While Android Lollipop added a flashlight toggle into Quick Settings, circumventing most third-party torch apps, the function was only accessible in the notification drop-down and as an on/off switch. If you wanted to use the flashlight with morse code, for signaling, or other patterns, you still had to use a separate application and developers of said apps didn't have any clear API to build their software on. They had to hack together solutions for various phones, relying on whatever way the different OEMs had created to access the camera's flash.
Google mixed things up a bit this week as all of the biggest app updates turned up on Monday, leaving mostly bug fixes and minor tweaks to roll out on Wednesday. We didn't get to see anything exciting from the likes of Keep, Gmail, or most of the other updates, but Play Movies & TV came packing at least one extra. True TV fans will be able to binge watch an uninterrupted stream of episodes from their favorite shows.
After teasing the Material redesign of AllCast a couple of weeks ago, Koushik Dutta has finally made the updated 2.0 version available for everyone to install, enjoy, admire, and swoon over. And if you're wondering why it looks so good, it's because our own Liam Spradlin had a hand (mouse click?) in giving the app its fresh coat of paint and that is all you need to know. Article over. Nothing left to say.
Android One is on its way to Turkey. Today Google announced that it is partnering with General Mobile to bring out a faux-leather phone packed with stock Android and better specs than you would expect from Google's effort to grace the world with decent low-cost devices.
The General Mobile handset eschews low-res screens for a more impressive 5-inch HD display. Rather than a Mediatek processor, on the inside there's a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410.
Verizon Wireless and AOL are about to become siblings. Verizon Communications (of which Verizon Wireless is a subsidiary) announced today that it is buying the latter for $4.4 billion. And no, it's not for the dial-up subscribers.
Love or hate it, Verizon offers the strongest mobile network in the US, and it's one of the top broadband providers. In a future where people will stream more and more of their media over the web to an increasingly diverse range of gadgets, Verizon clearly has a role to play.
The most recent over-the-air update for the Nexus 9, the one that totally wasn't what you were actually waiting for, has apparently bricked the device for some owners. A couple folks affected by this 5.0.2 issue have taken to Google's product forums to ask what gives.
The person who opened this thread was told to perform a factory reset in recovery mode (as well as the bootloader, which has a separate factory reset option).
Google likes a good easter egg. That is evident by the company's multitude of weird, unexpected, and fun little things that it sprinkles inside its apps, websites, and services. Case in point: Project Fi. The network's experience page prominently and repeatedly displays the same phone number: (404)-978-9316.
A nosy reader's curiosity was piqued as to the specificity and focus on that particular set of ten digits. He decided to dial it up and see what happens. Is it Larry Page's hotline?
Now that Project Fi has come out into the open, we can expect to see integration for the new service popping up in a handful of Google's apps over the coming weeks. The first app to received custom support is Hangouts, which began rolling out just hours after the Project Fi website went live. This update doesn't make any changes to parts of the app we care about, but just adds some elements that come alive when a device is hooked to Google's new service.
I know it seems that we have a new WhatsApp post every couple of days on Android Police lately, but it ain't our fault. The app's developers, specifically the Android team, appear to be drinking the good kind of kool-aid and kicking one new version after the other with not only bug fixes, but also lots of new goodies. So first there was the Web "client", then the saga of the voice calling feature rollout, followed by the Material design update, and now Google Drive is being implemented as a backup option inside the app.
Spring, the fashion shopping application that launched on iOS several months ago, is now available on Android devices as well. The service isn't focused on social sharing, instead billing itself as an e-commerce and aiming first and foremost to make it easier to shop 700+ men's and women's fashion brands. It has exclusives, sales (sometimes), an easy check-out experience, and it handles customer service for orders instead of directing you to the brands.