Google's approach to releasing preview firmware for upcoming versions of Android is evolving into a pretty cool system that allows developers to simply sign up a device and wait for the OTAs to come rolling in. However, no product launch is perfect, and this one is causing some real problems for some users. Complaints started rolling into the Nexus Help Form and AOSP Issue Tracker about devices that were left unable to boot after attempting to install the OTA. This problem is greatly compounded by the fact that many users are not able to unlock their bootloaders, which means they can't fix the issue with a factory image. Read More
Android N isn't all about the small tweaks and pixel changes, it's also a significant update when it comes to your safety. Well, provided you discover how to set it up and other people know how to get to it. What is it exactly? It's the new Emergency information feature that's accessible in Settings > Users and lets you display all the crucial info on your lockscreen for anyone to see, without requiring an unlock. It'll also show up in the setup wizard when you finish setting up a new Android N phone.
Left: Emergency info under Users. Right: "Emergency app" is a new setting in Default apps. Read More
Google's Android Wear site is a great place to get started learning about the operating system for your wrist, from the different watches you can buy to the features available to you, the apps you can use to make even more use of it, and the watchfaces and bands that help you customize the look even further.
The site just got an overhaul that puts visuals first and makes the entire experience even more interactive. Specifically, the different sections of Try these apps are now dynamic, changing the screenshot on the watch as you hover over the icons to show you exactly what to expect from each application. Read More
How many Android enthusiasts you know who actually enjoy talking on the phone? Yeah. Thought so. Google has figured this out, because not only does Android N make call blocking a system-level feature, this release also comes with call screening. Read More
Sprint customers have a lot to deal with, starting with the fact that they're paying for Sprint service. (I kid, I kid.) But those of them who use a Galaxy S6 or the curvier Galaxy S6 Edge have reason to celebrate, as both phones are being upgraded to Android 6.0 starting today. We have confirmation from multiple users that the OTA files are going out, and Sprint's support pages for both phones say the same thing.
The Huawei Watch has been one of the best Android Wear devices since its launch last fall, but the price was quite high. It's come down a bit from time to time, but today there's a big sale on almost all variants of the Huawei Watch on Amazon. You can save over $100 on some of them, but the sale is valid today only. Read More
It was a nice surprise when Samsung announced that its new flagship phones would be running Android 6.0, and that they were bringing back the much-requested expandable storage was icing on the cake. The news that the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge would not support adoptable storage, Android Marshmallow's ability to take an SD card and partition it as semi-permanent device storage, was met with less enthusiasm. But all is not lost, expandable storage fans: long-time modder and ROM developer Paul "MoDaCo" O'Brien has got this covered. Read More
We've received quite a few emails in the last 24 hours excitedly pointing to the following tag in the Nexus 5's repository on the Android project as evidence Google plans to bring Android N to the phone. Specifically, there is a tag in the Nexus 5 repo called "android-n-preview-1" - which many are taking to be a signal that Google is actively developing Android N for the Nexus 5.
Unfortunately, such interpretations are not supported by the existence of this tag. As a result of the tools Google uses as part of building Android, pretty much any device that is currently supported (note that current support does not mean future support) by Google will generate tags for new versions of the operating system regardless of whether or not they'll actually get them. Read More
Yesterday you read about (and maybe understood) the new Java 8 language features coming with the Android N Developer Preview. One of the prerequisites of using these improvements is the latest version of Android Studio. The IDE was briefly mentioned in that article, but we thought it deserved a little more attention for both the improvements and some of the caveats to updating right now.
The Android Studio 2.1 Preview 1 is based on the current 2.0 version in the beta channel. The changelog is basically a roadmap to supporting the new features promised with Android N: support for Java 8, improved support for the Jack compiler, and an updated New Project wizard to generate projects targeting the Android N Preview. Read More
The System UI Tuner option of Android N changes a couple of things from Marshmallow. We've already covered how you can use it to tweak your status bar and calibrate the color of your screen, but there's another aspect that it lets you modify and that's the Do not disturb (DND) mode.
Two settings can be changed for DND in the System UI Tuner: Show with volume buttons and Volume buttons shortcut. The first one will always show a DND toggle each time you change your volume, allowing you to quickly set DND on or off.
The second option is a more subtle way of activating DND by using the volume buttons on your device. Read More