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Android "L" Spotlight: JobScheduler Conserves Battery Life By Letting Apps Know When To Run Background Tasks

Battery life on Android has been a bit of a sore spot for many users, mostly because it's simply not good enough. Most devices can make it a day on moderate use, and a few can even do so comfortably, very few phones can hit two days without some time on the charger. The Android "L" release is making several improvements to power efficiency via Project Volta, but there are also ways to improve 3rd-party apps, and that's where the new Job Scheduler comes in.

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Early Limited L Preview Release Battery Life Test By Ars Technica Shows Promising Results

At Google I/O last week, Google announced Project Volta, its effort to change and drastically improve how Android manages battery life. Since then the folks over at Ars Technica have downloaded the publicly available L developer preview build and put it through its paces. Is there a noticeable difference? Yes, apparently. They were able to get an an extra two hours of battery life out of their Nexus 5, an improvement of thirty-six percent.

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Android "L" Feature Spotlight: You Can Finally See The Frequency Of Your Wi-Fi Network

Android's upcoming L release, currently available in developer preview form, has a lot of improvements to its networking and Wi-Fi capability. One of the smaller additions that will nonetheless make a few people very, very happy is the user-facing reporting of Wi-Fi frequencies. Translation: you can finally see whether the Wi-Fi network you're connected to is using the 2.4GHz band or the 5GHz band.

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Left, center: separate network frequencies in Android L (note the SSID).

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Android "L" Feature Spotlight: Multi-Networking Offers Seamless Network Switching, Easy Wi-Fi Accessories, And More

If it's not already completely obvious, the L Developer Preview is shaping up to be an absolutely massive sea change for Android. While we've been treated to an entirely new design language called Material, a redesigned Recents screen, huge performance improvements, and over 5000 other new APIs and features for developers, it's easy to overlook plenty of exciting improvements that aren't quite as flashy. One such change was briefly mentioned by Dan Sandler during the "What's new in Android" session: Multi-Networking, the capability to maintain multiple network connections simultaneously.

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ASUS Jumps The Padfone 2 From Jelly Bean 4.1 All The Way To KitKat 4.4, Wipes User Data In The Process

The last time that the Padfone 2 got a major version update was way back in December 2012, for Jelly Bean 4.1. Yeah, you read that right. Today ASUS is updating its second phone-tablet-combo-thingy all the way to KitKat, a move that will surely please at least some of the users who haven't upgraded to one of the newer models. Are you ready for some sketchy ASUS English translations? Of course you are.

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Extended Google Cloud Messaging Features No Longer Invite-Only For Developers, Gains Support For Desktop Chrome And Adds Several New Features

Last year, at Google I/O 2013, some major new features and improvements were announced for Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) -the replacement for Cloud to Device Messaging (C2DM). A couple of the new bits were even featured during the keynote, particularly notification syncing, which the audience loved. The one thing most people don't know is that most of the coolest things announced that year were marked as beta and locked behind an application process. Plenty of developers were accepted, but it certainly wasn't available to everybody.

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Chainfire Updates SuperSU To Work Properly On The Android L Developer Preview

There are always some bumps along the road when a new version of Android comes out, and this one isn't even technically done yet. Nevertheless, Chainfire has tweaked SuperSU to enable root access on the Android L developer preview. This man works fast.

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Android "L" Promises To Drastically Reduce Microphone Latency And Boost Maximum Audio Quality

If we're being honest, it's hard to deny that one of Android's most obnoxious flaws comes in the category of audio performance. Playing some music is generally fine, but the issues start to become obvious after introducing very high quality audio or trying to achieve precise timing or real-time processing. With the L Developer Preview, it appears that Google is driving to improve upon these weaknesses and give audio performance the shot of adrenaline it needs.

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Moto G GPE Gets Updated Straight From 4.4.2 To 4.4.4, OTA Available For Download

Android 4.4.4 is just a minor security update, but what's the point of buying these Nexus and Google Play Edition devices if you can't have the latest and greatest no matter how minor the update? The Google Play Edition Moto G is finally living up to expectations with an OTA to Android 4.4.4. Just like the LG G Pad Google Play Edition (that's the LGGPGPE for "short"), this device is making the jump straight from 4.4.2 to 4.4.4.

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Android "L" Feature Spotlight: The New "Document-Centric" Multitasking Interface Finally Makes Sense

We had a little early information on the Project Hera task switching system before the announcement, but now things are becoming clearer as Googlers chime in with the specifics. At the I/O keynote, Google showed Chrome adding multiple tabs to the app switcher, but that's just the start of what's going to happen in Android L's multitasking.

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