Google began rolling out v8.3 of the Play services framework a few weeks ago, and it looks like it's in a wide release. While this version didn't present with any direct user-facing features and only a few cryptic hints for a teardown, it did bring some definite improvements to the Play services SDK. There are some changes to streamline the sign-in experience for app developers and users alike, along with some additional enhancements that should make it easier for developers to set up new user accounts. New APIs have also been added to make data delivery more efficient between a phone and an Android Wear watch. Read More
Google promised monthly security updates for Nexus devices, and so far, the company has delivered. It's November 2nd, and we're now receiving this month's dose of security patches. Over-the-air updates are heading out to devices, but if you rather get the goods now, factory images are already up. Read More
In our final Android 6.0 Compatibility Definition Document post, we'll be looking at a small[-ish] clause added in the security section of the CDD. Previously, Google had not actually defined any particularly specific requirements about factory resets for Android devices. While all devices have such a function, they may differ in their efficacy and level of security post-wipe. And while we don't have any reason to believe a particular manufacturer is not already meeting these new requirements (a point I will stress), it's good to see Google is at least laying down a clear mandate on this issue going forward.
Basically, it was possible, pre-Android 6.0, for a manufacturer to merely conduct a logical wipe when doing a factory reset of a device. Read More
Ever had a phone with a bum gyroscope? Or a totally irrational pedometer? Google, in the interest of better counting your steps and determining just what in the hell your phone is doing moving around in three-dimensional space has now defined a "high fidelity sensor support" flag for Android devices, as in the Android 6.0 Compatibility Definition Document.
The idea here is to give developers a single flag to look for that says "this phone / tablet / whatever is not a dumpster fire of awful sensor accuracy." Or, perhaps, more positively, to just say a device has really good sensors. Read More
Google's monthly security updates are out in the form of factory images, and that means it's time for some new code in AOSP. Since these versions are dedicated to closing security holes, there certainly won't be any new features and the bug fixes probably won't have much effect on battery life or performance, but they will keep the baddies from treating your phone like it runs an old version of Windows.
A number of serious vulnerabilities were fixed in this release, including two critical issues that could be used for remote code execution. Details have been posted on the Nexus Security Bulletin. Read More
Nick Butcher (Developer Advocate at Google) recently published the source code for Plaid, an app meant to showcase material design on Android with playful animations, impeccable typography, and a simple, bold aesthetic. The code will provide useful examples for developers, but the app itself is worth keeping installed too - Plaid pulls stories from Designer News, Dribbble, and Product Hunt to serve up design news and inspiration, catered to your preferences.
Besides more standard material elements, the app has a few unique tricks. Specifically, the toolbar is behind the content rather than lying on top of it, making the scrolling action on the main grid a little more elegant. Read More
Sending out updates through the Play Store can be a frustrating experience for users and developers alike. Just because a publisher says the update is out now, that doesn't mean it is. The app goes through processing, then it goes out at the speed of Google.
Now developers will have more control. Google is giving them the ability to control when an update goes live. Those that opt for timed publishing will still have to have their apps processed, but after that, sending the goods out to everyone is simply a matter of pressing the Go live button. Read More
A constant source of consternation among owners of OPPO devices has been the heavily customized ColorOS and especially the slow speed of Android OS updates to it. OPPO has held strong to ColorOS, owing in large part to its reported popularity in Asian markets. Today, in an effort to appease enthusiast owners, OPPO has announced an initiative to support current devices with an AOSP ROM with limited customizations.
OPPO left some clues that they would do something like this, not that it comes as a huge surprise to anyone given the long demands for it. A company rep teased big changes just a month ago in an OPPO forum thread filled with whining about software updates. Read More
Google releases an Android app each year providing Google I/O attendees with the schedule for the upcoming conference, and it uses the opportunity to show off how an Android app is supposed to feel. Then a couple months later it releases the source code, providing developers with a look at best practices. The source code for 2015's app has taken longer to arrive than last year's, but at last, it's here.
The Google I/O 2014 app arrived during the pre-Lollipop time when full material design wasn't yet possible on most Android devices due to the lack of the necessary APIs. Read More
AIDE, the Android integrated development environment, has reached version 3.2. That means it's getting Marshmallow support. It's picked up the option to refresh Maven libraries. It has updated Android NDK support and Google libraries. And it's packed with other goodies that don't really mean all that much to non-developery types.
But even if you are a developer and you find yourself excited by what you just read, hold on to your butts, because here's where things really get good. Intel is sponsoring a number of premium keys. These would normally cost you $10.
To claim your own sponsored license, exit AIDE, restart the app, and select the 'Code for Experts' option. Read More