At the Google I/O 2014 keynote, Sundar Pichai took to the stage to let us know that the L release of Android is set to make massive improvements in security for the enterprise as well as regular users. The Washington Post has received word from Google that gives us another glimpse of what we should expect in the next version. It seems that devices shipping with Android L will have disk encryption enabled by default.
Bank of America's official Android app has been able to cash checks by taking photos of them for the last few years. It's an extremely useful feature that eliminates one of the last common reasons to stand in a teller line. It's also bloody frustrating, at least with Bank of America's implementation - I'm a customer, and I've often had to find a solid black backdrop and a couple of table lamps just to make the photo clear enough for BofA's strangely picky system.
Aviary is one of the more popular mobile image editors out there, and now it's added a feature that, if you haven't used the app before, will probably blow your mind to hear is only just now getting added. Ahem, without further ado, the latest version of Aviary allow users to undo.
Allow that to sink in.
That's right, now users can undo and redo changes to pictures by swiping left or right after applying a tweak.
Science fiction buffs are getting very excited about Interstellar, the upcoming movie from director Christopher Nolan (of The Dark Knight and Inception fame). To drum up a little more excitement, Paramount has created and published a mobile game tie-in. Interstellar is a free download for Android 4.0, and unlike a lot of licensed games, it has no in-app purchases... so you can save your money for Coke and popcorn. Unlike even more licensed games, it's got some unique ideas and a solid presentation.
Google Now is only as good as the cards it tosses up for users to play around with. Since launch, TV cards and the ability to customize them has been a luxury exclusively available to people in the US. Now it looks like the feature is trickling out to residents of the UK as well.
A couple of readers on that side of the Atlantic Ocean sent us these screenshots of the feature in action.
At Google I/O this year, we learned that Google Play Services is generally updated on a six-week cycle. As expected, the mighty puzzle piece behind Google's Android services is getting an update starting today that introduces a number of small changes that most users probably won't notice but which may make developers' lives a little bit easier.
Among the changes users probably will notice are some UI tweaks. The Google Settings app has a refreshed header (which is carried through all GMS-bound settings), and Google Play Games has a new dialog for toggling your profile from public to hidden.
Among the many things announced at Google I/O was support for casting custom backdrops to the Chromecast. We haven't heard anything about it since then, but now users are beginning to report seeing "Casting Backdrop" listed on their devices.
An over-the-air software update is set to hit AT&T's version of the Galaxy S4. The change log for this one isn't particularly long, but it will bump users up to baseband number KOTH49H.1337UCUFNB1. There's a certain satisfaction that comes from having the freshest set of software available on a device, and that feeling is what the bulk of owners will notice about this release.
As for what's actually new, AT&T says this update will provide better connectivity when making calls and text messaging.
Update: the developers released another quick update on September 19th, explicitly supporting the MOGA family of controllers. The NES30 mentioned below, a generic Bluetooth HID controller, is also working. Well done, Noodlecake and RocketCat!
I've been playing the heck out of Noodlecake and RocketCat's Wayward Souls RPG-roguelike ever since it landed on Android. While the top-down action game does have some excellent touchscreen controls, there's just no substitute for a real gamepad.