Android OS

1050 articles
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[Update: Gone] New Moto 360 Colors Land On Amazon With Metal Bands, Including A Slimmer 18mm 'Champagne' Option

Update: As commenter JT3 points out, it looks like all the new color options introduced today aren't shipping for at least a month, despite being sold immediately. That includes the separate metal bands. Bummer.

Update 2: ...aaaaand they're gone. The new colors and band listings have been removed from Amazon, presumably to be added back at some point. At least you can drool at the photos below between now and then.

We saw the possibilities pop up before, but it looks like Amazon is now officially selling the Moto 360 smartwatch in more colors and with alternate bands. Before today you could get the Android Wear device with a stainless steel or black finish, with black, grey, or "stone grey" bands.

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Google Has A Six-Line Solution For Developers To Allow Search Queries To Interact With Apps

Months ago, we posted a rumor about "modular actions" set to come to Google's Search app (now just called Google) along with "Ok Google Everywhere" functionality that would allow users to activate search from anywhere on their device. The latter has already been implemented, but Google is still inching toward the former. With the technically unreleased Google app, the search interface can overlay apps from which it is called, but Google today announced another step forward - the ability to let apps hook into search by accepting voice queries from the user.

The solution is a mere six lines which, when added to the AndroidManifest.xml file, will allow a user to say something like "Search for pizza on Eat24" to open the corresponding app (in this case Eat24) to pizza search results.

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A Brief Look At How Android's Notification Shade Could Learn From Google's Inbox

Google's Inbox implements a really smart management paradigm - specifically, users can swipe in one direction to "snooze" a message (designating a time at which the message will reappear in the inbox), or swipe the other way to mark the message "done," essentially archiving it. Steve Albright, in a post to Google+, recently opined that this paradigm might find a good home among all of Android's notifications, rather than being confined to Inbox messages.

At the suggestion of another Google+ user I follow (Derek Traini), I decided to give the idea some thought, and work up at least a preliminary interface sketch for how something like this would work.

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Time Is A Race You Must Embrace, Chase, Retrace, Or Maybe Erase With Void Watch Face

Well son, time is but an illusion of change
Yesterday you had a tiny phone with Snake
Today you're overcome by a desire so strange
To buy the biggest phablet Motorola can make.

Time comes, flies, runs out, it's an elusive affair
Don't waste it by constantly checking the clock
Free yourself from it, put a blank screen on your Wear
It's always noon somewhere, Paris, Rio, or Bangkok.

One smart dev sensed the deceptive nature of time
He made a watch face so black it seemed like Void
So before I trip on a word that doesn't rhyme
I'll advise you to instantly download it on your droid.

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[Android 5.0 Lollipop Feature Spotlight] Carriers Can Now Have Google Play Install Their Crapware Automatically, Which Is Good Maybe

Carrier bloatware apps are quite an issue in the US, where many smartphones ship with almost as much useless junk as they do genuinely necessary applications. This junk is lovingly called "crapware," "bloatware," or "shit" interchangeably by those in the smartphone community. Because it is. This disdain largely stems from the fact that many bloatware apps can't be fully uninstalled, only disabled (some can't even manage to do that).

In Android 5.0, Google is hoping to give everyone another option: don't be so awful about it. In Lollipop, carriers can have a list of applications downloaded to a device automatically on first boot through the Play Store, meaning those apps are installed on the data partition, not the system one.

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[Lollipop Feature Spotlight] Long-Press Notifications For A Quick Link To Adjust That App's Notification Settings

There's nothing more annoying than an otherwise benign app that pesters you with notifications. Android has thankfully given end users the ability to completely disable notifications from pestering apps, but for developers who include more fine-grain controls in the app itself, Android 5.0 has some new options. French Android developer Cyril Mottier highlighted a new option in a detailed Google+ post: the ability to embed a link directly to an app's notifications settings within the notification itself.

notification_settings

For the sake of specificity, this new API hook allows developers to add a quick link to the notifications settings page of the app itself, not the relevant page in the Android settings menu.

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[Android 4.4W.2 Feature Spotlight] You Can Now Keep Your Watch Looking Like A Real Watch By Keeping Notification Previews Hidden By Default

When the 4.4W.2 firmware version began rolling out a few days ago, it became possible to swipe down on the top-most card to show an unobstructed view of your favorite watch face. This still left Wear with the irksome tendency to put a card preview back on top when a new notification came in. Not only did the W.2 update give us the ability to hide that card, but there's also an option to keep new cards from getting in the way. Now, if you disable "Card Preview," notification cards will be hidden when the watch screen dims and after it wakes up.

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Re/code: Sundar Pichai Is Now "Czar" Of Product At Google, Will Control All The Things

According to Re/code, an organizational reorganization will see Sundar Pichai, head of Chrome and Android, appointed as "czar" of all Google's major products. This includes ads, Search, research, Google+, Maps, commerce, and infrastructure. These duties previously fell on CEO Larry Page. Page will retain his leadership positions, though, at Nest, Calico, Google X, corporate development, finance, and business. Page will also most likely retain final say in most decisions he chooses to be involved in, being CEO and all.

Pichai will remain in charge of Android and Chrome, but his role is obviously vastly increased now. The reason for the change?

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Samsung Gear Live Is Also Getting Updated To Android Wear 4.4W.2

The newest Android Wear update has started rolling out to the Samsung Gear Live after hitting G Watch and Moto 360 devices in the last few days. The update comes with version number 4.4W.2 and makes a handful of tweaks to the OS, not the least of which is the option to hide notification cards on the watch face.

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Google Posts Details For Updated AppCompat-v7 r21 Library For All Of Your Backwards-Compatibility Needs [For Developers]

Developers have a lot to look forward to with the latest release of Android, but not everything requires Lollipop to run. With the official release of the SDK for API Level 21, Google also included an updated version of the AppCompat Support Library, which contains back-ported versions of UI controls and other features for use on older versions of the OS. Some of the new libraries were first available with the L Preview SDK, but just about everything has received an update, and there are some additions for the official release. While the AppCompat Library came out last week, Google just posted a detailed list of what's new and how to make use of it.

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