One of the fundamental differences between Android and every other mobile operating system is the practically unrestricted capability to run services. Without this freedom we could not enjoy something as powerful as a homescreen widget or as straight-forward as a Twitter client with background updates. Aside from games and very simple utilities, it’s becoming increasingly rare to find an app that doesn’t run a service, at least for a short span of time.
When it comes right down to it, there’s a pretty short list of things everybody simply expects a cell phone to be able to do well: making and receiving calls and text messages. We must be able to trust that our phones aren’t failing at the most basic types of communication. Unfortunately, some people have found that the Nexus 5 can’t always be trusted to let them know when somebody is calling or texting them.
If you're idly cruising the Play Store on the web, checking out the most downloaded apps ever, you might stumble onto a little glitch when an install count crosses 1 billion. That's right, billion... We're talking 9 zeros, folks! Hitting this illustrious mark will result in an install range that reads 1,000,000,000 - 705,032,704. Not only does tradition tell us that the larger number should come second, but that is an exceptionally specific amount.
The Google Cast SDK is only just escaping its confines as a developer preview, so it’s not surprising to see a few bugs turning up in some odd places. A couple of simple, but potentially telling glitches started appearing after Google Play Services 4.2 began rolling out a few days ago. This latest update is causing the list of Cast targets to fill with incompatible DLNA-enabled devices and duplicate Chromecasts.
Wi-Fi is a staple among most smartphone users. While we tend to talk more about cellular data, it's really just there to sustain us as we travel from one access point to another. We aren't just demanding more data at higher speeds, we're connecting more devices than ever before. The inevitable overcrowding of the 2.4 GHz brought about the expansion into the 5 GHz range. Unfortunately, many Nexus devices (and at least a few others) are having trouble making and maintaining connections to this higher frequency band.
If you're an audio perfectionist, you've surely stumbled onto flac, an audio compression format designed to deliver lossless recordings. The file sizes are considerably larger than your average MP3, but the sound quality is unparalleled by lossy compression algorithms. It's not hard to see why audiophiles drift towards flac as their preferred storage medium. Now imagine the latest version of Android is causing stuttering, cracks, pops, and static in the otherwise perfect playback of flac.
Android makes it very easy to add your own ringtones, notification sounds, and alarm sounds to your device. Simply move a sound file to the Notifications, Alarms, or Ringtones folder on your internal storage, and you're done. A new bug has popped up in Android 4.4.2, however, which could make this a bit more complicated. Currently, unless the sounds are added via a computer, they will not show up in your lists of available sounds.
The Bluetooth experience on Android has always been a rocky road. For the first few years Android relied on BlueZ, a "protocol stack" originally developed by Qualcomm for the Linux operating system. Despite many limitations and missing features, BlueZ served admirably until Android 4.2 launched with a new stack dubbed Bluedroid, a project built jointly by Google and Broadcom. Like any young project, the bugs were plentiful, but most of the critical issues were solved in the first few weeks.
One of the most powerful, albeit underused, features of Android is the ability to get search results directly from within the apps installed on our devices. While there has been a bit of conflict over the so-called Unified Search patent, the fact is, that functionality is alive and well. Ok, it's actually not doing all that great on Android 4.4 - which is to say, it's only working with a few of the many apps that should be searchable.