Game developers integrating with Google Play Games have seen a lot of improvements since the service was launched a year and a half ago at Google I/O 2013. There have been a lot of refinements to the experience for both players and developers, and new tools have made many of the tedious and time consuming chores much easier. Google has just launched a new Play Games Publishing API inspired by a similar interface that was added to the Play Store earlier this year. Read More
Now that most of the critical issues have been worked out of Android 5.0 Lollipop, most of the releases are going to center around cleaning up less pressing oversights and taking care of bugs. However, it seems that we're still not quite through with the device-specific fixes as an update is now rolling out to the 2012 Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi), codenamed Grouper. No official changelog has been posted, but Al Sutton has compiled a list from the AOSP commits, giving us a pretty good insight into what's new. Read More
Back in March, Justin Case released a root tool called WeakSauce for HTC's flagship lineup on Verizon. Unfortunately, a steady procession of updates to each handset has patched the original exploit, leaving many without root. Now there's a new version of WeakSauce, and it can root just about every HTC phone on Verizon running Android 4.4.4 and below.
Named WeakSauce 2: The Habanero's Revenge, this tool works just like its predecessor, and it's completely free. Read More
Microsoft has acquired HockeyApp, a service that helps developers test their apps and get feedback from users. The company plans to use the platform, akin to Apple's TestFlight (purchased early this year), to attract app creators to its development tools. The folks at Redmond intend to integrate HockeyApp with the Application Insights service in Visual Studio Online to improve support for Android and iOS.
HockeyApp offers developers integrated crash reporting, information on beta distribution, and a built-in user feedback system. Read More
A couple of weeks ago, a release candidate for Android Studio 1.0 rolled out to the Canary development channel to allow users a chance to poke and prod at it before an official launch. The serious issues have been worked out and Android Studio has been given its first official release to the stable channel. Alongside the title change, Android Studio has also been declared the "official Android IDE." ADT with Eclipse is still available, but is no longer considered to be in active development. Read More
Android 5.0.1 began rolling out to devices and AOSP just a few days ago, and now we've got a changelog from Al Sutton to give us some insight into what has changed. This is the first version bump since the Android 5.0 landed, putting an end to the initial stage of build releases, which are often used to fix hardware specific issues and catastrophic bugs. There are still some fixes for individual devices, but some of the bigger bugs have been squashed, as well. Read More
On the heels of their release of the Android 5.0.1 Lollipop OTA update to the HTC One M7 and M8 Google Play Editions, HTC has quickly made the kernel source for both devices available at the HTCdev website. Most users don't need to worry about this either way, but developers and fans of custom ROMs should be happy to see these available so soon.
While HTC is required to release the kernel source since it has adapted from the open source Android code, this is kind of like returning a library book a few days early; it's just nicer to do it sooner rather than later. Read More
The numbers are in - the Android version distribution numbers, that is. This month's update shows no surprising change in trends, with KitKat adoption growing 3.7% over last month. Jelly Bean continues its net decline, this month losing 2.2% of the pie.
Ice Cream Sandwich fell 0.7%, as did Gingerbread, and Froyo is down another 0.1%. Lollipop isn't featured in the chart, as it does not yet have the requisite 0.1% to be shown. Read More
Android has gone through quite a few changes during its short 6 years of life. The Android that drives most of the world's smartphones of today would be almost unrecognizable to what was launched in late 2008. We've seen massive visual changes, expansion to almost every conceivable form factor, and a completely fleshed-out content ecosystem for multimedia and apps. As the operating system matured, some elements have successfully grown with it, and others have become dead weight. Read More
People regularly rely on Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to hide their activities from nosy governments, circumvent geographically restricted and region-locked services, and increase security on untrusted Wi-Fi networks. But the big problem with piping your communications through a secure digital tunnel is that it's an all-or-nothing deal – web browsing, IM chats, and email are all going over the wire to the same place. That can become a really serious issue for people that use an employer's VPN for work. Read More