Google I/O 2016 came to a close on Friday, and it marked our sixth year in attendance to Google's annual developer bash. A great many topics were covered from divisions all over Google, with lots of announcements big and small, both consumer and developer-facing. Our first I/O recap covered the front half of the show, while Mark takes a look at some of the announcements from Google's ATAP division as well as shares some thoughts on the show and news overall this year. Read More
The new Android N developer preview has some important new features, but also a lot of little changes. For example, a new package installer UI. It's not dramatically different, but you can see the new one above and the old one below for comparison. Read More
After Google released the Android Wear 2.0 Preview images for the Huawei Watch and LG Watch Urbane 2nd Edition, many of us quickly flashed the firmware onto our watches to test out the new features. Most of the major changes are pretty easy to find, and some could even be said to be a little in-your-face. However, we saw quite a few people were confused by what seemed to be the absence of the handwriting keyboard. It turns out that it's just not enabled by default on the preview firmware. While it's not exactly buried, knowing that it has to be activated and where to go isn't very intuitive; so we've made a quick how-to guide for those that got a little lost. Read More
The latest version of Android is currently making the rounds. People with Samsung's two-year-old flagship are waiting, and they won't be left out. Carriers are gradually pushing Marshmallow to that device. Read More
Pebble's fortunes have soured somewhat as more powerful wearable devices have hit the market, but now it's teasing a big announcement. On May 24th (tomorrow) at 10AM EDT, we'll get the details. What ever could it be? Since we're talking about Pebble, it could really only be a new version of the watch. Read More
Opera was once just a maker of browsers (a browser that cost money in fact), but more recently it's branching out into other areas. For example, the Opera Max VPN service. Opera Max compresses data before it gets to your phone to lower your usage, and there's a new version out today. Opera Max v2.0 is in the Play Store, but it's got an entirely new listing. Read More
It's not the first time Slickwraps teams up with Justin Maller to create some really unique skins for phones and other gadgets that cater specifically to the geek crowd. Previously, the two released a superhero series with Captain America, Thor, Batman, The Hulk, and more, and now they're back with Justin's Helmetica series.
Justin Maller, of the Facets wallpapers (and app) fame, is an Australian illustrator known for his beautiful low poly designs. In his Helmetica series, he takes on some famous busts and helmets from pop and geek culture and revisits them with his own signature style. And now you can have those same designs on your Android phone (and iPhone and Macbook and iPad and Playstation 4 and Xbox One if that's what you prefer). Read More
The camera might be, overall, the most complained-about feature in stock Android. While other flagship devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S7, the iPhone 6S, and the HTC 10 have gratuitous features provided in their camera apps, the Nexus devices have none. No white balance adjustments, shutter speed corrections, or different filters. Maybe the most obvious option that has been missing is exposure settings, which just about every other device worth its salt has.
However, if dev preview 2 and 3 are of any indication, an option to make changes to exposure may be coming back. In Dev Preview 2, the Pixel C had a Manual Exposure toggle under 'Advanced' in Settings. Read More
The saga of "full importance" notification levels in Android N continues. The feature was introduced in the first developer preview as a more granular control method for notification settings, then it was further modified in the second developer preview with some shuffling and renaming of the different levels and the addition of a sixth one, and now in the third developer preview, we're seeing one more option: Automatic importance. Read More
Android Lollipop introduced screen pinning: a way for you to lock your device into one app until a specific shortcut was tapped to take you out of it and let you switch to something else.
In Lollipop, a screen is pinned by going to Recents and tapping the green pin button at the bottom right of any app card, and it is unpinned in one of two ways: short tapping Recents and Back simultaneously if no Accessibility service is enabled in your Settings at all, or long tapping Recents if at least one Accessibility service is switched on. That created several problems:
- the confusion over which shortcut to use depending on whether you have some Accessibility service enabled,
- the automatic switch to Recents each time you unpinned (you were pressing Recents after all...), which meant that you had to tap the app again to go back to using it,
- and more recently, the conflict with Multi-Window on N, which requires the same long-tap on Recents action to get triggered.