It looks like the new Google Play Services rolling out today held one more surprise besides hints of Android Device Manager. With the latest update, Android's Photo Sphere viewer can make use of the on-board compass, allowing you to navigate a sphere just by moving your device, much like Streetview's "Compass Mode."
To enter compass mode, users need only press the arrow icon in the lower left corner of the screen. Read More
Just yesterday, Google posted to its Android blog about Android Device Manager – a tool that will help Android users keep their phones and data safe by offering location and remote wiping/locking features that third party solutions have until now been filling in for.
This morning, users started reporting that the service was rolling out to their devices already. Indeed, Android Device Manager is getting introduced by way of Google Play Services version 3.2.25, but it's not complete just yet. Read More
Sprint announced the Flash back in November last year, when it launched with Android 4.0. Well, it's finally getting an update to Android 4.1... 9 months later. Ugh. The new software version is N9100V1.0.0B15. Improvements aside from things like Google Now and expandable notifications include enhancements to the camera app, which now includes blink detection, flash mode toggle, an EXIF data menu, and a detailed settings menu.
You can start checking for the update on your device now, though the rollout may be staged over the next week or two. Read More
While we haven't heard much on the Android 4.3 update news front for the One or Galaxy S4 GPE other than "soon," it sounds like soon really may mean soon. HTC just released the Android 4.3-based kernel source and framework files for the One GPE on HTCdev.
The corresponding software version for the source and framework is 3.06.1700.10, while the kernel version remains unchanged at 3.4.10. You can download the kernel right here, and the framework files here. Read More
There's no denying the usefulness of a keyboard when doing a lot of text input on Android, and there's no shortage of Bluetooth options that fit the bill perfectly. Anyone who spends a lot of time in email or a text editor likely has one of these handy little accessories laying around, but if that user also owns a Nexus device with 4.3, then they're in for a bit of a surprise the next time it's paired up: many Bluetooth keyboards no longer work post-update. Read More
Google just dropped a bomb on the official Android blog moments ago: Android Device Manager, a tool to help locate your lost phone. It's simple - you can track your phone from a web interface (or the official Android app!), and then ring or wipe it. Simple? Yes. Absolutely something we've all wanted since, I don't know, ever on Android as a standard feature? Duh.
Android device manager will be part of - you guessed it - Google Play [Services]. Read More
Update 2: Verizon has confirmed that it is in fact an update to Android 4.1.2, not Android 4.2, as the screenshot below now reflects.
Update: It sounds like this may be an Android 4.1.2 update, not Android 4.2. The build number JZO54M is, according to Google's own codename site, an Android 4.1.2 build (specifically, Android 4.1.2 R2.1). Sounds like Verizon done goofed. We've reached out for confirmation, but I'd be skeptical if the Verizon XOOM suddenly bunny-hopped from Android 4.0 to Android 4.2. Read More
It's that time of the month: get your paycheck, pay your bills, and gather round the Android Developers page for a new look at the distributed versions of the world's most-used mobile operating system. For the two-week period ending on August 1st, Jelly Bean 4.1 rose 1.7% to 34% of the total Android population, becoming the most popular single version of Android for the first time.
The rest of the platform changed very little since July. Read More
Many users of the original Nexus 7 remember how slow the device could get after a few months of heavy use. At least part of this problem has to do with the way NAND flash stores and deletes data. Android 4.3 comes with a little-hyped feature that could be huge for performance in the future – TRIM support via fstrim.
There were ways to run the fstrim command on devices before, but it required root. Read More