You knew this was coming sooner or later. Android Auto has been viewed as a mostly closed system, if not by nature of the software itself (which is technically open source) then by the fact that it's an extension of Android running on a big chunk of metal installed in your car. But some intrepid developers over on enthusiast forum AVIC411 have discovered a way to boot software directly from the SD card slot on Pioneer's NEX series of aftermarket Android Auto head units. That paves the way for custom ROMs in your car, or at least your car's entertainment system. Read More
Google surprised us with the long, long, long-awaited Hangouts 4.0 release earlier today, but that wasn't the only update worth paying attention to – Android Wear v1.3 turned up in the later hours, as well. At first glance, the only new option appears to be a selector in settings for choosing between watches for hacking or programming purposes, but a teardown reveals some great new features we can expect to see in the next major firmware release to Android Wear.
If you load Wear v1.3 to your phone right now, the only change you're likely to see is a new option in the Settings screen titled Device to Debug, which pops open a selector with a list of your currently paired watches. Read More
Android One is an exciting program. Inexpensive devices with standard hardware running stock Android, with lightning-fast updates straight from Google - what's not to like? But according to a report this weekend, Android One hasn't been as successful in its premiere market as Google would have liked. The Financial Times, in an interview with Google's managing director for India and Southwest Asia, reports that big changes are coming to the series. First up: even cheaper Android-powered phones.
When One launched in India last year, the first set of phones were sold at around the 5000 Rupee mark - somewhere in the $80 range in USD. Read More
Alternate title: When Artem Asks You To Write A "Fun" Post, You Accept The Challenge And Do Your Best Read More
Redmond may be riding high on some well-deserved positive press after the launch of Windows 10, but the various developer teams are still going full steam with diverse support for other platforms. Microsoft has released more apps for Android than anyone might have expected from an erstwhile competitor, and it continues to improve them. Today the note syncing app OneNote gets some notable improvements, specifically by requiring one less app.
Previously Microsoft released a stand-alone Android Wear app for OneNote, which allowed users to view notes on their watches and create new ones with a voice command. Now that separate app is no longer necessary, as the functionality is baked into the main app. Read More
Earlier today, Google released updated factory images for all of its supported Nexus devices to patch up some reasonably serious vulnerabilities in a core Android library called Stagefright. While we await the stream of OTAs that are sure to follow, there's a fresh code drop to the Android Open Source Project containing security-related patches. Don't expect to see any new features or user-facing changes, this one is all about closing loopholes. Nevertheless, there are some interesting things to peek at.
A quick look at the changelog shows the highest concentration of fixes were made to frameworks/av (audio/visual), which is used extensively in the Stagefright library. Read More
"The Beeb on your wrist" might be mistaken for Cockney slang by some poorly-travelled American blogger, but in this case it's the latest feature to hit the official BBC Worldwide news app. The update to 3.2 for BBC News UK and BBC News Worldwide will send short snippets of stories to your Android Wear device. The only other changes are bug fixes and some layout adjustments for the primary, non-wearable app.
BBC News on a watch is surprisingly usable. A title, header image, and short paragraph for each story are displayed in a sort of mini-RSS style. The layout lets you swipe horizontally and vertically: go up or down to move between the "Top Stories," "My News" (selected on the smartphone app), and "Most Read" categories, and swipe left or right to move between individual stories. Read More
While European owners of HTC's One M9 got its most critical update bringing camera and battery life fixes in June, they've been waiting for the jump from Android 5.0 to 5.1 as unlocked and American carrier versions (except Verizon) have received it. The wait appears to be over, though, as users have begun reporting a fairly large OTA that promises a version increase to 5.1 along with quicker charging times.
The ROM version for the update is 2.10.401.1 and the download is a mighty 831.88 MB, so make sure to be connected to Wi-Fi before pulling the trigger. There are certainly a variety of other refinements beyond those mentioned in the OTA notification, not to mention important security fixes. Read More
Google has announced the expansion of Android One into yet another country. Now residents of Thailand will be able to pick up the i-mobile iQ II for 4,444 TBH (that's about $127). The specs are somewhat modest, but you get the latest and greatest version of Android and updates from Google. Read More