Sometime in the last few years, "plastic" became a dirty word in smartphones. The reasons for this — like evoking the kind of cheap and unpleasant designs that defined early Android phones — are probably less important the outcomes. A whole class of materials were re-branded as low-rent, and today even many relatively affordable phones have made the switch to fully aluminum or metal-and-glass sandwiches for the superficially premium look they impart.
But Google's newest smartphone bucks the trend, and in just the right way: the Pixel 3a stands apart with its genuinely nice, unapologetically plastic design. Read More
With any update to Android, it can be good to know more than just the major features and changes. Sometimes we've got to dig into the deepest little adjustments to figure out why something is working better – or worse – than before. We've now got the changelogs posted for all of the Android versions released yesterday, including both the major update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow and the much smaller 5.1.1 security updates for October.
The v5.1.1 updates aren't very exciting since they only account for about a dozen security fixes. The changelogs may not even be the best way to read about what has changed because there's a post in the Android Security Updates group that lists each of the issues that have been resolved with this month's updates. Read More
T-Mobile began rolling out security-centric updates to Nexus devices yesterday. As we already know, there aren't any big changes due out in this release, but Google has pushed the latest code up to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for the world to see. As usual, we've put together a changelog for easy reading.
Updates for T-Mobile devices are built from a dedicated branch in AOSP with custom code to support the Wi-Fi calling feature. As it turns out, the list of changes for this update to LMY48M closely resembles the r6 to r9 update from last month, otherwise known as the update that (mostly) fixed Stagefright. Read More
Earlier today, Google released updated factory images for all of its supported Nexus devices to patch up some reasonably serious vulnerabilities in a core Android library called Stagefright. While we await the stream of OTAs that are sure to follow, there's a fresh code drop to the Android Open Source Project containing security-related patches. Don't expect to see any new features or user-facing changes, this one is all about closing loopholes. Nevertheless, there are some interesting things to peek at.
A quick look at the changelog shows the highest concentration of fixes were made to frameworks/av (audio/visual), which is used extensively in the Stagefright library. Read More
It seems like the only thing anybody can talk about is Android M, but we should remember that we've got about 4 more months with Lollipop v5.1.1 as the current version until Mango Mojito (probably not) is officially released in October. This is no more apparent than when an update appears on AOSP and brings with it thousands of changes. In fact, this update is large enough it probably deserved more than a barely noticeable revision bump.
The code drop for LYZ28E comes a bit later than expected, since the build number was first seen in a Nexus 6 update that began rolling out a month ago. Read More
The Android M Developer Preview was released just yesterday and we're all very closely examining the changes. While there's still quite a bit to dig through, it looks like Google is getting some of the source code up right away. Before anybody gets too excited, it's likely that this code dump occurred to ensure GPL compliance. However, there are quite a few projects in the changelog that wouldn't normally require updates due to licensing, so there may be quite a bit more going live on this release.
The entire changelog totals about 29,000 commits and weighs in at about 4.7 MB. It's not entirely clear where the official starting point would be, but we generated the changelog from 5.1.1_r4, which is currently the latest release available. Read More
Releasing the L preview was an important leap forward for Android as an ecosystem, but, outside of a single almost meaningless update, we're probably not going to see any new builds up until the final L release. I can sort of see why the Android team doesn't want to put out builds with incremental fixes, saving all the improvements for a grand finale unveiling, so in the meantime, any glimpse at their progress is very interesting to us as well as developers working on porting their apps to adhere to the new Material Design guidelines.
Today, we have a photo showing a Nexus 5 running build LRW66E, posted to the Chrome bug tracker a few days ago and subsequently set to private. Read More
With most versions of Android, we're not used to seeing a changelog until a few hours after the AOSP code has been fully uploaded and somebody has had time to generate a comprehensive list. Imagine our surprise when such a list for KitKat 4.4.3 was discovered simply lying around on Google's servers. The file, named KK-MR2_changelist.txt, is located amidst Android's platform documentation. This is something of a first, since we'll actually learn about what's to come before the code is even available.
The changelog was first added 3 weeks ago, but it may not have been uploaded to AOSP until more recently. Read More
Over the past few days, ASUS has begun rolling out a treat to MeMO Pad Smart 10 owners, distributing Android 4.2.1 in an update to build number V10.6.1.15. The update, which rings in at about 500MB, brings the MeMO to 4.2.1 from 4.1, delivering on ASUS' "Q2 2013" promises noted in our review.
Of course, the headlining feature with this update is 4.2's multi-user support, which we already saw on an ASUS slate back when the manufacturer brought 4.2 to the TF300T in the US, beating other OEMs to the update punch. Otherwise, users can likely expect the same performance and stability enhancements found in the TF300T's 4.2.1 build. Read More