It has been a little while since we've seen an update to Messenger, so something potentially big was expected from this release. Version 1.7 doesn't seem to bring any visible changes, but like a sugary cereal box, there is a cool toy hidden inside. Messenger will have its own Android Wear app, just like Keep, Play Music, and a few others. But in a quirky twist, this mini app can't be installed quite yet, not until your Wear watch receives an update to Marshmallow. Read More
The Asus Transformer line used to be a stalwart of Android tablets, and 2013's Transformer Pad TF701T was no slouch. The device had a beautiful 2560×1600 display that still holds up today, and like all previous Transformer devices, it had a detachable keyboard. It was intended as a productivity machine, but like all Android devices, the manufacturer only provided a couple years' worth of updates. The tablet went from Jelly Bean to KitKat, and there it stayed.
Fortunately custom ROMs have a way of breathing new life into old devices. Read More
Google has released new platform distribution numbers, and if you're anything like me, you immediately want to know if Froyo is dead yet. Well, it's not dead, but usage has ticked downward for the first time in ages. Lollipop and Marshmallow saw some nice upward movement too, while everything else was down. Read More
It's that time again: broken promises from a hardware startup of questionable competence! The Turing phone was announced in 2015, but its launch was delayed back in December to "no later than the end of Q1" this year according to Turing CEO Steve "SYL" Chao. Turing is now, of course, reneging on that promise, stating that the phone will instead ship in April this year. It's only a month's difference, but when you go around committing to statements like that, it's probably wise to know you'll be able to make good on them. Read More
February's batch of factory images started turning up earlier today and Google followed up with a push to AOSP a few hours later. As usual, we've got some changelogs to look over. The focus this month appears to be entirely on sealing any holes that could be used by bad people to do bad things.
Google posted a security bulletin with a list of fixes found in this release, and there are a few pretty big ones this month. Five items have been tagged Critical, including two that allowed for remote code execution without any user interaction, and the remaining three could have been used for privilege escalation. Read More
Twilight aims to make your phone screen less damaging to your sleep cycle, operating on the idea that blue-shifted light screws up your circadian rhythms. There's some evidence behind this, but you could only put it to the test on your phone. Now you can take advantage of the sleep-friendly screen Twilight filters on your watch and TV as well. Read More
Google is keeping up with its promise to roll out monthly patches for Nexus devices, and it's really on the ball this time. The factory images for the February update are already available for download from the Google developer site. There are also some updated binaries for devices that need them. Read More
NVIDIA rolled out the Marshmallow update to the SHIELD K1 tablet late last year, but what of the shockingly similar original SHIELD Tablet? It was left to suffer on Lollipop. At the time, NVIDIA said we'd see an update in early 2016. Maybe this isn't as early as owners hoped, but the Marshmallow update is now rolling out. Read More
Sony has been rolling out Android 5.1 updates intermittently ever since last July... up to and past the point where Android 6.0's AOSP code has been available to manufacturers. The last few devices that received bumps to 5.1 were the Xperia C4 and C5 Ultra earlier this month, and today the Xperia M5 gets the same treatment. Users can wait for the over-the-air update alert in the usual manner, or use Sony's PC Companion computer program to download and install the update manually.
This "super mid-range" M5 was launched back in August, running Android 5.0 at launch, much to the consternation of Android fans who would have preferred the latest software. Read More
When a custom ROM pops up for a device that already has support, it's like watching another politician join an election. You have two options before you, which way do you go? Are you a pragmatist, ideologically driven, or someone who just wants to tinker around?
But when a phone has been neglected for years, the ROM feels more like a savior. For the Huawei Ascend Mate 2, CyanogenMod has stepped into that role. Read More