The situation between allegedly independent manufacturer OnePlus and its former software supplier Cyanogen Inc. is... strained. After the software company signed an exclusive deal with Indian manufacturer Micromax, the company refused to supply its CyanogenMod ROM for the OnePlus One in India, then Micromax attempted to block sales of the One in that country, a situation that still hasn't been resolved. OnePlus has formed its own team of software engineers, and is now making its own phone ROMs independently. Read More
Ever been to AndroidTV.com? I doubt it! But you probably have been to android.com/tv, which is the official site for Google's new Android TV platform unveiled at Google I/O earlier this year. The former URL, though, isn't owned by Google at all - and that's apparently been cause for friction.
If you're the kind to pay attention to domain name disputes involving major companies (admittedly, boring stuff), you're probably aware that most corporations are very active in fighting what is known as "squatting" - wherein a domain registrant either holds a domain for "ransom" or attempts to use the domain's name to confuse or misdirect customers into believing their product or service is somehow related to another product, company, or service. Read More
A memory leak that has plagued some Android 5.0 users since the first developer preview has finally been marked closed and 'FutureRelease' in the Android issue tracker today.
The bug caused device memory to fill up and fail to clear, resulting in random crashes for memory-intensive applications that run in the background, like Play Music or even the launcher process. Needless to say - it was a deeply frustrating issue. Most persons affected seemed to either own Nexus 5s or Nexus 7s, though other devices may have fallen victim to it as well. Read More
Android Wear 5.0 is finally out on all devices, and that means developers are playing a little catch-up. Not only are there new system features to take advantage of, we finally have full support for custom watch faces. Many of the previously released ones have been updated for Android 5.0, but we're focusing here mostly on newly added apps and watch faces.
A lot of the new Android Wear watch faces are cool, and a surprising number of them are free. Read More
Raise your hand if you like carrier apps added to your phone. Anyone. Go ahead, don't be shy. Well if you don't, here's a great example of why companies like AT&T should leave the software alone. An over-the-air update to 4.4.4 for the carrier-customized version of the Galaxy Note 3 was sent out on November 28th, then unceremoniously pulled. A previous message on the support page explained why:
Update: The software update for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (SMN900A) is temporarily on hold, effective November 28, 2014.
Reddit user Ponkers posted an interesting find to /r/Android today, pointing out a significant privacy hole in Skype that essentially allows users to force an Android device to answer a call, making eavesdropping nearly effortless.
Ponkers drew a diagram below, which I feel compelled to include based on its artistic merits, but here's the gist of how the process works.
Assume you have three devices, device 1, device 2, and device 3. Read More
Now that most of the critical issues have been worked out of Android 5.0 Lollipop, most of the releases are going to center around cleaning up less pressing oversights and taking care of bugs. However, it seems that we're still not quite through with the device-specific fixes as an update is now rolling out to the 2012 Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi), codenamed Grouper. No official changelog has been posted, but Al Sutton has compiled a list from the AOSP commits, giving us a pretty good insight into what's new. Read More
Unified Remote is a remarkably powerful app for remotely controlling the functions of your PC. (Not your TV, unless you have an IR port.) The last beta release of the app, which used the frustrating Google Groups testing system, implemented remote control support via an Android Wear app. Now you can get that Wear support in the standard Play Store version, no beta opt-in necessary. You'll need the full version, a $4 add-on, to access the Wear app. Read More
The next minor release of Android is going out just a couple of weeks after 5.0.1. But don't head to your Settings menu just yet: it looks like this one is just for the 2012 version of the Nexus 7, at least at the moment. Because the N7 2012 (Wi-Fi version) has yet to receive Android 5.0.1, this could be a rare model-specific release. Right now the new build has been published as code in the Android Open Source project and a system image is also available. Read More