The Google Search app is already the quickest way to retrieve information on your Android device. With just a few words, users can search the web, open apps, and pull up directions. The problem is that some information opens up in a web browser that would be better suited for an app. If you already have the IMDb app installed, why should a search result shoot you out to the browser?
The news out of Google is coming rapid-fire with the Nexus 5 going on sale, KitKat becoming a reality, and now the rollout of Google Play Services 4.0. The updated framework comes with a host of improvements to Google+ Sign-In, Wallet Instant Buy, Location Based Services, Maps, and comes with a brand new Mobile Ads SDK.
One of the most popular features announced during Google I/O 2013 was a massively improved set of tools for Location Services, which included geofencing and substantially improved location discovery.
Google may produce Android and maintain Google Play so that we can easily get content onto our devices, but at the end of the day, it's the developers that make the magic happen. They create the apps that make Android devices worth buying in the first place. So it's good news to see, as we would expect, that the Android 4.4 SDK is now available. Developers can make the upgrade from directly within the Android SDK Manager.
When a tech company holds a conference for developers, you can pretty much bet the speakers will have something new to share with the attendees. At the very first Samsung Developer Conference, this pattern continues as 5 new and updated SDKs have been announced for the company's various platforms. This batch of SDKs are centered on Android, Smart TVs, and enterprise development.
Samsung Smart TV SDK
Samsung Multiscreen SDK
Samsung Multiscreen Gaming SDK
Samsung KNOX SDK
Samsung Mobile SDK
The Mobile SDK is technically new, but it's really meant to bring together various TouchWiz SDKs that had previously been distributed separately.
As the latest update to Android looms ever closer, we've got our eyes peeled for anything that may hint at what's to come. While most of that information comes to us through leaks or hidden surprises, sometimes it will try to hide in plain sight. Over the last few weeks, an increasing number of codecommits have been made to the android-3.10 branch of the kernel/common project. As you might be able to guess from the names, kernel/common is the codebase from which every device kernel is eventually derived.
In stock Android, capturing a screenshot from your device is as easy as pressing the Power button and the Volume Down button simultaneously. Recording video from the device's screen however can be a little trickier.
Looking, as always, to enhance the stock Android experience with awesome new touches, the CyanogenMod team (specifically Koushik Dutta) is working on integrating screen recording through an easy Volume Up + Power combination.
With that simple key combination, users will be able to record their device's screen, with audio and touch indicators thrown in for added utility.
Flash may have died a slow and agonizing death on Android, but it did not depart without leaving its heir apparent. Adobe's lighter-weight successor was built to better handle touchscreen interfaces, lower power processors, and to support applications living independently from a web browser. While the platform hasn't been a high-flying success on Android or iOS, it does play host to a few popular games like Machinarium. Exactly three years and one day after first appearing on the Android Market, Air has been updated to v3.9 and now includes support for multi-threading, background tasks, and xxhdpi icons.
Gaming on Android right now is booming, but it's still less than ideal. It's an attractive proposition to play games to go using a device you're already going to have with you, but very few of us keep our phones for as long as we would hold on to a Nintendo 3DS or even an old Game Boy. Sooner than later, we'll be upgrading to a new phone, but before that even happens, many of us will also pick up a new tablet that, if you're reading this blog, will likely ship with Android.
Today Google Glass got its awaited update to XE 10 (explorer edition 10), and it looks like the system image is already up for grabs from Google's developer site. For those who missed our earlier post, XE10 brings transit directions, the ability to click links in notifications, and new visual flare by way of profile photos embedded behind messages or comments.
If you want to grab the update, you're looking at a 343MB download.