Part 1 of this teardown broached the subject of a new set of circular launcher icons Google is creating for use on the homescreen, possibly just for the Pixel Launcher. It likely speaks to future plans for the look and feel of Android, but there's no denying that new icons are cosmetic – they don't actually do anything. Part 2 of this teardown switches over to the functional side as evidence shows Launcher Shortcuts will return with Android 7.1.
The Android Tools Team has been hard at work on version 2.2 of Android Studio, and it's finally ready to step up to a stable release. Demonstrated at Google I/O, the preview release of v2.2 introduced a plethora of great new features and improvements intended to make app development faster and easier. Over the last four months, Studio has been continually tested and refined to get it ready for all developers, regardless of which development channels they're normally following. For anybody that hasn't been following along with the canary or dev builds, the video below summarizes many of the new improvements in this release.
If a comment on a CyanogenMod commit thread by founder Steve Kondik is any indicator, rumors that Cyanogen Inc. is basically getting out of the OS development business seem to be coming to fruition. While the context of the comment is a rather specific commit thread, Kondik's frustration seems to have led to him to say a bit more about Cyanogen Inc.'s future plans than the company may have liked:
There isn't really going to be much if any involvement from the Inc this time around and I'm taking on a lot of stuff on my own to try and keep us moving forward.
If you follow Android Police, there's a good chance you've got a rooted device, whether it be an easy-to-root Nexus or something like a Galaxy that takes more effort to do so. It's also very possible that you play Pokémon GO, which can probably be considered the fad of the year. For those of you who fall into both of those categories, you're probably frustrated that with the latest version (0.37), you'll now be forbidden from playing the game on your phone, just because some no-gooders used GPS spoofing and/or Xposed modules to get ahead. Even RootCloak doesn't work. Not to worry though, as there's a fairly simple way to circumvent this block.
September's security updates have been posted for most of the Nexus family, although a few devices are still mysteriously lagging behind on official Nougat images. The source code for most of the changes has been uploaded to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and we've generated a list of those changes for quick and easy viewing. The security bulletin already details most of the issues resolved this month, but there may be additional details lurking behind the code, so feel free to take a look around.
There are currently five new builds posted: three for Marshmallow (MMB30W, MOB31E, MTC20K) and two for Nougat (NRD90R, NRD90S).
Hiding your root status from apps that refuse to work when you are rooted—like Android Pay—is a cat and mouse game that enthusiasts have been losing lately. Chainfire, the developer who has become the main source of advances in rooting, announced today a new way to work around Android apps' ability to detect the root status of a device. The app, called suhide, works but comes with a number of caveats.
The developer community is always eager to break barriers and make it easier for you to do almost whatever you want with your device, provided you have a lil' know-how and the patience to read a lot of documentation and follow steps to the letter... or maybe the juvenile carelessness to try and hope it'll work from the first go.
And the first step to doing things your way on your phone is by installing a custom recovery, with TWRP being the most famous now — well, it is indeed superbly maintained and its developers are always on top of new devices. Exhibit A: TWRP is now available for the very new Galaxy Note7.
Android 7.0 Nougat is now truly official and available to those of us toting around certain Nexus devices. The hardware support will grow soon, and seemingly more quickly than versions in the past. We've already seen much of what 7.0 has to offer, but there's surely much more to discover.
As always, along with the brand new firmware comes some brand new source code. There's entirely too much for one person to look through, so we instead generate a log of the changes from a previous version to make it easier to read. This is how we get some idea of what the developers at Google have been up to while they were behind the curtain.
Microsoft's home-built (or home-bought) smartphone lineup may not be long for this world, but it looks like the development community isn't giving up on it. The Nokia Lumia 520 is an entry-level Windows Phone 8 device, announced back in 2013, and later succeeded by the Lumia 525 and 530.
A few days ago, XDA developer banmeifyouwant posted a video of his in-progress CyanogenMod 13 port to the Lumia 525. The video shows CM13, based on Android 6.0, booting on the device as well as opening and closing apps.
The developer only demonstrated the 525 booting, but he is currently working on kernel tweaks to allow the 520 to boot as well.