Now that the insane week of Google app updates has passed (gotta love those Rollout Wednesdays, right?), I've had some time to dig into the APKs and have found a number of interesting things in some of them.
We'll start with Gmail, which received a fairly significant Card UI update with version 4.6.
Ads are coming to Gmail
The most significant under-the-hood and probably not active yet addition to Gmail 4.6 is ads. Read More
The CyanogenMod team has already granted official ROM support for the LTE version of Samsung's diminutive Galaxy S4 Mini, and now the international 3G variant gets a chance. The first build for the S4 Mini 3G was posted to Get.CM on Friday night, but if you're waiting for a bleeding-edge build, you're going to be disappointed. It's CyanogenMod 10.1, based on Android 4.2, which is what the S4 Mini runs under TouchWiz. Read More
It's been all quiet on the Android Open Kang Project front for a while, but the latest blog post from the popular ROM family indicates that there are big things coming. The AOKP team has been working on Android 4.3 ROMs (labeled JB-MR2 in the AOKP nomenclature) ever since the release of the latest operating system, and the first nightly builds of 4.3 have now been posted.
AOKP has also added the WiFi version of the Nexus 7 2013 and the Oppo Find 5 to its lineup. Read More
Let me just start by saying that I like the DROID Maxx and DROID Mini. Why conclude a review before I begin it? Because so many people have already concluded that they cannot like these phones. Motorola's new devices have proven incredibly polarizing among enthusiasts, especially to Google and Android diehards who held on till the bitter end to a fantasy (and that is what it was) that the company would come to the rescue of marginalized power users. Read More
It looks like Google isn't done adding goodies to the latest round of updates for the official Search app. The hotword for activating the voice search function is now "Ok Google," and it also works while looking at results, not just from the standard search screen. You'll need Search 2.8.7 (grab the APK here if you don't have it yet) and an updated English (US) language pack to see the new functionality. Read More
Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear devices aren't available in the U.S. yet, but if you're a developer and/or open source enthusiast, you can already play with them. Sort of. As usual, Samsung has posted the open source kernel files for the new smartphone and smartwatch in a very timely matter, just a couple of days after international availability.
Two Galaxy Note 3 models have been posted so far, the SM-900T and SM-900W8. Read More
HTC takes the Developer Edition HTC One pretty seriously. The company has been good about pushing updates to the device, and now the full Android 4.3 ROM can be downloaded as a ZIP from the HTC Dev website. That's more service than even the Google Play Edition HTC One is getting.
Update: The Android 4.3 RUU has now been posted as well.
Verizon is the only major carrier in the US who offers the HTC One with Android 4.2, but that doesn't mean squat if you intend to flash a custom ROM on it anyway. Sense 5 is fast, attractive, and stable - but it isn't for everyone. The app drawer could use some work, and the launcher isn't exactly the easiest to customize. Besides, the available options pale in comparison to what CyanogenMod offers out of the box. Read More
Go ahead, show up in black - but you know what, everyone else there will be doing the same. Be bold. Be bright. Suit up in something that will make people remember you. No, not yellow, that's tacky. Purple, are you serious? No, lets go with white. Go ahead, try it on. I'll wait.
Mr. LG G2, you're looking good. The people over at AT&T are going to love you. Just you watch, now that you're available, no one's going to even bother looking at G2s in black anymore. Read More
Verizon is currently issuing OTA updates to a number of its midrange handsets. Yesterday we reported on an update rolling out to the LG Lucid, and now it's the LG Spectrum 2's turn. The Spectrum 2's update isn't exactly more exciting than the Lucid's was, but it's nice to see both devices getting some love.
This latest update primarily deals with all the bloatware that comes pre-installed on the device. Read More