Since 6.0.1 Marshmallow, Android has had a cool feature whereby you tap the power button twice in quick succession and the camera app will open. It's a handy feature, and one I use reasonably regularly to quickly snap a photo.
However, ever since it was introduced, there's been an issue: if the phone or tablet is unlocked and the power button is double tapped, the device will first lock and then open the camera app, rather than just opening the camera. This behaviour is definitely present in Marshmallow, and we're reasonably certain it was the same for N Developer Preview 2 (DP2), although we can't actually find a device to test on (if you have DP2 and find this isn't the case, let us know in the comments). Read More
Quick settings is the site of major improvements in Android N—there's a new row of five toggles along the top of the notification shade, the quick settings can be rearranged, and you can even add new tiles. The latest Android N Dev Preview 3 brings more improvements and tweaks to quick settings. Read More
We've got another tidbit from our time at Google's Android office hours here at I/O, and you're probably not going to like it, Nexus owners. Speaking to Dan Sandler, we were told that night mode and the dark theme were both simply not up to the standard of performance and polish that Google wants to see of features in this release. As such, according to Dan, it is very unlikely either feature will ship when N is released in final form later this year.
We've received dozens of tips about the night mode and dark theme disappearing in Android N Developer Preview 3 (kind of, it still lives on in the quick settings tiles), and it sounds like the reason it's gone is indeed because Google isn't planning to ship it. Read More
Speaking to Google at the Android team's office hours event, we learned that Android N's new seamless update feature, borrowed from Chrome OS, will not be introduced on any current Nexus devices. While the benefits of seamless updates' usage of dual system partitions to allow OS updates to proceed in the background are substantial, they're also a bit of a technical bear to put on existing smartphones. Implementing seamless updates on the Nexus 5X or 6P, for example, would require repartitioning the entire phone, and wouldn't be possible for an end user to complete without hooking the phone up to a computer, allegedly - it would just be a pain, in short. Read More
Google added Daydream to Android way back in Android 4.2, and Google proceeded to do absolutely nothing with it. Well, almost nothing. It's used on Android TV more than on phones and tablets. With the announcement of the new Daydream VR platform, we were wondering what would become of the "old" Daydream. We didn't have to wait long to find out; they changed the name in dev preview 3. Read More
The third developer preview of Android N is now in the wild, and there are lots of interesting tweaks to see. Just for fun, Google threw in four new wallpapers along with the standard pink sky image that came with the last two. We've got them all ready for download below. Read More
Google may design most of the Android Wear experience, but the company doesn't control everything. One poorly designed app is all it takes to sour someone's impression of a platform. And with Android Wear getting a major update, that would be a shame. So to provide users with the best experience and increase chances that they will keep an app around, Google has released design guidelines for the latest version of its smart watch platform. Read More
You know how when you use your phone or tablet for long periods of time, it gets a little warm? Sometimes it even goes toasty — hi, Snapdragon 810! — and app performance suffers: you start seeing lags and stutters and things don't work as smoothly or as reliably as they should. That's because the system throttles the SoC when it risks reaching its limit temperature. This is the kind of performance issues that the new Sustained Performance Mode aims to solve.
There's a new 'Sustained Performance API' in the latest Android N Developer Preview 3. It works based on feedback provided by OEMs regarding each device and its performance for long-running apps. Read More
While Google I/O is all the rage on our side of the internetz, another conference is taking place that is probably a lot less exciting for us: INTX, the Internet and Television Expo. But one interesting nugget has escaped INTX and found its place on our radar as Android users and it's about Comcast, of all evil companies and things.
Last month, Comcast had announced the Xfinity TV Partner program, an initiative aimed to make the Xfinity TV app available to smart TVs, and TV-connected and IP-enabled devices (read: other set-top boxes) without the requirement for a Comcast set-top box. Think of this as Comcast wanting to be Netflix'ish, ie available to you through an app and with a subscription, no need to call the company and lease a physical box from it. Read More