Update Wednesdays are always exciting, but particularly so when Google releases a new app. Today, Google has hit "publish" on Google Handwriting Input, a new keyboard option that - as the name implies - allows users to type by handwriting text in 82 languages.
Google says the app supports print and cursive, written with or without a stylus. If you draw a smiley face, Handwriting Input will even suggest emojis.
Of course the input method is styled to resemble Google's other input methods, using the same light grey and teal (or dark blue-grey and teal if you choose the dark theme) colors found in Google's main Keyboard app. Read More
Yesterday, something odd happened...the 2013 Nexus 7 LTE got an OTA before its Wi-Fi counterpart. Thankfully, it appears that it was only a day early, as Google is now rolling out its latest Android build to the Wi-Fi only variant as well.
The OTA is build LMY47O, just like the LTE model, and weighs in at roughly 170 MB. If the update isn't available for you, fret not. We've got you covered. See below for a link to download the OTA file for manual sideloading.
razor LMY47O from LRX22G (5.0.2 -> 5.1): http://android.clients.google.com/packages/ota/google_razor/d8aa77dd9fdbd05160be70093d0fa4c847b06911.signed-razor-LMY47O-from-LRX22G.d8aa77dd.zip
We're naturally big fans of Google here at Android Police. But living in Google's world as we do, it's easy for us to see the flaws in the enormous company, and it's also our duty to point them out. One of the biggest problems with Google is that it's often terrible at providing customer service to its hundreds of millions of active users. So it is with the first major problem to pop up for Music Key, YouTube's new music subscription service.
To put it bluntly, some paying Music Key users can't access the ad-free music, background playback, and the rest of the bonus features that come with the subscription. Read More
There's no more waiting for Android 5.1 if you've got a Nexus 4 or either version of the 2013 Nexus 7. Google has posted the full factory images on the dev site, meaning you can flash the new version to get up to date no matter what you've done to your device's software.
Back in November, Google updated its new design guidelines for the first time, adding guidance on the navigation drawer and launcher icons, and - happily - a "what's new" section, which it said would serve as a place to explain future updates to the guidelines.
Yesterday, Google gave the guidelines another sizable update, adding an entire section to guide devs and designers on when and how to use floating action buttons, along with new guidelines for data tables, overall app structure, and guidance on important units and measurements, plus a lot more. Here's Google's full list of changes.
The April 2015 release of the material design spec includes the following new sections:
Additional significant content updates include:
- Typography adds further guidance on style and line height for dense and tall languages
- Cards includes more specs for laying out actions and content
- Dialogs contains additional layout guidance
- Tabs adds guidance around label content and more complete sizing specs
- Scrolling techniques adds guidance for overlapping content
Where Google's last update to the guidelines seemed to be about filling holes, this update is positioned as a response to the community, giving more specific guidance on things that seem to have arisen as points of interest in material design. Read More
It's been, what, five weeks since Google announced Android 5.1? In all that time the update has still not arrived on many of Mountain View's Nexus devices. But at least one more is joining the 5.1 club today, and it's a little unexpected—the LTE Nexus 7 2013. No, the WiFi version still hasn't popped up.
Readers in France and Germany, head on over to your local Google Store if you're looking for an Android-powered set-top box. The Nexus Player, the only Android TV device widely available even six months after the introduction of the platform, is now on sale in your respective countries. Well, sort of: it's "coming soon" with a price of 99 Euro (only about 5% more than the US price). According to Google's hardware availability page, it should go on sale at any moment.
Hong Kong readers, you get something a little more exciting. While you don't have access to the Nexus Player yet, you can finally buy a Nexus 6 without importing it from somewhere else. Read More
Google plans to roll out a new Google Play program that places an emphasis on family-focused (i.e. kid-friendly) apps and games. This initiative will display pre-approved content under an experience the company is calling "Designed for Families." The goal is to point parents in the direction of software from the likes of Crayola and PBS Kids without exposing them to the flood of less age-appropriate content on display in the Play Store.
Developers are welcome to submit their family-oriented creations to the Designed for Families program. To get in, their content must meet the program's requirements. In a nutshell, this means submitting apps that are rated ESRB Everyone (10+) or equivalent, display kid-friendly ads, and are forthright about sharing information. Read More
Updates get us excited, especially when they involve making the leap to the latest version of Android. But for some Nexus 5 users, the transition has come at the expense of their camera. Following the release of Android 5.1, they've been unable to reliably activate the camera without getting hit by crashes.
This incident occurs once the stock app or any other piece of software tries to access the camera, such as Facebook or Snapchat. Smart Unlock has also been affected by this issue. A bug report has been filed, with the issuer suspecting that the problem concerns android.hardware.Camera._getCameraInfo(). Read More
If you've got a Nexus 4, your days on Android 5.0 are numbered: because you're going to Android 5.1! Assuming you, you know, want to. The OTA link is right here, allowing you to upgrade from LRX22C to LMY47O. The update clocks in at 174MB.
You can check out all of the new Android 5.1 features in our various feature spotlight posts, and there are actually quite a few. 5.1 is also a major bugfix release, so hopefully the inevitable issues you've been running into on Android 5.0 are largely solved with this OTA. Or, more likely, hopefully they will be solved in Android 5.1.1, the bugfix to the bugfix. Read More