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Android 4.4 KitKat Factory Images And Binaries Are Up For Nexus 4, All Variants Of Nexus 7 (2012 And 2013), And Nexus 10 [Flashing Instructions]

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.

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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.

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Meet ART, Part 2: Benchmarks - Performance Won't Blow You Away Today, But It Will Get Better

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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BootUnlocker v1.4 Adds Support For Nexus 5, Lets You Relock And Unlock Bootloader Without Data Wipes (Root Required)

Did you know it's possible to unlock your Nexus 5 bootloader without wiping user data? If your device has already been rooted and relocked for optimal security, then unlocking is just a button tap away thanks to the latest update to BootUnlocker. Support for Google's latest flagship phone was just added with an update to version 1.4 of the app from XDA member segv11. Sadly, both generations of the Nexus 7 from ASUS remain unsupported.

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Meet ART, Part 1: The New Super-Fast Android Runtime Google Has Been Working On In Secret For Over 2 Years Debuts In KitKat

It's fair to say that Android went through some chaotic years in the beginning. The pace of development was frantic as the operating system grew at an unprecedented rate. An as-yet undetermined future led to decisions that were made to conform to existing hardware and architectures, the available development tools, and the basic need to ship working code on tight deadlines. Now that the OS has matured, the Android team has been giving more attention to some of the components that haven't aged quite as well.

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Google Play Services 4.0 Requires Developers To Use The New "Advertising ID" To Identify Your Device, Enforcement Starts Aug 2014

Advertising revenue is a huge part of doing business in the mobile apps space for a large number of developers. As such, from that practice have emerged methods to send advertisers information about you to better serve appropriate ads. Oftentimes, the way your advertising "profile" is specifically identified is less than ideal from a security standpoint. Many apps use your phone's IMEI - a potentially personally-identifying number - as your advertising identification number because every modern smartphone has one.

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KitKat Feature Spotlight: New Transitions Framework Allows Devs To Animate On The Fly Or Use Transitions, Scenes For Richer UX

Next in the line of KitKat feature spotlights is the addition of new motion-oriented UX elements meant to give users a dynamic, fluid experience while making it easier for developers to implement high quality animations.

Android 4.4's new transitions framework allows developers to define scenes and transitions. A scene is usually a view hierarchy, while a transition defines how the scene should transform when a user enters or exits it. Developers can use predefined transition types, an auto-transition type, or create custom transitions "that animate the properties that matter most to your app."

That said, developers don't actually have to define scenes to animate UI changes - they can also animate pieces on the fly.

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KitKat SMS Situation Revisited: New SMS Rules Ensure There Is One App In Charge Of Your Messaging History, But Everything Else Is OK

You might remember a couple of weeks ago when Google gave developers a heads up about changes to KitKat that might cause problems for SMS apps. At the time, we knew that this only meant there would be a single app in charge of writing to the database, while all of the others would...well, that part wasn't really defined. Today, one in a series of developer videos gave us a little clarification on what it means to be a default app, and what it means for the rest of them.

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KitKat Feature Spotlight: SELinux Defaults To Enforcing Rather Than Permissive, Other New Security Features

Yet another facet of KitKat worth pointing out today is the addition of new security enhancements to the OS. Security is one area that's frequently sensationalized with Android - it seems that every few days a scare story about Android malware creeps onto my Google News page. Google's eliminating security arguments (and possible arguments) one at a time, though, and has made a few key enhancements this time around.

First among them is a change to SELinux.

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Developer Changelog: Here's Every AOSP Commit Between Android 4.3_r2.1 And 4.4_r1

If you've got (a lot of) spare time on your hands this evening and a burning desire to know literally everything new in AOSP with Android 4.4 KitKat, Funky Android has done the work for you, providing a complete, comprehensive log of all commits made from 4.3_r2.1 (JSS15J) all the way up to 4.4_r1 (KRT16M).

The list is extremely lengthy, but includes handy links to Google's Android Source site where you can find more info about each commit.

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Nexus 5 (Hammerhead) Factory Image And Drivers Now Live

Hot on the heels of its release, the Nexus 5's factory image and drivers (including those from Qualcomm) have already been posted. As usual, the Nexus 5's newly uploaded assets are right in line with the rest of the Nexus family, though no other members of the family have gotten a 4.4 update just yet. Those developers or enthusiasts who want something to play with can hit the appropriate link below to grab the image and/or drivers.

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