Just as expected, Google has taken the wraps off the latest iteration of Android at Google I/O. So far all we have with regard to the name is the placeholder "Android M." Will that be Marshmallow? Marzipan? M&M? Magneto? We don't know, but we do know what sort of features it will bring. There are six tentpoles in Android M.
Mobile electronics use power. And as the software becomes more complex, they use more and more of it. At Google I/O 2015, the company has announced an improvement on the ultra low-power mode found in Lollipop. They're calling it "Doze," for obvious reasons, and it will debut in the M release of Android scheduled to go into a developer preview soon. It should debut in public builds later this year.
Specifics on the improvements made to the low-power mode are scarce, but apparently they are extensive enough for some dramatic power savings. Read More
The Android M Developer Preview was just announced at Google I/O during the keynote this morning. Android "M" will focus on "quality end-to-end," with a strong emphasis on improving the user experience, according to Dave Burke.
Supported devices include the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 9, and Nexus Player. M includes brand-new features like granular app permissions (which is huge on its own), new app linking APIs, doze mode for enhanced battery life, enhanced fingerprint support (including Android Pay), and a whole lot more.
Google has now detailed some of the ins and outs of the preview, so we've got more information. Read More
At the Google I/O 2015 keynote address, Google is moving fluidly between broad Android improvements for the upcoming M preview build and more specific improvements for the company's apps and APIs. One of the first reveals was for a new Chrome feature, Chrome Custom Tabs. This is basically a more robust alternative to embedding a web view in an app, adding a minimal and customized window of Google Chrome on top of the active app. Read More
A lot of round watch faces try to look exactly like traditional analog watches. Sometimes that's what you want, but the NOW watch face from Tha Phlash is a fun alternative. It displays the time in a small window at the top with past, present, and future helpfully marked in case you ever forget which way time moves.
Remember App Ops? Back in Jelly Bean 4.3, the feature could be accessed by resourceful users to switch on or off permissions for individual apps. By KitKat 4.4.2, the feature was completely hidden from users. Google's explanation was that App Ops was never meant for public consumption - it was devised for internal debugging only. But users had gotten a taste of granular app permission controls and wanted more.
After some rumblings earlier this month, we've seen information suggesting that - with Android M - that wish may be fulfilled after all.
: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
Want a car with Android Auto? Chevrolet probably just became your best bet: the American automotive giant just announced that 14 (fourteen, that's right) of its 2016 model year cars will get it. The really important part, though, is that 10 of those 14 will come with an Auto-compatible system even at base trim level. That's pretty outstanding.
Here are the cars, which is basically the bulk of Chevrolet's entire 2016 lineup:
- Camaro (and Camaro Convertible)
- Silverado HD
- Corvette (and Corvette Convertible)
Yes, if you count the convertibles as the same car as their coupe siblings, it's 12 models, but still - damn impressive. Read More
Google's remote application for controlling Android TV with your smartphone is... OK. It's adequate. It beats inputting passwords letter-by-letter with a physical remote, and that's about all you can say in praise of the app. While it lets you perform a voice search, it won't launch TV apps without going back to the home screen, and its trackpad isn't a cursor (as some apps might benefit from), it's just a gesture pad. But that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement, specifically on Android tablets. Here's what version 1.0 looked like on a tablet:
Ugh. Version 1.1, just released on the Play Store, fixes this rather embarrassing formatting and adds a little polish as well. Read More
Are you ready to watch ALL THE PIXELS? You certainly are if you've got a fancy 4K TV - the new top-of-the-line industry standard is begging for content, and Netflix is at the front of the queue. The streaming service has been offering some of its home-grown shows like House of Cards and Daredevil in 4K resolution to subscribers of a premium $12-a-month plan. Now you can access that sweet "UltraHD" video on Android TV... if you've got compatible hardware.
At the moment, the only Android TV devices capable of outputting in 4K aren't Android TV devices at all, they're Sony's latest batch of high-end smart TVs, which use Google's latest set-top box as an embedded operating system. Read More