When smartwatches first hit the market several years ago, I immediately hopped on board. As an avid lover of watches, I found myself very interested in the concept of wearing a timepiece that also doubled as a notification mirror for my phone. At the time, I worked in jobs where phone use was either discouraged or outright prohibited, whether by policy or the frantic pace of the position. But unfortunately for me, I have a compulsion to know what's going on with my phone at any and all times — I can't just ignore my phone going off. So smartwatches offered me a chance to keep my phone in my pocket, but still be kept apprised of my incoming notifications. Read More
GitHub is one of the most popular sites for hosting repositories of code. Google moved most of its projects to GitHub after Google Code shut down, and countless open-source Android applications and libraries live on the site as well. GitHub has been an independent company for its entire 10-year history, but that might not be the case for much longer. Read More
A few years ago, a French computer science student named Florent Revest undertook a project to keep Android Wear smartwatches from dying of obsolescence. That project is called AsteroidOS, built entirely on GNU/Linux libraries and technologies, and in its current state, it's fairly basic. Even so, for all fans of open source software out there, this is pretty damn great. Read More
Technically speaking, Android is open-source. This means anyone can look at the operating system's code, or change it - this is how OEMs like HTC and Samsung add their own tweaks. That openness has often been a rallying cry for hardcore Android enthusiasts. Why use a closed platform like iOS, when you can have a free and open-source platform?
But even from the beginning, there were components of Android that were closed-source. The Gmail app, Maps, Google Talk, and the Play Store were some of the earliest examples. To combat the always-present fragmentation of Android, Google offers many APIs through the Play Services Framework. Read More
Testing by Facebook engineers found that the Alliance for Open Media's new video codec, AV1, outperforms widely-used standards like the x264 and VP9 codecs, Facebook announced in a post on its engineering blog this week. While AV1 exhibits better compression, videos do take longer to encode with the new format. Read More
SMS Backup+ was a popular app back in the day, and for many, it's still indispensable. For the unfamiliar, it's an open source app that allows you to back up your SMS and MMS messages into a simple and intuitive conversation view in Gmail, so not only are they automatically stored elsewhere, you can quickly and easily sort through them.
Up until recently, the app looked a bit dated, with a decidedly Holo-esque aesthetic and no updates since 2015, but a new beta version (1.5.11-beta8) was just released with some UI modernization and other improvements. Read More
As a tech enthusiast with the brains and taste to prefer Android over the other options, you're probably someone who also appreciates the need for privacy and security. You may even keep a spare "burner" phone for when you travel to some less-than-confidence-inspiring situations like hacker conferences or the Winter Olympics. But what if you needed something even more powerful to protect data and even physical objects of monumental importance?
A new open source project from the Guardian Project and the Freedom of the Press Foundation may be what you're looking for, an app that turns your smartphone into a security system, known as Haven. Read More
Like any organization set up by the Joint Development Foundation, the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) is a group of companies set up to collaborate on the introduction of a technological standard. In the case of AOMedia, its purpose is specifically to accelerate the development and adoption of a new video compression codec called AV1. Read More
Your phone is a powerhouse compared to even the most impressive supercomputers from a few decades ago, and most of the time that power isn't being put to good use. The [email protected] project is all about harnessing unused CPU cycles from multiple devices and machines across the world in order to solve big medical problems. The Android app has been available for a few years, but it's now officially open source. Read More