Electronics and cars are a tricky combination. While the advantages of systems like in-dash navigation and text-to-speech SMS reading are obvious, every extra gadget that travels with you while you're driving has the potential to be a dangerous distraction. Google may be looking to solve that problem, at least as it applies to wearable devices like Android Wear watches. A recent patent published by the USPTO indicates that Google has developed (or at least conceptualized) a system for detecting whether a wearable user is actively driving the vehicle or merely a passenger.
US patent number 9,037,125 was filed on April 7th of last year, credited to Mohammed Waleed Kadous and assigned to Google. Read More
It was only a little over a week ago that we heard that LG was planning a surprisingly quick update to Android 6.0 for its flagship G4 phone, beginning with Poland and expanding out to other territories. We haven't heard anything about an official rollout just yet, but someone's managed to get their hands on a Marshmallow build for the international unlocked version of the G4, model number H815. A KDZ file appeared on the forum yesterday, and it's been adapted into flashable files for users with the TWRP custom recovery already.
We haven't heard of any official over-the-air 6.0 updates for the G4, but the 20A build posted by "autoprime" appears to be a release version or very close to it. Read More
The app info screen in Android has always been hugely useful, and it's even more so in Android 6.0. You can uninstall an app, see permissions, change notification settings, and more. Google made it a little harder to access an app's info page in Lollipop, but in Marshmallow it's easier again. It's just a tap away from the recent apps list. Read More
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