Slowly but surely, Android offshoot-slash-alternative Cyanogen OS is gaining ground. The incorporated and semi-proprietary version of the CyanogenMod ROM now powers a handful of retail-available phones from companies like YU, Zuk, and Smartfen, though larger manufacturers like OnePlus and Oppo have seemingly cooled on Cyanogen software. Speaking of OnePlus, its One hardware was the first to get access to Cyanogen OS version 13, based on Android 6.0.1 code. Today the Swift from Wileyfox becomes the second. Read More
Marshmallow's first developer preview may have been released several months ago, but we're still discovering lots of little new enhancements and features. In Android 6.0, the battery history chart now displays separate bars for both camera and flashlight usage, in addition to the usual bars for things like GPS and WiFi. If you don't see them yet, it's likely because you haven't used either since you last charged your device, which is the default behavior for almost every other bar in the chart.
Do you remember how happy everyone was when the first Android M developer preview had a dark system UI mode? Get ready for the exact opposite of that feeling. A reply to the issue tracker thread indicates that Google won't be making the dark theme available in Android 6.0. It might still happen in the future, though. Read More
Floating apps have become emblematic of Android's unique flexibility and range. No other mobile OS allows non-system apps to directly interact with users and overtake the screen while another app is supposed to be in the foreground. This capability allows for a powerful and customizable user experience, but it can also quickly become a problem if an app is poorly implemented or its developer abuses this privilege for malicious purposes.
Android 6.0 Marshmallow is setting some new rules for drawing on the screen. Starting with Developer Preview 3, apps targeting API 23 (or above) will have to ask users to grant permission for them to draw on top of other apps. Read More
Still reeling from the reveal of the official Android Marshmallow statue at the Googleplex and the confirmation that the new version is Android 6.0? Well hold on to your butts, because there's more coming. In addition to the new reveals, Google has published the third version of the Android M Developer Preview. Presumably this latest release is pretty close to the final version that we should be seeing on new devices and over-the-air updates later this year. Read More
Google has finally, physically unveiled the official name for its new operating system (still sans a version number): it's marshmallow! Googler Alex Ruiz just posted a picture of the statue over at Building 43 (the Android building) at Google HQ in Mountain View.
Marshmallow was definitely among the most-speculated potential names for the next version of Android, and while the statue isn't exactly what I'd call... spectacularly creative, it is nothing if not direct.
Relatedly, you can now pick up the Android 6.0 Preview 3 images for your supported Nexus device, and oh yeah: it's Android 6.0. Read More
Are you ready to finally stop calling Android M... Android M? Well, you better be: Google is almost certainly going to reveal the official name of its upcoming operating system very, very soon. And it looks like a Googler (Jeff Sharkey) just posted a photo on Google+ of something very potentially statue-like on the Google campus in Mountain View. If that's not convincing enough, his accompanying post text is "Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?"
What's under the curtain? Who knows! But if you want even more assurance that M unveil is nigh, Google's official accounts have been teasing away this morning, as well.
We rarely talk about apps losing features, but that's what has happened to Google+ today, but it's not such a bad thing. The latest update to v6.1 has started rolling out to users and it finally removes access to the Google+ Photos functionality that remained after the introduction of Google Photos at I/O 2015. A previous update warned users that the Google+ Photos functionality wasn't long for this world back in June, and about a month later Google officially announced it would be shut down on August 1st.
It may be a little behind schedule, but we all knew this update would be coming soon. Read More
With Lollipop, Google did something that developers had wanted for a while: a dev preview of the upcoming Android build. With the M release, it made that even better with OTA updates for the first time...but that hasn't gone quite as smoothly as we'd hoped it would.
The original plan was to release one build per month until the final release. New builds were scheduled to show up at the end of May, June, and July, with the final build in "Q3." That's cool, except the M 2 build was fairly late; it didn't actually hit till the second week of July. Read More