Google Glass Explorers are in for a treat today as the monthly update to Google's wearable computer is starting to rollout right now. This update continues the trend of incremental improvements to the device, but Google is at least responding to some user requests with XE8.
The great Nexus 7 ordeal of 2013 is now over after Qualcomm apparently agreed to the release of the factory image and all necessary drivers, only a day after lots of hubbub had been made about this touchy and unpleasant situation. Awesome, so now we have access to the factory image, meaning we can restore the tablet back to stock no matter what happens to the software on it.
Say, you had a bad flash and are now boot-looping.
The Chromecast is already a pretty cheap device, but what if you don't have one handy? Developer Sebastian Mauer is working on an emulator for Android called CheapCast. It would allow you to treat any Android device like a Chromecast, and it looks to be working just fine in his proof of concept video.
The video shows a phone sending video to a tablet, but it could be any device, even an Android HDMI stick.
Ever since Jelly Bean, the reasons to switch to a custom ROM (as opposed to a stock, rooted build) have been slowly shrinking. But today ClockworkMod Recovery developer Koushik "Koush" Dutta gave us a reason to be incredibly excited for upcoming builds of CyanogenMod. With a little tweaking of the famous ROM family, he's managed to integrate Chromecast streaming across the system, making any video or audio app compatible.
Koush's demonstration video is convincing.
The Chromecast is a nice and easy way to send videos to a local TV, and you can't argue with the price. But right now it's limited to just a few apps streaming directly from existing video and music services. Bubblesoft, makers of the BubbleUPnP media server, are showing off features of an upcoming version that would make Chromecast a lot more useful: streaming nearly any file on your smartphone or cloud drive.
Were you hoping to gather 'round the flatscreen and Chromecast with your local Android Users Group for the live stream of Google's next Nexus event? Too bad: at the moment, YouTube live stream videos just won't work with Chromecast, as demonstrated by our tipster Nathan. We tried it using the Lollapalooza 2013 live stream, and sure enough, it just won't display.
This lack of functionality is documented in Google's support page as well, though the reason isn't clear.
It looks like the new Google Play Services rolling out today held one more surprise besides hints of Android Device Manager. With the latest update, Android's Photo Sphere viewer can make use of the on-board compass, allowing you to navigate a sphere just by moving your device, much like Streetview's "Compass Mode."
To enter compass mode, users need only press the arrow icon in the lower left corner of the screen.
Just yesterday, Google posted to its Android blog about Android Device Manager – a tool that will help Android users keep their phones and data safe by offering location and remote wiping/locking features that third party solutions have until now been filling in for.
This morning, users started reporting that the service was rolling out to their devices already. Indeed, Android Device Manager is getting introduced by way of Google Play Services version 3.2.25, but it's not complete just yet.
I like tablets, and I love tablet apps. Don’t take that the wrong way - I love my Nexus 4, and I use it constantly, but there’s something different about tablets. A large, beautiful screen filled by an app that really shows off the functionality that comes with Android's design language is a great experience. Make that tablet super portable, fast, and priced right, and you’ve got my heart.
Okay, maybe that’s not all it takes for a tablet to win my heart.
The Chromecast runs a modified version of Android, so of course modders are all over it like white on rice. The folks at GTVHacker already gave us a working bootloader hack and root access, not that there's much you can do with it at the moment except switch to the beta or dev channel. Unfortunately, a quick over-the-air update for the Chromecast seems to have closed this modding avenue already.