I love the "Moto dimple" on the back of the Nexus 6. It makes the enormous phone just a little bit easier to grip (especially if you have a case with an iPhone-style logo cutout, like this one). But apparently the original purpose of the circular depression wasn't ergonomics, or even to match the branding on other Motorola devices like the Moto X. According to Dennis Woodside, former CEO of Motorola and currently the COO at Dropbox, the dimple was intended to be a fingerprint scanner. Read More
Update: Here's a screenshot, courtesy of an Android Police reader.
As it turns out, the Android 4.4.4 update for the AT&T HTC One M8 that we covered over a week ago never actually rolled out to devices. The company pulled its page down, which suggests that it went up sooner than anticipated. HTC Vice President of Product Management Mo Versi took to Twitter over the weekend to announce that the OTA was actually due out this week, and that it would include both VoLTE support and the HTC Eye Experience software enhancements. Read More
Just a couple weeks ago, HTC sent the Sense 6 Lollipop update to owners of the unlocked and developer editions of the One M8. Now, the kernel source for those devices has been posted to the HTCDev website. Remember, this is not the same as the Lollipop kernel source published well over a month ago for Google Play Edition devices; this is for phones running Sense.
For most users, there's nothing to see here. Read More
Google's compatibility definition document (CDD) is meant to provide guidelines, requirements, and recommendations to Android device manufacturers who want their devices to be "compatible" with the latest release of Android, allowing them to pass Google's Compatibility Test Suite.
Last time Google updated the document, we noted at least one change of interest, requiring that manufacturers use white status icons with translucent bars. Naturally, when we noticed Google had updated the document again, we had to take a look and see what changes had been made. Read More
Sony's international phones have unlockable bootloaders, and the company even encourages users to tinker around with neat extras like AOSP builds. Alas, in markets like the US the carriers are still the keepers of the keys for a lot of customers, and T-Mobile has once again insisted on locking that sucker down for anyone who buys its version of the Sony Xperia Z3. Now users with this lamentable affliction can at least get root access on their phones, thanks to a bounty-winning method from an XDA user. Read More
Update: Today's the day!
To celebrate recent Golden Globe wins, Amazon plans to treat customers to a couple of deals this weekend. First, it plans to allow free streaming of all episodes of Transparent, its award-winning original series. That's ten episodes, available to stream Saturday January 24 from 12:01am eastern to 11:59pm pacific using Amazon's Prime Instant Video service.
Perhaps more exciting, though, is the fact that Amazon will be offering Prime memberships for $72 on the same day (to celebrate the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards of course), a nice discount over the normal $99/year price. Read More
YouTube has become a great place for indie musicians to get their work out to the public, and in a few cases, even make a little extra money with Google's automated Content ID music identifying and licensing service. That was all well and good, right up to the point where Google decided it would make its video site into a formal music service with YouTube Music Key. We heard of serious issues with the contract terms even before the service launched, but now one independent artist has spilled the beans on those terms, and how they've left her in a conundrum. Read More
Sometimes old stuff is too old. It's sad, but companies don't have unlimited resources, and they can't provide new software updates and service forever. That's especially true of smaller companies like Dropcam (though it's technically owned by Nest, which is technically owned by Google, so I'm not sure if it qualifies as a "small" company anymore). But instead of simply leaving owners of older hardware in the dust, or compromising on new features for the always-on home monitoring service, Dropcam has decided to simply upgrade the old models for free. Read More
Republic Wireless' hybrid WiFi-cellular calling system requires a number of changes to the firmware of phones, so updates tend to take a little longer. Case in point, The Moto G and Moto E are about to get Android 4.4.4 on Republic, but the Moto X is delayed a bit longer.
The US and EU have put in effect sanctions against the Crimea area of Ukraine following Russia's annexation of the peninsula, and now various tech companies are complying. Google has already started to block AdSense and AdWords in the region, reports TechCrunch, and it plans to cut off Google Play services starting on February 1st.
Google's actions follow the likes of Apple, PayPal, and Valve (which has opted to turn off Steam in Crimea altogether). When Google cuts off access to Google Play services, this will apply to both paid and free provisions, but the company will continue to provide access to web-based services such as search, Gmail, and Maps. Read More