Android 4.4 is out, and that means developers and tinkerers have already started digging through the code and various APKs in hopes of porting as many updated apps as possible for use with existing devices. The first and easiest app to extract is, unsurprisingly, the clock, which also acts as an alarm, timer, and stopwatch. I've installed it on my Galaxy Nexus without any issues and only had to clear data to get rid of the pesky force close, which is completely undestandable. Read More
If you can't get enough information about Android 4.4 KitKat but you're tired of reading and want something easier - say, a video - you're in luck. Today, new episodes of DevBytes and Android Design In Action were released specifically to give developers and designers alike a brief, informative, easy-to-digest look at what's new.
Today's Android Design In Action covers a lot. Everything from the Nexus 5's display (640x360dp) to the Design Guide's new branding section is covered, along with plenty of other topics. Read More
Update: After some flip-flopping, it seems that all configurations of the Nexus 5 are no longer showing out of stock. The bad news – Google is really just indicating multiple week wait times for each version rather than saying it's out of stock. It's 3-4 weeks for the 16GB variants and the white 32GB. The black 32GB is backordered 2-3 weeks right now. Hopefully you got your order in!
If you were hoping the Nexus 5 would not suffer any of the stock shortages that plagued the Nexus 4 launch, I'm sorry to be the one to shatter your carefully constructed fantasy world. Read More
About a month ago, we found some enticing goodies in Hangouts' 1.2 update. Specifically, we found evidence of activity statuses - rich status messages that would allow you to set a status with accompanying iconography for things like biking, driving, laptop, tablet, and phone. Some of these, (like biking and driving) we predicted, may be set automatically by Hangouts. The teardown also revealed the possibility of moods, using the bouncy yellow fellow found on Google+. Read More
We're used to seeing huge waits for carrier-branded devices to receive updates to the latest and greatest version of Android. Actually, sometimes they don't arrive until the next version has been announced. HTC is trying to set a new standard, apparently. After pushing 4.3 out to most of the HTC One variants, it is pledging to get 4.4 rolled out to all devices in the US within 90 days. The Google Play edition One? Read More
It looks like Google learned a lot from the botched Nexus 4 launch. Not only did most orders seemingly go off without a hitch, but the company has already start shipping some orders. I got the notification about 20 minutes ago that my 16GB Nexus 5 has already shipped, and I'm not the only one – we've already received several tips from users saying the same thing.
However, some other members of the AP team haven't yet received theirs. Read More
Many mobile users who regularly access their files across multiple devices have found that relying on cloud storage just makes life simpler, but many of us don't keep our files stored in just one place. Now Android 4.4 is rolling out a new way to open files within apps that makes accessing all of these providers both easier and prettier. With KitKat's new storage access framework, apps that prompt users to browse for files will open a sidebar navigation menu that lists recent files, available cloud storage providers, and files stored internally. Read More
If you've never heard of the Bluetooth MAP profile, I don't blame you. Bluetooth profiles are super, super boring stuff. But stay with me here, because you may be more interested in MAP than you thought.
Do you own a car that is "Bluetooth-enabled"? If your car's model year is somewhere in the neighborhood of the last 3 to 4 years and supports Bluetooth, it probably uses the MAP standard to communicate with your phone. Read More
For a smartphone operating system, Android hasn't always had the best features for, you know... calls. One of the especially annoying omissions has long been caller ID, but Android 4.4 takes a big step toward fixing that. If you get a call from a business that Google knows, it lets you know on KitKat's incoming call screen. Neat.
The Play Store is consistently pelted with new apps that always run in the background, counting our steps, tracking our location, or listening to us as we sleep. These tasks require that a process remains in an active state, and whenever there's any activity going on within a smartphone, battery life takes a hit. Android 4.4 reduces the impact of these processes with new support for hardware sensor batching.
This optimization allows Android to collect and deliver sensor events in clumps, rather than keep track of them individually. Read More