A commit made yesterday to AOSP has revealed two juicy pieces of news. The more interesting thing is also the one we know the least about: somewhere there is a device named "dorado," and we have no idea what it is. The second and more immediately understandable tidbit is that Google is adding touch support to the AOSP recovery. Read More
Perhaps the most common complaint about Android phones is that the software doesn't always hit the heights of the hardware. It's true of many flagship phones from a variety of OEMs, and one of the culprits is usually bloated custom UI skins. In trying to differentiate their devices, many phone makers end up diminishing the overall software experience. Companies like Sony and Motorola have been rightly praised for their use of near stock Android on their devices, and it seems that Moto's parent company Lenovo is now ready to follow suit. Read More
A new version of the Google Play Store began rolling out earlier today with few, if any noticeable changes. However, if you're running the Android O previews on any devices, there will be one change to look forward to: Notification Channels. The latest version brings five distinct channels for customization, including: Security and Maintenance, Updated Apps, App Updates Available, Account Alerts, and High Priority. Now we can make a few more decisions about which notifications we want to see and if they matter more or less than the developers thought they should. Read More
The ZTE Maven 2 is one of many phones offered on AT&T PREPAID (previously AT&T GoPhone), and currently goes for $39.99 from the carrier. It has the specifications to match - a 480x854 display, a Snapdragon 210 processor, and 1GB of RAM. Still, this super cheap phone has one thing the Galaxy S8 doesn't have - Android 7.1.1. Read More
Over the years, one of the most annoying feature omissions in stock Android has been a battery indicator for connected Bluetooth devices. There is a public standard for reporting battery life from (supported) Bluetooth devices, but stock Android just doesn't use it. A few OEMs have implemented it themselves in the last few years, like Samsung and LG, but not Google. Read More
With each new version of Android, Google tends to make small tweaks to some of its default apps. Such changes are often nothing more than superficial, a way of giving the new OS release a fresh feel. We're now on the third Android O Developer Preview, and the official clock app has been treated to a visual refresh, its first meaningful update since February. Read More
While this isn't live now in any version of Chrome from stable to Canary, work is underway to improve the way notifications through the app that originate from websites are handled on Android O by giving them individual channels.
Currently, with all Chrome versions (59 stable to 62 Canary), the app offers 5 different notification channels: Browser, Downloads, Incognito, Media, and Sites. These let you assign different importance levels and choose how each type of notification is handled by the system. But the "Sites" channel treats all websites equally, so you can't give a low importance to facebook.com and a high importance to some other site, or vice versa. Read More
Google and LG teamed up on a pair of smartwatches to show off Android Wear 2.0, one of which had all the things and the other had very few things. That other watch is the LG Watch Style, which still sells for $249 on the Google Store. That's way too much, but it's on sale for a much more reasonable $139.99 on eBay right now. Read More
Different types of emoji, trivial as they may seem, can manufacture lots of controversy. Just look at how many votes and comments our blobmoji vs O-moji poll generated, or the fact that it caused a Change.org petition to be created. However, I think we can all agree that the "grinning face with smiling eyes" emoji that Google used in the first three Android O developer previews looked pretty stupid; it didn't so much look like a grin as it did constipated. Thankfully, Android O DP4 has fixed this terrible issue.