Midrange devices are really the perfect target for something like TWRP. They're capable devices, but they usually suffer from intolerably bloated interfaces and/or get updates way too late or not at all. A custom recovery is the starting point from which any enterprising user can start flashing mods and custom ROMs onto their device to get over any of the previously mentioned hurdles.
And so it's nice to see TWRP come to 3 Android phones that count somewhere in the midrange category. The first is the MediaTek version of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (the Snapdragon version got TWRP a couple of months ago). Read More
Fragmentation is the flaming torch we have to face each time a discussion about Android updates or development is started. Google releases monthly distribution numbers of its operating system, which detail the percentages of devices running a certain version of the OS that have visited the Play Store in the past 7 days. They're usually met with collective groans as Froyo and Gingerbread cling on to dear life month after month.
But as Apteligent's monthly data report points out, Google doesn't take into consideration two important factors: devices that don't have the Play Store installed (ie Chinese handsets mostly) and device usage. A phone may access the Play Store, but it may not be actively used. Read More
We've been keeping close tabs on the new features and adjustments made with each new developer preview of Android N, but there are obviously a boatload of other changes under the hood, many of them aren't obvious to the naked eye. That's where it can help to look deeper into the source code. It took a couple of weeks for the changes to be published to AOSP, but now that they are available, we've got a changelog ready for examination. Read More
Computer vision is easily one of the current "magical" features merging in smartphones. It's not that object recognition has hit the mainstream yet, but faster processors and high quality cameras in smartphones have made it very accessible. Google has done its part by opening up the Mobile Vision API, enabling developers to quickly give their apps the ability to read barcodes and identify orientation and basic facial details. Google Play services v9.2 takes this a step further with a new Text API developers can use to add optical character recognition (OCR) in their apps.
The Mobile Vision Text API currently supports Latin characters used in languages like English, Spanish, and French. Read More
Google's new Awareness API - part of Google Play Services - is legitimately cool. In theory. Announced at I/O, it allows apps to access what you're doing, in a general sense, and then give you information based on that status. For now, the API offers two ways for apps to monitor your current status, per Google's blog post. Read More
Google has offered the Cast SDK to developers in some capacity for three years, but there have long been some annoyances that made it difficult to implement and maintain in certain apps. Cast SDK v3.0 was announced at I/O 2016 last month, and now it's available to developers. This version of the SDK seeks to simplify several elements of the old one to make developers' lives a little easier. Read More
OnePlus managed to integrate a fast charging solution into the OnePlus 3, but it's a non-standard one called Dash Charge. It's a licensed version of Oppo's VOOC, so it requires special code on the device and hardware in the adapter. Some OP fans were bummed that custom ROMs would not be able to support Dash Charge, but that will change next month when OP releases the code. Read More
A year ago today Google announced Android Security Rewards, an expansion of its Vulnerability Rewards Program. Find a vulnerability, tell Google about it, help them fix the issue, and take home money. That's the concept, and it's a common one in the tech industry.
Google handed out over half a million bucks to 82 individuals over the past year. This averaged out to $2,200 per reward. Researchers averaged higher payouts, at $6,700. One, @heisecode, received $75,750 for 26 vulnerability reports. 15 researchers received $10,000 or more. Read More
Android N Developer Preview 4 is out and it marks a very important milestone in Google's release schedule: the API for the next version of Android is officially final and developers can begin posting apps built for it to the Play Store. In fact, this is a first for Android, never before have developers been able to post apps to the Play Store targeting a preview version of Android. Users can now look forward to trying out 3rd-party apps that target Android N without jumping through hoops with individual APKs.
You can now publish apps that use API level 24 to Google Play, in alpha, beta, and production release channels.
While Android N doesn't have a name just yet, the Android team seems to feel compelled to taunt us with yet another N easter egg, this time one that is absolutely hilarious. If you long-press the "N" logo after tapping the Android version in the about section of settings enough times, the text above is revealed: Namey McNameface.
OK, Google. You get one. Read More