An unexpected treat came zooming out of Google HQ today as Android 4.4.4 OTAs and factory images have started rolling out for Nexus devices. The updates have already been posted to AOSP and Al Sutton quickly followed up with a list of the changes. Since 4.4.3 is only 2 weeks old, and I/O is merely a week away, we had a feeling this was just a security update, and it looks like that's all it is.
Most of the significant changes are centered around fixing a recently discovered vulnerability in OpenSSL. Read More
As one of the world's largest advocates for web access in emerging markets, Facebook obviously cares very much just how well its own platform works on mobile devices in those markets. As such, Facebook sent a team of product managers and engineers to various regions in Africa to learn more about just how people were using the service, on which devices, and what the major pain points for the app were. Read More
It looks like Google is putting the last nail in Dalvik's coffin, and the new Android Runtime (ART) is about to take the throne. A pair of commits turned up last night in the master branch of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository that spell certain doom for the Android runtime we've known Read More
and loved for all these years. The first of the two changes completely wipes the /libdvm (Dalvik Virtual Machine) folder from AOSP, and the second takes care of changing all of the relevant configuration files and startup scripts to call on the ART runtime.
Jeff Bezos took to the stage earlier today to announce Amazon's first entrant into the highly competitive smartphone industry, the Fire Phone. Not only was the presentation loaded with some of the shiny new features of the handset and Fire OS, all meant for the press to disseminate to potential buyers, but there were also a few unusually blunt efforts to attract developers. In the midst of demonstrating Firefly and Dynamic Perspective, portions of the presentation were focused on explaining that developers would be able to extend these platform features in their own apps. Read More
Since the Chromecast debuted, Google has had partnered apps featured at chromecast.com/apps. According to a tip we received this evening, and a post by Leon Nicholls to the Google Cast Developers community, it looks like Google might be ready to show off third-party apps at the same URL.
The Google Cast Developer console has been updated, allowing users to enter details about their apps for inclusion on the Chromecast site. Read More
While the majority of Nexus and GPE devices have received their Android 4.4.3 OTAs relatively quickly, the rollout for certain other devices has certainly been... unusual. We still haven't heard anything about the 2013 Nexus 7 LTE, the LG G Pad 8.3 GPE, or the Moto G GPE, and until today, the OTA for the 2012 Nexus 7 Wi-Fi (I've been waiting for it to post both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi+3G links together). Read More
Most people familiar with the Nexus program know that each new Android update usually brings with it a new set of driver "blobs" for each supported phone and tablet in the product line. Even though these proprietary binaries are usually the latest versions when they come out, Google still occasionally receives updates to the drivers even when it's not a good time to issue an OTA. As we've just witnessed from the long lead time on the 4.4.3 release, it can take quite a while before an update is rolled out. Read More
Now that Google I/O is upon us and the hunt for secret codes planted all over the Android dev resources is over, Google has made one person somewhere very happy. You see, earlier today, the company posted a seemingly innocent Google+ message reminding us the conference is coming soon. In the accompanying photo, we see developer advocate Colt McAnlis staring at the I/O countdown and a wall of code, working hard to bring us more videos and "tons of great content."
Except buried in this wall of minified JS code is a one-time I/O code redeemable for, you guessed it, an I/O ticket. Read More
It seems that ever since the Heartbleed bug was published earlier this Spring, OpenSSL just hasn't been able to catch a break. Today, it was announced that seven additional vulnerabilities had been discovered affecting OpenSSL 0.9.8, 1.0.0, 1.0.1, and 1.0.2 (meaning all versions, basically).
At least one of the bugs, a man-in-the-middle attack referred to as CCS injection (detailed here and here), has been dubbed "serious" by the team. Read More
Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 owners, your Android 4.4.3 OTAs have finally begun, and the zip urls have been captured. A bit later than some others, but all things considered, waiting for an Android update for an extra day or two hasn't killed anyone.
If you're not familiar with the manual installation process, it's easy - just follow the steps in our guide for an earlier update, and you'll be set up with Android 4.4.3 in no time. Read More