Little things can add a lot of otherwise unnoticed polish to the apps we use and the games we play on a daily basis. Thanks to animations, sound effects, music, and custom graphics, our software tends to feel more responsive and engaging. But sometimes a bug comes along and breaks a part of that experience. Today, we're going to take a look at one of the more user-facing bugs to sneak out with Android 4.3: automatically looping sounds are broken in numerous apps.
Update: The Nexus 7 2013 build (codename "Flo") has now been posted. It's the first official CM build for the new Nexus 7.
ROM addicts, the time has come. The CyanogenMod team has been working diligently on version 10.2 of the popular ROM family, the Android Jelly Bean 4.3 update. Tonight the first batch of nightlies are being posted to the download page, Get.CM. There are only a few devices with updated builds at the moment, but that should change as the night progresses.
It's been nine months to the day since Android 4.2 was announced, and just under four months since Samsung's first non-Nexus 4.2 devices started hitting the shelves. But apparently it takes at least that long to make sure that every non-touch gesture and gyroscopic scrolling function works with a new version of Android. Case in point: both the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 WiFi (GT-P3110) in the UK and the Galaxy Note 8.0 3G (GT-N5100) in Germany are just now getting updated, according to SamMobile.
The great Nexus 7 ordeal of 2013 is now over after Qualcomm apparently agreed to the release of the factory image and all necessary drivers, only a day after lots of hubbub had been made about this touchy and unpleasant situation. Awesome, so now we have access to the factory image, meaning we can restore the tablet back to stock no matter what happens to the software on it.
Say, you had a bad flash and are now boot-looping.
We're all happy to see Android 4.3 finally make its appearance, especially as it brings some pretty important and positive low-level improvements like Bluetooth Low Energy and TRIM support. Unfortunately, new versions often introduce new bugs that slip by even the most diligent testers. Jelly Bean 4.2 had its fair share of issues, including an almost comically bad oversight: the total annihilation of December in the stock Contacts app. This is why each major release is often followed by a couple of bug fix OTAs in the following weeks.
In the greater history of computer gaming, Linux is a relative newcomer, still missing out on quite a few AAA titles and only recently gaining access to Steam. While the library of games is growing for the open-sourced OS, the actual development process is still locked in to Windows. Most of the tools used for designing 3D models (e.g. Blender), landscapes, and other graphics have made the transition to Linux, but the primary coding tools are mysteriously absent.
A little bit of connecting the dots has revealed that Qualcomm is the reason behind the new Nexus 7's lack of factory image / driver binary support. This has long-time AOSP maintainer Jean-Baptiste Quéru pretty upset. Upset enough that he is "quitting AOSP."
It's not clear if this means JBQ is quitting his job at Google (though the fact that he even wrote this kind of suggests he may be quitting / has quit), or that he's moving to a different part of the company / Android group.
Update: Looks like we were right.
ROM developers and Android tinkering enthusiasts alike have probably noticed at this point that the new iteration of the Nexus 7, unveiled two weeks ago, does not yet have factory images or driver binaries posted on the appropriate Google Developers page. A similar issue plagued the Nexus 4 in its early days, though eventually images were posted. At the time, legal issues were speculated as a possible reason for the delay, and Android build maintainer JBQ - largely responsible for the images / binaries - said only this in response: "I can't comment."
With the new Nexus 7, JBQ has not outright said that legal problems with Qualcomm are preventing the factory images (and possibly the driver binaries) from being published, but a quick look at the relevant evidence makes it pretty duh-obvious that's what's going on.
There seems to be a surge of mobile photography accessories on Kickstarter these days. Really, the trend makes sense – mobile manufacturers consistently tout their handsets' camera capabilities, and most everyone is prone to snapping shots with their phones. The desire to get better quality photos out of the most convenient cameras around is natural.
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.