Ever had a phone with a bum gyroscope? Or a totally irrational pedometer? Google, in the interest of better counting your steps and determining just what in the hell your phone is doing moving around in three-dimensional space has now defined a "high fidelity sensor support" flag for Android devices, as in the Android 6.0 Compatibility Definition Document.
The idea here is to give developers a single flag to look for that says "this phone / tablet / whatever is not a dumpster fire of awful sensor accuracy." Or, perhaps, more positively, to just say a device has really good sensors. Read More
Google's monthly security updates are out in the form of factory images, and that means it's time for some new code in AOSP. Since these versions are dedicated to closing security holes, there certainly won't be any new features and the bug fixes probably won't have much effect on battery life or performance, but they will keep the baddies from treating your phone like it runs an old version of Windows.
A number of serious vulnerabilities were fixed in this release, including two critical issues that could be used for remote code execution. Details have been posted on the Nexus Security Bulletin. Read More
Nick Butcher (Developer Advocate at Google) recently published the source code for Plaid, an app meant to showcase material design on Android with playful animations, impeccable typography, and a simple, bold aesthetic. The code will provide useful examples for developers, but the app itself is worth keeping installed too - Plaid pulls stories from Designer News, Dribbble, and Product Hunt to serve up design news and inspiration, catered to your preferences.
Besides more standard material elements, the app has a few unique tricks. Specifically, the toolbar is behind the content rather than lying on top of it, making the scrolling action on the main grid a little more elegant. Read More
Sending out updates through the Play Store can be a frustrating experience for users and developers alike. Just because a publisher says the update is out now, that doesn't mean it is. The app goes through processing, then it goes out at the speed of Google.
Now developers will have more control. Google is giving them the ability to control when an update goes live. Those that opt for timed publishing will still have to have their apps processed, but after that, sending the goods out to everyone is simply a matter of pressing the Go live button. Read More
A constant source of consternation among owners of OPPO devices has been the heavily customized ColorOS and especially the slow speed of Android OS updates to it. OPPO has held strong to ColorOS, owing in large part to its reported popularity in Asian markets. Today, in an effort to appease enthusiast owners, OPPO has announced an initiative to support current devices with an AOSP ROM with limited customizations.
OPPO left some clues that they would do something like this, not that it comes as a huge surprise to anyone given the long demands for it. A company rep teased big changes just a month ago in an OPPO forum thread filled with whining about software updates. Read More
Google releases an Android app each year providing Google I/O attendees with the schedule for the upcoming conference, and it uses the opportunity to show off how an Android app is supposed to feel. Then a couple months later it releases the source code, providing developers with a look at best practices. The source code for 2015's app has taken longer to arrive than last year's, but at last, it's here.
The Google I/O 2014 app arrived during the pre-Lollipop time when full material design wasn't yet possible on most Android devices due to the lack of the necessary APIs. Read More
AIDE, the Android integrated development environment, has reached version 3.2. That means it's getting Marshmallow support. It's picked up the option to refresh Maven libraries. It has updated Android NDK support and Google libraries. And it's packed with other goodies that don't really mean all that much to non-developery types.
But even if you are a developer and you find yourself excited by what you just read, hold on to your butts, because here's where things really get good. Intel is sponsoring a number of premium keys. These would normally cost you $10.
To claim your own sponsored license, exit AIDE, restart the app, and select the 'Code for Experts' option. Read More
With any update to Android, it can be good to know more than just the major features and changes. Sometimes we've got to dig into the deepest little adjustments to figure out why something is working better – or worse – than before. We've now got the changelogs posted for all of the Android versions released yesterday, including both the major update to Android 6.0 Marshmallow and the much smaller 5.1.1 security updates for October.
The v5.1.1 updates aren't very exciting since they only account for about a dozen security fixes. The changelogs may not even be the best way to read about what has changed because there's a post in the Android Security Updates group that lists each of the issues that have been resolved with this month's updates. Read More
Initially, upon flashing the third developer preview of Android 6.0, we thought our beloved System UI Tuner had gone the way of the dodo. Not so - it's still here, it's just a little less obvious how to get it. If you flashed the latest developer preview and didn't wipe your user data (or received it via OTA), you probably didn't even notice anything changed aside from a little gear icon in your settings shortcut in the quick toggle area, and that little icon is key - press and hold it to activate (or deactivate) the system UI tuner, which will then appear at the bottom of the settings app. Read More