Google is 15 years old. Lets think about that for a moment: the company that has grown to have not one but two operating systems, develop self-driving cars, map much of the globe, manage most of our mail, offer an online collaborative office suite, and have a name ubiquitous enough to enter the dictionary, is younger than most of our readers. Google has only recently gone through puberty and is currently studying up for its driving exam.
Firefox Beta users, listen up. It's time to whip out your phone and check for updates. The slightly less stable version of Mozilla's mobile browser has made the leap to version 25, and it's picked up a few new features along the way. The most visible new feature is a new guest browsing mode that lets you safely hand the phone over to grandma without her getting a closer look at your browsing history than either of you ever wanted.
K-9 Mail is what you get when you take the default Android email client and make it, erm, better. It made the jump this week to version 4.4 and now sports a more holo-themed user interface, rich notifications for Android 4.1+ devices, an altered unread widget, and a whole bucket-load of nitpicky features that may or may not make your day, depending on how anal you are about how you like your email.
Show of hands, who uses CyanogenMod? Oh, you do? I've got some good news: your camera is about to become a little more interested in what you have to say. A few hours ago, CyanogenMod announced that the included camera app will integrate a voice-activated shutter mode. Judging by one of the pictures, a new time-delayed mode will be part of the package, as well. Take a look:
As you can tell, a few different words can be used to activate the shutter, currently Cid, Whiskey, and Cheese.
Back in early October while we were knee-deep in a pre-release Android 4.2 system dump, Ron found an interesting tidbit of info on a "quick settings" menu. Back then, it was a double pull down notification area that housed absolutely nothing of value. Thanks to today's Nexus/Android 4.2 announcements, however, we know not only what options the Quick Settings area will feature, but also how to really access it.
There are actually two ways to get into the QS menu, as highlighted by Hugo Barra in an incredible behind-the-scenes video put together by The Verge (see the full video here):
As you can see in the above clip, there will be a small toggle in the notification area directly beside the current Settings button, which, when pressed, will cause the notification area to do a neat little flip, revealing the Quick Setting area.
OK, so it's Nexus day. A day full of excitement and new things to be excited about. That doesn't take away from other awesome news, though - like new CyanogenMod features, for example. The team teased one such feature on Google+ last night: the ability to quickly hide the navigation and status bars on applicable devices.
This feature actually makes its way to CM10 from Paranoid Android, so hats off to that dev team for such a cool (and useful) tweak.
Earlier today, Google rolled out a brand new feature for its online patent research tool: prior art search. Now, while looking at a patent, you can click a single button to pull up a host of results from Google Patents, Google Scholar, Google Books, with a bit of Google's typical search results sprinkled on top. The goal, of course, is to aid in researching whether a patent that's been filed is "new and not obvious." Which is far more complex than it sounds.
Minecraft is the world's most popular online multiplayer not-quite-Lego creativity tool/game with 8-bit graphics and zombies. It's also an Android game. Until recently, though, Minecraft Pocket Edition was limited to creativity mode, only a few materials, and players lacked the ability to fly. Today, that all changes. Minecraft Pocket Edition just got a whole lot more like Minecraft Normal Edition with the addition of Survival Mode, plus a ton of other new features.