The Volkswagen Jetta is, admittedly, the occasional butt of car enthusiast jokes. Long considered a slightly snobby small economy sedan because of its comparatively high price of entry and less-than-great reliability reviews, the car didn't sell amazingly well here in the states for quite some time. Five years ago, VW tried to turn that sales situation around, completely redesigning the Jetta and drastically reducing the cost of many of its constituent parts - the result was the Mk.VI Jetta, and sales did go up quite noticeably.
But the car was compromised, and reviewers generally weren’t fans. Cost-cuts included things like fitting an unrefined rear beam-axle suspension system on most models, ditching optional leather trims, saddling the base car with a gutless 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated 4-cylinder engine, and conducting most of the design and assembly in Mexico instead of Germany. Read More
Fingerprint reader support is one of the big pushes of Android 6.0 Marshmallow, but it's not just limited to the lock screen. Google has an option in the Play Store to authorize app purchases with a fingerprint, which we first spotted in a teardown of the v5.9 client. Now it's live for 6.0 devices that have fingerprint readers like the Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X. Read More
Until now, the best way to know if an app had support for Android Wear was to install it and see if it showed up on the watch. There's a much better way now—just look for the watch icon. Google is rolling out a small tweak to the Play Store on Android that displays a small watch icon and notice in the details when an app supports Wear.
Fossil has officially given the Android Wear-powered device that it's making in conjunction with Intel a name—the Q Founder.
As you might expect, it's a large and ostentatious creation. And unlike most other circular smartwatches these days, it comes with a Moto 360-style flat tire. Fossil doesn't seem too keen on showing off this particular watch, a pattern that led to confusion the last time we covered this device.
Its most recent blog post makes no mention of Android Wear and instead shows off its other connected electronics: the Q Grant (a more traditional looking watch capable of delivering alerts) and two activity trackers, the Q Dreamer and Q Reveler. Read More
Google has implemented some battery saving technologies in Android 6.0, and OEMs will have to use them. That's great, but what about tracking your battery usage? Some device makers are famous for obscuring or completely removing certain stats (eg. HTC doesn't display screen-on time). That won't be allowed in Android 6.0, according to the Marshmallow Compatibility Definition Document (CDD). Read More
HTC has officially announced the One A9 today, with a 5" Super AMOLED 1080p display with Gorilla Glass 4, a fingerprint scanner, microSD slot, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow with a revised version of sense. This will make the A9 the first non-Nexus device to launch with the latest version of the Android OS. The One A9 will be available in 4 colors, pictures below (we're not sure which markets will get which colors, yet). It's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 octa-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz for the high-power cores and 1.2GHz for low-power, and is available with 16GB or 32GB of internal storage and 2GB or 3GB of RAM, respectively, though the US is only getting the 32GB version, which has an introductory price of $399. Read More
Android has long had trouble with audio latency, which has made most music creation tools unworkable on the platform. Things were vastly improved in Android 5.0 to the point that many devices achieved the low latency needed for various audio apps to function. However, not all devices are created equal. In Marshmallow, Google has added a professional audio package manager and there are requirements laid out for devices that take advantage of it. Read More
From its announcement at Google I/O to today, we keep uncovering new information and subtle details regarding the new permission system in Android 6.0. What we weren't able to know, however, was how OEMs were going to treat (or be forced to treat) this new feature. Would they be able to remove it completely? Circumvent it for their own apps? Could they abuse it to grant permissions to bloatware? Well, we now have our answers thanks to the updated Marshmallow Compatibility Definition Document.
In it, Google explains that apps that target API level 23 will have to request permissions to access certain protected features. Read More
Few Android OEMs take their updates as seriously and as extensively as Sony does, and Marshmallow is no exception. Ever since the source code for Android 6.0.0 was released by Google, the company revealed which devices in its portfolio will get it (hint: they go as far back as the Xperia Z2), released AOSP binaries for a slew of devices including its new Xperia Z5 and Z5 Compact, and announced concept Marshmallow builds for the Z3 and Z3 Compact that are open for 10,000 testers. Now these builds are starting to roll to users who signed up for them and you have more opportunities to try them out if you own a compatible smartphone. Read More
Nexus Imprint on the new Nexus phones is fantastic compared to other fingerprint sensors. It's fast and incredibly accurate. The setup process is painless too. How will other devices with fingerprint sensors on Android 6.0 fare? They should at least get the job done if they follow the new rules. Google has listed the requirements for OEMs to make sure their sensors work correctly in Marshmallow. Read More