We've learned that Google plans to introduce a new gesture to open the notification shade using the fingerprint on its new Nexus phones, slated for release later this year. We have an animation of settings tip that shows how the feature works, sourced from one of said new Nexus phones, below. At this time, it is unclear to us when or if this feature will come to existing Nexus 5X and 6P devices, as they are the only other Nexuses with fingerprint scanners aside from the upcoming devices. Read More
Android's Platform Distribution chart has been updated for August, and this month brings little in the way of interesting change. Marshmallow has risen around 1.9 points, to 15.2% of installs, with Lollipop 5.0 and 5.1 actually netting a 0.4 point gain this time around. Last month, total Lollipop installs actually dropped around 0.3 points, meaning this month's increased numbers have actually reversed that change and then some. Given that 5.0 installs didn't actually grow - gains were made solely by v5.1 - it's not exactly clear what happened there. Perhaps a large number of devices have gone straight from KitKat to Android 5.1, though that's an awful strange time for a jump. Read More
When the Pixel C was first released, there was a lot of speculation that it was originally intended to run a tablet version of Chrome OS instead of the Marshmallow build it eventually shipped with. There's still no easy way to get Chrome OS running on it, but today you can try the next best thing: the desktop-flavored version of Android developed by Jide. Remix OS, which was just recently upgraded to add code based on Android 6.0, is now available for the Pixel C. The Nexus 9, HTC and Google's 2014 offering, gets the same treatment. Read More
The incremental security updates that Android gets are generally regarded as a good thing, but with every software update comes the chance that something could get borked. That's doubly true with faster updates, and it seems to be the case with the latest Marshmallow release for the Nexus 5. According to our own readers, commenters on XDA and Reddit, and not least users on the official AOSP issue tracker, the original Nexus 5 is encountering some serious problems with volume control on the latest build, MOB30P. Read More
The monthly security patches are starting to roll out, and the sideload-able Nexus files are available for download if you don't want to wait. The full system images are there so you can start fresh, but the OTA files are available too if you want a quicker method. As usual, don't expect feature updates in this OTA, but there are ample fixes for vulnerabilities large and small. Read More
LG has been having problems in the wake of poor LG G5 sales. The Korean smartphone maker has already given some execs the boot, moved others to different areas, and formed a new smartphone oversight group. LG is pinning its hopes for turning 2016 around on the V20, which it has now officially acknowledged on its Korean site. The V20 will be out in September with Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box. Read More
The Android TV interface is easy to navigate. Browse the tiles using the d-pad and enter apps with the Select button. A play/pause button does what it says, and the Home button takes you back to the homescreen. Simple.
But things can still be simpler, so Android N is providing a few more navigation options. Read More
Who says that Nexus owners get to have all the fun? Yesterday an innocuous XDA thread claimed to have a beta version of an Android 7.0 build, ready and waiting for Huawei's dual-camera phone, the P9. Usually that sort of post when we're still weeks or months away from a full AOSP release of a new Android version is, to put it bluntly, bunk. But in this case, users who have flashed the ROM say that it's functional and apparently legitimate - Huawei's proprietary EMUI skin, marked as version 5, is running on top of Nougat. It's working on the EVA-L09 model; others may not be compatible. Read More
You may be wary of making your location available to apps and services on Android, but that uneasiness goes away in an emergency situation. If you call emergency services, you want them to know exactly where you are, and now Android has the tools to make that happen. Well, if you live in the UK or Estonia. Those are the first two countries with support for the new Emergency Location Service. Read More
The OnePlus 3 runs OxygenOS, a custom version of Android that is similar-to-but-not-quite what you get on a Nexus. You get a few more options, but you're still ultimately dependent on a company for updates.
Phone tweakers and open source types like having more freedom, and that can come from flashing a custom ROM. OnePlus 3 owners now have the option to install the most popular community-supported ROM, CyanogenMod. Read More