App Ops showed up in Android 4.3 and made it possible to revoke permissions on a per-app basis. It wasn't exposed in the main system settings, but it was easy to access. Then Android 4.4 made it quite a bit harder to get to, and now it appears to be completely missing in 4.4.2. What gives? Well, Android engineer Dianne Hackborn has indicated App Ops was never meant to be a user-facing feature in the first place.
Google's voice search function is undeniably cool, and it's only getting better since the company has expanded the capabilities of the Android Search/Google Now app. However, there's one tragic flaw in the execution of voice actions: they can't make popcorn. But if you add some of Android's most powerful root-enabled tools, namely Tasker, the Xposed Framework, and the previously-featured AutoVoice, the sky's the limit. With the right hardware and tinkering, you can start living your Starfleet dreams in jig time.
Spotify is great. Despite that fact that many of us abandoned it for Google Music All Access when that was announced, Spotify is still one of the best streaming music services available today. And it just got a lot better (and cheaper).
At a press conference today, Spotify founder Daniel Ek announced that service would basically start offering free streaming to mobile phones and tablets. The model will be different for each device category, but the general gist is the same – stream music, and pay nothing for it.
Google Play Books update 3.1.17 is slowly rolling out, and I'm glad to report that it finally brings a feature a lot of you have been dying to see - book uploading directly from your devices. As always, we have the APK which you can install if you don't see the update just yet right below.
As I already mentioned, you no longer need to go to Google's website to upload your own books - 3.1.17 allows you to upload PDFs and EPUBs directly.
Google Translate is a pretty great tool, but it's only useful if it actually works where you need it. Today it works in even more places, as Google has updated both the web service and the Android app with nine new languages, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Here's the full list:
- Hausa (Harshen Hausa) - Nigeria and neighboring countries
- Igbo (Asụsụ Igbo) - Nigeria
- Yoruba (èdè Yorùbá) - Nigeria and neighboring countries
- Somali (Af-Soomaali) - Somalia and other countries around the Horn of Africa
- Zulu (isiZulu) spoken in South Africa and other south-western African countries
- Mongolian (Монгол хэл) - Mongolia
- Nepali (नेपाली) - Nepal and India
- Punjabi language (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ) (Gurmukhi script) - India and Pakistan
- Maori (Te Reo Māori) - New Zealand
All together, the updated languages cover more than 225 million native speakers around the world.
After having been beta-tested for the last couple months, the new Twitter v5.0 app for Android has finally been released to all users, with a very mixed critical reception.
If you've been participating in the Twitter alpha or beta programs on Android, this is really nothing new - the latest update adds new features like photos in DMs and the ability to filter your notification timeline, but otherwise, this is the same app you've been using for a while.
Good news, Mozilla fanatics: the updates that hit the beta channel of Firefox's Android browser back in November are now ready for prime time. Version 26 was uploaded to the Play Store today, complete with some notable interface changes and a few under-the-hood tweaks as well. The browser is free as always, and it's compatible with Android devices running 2.2 or later.
The biggest user-facing change is to the home screen, which is now tabbed Holo-style.
Shortly after Android 4.4 hit Nexus devices, a new beta of the popular Nova Launcher home screen added UI elements borrowed from the Google Experience Launcher. Now that version has hit the Play Store with some refinements and additional features. While the Google Now integration isn't possible with a third-party launcher, this is about as close as you'll get to the Kitkat look without going stock.
You'd have to look twice to tell Nova from the stock Google Experience Launcher – the icons, fonts, and colors are all reproduced here, but with the fully customized Nova settings underneath.
Linode is a popular virtual private server provider with users scattered all over the world, and now many of them can monitor their Linodes from their Android devices. The mobile app that was previously only available on iOS has undergone a makeover, and today it's making its Android debut.
With Linode Manager, users can monitor their Linodes, NodeBalancers, and domain zones. Linodes are accessible via either SSH or Lish, and a dedicated page is present with graphs illustrating CPU and network performance.