddit user claiming to be a member of Google's Cast on Android TV team, it isn't either of those. Read More
Yesterday brought a brand new update to the Play Store, bringing the version up to 5.10.29. There are some new UI elements, even if most of us aren't allowed to see them yet, and we can now copy text from the what's new and description sections. Naturally, Google included a few hidden tricks and treats just waiting to be discovered. We can expect to see books organized by series, apps described with size, and some friendlier welcome and exploration messages.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
You could pick up a cheap Nexus Player or an NVIDIA SHIELD if you just want Android TV in your life, but Sony also makes some TV with the software built in, so why not? If you need a new TV anyway, you can't go wrong. One of Sony's Android TVs is available through Dell, and you'll get a whopping $350 gift card when ordering. Read More