College students: don't sign up for LinkedIn. Please. It's easily the worst social network on the block, career-focused structure notwithstanding. LinkedIn is the 21st century version of the Columbia House Record Club... not that any of you are old enough to remember it. However, at some point you might find that you're forced to create a profile and start playing the most boring MMO on the planet. If you've resigned yourself to such a fate, then I suppose LinkedIn Students isn't such a terrible place to start. Read More
US carriers offering free service to disaster-stricken areas of the world has become something of a grim but inspiring tradition at this point. After a devastating earthquake struck the area off the coast of Esmeraldas, Ecuador last night, all of Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile have announced that they are offering free calls and texts to the country for the time being. This allows US residents to contact family members and friends in the affected areas. The offer extends to any calls or texts made from yesterday through Sunday, April 24th on Sprint, Saturday the 23rd on T-Mobile, and Friday the 22nd on AT&T. Read More
Virtual reality is the tech topic du jour, with nearly every major hardware and software company (or one of their partners) looking into it in some capacity. Time will tell if this is just a fad or something that will truly change the way we interact with technology, but Google is hedging its bets. In addition to the growing Cardboard VR platform, a few user-facing changes in the second developer preview of Android N point to more robust support for virtual reality in the future. Read More
For a long, long time, emoji support on Android has been playing catch-up with iOS — sometimes lagging behind by as much as several years. In many cases, characters sent from another device (such as an iPhone) wouldn't display at all on Android, leaving a lot of information lost in translation. Even the few characters that did render were often depicted differently: if you've been on Android since the days of Jelly Bean, you probably remember those peculiar little monochrome Bugdroids that Google used in lieu of smiley faces.
A lot has changed since then: emoji on Android have gained some color, they more closely match the samples from the Unicode Standard, and they've grown to include several hundred different characters. Read More
The times they are a-changing. A few years ago Verizon infamously stabbed a dagger in the back of Google Wallet in favor of its own carrier-partnered mobile payment system, Isis. Now Wallet is more or less gone, Isis has been rebranded (thanks to, well, ISIS) as Softcard, Google has bought up its technology, and Verizon would really like you to consider using Wallet’s spiritual successor, Android Pay. In other news, my spec script for a soap opera based on the machinations of the US mobile industry still hasn’t been optioned. Read More
The second round of N Preview factory images and OTAs are out and most people are updated. The team at Android Police HQ is still digging around to find all of the new additions, but in the meantime, there are a number of changes buried right in the source code. Google posted some of the source code for 'N' to the Android Open Source Project, and we've built a changelog from that commit history.
During the preview stage of a new OS version, Google usually limits the code it releases to just GPL-licensed projects. Unfortunately, that excludes most of the parts of Android where the big new features and UI changes would have happened, but don't count out those changes as boring, they can still contain quite a few interesting details if you look a bit closer. Read More
Music festivals are about making sound, and lots of it. But hearing is far from the only sense assaulted during days spent rushing from one performance to another. Bodies bump against bodies. Drinks and sweat soak shirts and moisten skin. Colors and bright lights pierce eyes from all directions. To get the full experience, you must go in person.
But if it's all about the music for you, staying home isn't bad. Coachella is giving you that option this weekend. Read More
While Google has been pushing out a ton of OS and app updates, the Drive team got out one of its own. This is a perfectly good update on its own, but it also includes clues to some upcoming features, too. In this update, you'll find a newly revised look and operation for uploading files, and there's even a color picker for folders. (Yey!) On the teardown side, we can look forward to recommendations for files, a shortcut to "Team Drives," and possibly even another form of device backup. Oh yeah, and the FAB changes color. Read More