While many people are enjoying — or lamenting — the upgrade to Android 10, there are some out there that are just as interested in the final source code. With each major release of Android, a huge code drop is made to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) with everything a developer needs to build the latest version of the OS. As of this morning, the code is now fully available and ready for consumption. Read More
Google's efforts to bring RCS to the world haven't been as inspiring as many of us had hoped, largely due to slow adoption by carriers and some self-serving behavior on the part of certain OEMs (cough). However, some of this can also be attributed to limits in Android itself. To use RCS today, you have no choice in app selection — you're stuck using apps provided by your phone's OEM, be it Google, Samsung, LG, or another partner. Earlier this year, it looked like Google had added code to Android Q that would enable third party apps to support RCS, but that was disputed shortly after. Read More
The ASUS ZenFone 4 Max only received an update to Android Oreo back in October, but the company is hard at work with keeping the phone updated. You can now download an AOSP beta without ZenUI for the device with the model name ZC554KL. Read More
ADB is the main command line tool for interacting with Android devices. It can be used to sideload APKs, copy data, and more. Starting with Android 4.0 ICS, a feature to backup and restore applications (and their data) was added, but that functionality will be removed in a future Android release. Read More
RCS has taken years to gain widespread network support, and we're still suffering through carrier interoperability issues. The current landscape is nothing if not entirely overcomplicated to navigate, especially for consumers. But the subject may become a bit simpler once Android Q rolls around, as pile of new RCS-specific APIs has popped up in AOSP, presumably bound for the next Android release. These APIs may finally provide third-party apps with the ability to work with RCS on supported carriers. Read More
This isn't widely-known information, but the Pixel 2 and 3 can technically act as dual-SIM devices thanks to their eSIM support. eSIM is only used by a few carriers around the world, including Sprint in the US, but it can act as a second SIM alongside the hardware SIM when activated. However, Google appears set to improve dual-SIM in the upcoming Pixel 4. Read More
Android Q news is starting to arrive bit by bit, largely due to an early AOSP build that's been doing the rounds. Probably the most welcome enhancement — other than the much-anticipated system-wide dark mode — is an overhaul to the privacy and permissions settings.
Thanks to our friends at XDA Developers, we now know a little bit more about what to expect. Read More
Android Beam was a feature introduced in Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) that allowed people to share photos, sites, apps, and more by tapping their phones together. It was a neat feature when it launched, and it still works great for sending links and small files, but Android Beam's future is now uncertain. Read More
Most of our readers are probably aware that Android is an open source effort, with much of code that comprises a working image being publicly accessible—in fact, that openness is a big chunk of why people like me prefer it to other platforms. So I'm especially happy to see that the current/final Android 9 changes are hitting AOSP.
Even though face unlock has been a part of Android since Ice Cream Sandwich, several Android manufacturers have been working on improved versions over the past year, mostly in response to the iPhone X. The ill-fated Note7 had an iris scanning feature, the OnePlus 5T includes face unlock, and the Galaxy S9 has a hybrid of the two features. Starting with the next Android release, it might be easier for OEMs to add iris scanning to their devices. Read More