Well folks, this is it: the final build of Paranoid Android is ready, just in time for Google I/O to show us a new version of the OS. Turn out the lights, the party's over. The fat lady is singing. We'll go quietly into that... what? This is isn't the last Paranoid Android build? It's just feature-complete and stable, and development on the custom ROM will continue? Ah. Well, carry on then.
Once the CyanogenMod team found and implemented the hidden Heads Up notification mode, it was basically inevitable that all the other major custom ROMs would follow suit. The unicorn-powered Android Open Kang Project has done so with their first nightly based on Android 4.4.4. They've also thrown in the usual bug fixes, as well as settings for automatic Immersive mode, disabling the full-screen keyboard, lockscreen orientation, and a few other goodies.
A while ago, we posted about explorations Google was undertaking in revamping Android's home screen. Part of this was a new notification shade that looked similar to Google Now.
Since then, we've seen new materials that show something a bit closer to what the notification shade and Quick Settings will resemble in Android's L release. The images we'll discuss in this post are based on more recent information, but as with any unreleased software, anything can change - particularly design.
The 2013 Nexus 7 LTE, now known as the bastard child of the living Nexus family, has not received any updates in the recent round of Android 4.4.3, and subsequently 4.4.4, releases. All of a sudden just now, the 4.4.3 factory image finally showed up, and we can only speculate how long it'll be before we see 4.4.4. For those who are counting, that's 22 days since the Nexus 4, 5, Wi-Fi 7, and 10 have all had their respective factory images available.
In an interview with Sundar Pichai, head of Chrome and Android at Google, Businessweek managed to extract a truly exciting tidbit: the next major version of Android will be demoed at Google I/O ahead of its fall release.
“I want the world to understand what we are doing sooner”
This is a marked change from business as usual at I/O. Google hasn't demoed a version of Android far ahead of its release since Andy Rubin showed off an early incarnation of Honeycomb three-and-a-half years ago at the D: Dive Into Mobile conference.
Do you even wrist-type, bro? You totally could with Minuum... I mean, not that you'd necessarily want to, but you'll have the option. The maker of the compact Android keyboard has announced it's working on a version of Minuum for round Android Wear devices like the Moto 360. There's even a GIF demo.
The Chromium Issue Tracker, a perennial source of accidental "leaks" and unreleased information, has delivered something interesting (the issue appears to have since been removed). Reddit user Doopl came across two screenshots of what look like Android's yet-unannounced L release.
The shots show a Google account login dialog that looks substantially different from the current implementation, and what appears to be a re-styled Chrome with design elements from Quantum. Additionally, the status bar shows a place holder "L" icon, and a bell icon that sources tell us is indicative of a new feature in L that will offer "limited interruptions," basically muting or partially muting notifications.
For the relentless proof-readers among us, we've got a quick tip pointed out today by Reddit user SuperNanoCat. When writing in an editable text box on Android, users can highlight a word or chunk of text, then press and hold to drag it around.
This feature has actually been around for quite some time, possibly as far back as Ice Cream Sandwich, but it's a feature most users have only used accidentally.
Google's general intent with Google Play Games is simple. Google wants to provide a solid backend with common game features to developers who want to make more compelling games. Once developers integrate these features, Google's user base offers a cohesive score/competition experience.
Providing features like leaderboards and achievements, Google has managed to catch the interest of many game developers already, but we have reason to believe that Google will be peppering a few new features into Google Play Games some time soon, with an update to Google Play Services and the Google Play Games app.
Here at Android Police, we're no strangers to digging around in Google's code and finding surprising stuff inside. Apparently some members of the CyanogenMod team did the same, and found a hidden feature in KitKat: Heads Up notifications. These floating notifications are meant to be used in full-screen apps or Immersive Mode, but for whatever reason, they aren't switched on in AOSP code. (Perhaps they're intended for the next major Android release.) You can probably guess what happens next.