July's security updates went live a couple of days ago for all of the currently supported Nexus devices. The Pixel C is still unaccounted for, but it's not that unusual for it to lag a few days behind. There were some late-breaking updates for hardware drivers this month, which may also contribute to some delay on the Pixel C. In the meantime, there are plenty of changes to check out this month.
There are eight separate changelogs this month, but some of these are empty, created for Google's internal use. I've marked the ones that simply change a build number. As usual, Google's security bulletin contains explanations for most of the changes, but there are probably a couple of subtle bug fixes too. Read More
Huawei's recent fleet of devices is very interesting thanks to a high value and specs for money ratio. The one thing the company does though that we don't really like in our own niche of Android lovers is its Emotion UI and all the weird choices of design and features that it bundles in it. That can all be solved with a custom ROM and the first step to those ROMs is through installing a custom recovery such as TWRP.
The TWRP team is celebrating July 4 by giving your Huawei device its own independence, that is if it's one of these 8 models. Read More
Family Library and sharing have been a long, really long, time coming on Google Play. In his different app teardowns, Cody has repeatedly discovered strings pointing out to the feature coming to Play Books, Play Movies, Play Services, the Play Store, but up until recently, the only Google entity that had benefited from any kind of family sharing was Play Music and its Family Plans.
But at this year's Google I/O, Google announced that Family Library was coming to Google Play app and games purchases with the new changes taking effect on July 2nd... which happens to be today. Read More
Google's official Android YouTube channel just uploaded the video below. Above? A screen capture from it. Android 7.0 Nougat - there you have it. Google revealed the nickname of the latest Android OS earlier this morning along with the mascot you see above. Read More
Serious developers are never done learning. And when it comes to Android development, there's no better place to keep up with the latest and greatest than at AnDevCon. The 2016 meeting of AnDevCon is happening in August, just over a month from now, at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston. Interested? Well, Android Police readers get an exclusive $150 discount on an all-access.
What do you get at AnDevCon? To start with, you have your pick of over 75 classes led by the experts to help you add new skills and freshen up on older ones. The topics are so varied that there is no doubt that AnDevCon has something for what you're looking to improve. Read More
The march of CyanogenMod continues as nightlies hit two Samsung devices. The Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 and the Galaxy Note 8 are receiving CM13 nightlies, with both the WiFi and the LTE variants of the Tab S2 9.7 included.
The Galaxy Note 8 was released in April 2013 with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, while the Galaxy Tab S2 9.7 hit the market less than a year ago, in September 2015, running Android 5.0 Lollipop. The Galaxy Note 8 is only upgradeable officially to 4.4 KitKat, so getting 6.0 Marshmallow support, albeit through CyanogenMod, will be a big boon to owners of that device. Read More
Midrange devices are really the perfect target for something like TWRP. They're capable devices, but they usually suffer from intolerably bloated interfaces and/or get updates way too late or not at all. A custom recovery is the starting point from which any enterprising user can start flashing mods and custom ROMs onto their device to get over any of the previously mentioned hurdles.
And so it's nice to see TWRP come to 3 Android phones that count somewhere in the midrange category. The first is the MediaTek version of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (the Snapdragon version got TWRP a couple of months ago). Read More
Fragmentation is the flaming torch we have to face each time a discussion about Android updates or development is started. Google releases monthly distribution numbers of its operating system, which detail the percentages of devices running a certain version of the OS that have visited the Play Store in the past 7 days. They're usually met with collective groans as Froyo and Gingerbread cling on to dear life month after month.
But as Apteligent's monthly data report points out, Google doesn't take into consideration two important factors: devices that don't have the Play Store installed (ie Chinese handsets mostly) and device usage. A phone may access the Play Store, but it may not be actively used. Read More
We've been keeping close tabs on the new features and adjustments made with each new developer preview of Android N, but there are obviously a boatload of other changes under the hood, many of them aren't obvious to the naked eye. That's where it can help to look deeper into the source code. It took a couple of weeks for the changes to be published to AOSP, but now that they are available, we've got a changelog ready for examination. Read More
Computer vision is easily one of the current "magical" features merging in smartphones. It's not that object recognition has hit the mainstream yet, but faster processors and high quality cameras in smartphones have made it very accessible. Google has done its part by opening up the Mobile Vision API, enabling developers to quickly give their apps the ability to read barcodes and identify orientation and basic facial details. Google Play services v9.2 takes this a step further with a new Text API developers can use to add optical character recognition (OCR) in their apps.
The Mobile Vision Text API currently supports Latin characters used in languages like English, Spanish, and French. Read More