In a post on the Android Developers Blog earlier today, Google has given us yet another indicator of upcoming changes to the Android platform. When KitKat launches, it will finally introduce a public API for the last remaining functions texting apps could not achieve without diving into private APIs. Developers are often advised to stay away from private APIs since they can change with each new version and may not be kept consistent across different OEMs.
This edition focuses only on new games. The app roundup is coming up soon.
Looking for the previous roundup editions?
If you're the sort who already worries Google has too much of your personal information, this is not for you. For everyone else, Google is reportedly developing a new opt-in data collection service that will reward users for passing additional mobile usage data back to Mountain View. The so-called Mobile Meter app is expected to come to both Android and iOS.
Android already provides Google with various bits of data like location and search activity.
The KitKat leaks are in full force now and are starting to show up almost daily. Today's offering comes from ZDNet, where they've gotten hands on with some purported screenshots of Android 4.4 running on the 2013 Nexus 7 – most of which simply confirm things we've already seen. There are, however, a couple of new things present here, like the About Easter egg and a few shots that show off the updated clock app.
The concept of shared data plans are nothing new, but not every carrier out there offers one. Yet as more people get their first smartphones, mobile providers want a way to keep the entire family tied to one carrier and to limit how much strain they're putting on the network. So the nation's fifth-largest carrier, US Cellular, has decided to introduce its own shared data plan, driving a stake into the heart of its previous unlimited data plan in the process.
It's been leaked more than a few times, but early this morning HTC finally took the rather large wraps off the One max. The new phone is essentially a supersized version of the HTC One stretched out to a massive 5.9 inches. HTC hasn't been sitting on its hands for the last few months: the One max (little "m") also includes an oh-so-trendy fingerprint scanner beneath the camera.
From a hardware perspective, the One max and the older One have quite a lot in common indeed.
Samsung made its rumored curved display smartphone official last week – it curves sideways and it's called the Galaxy Round. However, Samsung's South Korean smartphone competitor LG is supposed to be prepping a curved phone as well. Some newly leaked press renders show what is apparently the LG G Flex in all its shapely glory. As expected, it curves the opposite way and curves a lot.
Like Samsung's phone, the G Flex is expected to have a curved AMOLED screen rather than just curved glass like past devices.
For a very long time, the Facebook app on Android was atrocious, and it's still not great. The folks at Facebook are trying, though. After starting a Play Store beta program not long ago, the social network is now setting up an alpha channel to test the newest (and potentially most unstable) features. Want in?
The alpha program will be run in a very similar way to the beta program. You'll have to sign up for the Play Store testing program and the app will update as new builds are released.
Last week we reported that the AT&T version of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 had a root method from a couple of enterprising gentlemen over at XDA. The same team-up of designgears and Chainfire has now reproduced the Root De La Vega root method for Verizon's Note 3 (model number SM-N900V), which isn't quite as appropriate as far as the name goes, but it's just as awesome.
The same unfortunate conditions apply for the Verizon version of this exploit.