Show of hands: how many Android Police readers are still using Android 2.3 or lower on a phone or tablet? According to the latest distribution numbers, it's under one in twenty of Android users worldwide - the rest have upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) or later. (We don't talk about the whole Honeycomb thing anymore.) That being the case, it's understandable why the developers of SwiftKey have decided to stop supporting those older machines with the latest beta version of the custom keyboard app. Read More
Facebook launched Internet.org as a way to get important services and information to people in developing countries even if they lack a data plan on their mobile device. And if they should decide to check Facebook using this free access, all the better. Now, the Internet.org service is being rebranded as Free Basics by Facebook. Read More
There are numerous ways to automatically back up files from your Android device, but they usually rely on the cloud. If you want to handle everything in-house, DAEMON Sync might be exactly what you need. This app syncs files from your phone to a computer on the same WiFi network. Nothing is sent over the internet at all.
You know how you can press the little music icon while you're doing a Google voice search, and it will identify a song playing in the background Shazam-style? It looks like that functionality is making its way to the Android version of Google Play Music as well. A few of our readers and one Android Police staff member have seen the "listen for music" prompt while using the built-in search function in Google's default music player. It looks like this:
The tool appears to be independent of specific versions of Google Play Music or the Google search app, so we're probably looking at another Google A-B testing session with server-side functionality enabled. Read More
You're a savvy consumer, right? So you'd never pay full price for an app or game when you could just wait until it goes on sale. I mean, you should probably still buy things you like to support developers, but sales are good too. We've got some of those down below, so take a look. Read More
Play Newsstand has been installed over 1 billion times. That's a pretty big number. Let's take a moment to let that sink in. Read More
Sometimes the smallest changes can make for the best improvements. The latest update to Chrome Dev for Android scored some points with us earlier for expanding theme color support for users that don't care for merging their tabs with apps, but that wasn't the only cool enhancement that came along. Users can now look forward to seeing a snackbar open up each time a download completes. The handy widget shows both the name of the downloaded file and a button to open it.
Left: The new snackbar in action. Right: Snackbar on Dev Preview 3 missing the open button.
In earlier versions of Chrome, all download operations appeared only as an animated notification. Read More
In version 39, Chrome for Android learned an awesome trick: using a simple HTML tag, any webpage could tell Chrome to theme its UI (and your device's status bar) with a specified color. The downside to this feature was that it only worked if tabs and apps were "merged," meaning your Chrome tabs would show up inline with your recent apps, rather than relying on Chrome's own in-app tab switcher.
Today, a Chrome for Android developer at Google let Reddit know that the theme-color attribute will soon make Chrome snazzy even if you don't have tabs and apps merged. Right now the flag (chrome://flags/#enable-theme-color-in-tabbed-mode) will only work in Chrome Dev 47.0.2516.0 (available from the Play Store or APK Mirror), and support isn't complete yet - the flag won't allow Chrome to theme your status bar and swiping across the toolbar to switch tabs is a little glitchy, for instance. Read More