Packt Publishing ran a contest last week to find out which mobile OS had the most love from fans. You'll never guess which won. Okay, maybe you can guess–we wouldn't be posting about it if iOS had won. Android took the win by a landslide with 87% of the vote. To celebrate, Packt is holding Android Week with 70% off on twenty great titles about Android development, not to mention giving away a free eBook every day.
The sale has switched to 70% off instead of 50% off. Read More
CyanogenMod's maintainers are on an everlasting quest to conquer the software update war against pesky smartphone manufacturers who drop support way too soon for most of their devices. For instance, Samsung has been struggling to release Marshmallow for the two-year old Galaxy S5, but the CyanogenMod folks are ready to roll Android 6.0's software to an even older flagship: the three-year old Galaxy S4.
In this case, the CM 13 nightlies are available for the AT&T and Sprint versions of the Galaxy S4 (jflteatt and jfltespr respectively). The international S4 got it a couple of months ago, but other carriers and variants are still stuck on CM 11 and CM 12.1. Read More
Kodi is a popular name in media streaming circles, not least because it can run on pretty much anything. Last year, an Android app was released, which has gone to achieve over five million downloads. However, that's where it may stay, at least for the time being. In the last few days, the sole developer of the app, Chris Browet, a.k.a. Koying, has quit working on Kodi and resumed development on his forked version, Semper Media Center, or SPMC for short.
The reason he quit isn't entirely clear, but it seems to have resulted from creative and philosophical coding differences with the main Kodi developers. Read More
The system UI in Android has, for the most part, been sacrosanct. Apps can't just add new elements to the OS, but Android N looks to be loosening up that restriction a bit. We already posted about the ability to add Quick Settings tiles natively, and now it looks like Google is allowing developers to insert an app settings link in app info. Read More
Chainfire, the renowned Android developer, has been busy; he's put CF-Auto-Root for Samsung's new flagships up for download, plus a new beta of SuperSU for those brave enough to test out Android N.
CF-Auto-Root is a rooting method for most Samsung phones and a few other manufacturers. Chainfire's worked his magic once again and released an autoroot solution for the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, mere days after they were put on sale. Bear in mind that the developer says on his site, "if you have locked bootloaders, flashing one of these will probably brick your device," so make sure your bootloader is unlocked and ready to go before starting the process. Read More
There's some great news for anyone using CyanogenMod. A long-existing bug that prevented users of the hugely popular ROM from displaying their screen on the Google Chromecast has finally been squashed. The problem is present in applications that use the Chromecast Remote Display API. On devices running CyanogenMod, instead of the intended content, users would see a solidly black screen. This issue is limited to CyanogenMod and its derivatives.
In addition to a handful of stock Google applications, like Google Photos, many third-party apps have been bitten by this bug. One of these is Cast-A-Draw, which is a Chromecast-oriented word guessing-game. Read More
At GDC, Google announced a few new game-focused tools for developers that should make launching, promoting, and monetizing titles easier. There's now a full blog post on the changes, and they look like a big deal for developers, especially those who consider themselves "indie." Read More
One of the benefits of buying into popular flagships is that all the odds of community support are in your favor. Provided that the manufacturer wasn't being a colossal pain, you shouldn't have to wait long to see some enterprising developers and modders provide a root method, a custom recovery, a bootloader unlock, and more custom ROMs than you dare imagine.
That's the case with the latest Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. The devices have been "officially" on sale for less than a week and yet here is Team Win ready with its TWRP custom recovery for the Exynos version (the international variant) of the phone. Read More
Remember back in December (and January) when Packt Publishing gave away a couple free ebooks focused on Android development? The one-a-day promotion has been going strong since, but the books haven't exactly been targeted at the OS on our phones. But great news: this whole week is dedicated to mobile development!
The current freebie is all about showing love to both sides of the phone war – it's Xamarin Cross-platform Application Development. But you better hurry over and claim it, this particular book will expire in just over 5 hours. (Sorry, we saw this one a little late).
While the free book is enough reason to drop by, there's something more interesting afoot in this promotion. Read More
File storage on Android has been a complicated subject over the years. It started very simply with private folders for each app and a pair of permissions for read and write access to just about everything else. The seeds of change were planted with Honeycomb when Google quietly closed off write access to secondary storage like SD cards, but most people didn't take notice until Google insisted OEMs enforce the same rules in KitKat.
Each year since, new APIs have been introduced to give developers new ways to work with the filesystem or even abstract it out of view while also improving security and maintaining privacy. Read More