If you've ever come across the comments section of a YouTube video, you know that being first at something is usually a very coveted position. However, being first isn't also without its downsides, and Google's recent support of Unicode 9 emoji in Android N might be a good example of that.
On Monday, the Unicode Technical Committee officially approved 72 new emoji to be added to the Unicode Standard, thereby finalizing the process for Unicode 9. Some of our more observant readers will have noticed that this figure is slightly lower than the 74 emoji that were proposed as candidates for Unicode 9: two of the initial proposals were scrapped last month and won't be recommended for implementation by vendors. Read More
June's security updates are now available for all of the currently supported Nexus (and Pixel C) devices. As usual, the code changes to go along with this month's new firmware have been uploaded to AOSP and we've got some changelogs to look through. While it's a bit late, Google also uploaded the code changes for N Developer Preview 3. As usual, this isn't a complete release of N, but mostly just the code for projects licensed under the GPL.
Google has already posted the security bulletin, which describes the lion's share of changes. Most of the issues resolved in this version have to do with vulnerabilities in Qualcomm drivers. Read More
Let's get real—the Moto 360 Sport has not been a successful device for Motorola. It took too long to launch, was too expensive, and didn't look or feel very nice. The original $300 price is in the rear view mirror, and now it's reached an all-time low of $161.32 on Amazon. At that price, I think it's a reasonable purchase. Read More
Being able to remotely wipe your phone's data is a handy feature and, in conjunction with Android's Device Protection, can make your phone all but useless to a would-be thief. I say "all but" useless because there's always the possibility of a workaround or a deep compromise of your account information that could let a thief into your device in an extreme scenario. Granted, almost nothing can claim to completely eliminate the risk of data theft once your accounts are compromised, but there are steps that can be taken to at least mitigate the damage, even if just long enough to get back control of your stuff. Read More
The ZenFone 2 was one of the best budget phones to launch last summer, and the Laser variant (named after a laser auto-focus module) was a good follow-up. Now the latter (ZE500KL model) is getting its Android 6.0 update, WW_18.104.22.168_M3.6.44. Read More
Right on schedule on the first Monday of the month, Google's latest security updates for Nexus devices have arrived. Both factory images and OTA update zips for June 2016 are available for the following devices, Android version 6.0.1, listed below with build numbers for your convenience.
- Pixel C - MXC89H
- Nexus 6P - MTC19V
- Nexus 5X - MTC19V
- Nexus 6 - MOB30M
- Nexus Player - MOB30M
- Nexus 9 LTE - MOB30M
- Nexus 9 Wi-Fi - MOB30M
- Nexus 5 - MOB30M
- Nexus 7 2013 Wi-Fi - MOB30M
- Nexus 7 2013 3G - MOB30M
This month's security bulletin can be found here, and this month's updates contain six security fixes Google has deemed "critical," four of which are specific to Qualcomm driver privilege elevation vulnerabilities (a further five such Qualcomm driver vulnerabilities were classified from high to moderate severity). Read More
For a phone that was supposed to "kill" high-priced flagships, the OnePlus 2 seems to have taken its sweet old time in upgrading to the latest version of Android. Whether that has to do with a smaller development team over at OnePlus, or the idiosyncrasies of the company's custom "Oxygen OS" ROM, we couldn't say. But it appears that the wait is finally over: according to a post on the OnePlus user forum, the Oxygen OS 3.0.2 over-the-air release (based on Marshmallow 6.0.1 code) is heading out today. Read More
Sundar Pichai made a series of statements at recode's Code Conference yesterday that seem to have the internet aflutter. Pichai claimed that Google would be adding more software features to future Nexus devices, specifically: "You’ll see us hopefully add more features on top of Android on Nexus phones... There’s a lot of software innovation to be had."
Some have taken this to mean that "stock Android" on Nexus phones is no more. That Google will begin to differentiate just like its partners, with proprietary features and software, and that this marks a move away from a "purer" interpretation of Android. This makes sense until you actually think about it, because Nexus phones haven't run "stock" Android in years, and it's time for us to have a conversation about what that word even means, let alone the idea that Google's interpretation of Android is somehow "purer."
For starters, all of the following applications that ship on Nexus phones today are closed-source. Read More
It's not often that we have cause to praise Verizon for, well, anything, but credit goes where credit is due. In the last month the carrier has upgraded its branded versions of the LG G Pad X 8.3, DROID Maxx 2, Galaxy S5, and Galaxy Tab S2 to Marshmallow. Never mind that they've come more than half a year after Android 6.0 AOSP code became available, we're just happy to see the updates at all (especially for those oft-neglected tablets). The latest device to get a version bump is the faux-leather-clad Galaxy Note 4. Read More
Samsung owners who are on Verizon are lucky this week. Yesterday, the operator started pushing Marshmallow in an OTA update to the Galaxy S5 and today it's ready to roll out the same Android 6.0 to the Galaxy Tab S2.
The software version number is MMB29K.T817VVRU2BPE1 and it brings all of Marshmallow's goodies to the Tab S2, including Doze mode for longer battery life, per-app permissions for more control over your apps, and Google Now on Tap for... whatever you find Now on Tap is useful for. There are many more Android 6.0 features to enjoy too, as we've previously detailed. Read More