It's been almost exactly 18 months since it was announced at I/O 2013, but Android Studio has finally hit version 1.0. Well, almost. This is a release candidate, so it's pretty close to what will become the first official stable release. For this release, the Android Tools team has been focusing on getting the bugs fixed and improving stability, but there are a couple of notable changes, as well.
Left: old splash screen, Right: new splash screen. Read More
Over the last few weeks, we've heard of a feature popping up for Google Play Music All Access users here and there (thanks for the tips!), whereby the app or web interface would link users to relevant music videos inside the app. When listening to or browsing music, the app would show a YouTube icon, sometimes in the center of the screen, sometimes weirdly positioned in the "now playing" bar. It was clear Google was still testing the feature but it looks like now, with the publication of an official change log for Play Music's latest update, Google may be flipping the switch on a wider basis. Read More
After last night's news that the AT&T-sold Nexus 6 has the carrier's logo on the back of the device as well as the boot screen, you just knew there was more to come, right? Well, that time is upon us. It appears that the carrier's Nexus 6 variant is SIM-locked, won't let you tether without verifying your subscription status, and has AT&T's suite of ringtones as well.
It should be noted that none of these things mean that AT&T has a different ROM than any other Nexus 6 - quite the contrary, in fact. Read More
Since Google Maps got its update to version 9.1 yesterday, we've been taking a closer look to figure out exactly what's new, and - of course - taking a quick look inside as well.
So far, it doesn't seem like a huge update, but there's at least one big change worth highlighting. In 9.1, Maps will provide helpful information about your destination or a location you look up. The app will give you the current weather and time at the given location, and will provide some fun facts too. Read More
Joining the likes of other Google apps like Play Movies, Play Books, and Play Music, and Facebook's Messenger app, Google Play Newsstand became the latest Google app to reach the 500 million download mark, reaching it some time this month. This number obviously reflects only downloads/installs, not active users, but it's still an impressive figure.
Of course this count is including downloads from the days when Newsstand was still Google Play Magazines, before it superseded both Magazines and Currents as Google's de facto news-and-magazine reader. Read More
As many of you doubtless know by now, Google's first Android 5.0 devices ship with full-disk encryption enabled out of the box - encryption that can't be disabled without flashing a new ROM to the device. We've heard from at least one source that this encryption shouldn't really affect on-device performance noticeably, but new benchmarks from Anandtech seem to suggest otherwise.
The heavily tech-focused review and news site didn't publish storage benchmarks for the Nexus 6 in their review, because the app used - Androbench - was deemed to be producing inaccurate results on Lollipop devices (and it definitely is). Read More
Since the launch of Android 5.0 last month, the sheer number of app updates has been magnificent – and downright overwhelming. Believe it or not, most of the new versions haven't done much more than add Lollipop support and splash a fresh coat of Materialized paint on the UIs. Seriously, we've been checking. This isn't entirely a bad thing, as it's giving me time to work on some other projects... Read More
Sprint has lowered the price of its on-contract Nexus 6 from $299.99 to $249.99. This brings the carrier's asking price in line with AT&T, who previously sold a near identical version for $50 less. The full cost of the phone has also dropped down to $648, making Sprint's version one dollar cheaper than what you find on Google Play.
This comes as good news to future Sprint customers, who can now save themselves the potential headache of buying from another carrier without having to fork over extra money (ignoring all the extra moolah it takes to sign a two-year contract in the long run versus paying for a phone outright, an option that isn't actually available yet on the site). Read More
In an interesting bit of news this evening, it looks like Google has opened up merchant support to China, allowing developers to distribute free or paid apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions in over 130 countries.
The news comes in a post to Google's official Android Developers blog, which goes on to explain that Chinese developers distributing paid apps through the Play Store will receive payment via wire transfer to a Chinese bank account in USD. Read More
I wish I was kidding, but I'm not. Thanks to posts from XDA forum members ald9351 and HCdroid, we now know that the picture AT&T posted with a globe on the back of the device was not just the work of an overzealous graphic artist. Here she is in all her glory misery.
To "boot" (pun intended), Big Blue has put its logo and jingle on the boot screen (displaying for a few seconds before the stock Android boot animation). Read More