11
Dec
android-kitkat-google-surprise-chocolate-key-lime-pie-370x229

Just hours ago the source code for Android 4.4.2 went live on AOSP, and now we already have our changelog from Al Sutton. With only four meaningful changes, this is probably the smallest changelog we've ever seen. That's not to say it isn't significant, as it further hides away App Ops and also shores up two fairly serious vulnerabilities.

2013-12-11_13-44-29

The security fixes aren't much of a surprise. There is a patch to block the Class-0 "Flash" SMS attack we covered a couple of weeks ago.

06
Dec
kitkat

With a new Android release comes another one of Funky Android's crazy-detailed AOSP developer changelogs, this time detailing every commit made between Android 4.4 (build KRT16M) and Android 4.4.1 (build KOT49E).

dev

As usual, it's really long, and for the most part full of fairly cryptic comments you may not understand unless you have a pretty deep familiarity with the Android OS on a technical level. That said, there are always some interesting, readable tidbits people manage to pull from these logs, so if you can make the time, it may be worth perusing through for some unadvertised goodies packed in Android 4.4.1.

06
Dec
nexusae0_defaultSmsApp
Last Updated: December 12th, 2013

First, we heard that KitKat would bring some changes to the API, breaking many of the SMS apps we've come to rely on. On the day KitKat was released, we were given a more full explanation, shining some light on the technical details and exactly what types of apps would be affected. But did anybody really think this was the end of the story? It turns out that a hidden permission exists which can still grant non-default apps the right to modify the SMS database just like they used to - no rooting required.

30
Nov
ic_launcher

If you live right on the bleeding edge of the Android modding world, but you just can't press the button on using beta software, you're in luck! Xposed 2.4 is now out of beta just one week after KitKat support was first announced. As with the previous release, this one comes with the new log viewer and some pretty serious performance improvements. Now that it has lost the beta tag, it should also be fairly stable, or at least as stable as you can expect for a super-charged modding framework.

22
Nov
CyanogenMod-Thumb

If the beta version of CyanogenMod isn't quite stable on your device and you're uncomfortable with the idea of installing a nightly, today marks a big step forward. The CyanogenMod team has rolled out the first release candidate for 10.2. If you want a relatively clean build of Android 4.3 for your phone or tablet, this is a pretty solid way to go.

RCDevices

The first 10.1 release candidate (with Android 4.2) came out a week before Google unveiled Android 4.3.

21
Nov
moto

As you're probably well-aware, the only way you're going to get your hands on an easily-unlockable Motorola phone is going the Developer Edition route, as Moto has locked down the bootloaders of all its other handsets. And until now, even if you purchased a developer edition phone that Motorola explicitly advertises as having the benefit of an unlockable bootloader, Motorola would still void your warranty if you requested an unlock code.

20
Nov
android

If you've recently updated your Nexus device from Jelly Bean to KitKat, there's a chance you're already being notified of an OTA update to KRT16S. If you're wondering what's changed, the collected list of source commits has been posted by Al Sutton. Most of the tweaks are pretty minor, including an improvement to the backup service, a few updated APNs for assorted carriers, and code to handle rare issues with the 3G Nexus 7 (2012) radio.

19
Nov
Glass-Thumb

Google has released an early version of the Glass Development Kit, opening the doors for leagues of new developers to create software for the company's advanced pair of glasses. This is only a sneak peak that's subject to change at any time, but developers can already download it now and start creating apps for Glass right away. It's available directly within the Android SDK Manager.

SDK

Developers need to own a pair of Glass in order to test what they produce, as an emulator isn't included.

14
Nov
KitKat-Thumb
Last Updated: June 2nd, 2014

Back on Halloween, Google promised that proprietary binaries and factory images for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 would arrive shortly after devices received their OTA updates. Even though some OTAs haven't even rolled out yet, as of a few minutes ago, all modern Nexus devices now have Android 4.4 KRT16O factory images and drivers available for download.

image

This means you can flash stock Android 4.4 onto any supported device, even if an OTA either wasn't available yet or wouldn't work for some reason.

12
Nov
art thumb

By now you've probably heard about ART and how it will improve the speed and performance of Android, but how does it actually perform today? The new Android Runtime promises to cut out a substantial amount of overhead by losing the baggage imposed by Dalvik, which sounds great, but it's still far from mature and hasn't been seriously optimized yet. I took to running a battery of benchmarks against it to find out if the new runtime could really deliver on these high expectations.

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