So, the last couple of weeks have not been good ones for the Google Maps team. First some public-spirited Android fans decided to prove their pride with a bit of digital vandalism, using the Map Maker tool to show the Bugdroid mascot pissing on an Apple logo somewhere in Pakistan. That little mishap led Google to disable Map Maker submissions altogether. Then earlier this week, users found that searching for certain racist terms in Google Maps would lead to results for the White House, among other similar combinations. Read More
A few Android phones have sported fingerprint readers over the years, but these were all using software built specifically by the OEM for the device. We're now hearing whispers that Google is planning to build fingerprint reaching technology into the core of Android when M is announced at I/O next week.
Some of Sony's older hardware (well, relatively speaking, anyway) is getting updated to Lollipop today. If you own an Xperia Z (LTE model), Xperia ZR (LTE model), Xperia ZL, or Xperia Tablet Z, all released in 2013, check your status bar for an over-the-air update. According to Xperia Blog and the always-reliable XDA, all four of these devices are being upgraded as of now. As usual, it may take a few days or even a week or two for the rollout to reach you. Read More
In the latest update on NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, The Intercept is reporting on the surveillance establishment's efforts to use the Google Play Store to distribute spyware. Another fun fact from the data dump is that these agencies found and exploited a security hole in the ultra-popular UC Browser for years until an activist group informed its developers about it just about a month ago.
The information comes from a set of slides distributed to agency specialists in 2012 discussing plans for the use of mobile devices in surveillance. Read More
We've been following the development of Google's Hangouts Chrome app for quite some time. The project referred to as Ultraviolet in August later launched in October as a floating chatheads-style experience. It was okay, but at the beginning of this month we caught wind of a change in the works that completely redoes the experience. That change has now gone live.
The new interface looks quite a bit like the Android app. Read More
Sling TV is currently the only service that streams live cable TV and doesn't require you to have a subscription to a traditional cable company. Maybe you still want to watch on a TV instead of a mobile device, though. Well good news, Sling TV works on Android TV now.
"F" is kind of an awkward name for a line of products. In the rankings of glamorous Latin letters which I just made up in my head, it sits somewhere between Q (just an O that's trying too hard) and P (even more lopsided, and it doesn't get the stability of the bipedal R). But whatever the reason, LG decided it was a really apt way to distinguish some one-off American carrier tablets from its regular G series. Read More