It's something custom ROMs have been able to do for years, but has never found its way into stock Android. Well, the second Android N dev preview changes that: Home screen and lock screen wallpapers can now be different, if you so choose.
When a wallpaper is set, it now asks if you'd like to apply the wallpaper on your Home screen, Lock screen, or both. Interestingly, while there aren't any stock live wallpapers in N Dev Preview 2 (live wallpapers are still supported, there's just not any preloaded), live wallpapers are not able to be set as just a lock screen wallpaper. Read More
In its announcement of the second Android N Dev Preview, Google mentioned support for Unicode 9, including more human emojis, skin-tone emojis, more characters, and overall more realistic emojis. Google explained that developers should start taking advantage of the new emojis in their messaging and keyboard applications, and one of the most obvious examples is Google's own Keyboard which shows many of these changes.
First up, the emotions / faces panel sees more forward-facing blobs instead of the many emojis that were previously looking toward the left. There are a few changes here and there in some emojis, but most of them kept the same allure. Read More
The April Android updates are rolling out, but as usual, they are doing so in waves. If you don't want to wait, you can grab the OTA file and sideload it. Where can you find such a thing? We've got all the OTA links right below. Read More
We're still digging into the new Android N preview to see what little things have changed, and one of the most immediately apparent tweaks is the new home screen folder style. Rather than the stacked icons in the round frame we've had for the last few years, folders are like small cutouts, peeking into a grid of app icons. Read More
Most major Android OEMs have seen fit to include a button to clear the entire recent apps list, but that's never been a feature of stock Android. Well, until now. In the latest Android N developer preview, Google has added a 'clear all' button to the recent apps list. Read More
If you've been living the developer preview lifestyle, get ready for an update. There are new factory images available for download on Google's developer site. That means an OTA update for those who joined the beta won't be far off, but you can grab the full image if you want to update now. Read More
We're a few days into a new month, which means it's time for a fresh set of security updates for the Nexus family and the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Factory images are available for most of the actively maintained devices, though it looks like the Pixel C is still waiting its turn. OTAs should also begin rolling out shortly, if they haven't already.
Google has already posted the associated security bulletin for April's update. Read More
Google seems to be on a rampage of updates with small tweaks and adjustments to a number of apps. I like to think of it as polish. YouTube in particular has been flying through minor version bumps, the latest of which seems to include just a single visual adjustment to the player screen. Tap on the screen while a video is playing and the overlay now contains the current video's title, the channel it's from, and the total number of views it has acquired thus far. Read More
Ustwo, the developer of the popular game Monument Valley (and Sky Kids) has a new app called Face Maker. No, it's not an app for creating human faces, it's an app for designing watch faces for Android Wear. Ustwo is no stranger to the Android Wear world—it has released several other watch face packs in the past, but this is the most configurable yet. Read More