Though Google officially announced Android Auto back at Google I/O, we didn't get to see much of the car initiative at the show itself. A recent update to the Developer.Android.com page shows off a lot more of the system, primarily in how the usual Android apps on a phone interact with a dash unit in a car or truck. The updated page includes screenshots of the app launcher (such as it is), Google Play Music, and some basic menus.
The Information published a story today regarding the contracts phone and other Android device makers are required to sign in order to certify their devices as Google-approved. While many of the details are, to be frank, utterly mundane (like the previously-leaked boot screen logo requirement) or things we've tended to assume, there are few pieces of information worth picking out.
First, the name of the agreement these OEMs are required to sign is called a MADA - Mobile Application Distribution Agreement.
The Moto 360 is still in short supply, but Motorola is slowly working through the backlog of orders. If you haven't gotten your hands on the first round Android Wear smartwatch, it might look a little different when you finally get it on your wrist. The silver Moto 360 is now showing up with a lighter stone leather band. Meanwhile, the gray leather band is gone from Motorola's site.
There are those who want to make their Moto 360 as elegant as possible. Some prefer to be a bit silly. But for those who want to demonstrate just how gutsy they can get, there's nothing like showing off the heart and soul of your gear. If this sounds like you, Circuit Wear for the Moto 360 might be your next watch face. What you're looking at is a photo of the circuit board lodged a mere couple of millimeters behind the screen, and it really is pretty neat.
Android Wear is picking up steam with three devices currently available, and several more still dropping later this year. You'll be able to adorn your wrist with whatever kind of screen you want—square, round, slightly different square, slightly different round, and I'm sure many others. You'll want apps to make your screen of choice worth using, and that's where the Roundup comes in. Here are all the Wear apps that didn't suck from the last few weeks.
With the obvious exception of watch faces themselves, there aren't many parts of Android Wear that actually benefit from the round screens of the Moto 360 and the upcoming G Watch R - not even Google's official apps. A new and relatively humble tip calculator is the first Wear app I've seen that makes really excellent use of the extra radial space. It's called (appropriately) Wear Tip Calculator.
The app uses a circular design.
In a triumphant post to its blog today, Rackspace announced that Rotatable Technologies is now "an ex-patent troll." This new designation for Rotatable Technologies comes after the US Patent and Trademark Office declared its patent (6,326,978) unpatentable. Last year, Rotatable Technologies decided to go after Rackspace over the patent, demanding $75,000. Rackspace chose to fight not just the case but the patent itself.
What is patent 6,326,978? It was a patent covering "a display method for selectively rotating windows on a computer display including a window for a computer display having a frame and a display portion.
Nexus 4 owners, don't lose hope. Though your 2012 Google phone was cruelly looked over for the developer preview builds of Android L (along with everything that wasn't a Nexus 7 2013 or Nexus 5), sharp-eyed Google+ users have spotted two different Google employees posting on the Chromium section of code.google.com claiming to use the Nexus 4 with Android L. Check out this entry from a contributor with a Chromium.org email address, explicitly using the "LRW52G" build of Android on his or her N4.
A couple of days ago, Google began rolling out the latest version of its Play services apk to the massive audience of Android users around the world. This is a particularly special release for developers because it finally expands coverage of the Google Fit Preview SDK to those who either don't have a Nexus 5 or 2013 Nexus 7, or simply aren't willing to flash the last L Preview firmware onto them.