If you are sharing a link, you want whoever opens it to access the web service in whichever way makes the most sense on their device. On a desktop, you probably want to see it in a browser. On a mobile device, it often works better to open up that service's app. Google's URL shortening service, goog.gl, now offers that functionality. The same link will open either app or browser depending on the OS and whether an appropriate app is installed. Read More
Remember App Ops? Back in Jelly Bean 4.3, the feature could be accessed by resourceful users to switch on or off permissions for individual apps. By KitKat 4.4.2, the feature was completely hidden from users. Google's explanation was that App Ops was never meant for public consumption - it was devised for internal debugging only. But users had gotten a taste of granular app permission controls and wanted more.
After some rumblings earlier this month, we've seen information suggesting that - with Android M - that wish may be fulfilled after all.
: No matter the confidence level, there's always a chance product updates, features, and some or all details will be changed or cancelled altogether.
Got a Nexus 6? Are you using it on Sprint? Then don't be surprised if you see an over-the-air update come sometime in the next few days. Sprint's support site had officially listed build LMY47Z, indicating that it's either going out to Nexus 6 owners now or will be in the very near future. The existence of this particular build was leaked last week.
Don't get too excited. Read More
With Ice Cream Sandwich, Google introduced Roboto to the world. Since then, the family (designed by Googler Christian Robertson) has expanded to include a set of slab serif fonts, and has even seen a major revision introduced with Android 5.0 last year.
Today, Google has announced the next step in Roboto's history - making the entire family open source, and reorganizing its production toolchain around open source tools like ufo2fdk and FontTools.
According to Google, the effort to open source Roboto succeeded thanks to collaboration between material design, internationalization engineering, Google fonts, and Android teams.
For reference, the family now includes more than 40,000 total glyphs which span all Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek characters, making Roboto an immensely informative family to study. Read More
The Nexus 6 was a break from the past for the Nexus program with its high price tag and massive size, but it was probably an emergency replacement after the collapse of Android Silver. We've been wondering if Google would recommit to the Nexus program, and it's sounding like yes—in a big way. We've gotten some details on two alleged Nexus phones for 2015, but there are currently no plans for a tablet. Read More
Google doesn't usually change the prices of items in the Google Store (it charged $230 for the original G Watch almost until the end), but it has been a little more flexible lately. The Nexus Player debuted at $99, but now it's down to a much more reasonable $79.
Photo credit: Jamie Pearson (CC BY 2.0)
As we all know, Google I/O is right around the corner. So far this year, we haven't seen too many early clues as to what Google will cover in its keynote (though Ars Technica's I/O tracker is a great place to get some ideas) outside of its new Photos app, but we do expect that Google will be telling us about Android M (internally called macadamia nut cookie or MNC).
The specifics of what Android M will bring to the table are still a mystery, but we've heard a few things that could make this an exciting update. Read More
We've already taken a brief look at Google's upcoming Photos app and discussed how it will be able to employ link sharing, but there are still other details worth looking at a little closer. One of those is "Assistant," a new screen in the Photos app that seems to replace "Autoawesome" from the app's current iteration. This screen is where users will find automatically-generated stories, animations, movies, and collages, but - happily - users will no longer have to wait and hope for those autoawesome goodies.
In the current Photos app, users can create movies, animations, and mixes (collages), but not stories or albums, two new options added in the upcoming app. Read More
We've been hearing for a very long time - virtually ever since Vic Gundotra left Google+, with more rumors springing up recently - that Photos would be splitting off from Google's social/sign-in platform. We've heard vague rumblings, and even seen some baby steps toward this split, but now we have something a bit more substantial to go on - an exclusive early look at Google's new Photos app, separate from Google+ and improved in a number of ways.
We won't be treating this as a normal rumor post, because we are certain that what we have seen is the real deal. Read More