There were some interesting features announced as part of the launch of Google's Pixel phones. While some are exclusives to the new handsets, others are a part of the new Android 7.1 Nougat. One of the headlining features for the new OS version is the App Shortcuts API, a way for apps to offer fast access to select screens and functions. If you've been looking forward to trying it out, the Google Now Launcher in combination with today's developer preview fully supports app shortcuts and there's already plenty of examples to try out. Read More
Google promised a developer preview of Android 7.1 before the end of the month, and here it is sooner than you might have expected. Android 7.1 ships on the Pixel, but now you can try it on the Nexus 5X, 6P, and Pixel C. If you want in, head to the Android beta program page. Read More
Security has been a hot topic on Android for many years, particularly as smartphones take on increasingly significant roles both at home and at work. A single device acts as your main form of communication, contains personal photos and confidential documents, and may even have access to your finances. Google and other companies have made significant investments in time and money to ensure these devices are very hard to break into. However, a vulnerability was recently discovered in some phones that compromises important security measures and opens devices up to various types of attacks. The worst part is that it was created intentionally by a manufacturing partner contracted to build the phones, and the OEMs that designed the phone had no idea. Read More
In an email sent to Google Mobile Services partners on October 5th, Google outlined a significant change to the core GMS package (AKA gapps) for telephony-enabled Android devices (basically, smartphones). As of December 1st, Google will no longer require Hangouts to be bundled with new hardware. An excerpt of that email follows.
Today, we are announcing that Google Duo will replace Hangouts within the suite of core GMS apps, and Hangouts will become GMS Optional for telephony products. This change will take effect on December 1, 2016.
This does not mean Hangouts, or Hangouts for Android, is dead. It does mean that manufacturers may opt to stop including it on smartphones released in 2017, so you'd have to download it from the Play Store after initial setup. Read More
Android 7.1 Nougat was unveiled earlier today alongside the Pixel and Pixel XL, but there's still a fair bit we don't know about it. Now, thanks to a source from Google, we've got a list of both Pixel-exclusive and non-exclusive changes. (It's unclear which category the Pixel C falls under.) Read More
For those of you who were worried about Google's current Android devices not receiving Android 7.1 Nougat, don't be; Google has confirmed that the Pixel phones' current software version will be arriving on Nexus devices and the Pixel C before the end of the year. However, these devices won't be receiving some Pixel-exclusive (Pixelsclusive?) features. Read More
Thought that Verizon was warming up to the idea of less carrier intrusion because there aren't any obnoxious Verizon logos on the device? Well, you thought wrong. Just minutes before the event, @evleaks tweeted that the Verizon Pixels' bootloaders would not be able to be unlocked; that information has now been affirmed by a Google representative at the San Francisco event. Read More
We're closing in on the announcement for new hardware that will carry the next version of Android, surely to be labeled 7.1. If you're looking for something to do in the meantime, we've put together some changelogs for the latest security updates, released just yesterday. The changelogs are a compilation of the messages left with each code commit to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).
So far, five new builds have been posted, all for Android 7.0 Nougat. But the build numbers don't quite match up correctly with many of the firmware images. This could very possibly be a typo where the letters 'B' and 'R' may have been accidentally transposed. Read More
If there's one thing Lenovorola (Motonovo?) has been consistently good at for its past few phones, it's releasing kernel source code quickly. The Moto G4 Play was made available for sale just last month, but its source code has already been published. This might be one of their quickest turnarounds yet. Read More