It's fun to see developers duking it out — peacefully — over who adds the most new features first. Action Launcher's and Nova Launcher's devs are a great example. And it's all for the good of the platform and early adopters. Take Android 7.1's launcher app shortcuts. Action Launcher was the first to add them preemptively, Nova Launcher followed by enabling them even on earlier versions of Android, and now Action Launcher is implementing gestures with them to let you open the app shortcuts pop-up and select one of the shortcuts in one go. Read More
Here's a blast from the past: Google's new phone is having trouble pairing or staying connected to Bluetooth in many cars. In 2015 we went through this with the Nexus phones on Marshmallow, and this year it's the Pixel with 7.1. Google is aware of the issue, and is actively investigating. Read More
Android 7.1 is upon us – at least it is if you count the oddball mix-and-match of having an "official" version of 7.1 on Pixel phones and a "developer preview" for a few other Nexus devices. Now that the Pixels are out, source code has also been released for Android 7.1.0 on AOSP. It comes as little surprise that we don't have an official release of the 7.1.1 source code that went out to Nexus devices since they are still considered developer previews, but they're probably not terribly different. So now it's time to dig through for some interesting and unusual hints about what unusual changes have been made in this version that we didn't already know about. Read More
If you have used Google Camera before, you have probably noticed the lag when rotating your device. When auto-rotation is enabled on your phone, your entire display flips around - causing the Camera app to freeze for a second. This behavior has been fixed with the Google Camera application on Android 7.1.
Rotating the device from portrait to landscape results in the controls rotating, not the entire app UI. Flipping the phone 180 degrees in landscape causes a slight black screen, but only for a split second. I'm testing this on my Nexus 5X, so performance could vary from phone to phone. Read More
Ever since it constrained its free plans, Evernote hasn't been the same darling of note takers that it was before. Some people were driven off to other apps, but for those that decided to stick around, there are interesting goodies lurking in the latest update to v7.9.6.
The app has been quick to implement one of Android 7.1's new highlight features: app shortcuts (previously known as launcher shortcuts). If you tap and hold on the Evernote icon on the homescreen of a supported launcher on a device running Android 7.1, you'll get 4 different shortcuts you can immediately launch: search, new text note, new audio note, and new camera note. Read More
Android 7.0 marked the first time that Android had more emojis than iOS and although that gap was closed with the release of iOS 10, Nougat 7.1 is here to take the lead again. We're not talking about a couple of new emojis, but dozens of new ones and hundreds of variations on them and on existing ones. Without further ado, let's see what's new with Android 7.1's emoji situation.
Profession emojis with a focus on women
Several months ago, Google made a proposal to the Unicode's emoji subcommittee (PDF link) to add 13 female professions to the emojis in a bid to encourage gender equality and move beyond the traditional roles that women were depicted in in the existing emoji list (dancer, queen, getting a haircut, and so on). Read More
It's the year 2016, so you really shouldn't have to dial in to listen to your voicemail like some kind of caveman. What's next? A telescoping antenna on top of your phone? As of Android 7.1, Verizon customers with Nexus (and Pixel) devices have access to visual voicemail in the stock phone app. Read More
Offering developer previews is very beneficial to a platform, but it also comes with its own perils. For example, people get upset when a feature that was part of the preview is dropped before the final release. Google has been derided in many a comment section for the removal of night mode in the final Nougat release, and now the hacky night mode enabler apps don't even work anymore. Is Google doing this because it hates you personally? That must be it. Read More
If you think Chrome's rapid updates are annoying, Google's Phone application might send you over the edge. The last 4.0 update came in August, then 5.1 was included with Pixel devices, then another 4.1 update for non-Android 7.0 users, and now we are at 6.0. So what warrants a major version bump? Not much.
Google Phone 5.1 actually added most of the UI changes you might notice (check out our post about it). The first noticeable change here is when receiving a call, the notification now has larger Answer and Decline buttons. This is also on the Phone 4.1 APK, but it is worth mentioning here. Read More
"Hey Rita, you know phones, right?"
Internal answer: "Here goes another silly question. Brace yourself." External answer: "Uh... yes?!"
"So I'm not sure if my phone has a virus or something. There's this app and I can't uninstall it."
Internal answer: "F%#$$#^@ it's Device Administrator again." External answer: "Nah, don't worry, it's just not letting you uninstall because the app has some feature that needs to be disabled first. (Low mumbling: F^$%ing Device Administrator, WHY?!) Gimme... There, uninstalled."
I can't tell you how many times this has happened over the past couple of years. The first time someone told me they couldn't uninstall an app from their phone, I had to Google it because I'd never encountered something like that before, and that's when I learned that apps that set themselves as Device Administrator (most often, these are apps that can lock the screen) can't be uninstalled unless you deactivated that capability first. Read More