In the Android community, Lollipop 5.0 is known for a lot of things. Unfortunately, among those things is a pretty severe memory leak that has plagued users with app crashes and launcher redraws, as device memory filled and failed to clear.
When Android 5.1 was announced, many hoped the issue would finally be resolved. After all, Google did mark the memory leak (which climbed to the 34th highest position in the issue tracker's history) as "future release" back in December. Read More
Just in case you were getting comfortable with the YouTube app's latest design, it looks like there may be more changes in store. It seems a number of users are encountering a new YouTube interface, apparently triggered server-side without an app update.
The change sees YouTube's hamburger menu flipping right out of the interface, going the way of Google+ in discarding the left-side navigation drawer. Instead, users are given four primary tabs - Home, Trending, Subscriptions, and your profile. Interestingly, a couple of these tabs seem to have bars underneath to switch from, say, all videos to music on the home tab, or from uploads to channels on the subscription tab. Read More
Along with site notifications, the latest Chrome Beta v42 has another new feature for improving the web app experience. The ability to add a website to your home screen from Chrome has been there for a while now, but not all web pages are created equal in this regard. These shortcuts work best for fully-fledged web apps and now Chrome will let you know when you have visited a good candidate for home screen placement.
To get an idea of how it works, check out this GIF from HTML5 Rocks:
Perhaps the most important aspect of this feature is that it will not appear every time you visit a qualifying site. Read More
We've heard a number of rumors about Google launching its own Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), codenamed Nova. According to reports, the service will source wireless service from Sprint and T-Mobile, but it will rely on Wi-Fi networks to bear most of the weight of both data and voice services (though VoIP). While the details of this plan still aren't clear, another piece of the puzzle just emerged that indicates Google is going to offer its own virtual private network (VPN) service, and it may be targeted specifically at Nova subscribers.
This information resulted from a tip we received a few days ago, pointing us in the direction of a new application called Google Connectivity Services. Read More
As Nexus 6 owners well know, Android 5.1 / LMY47D just started rolling out to devices recently. It appears, however, that Motorola has an even more recent firmware available, build LMY47E. Further, the official filename has "VRZ" in the title, hinting that this newer build may ship on devices that are sold by Verizon. We won't know for sure until Big Red starts sending the devices out next week.
There is a lot of historical precedent for this. Past builds such as GRI54 (Nexus S), GTJ61 (Nexus S), IMM30B (Galaxy Nexus), JRO03S (Nexus 7 2012 Wi-Fi), JOP40F (Nexus 10), JDQ39B (Nexus 7 2012 Wi-Fi/LTE), and JDQ39E (Nexus 4) are all examples of pre-installed firmware that shipped on later-manufactured runs of Nexus devices, but were never released to older devices via OTA or factory images. Read More
Direct carrier billing is one of the most convenient ways to buy apps and content from the Play Store. Instead of making sure you have a valid credit or debit card or trying to find gift cards or setting up a Paypal account, you can simply have the purchase amount billed with your regular mobile service.
In today's round of new carrier additions on the Google Play support pages we find the French company Free, Hungarian TMI (Magyar Telekom), Indonesian Telkomsel, Slovakian PPF (O2), and Taiwanese Taiwan Mobile. Most of these won't affect a lot of subscribers (Free: 9M - TMI: 5.4M - O2: 1.7M - Taiwan Mobile: 7.6M), but Indonesia's Telkomsel is really a big deal. Read More
The Internet is in the midst of having a mini hemorrhage over something that, basically, doesn't matter. Shocking, right? It appears that a few people on XDA have noticed that their Nexus 6 had a couple of Verizon-specific APKs installed on the system partition after updating to Android 5.1. There are two issues at play here:
- First, there are two APKs that are clearly identified as Verizon-specific. One is VZ Backup Assistant and the other is called VZWAPN.
- Second, if you go to Settings | Accounts, which is probably the least visited place in the history of the Android settings app, you can add an account called "Backup."
Firstly, let's explain what these apps actually do. Read More
It's no secret that Google advocates developing apps with multiple form factors in mind. While not all the apps in Google's own portfolio are quite up to speed on this front, apps like the ones in Google's Play suite have done a nice job so far in supporting phones and tablets alike.
But since I/O 2014, Google's been working on more than just phones and tablets. Last year saw the introduction of Android for TVs, watches, and even cars, so now is the time for developers to start thinking about how their experiences will look and feel on those new form factors.
To that end, Google has announced a new reference sample app - a music player - that's available for developers to play with. Read More