Android N is all around us — seriously, have you seen the number of Android N Feature Spotlight stories we've published in less than a week? (Hint: there are 40 and more are pending), but there's a lot we don't know about the next version of Android yet. We know the preview will get more frequent updates than L or M prior to release, we know the final release will be available in the summer, and we know that it's the bestest, awesomest, and most feature-packed'est version of Android yet. We don't know the name though, nor the software version.
But just as it did with KitKat (Key Lime Pie), Lollipop (Lemon Meringue Pie), and Marshmallow (Macadamia Nut Cookie), Google has an internal name for N: New York Cheesecake. Read More
Developer Mocha17 noticed that if you count the wrist where you're actually wearing an Android Wear watch, you actually have to use two hands to access notifications. It's a fair point, and one that's solved with his custom Wear app, JorSay (Hindi for "aloud"). The idea is simple: when you feel a vibration for an incoming notification, shake your wrist twice, and your phone will speak the notification aloud using Android's built-in text-to-speech system. Pretty neat, huh? Read More
LG likes to keep a large, rolling selection of mid-range and low-end phones available for a variety of customers, and today it's revealing two more. The K8 LTE and K5 are both 5-inch phones with a focus on style over substance thanks to somewhat low specifications, but they should do well enough if they're launched at the right price. Unfortunately the press release doesn't say how much the phones will cost, but the K8 will sell in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Russia, while the K5 will be limited to Europe, Russia, and Latin America. Both should be available to purchase later this week in some markets. Read More
Synology is a Taiwanese company that specializes in hardware and software for network attached storage. It's not particularly known as a security company, but with the American government publicly demanding access to more or less all data on the planet, and other countries and less polite entities taking it without asking, the market is ripe to sell security products to wary consumers. Hence MailPlus, yet another secure and encrypted email system, this time independently hosted from a customer's Synology-branded NAS hardware. Read More
Every time there's a new version of Android on the horizon, there's also a rash of speculation as to what dessert Google will use for its next codename. For Android N, now in an early and promising developer preview, the situation is no different. Android fans seem stuck on "Nutella," which would mean another licensed deal like the one with the KitKat rollout, though it's at least faintly possible that Google will use the name of an Indian dessert, as CEO Sundar Pichai hinted in a question and answer session. He also said in that same session that Google might conduct an online poll for future Android codenames... Read More
You've hoped, you've asked, you've prayed, you've waited, you've stomped your feet, you've revolted against the institution, you've given up, you've rekindled your faith, only to be let down again. But the wait is over. Hangouts is finally fiiiiiiiiiinally adding the option to record and send 1-minute videos*.
*on iOS. Hah! What, did you honestly think the Hangouts Android development team woke up all of a sudden from its slumber and decided to add every feature you've been begging for?! Far be it from that. It still has its priorities straight — like implementing rounded corners for shared images. That was huge, you guys. Read More
The Galaxy S III, first released back in 2012, only has official software support up to Android 4.3. No matter: the folks at the CyanogenMod development team are keeping the device alive long after Samsung threw in the towel. Today the AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint variants of the GSIII all get their very first nightly ROM builds for CyanogenMod 13, which is based on Android 6.0. You can find them at the d2att, d2tmo, and d2spr listings on the CM download page, respectively.
In contrast, Asus has already promised a Marshmallow build for the Zenfone 2, which is less than a year old at this point. Read More
Ask any teacher or parent: it's awfully difficult to mix real, practical learning with conventional kid's entertainment. That's why those few properties that actually manage to pull it off, like Bill Nye the Science Guy, The Magic School Bus, and Schoolhouse Rock are held in such high regard, even decades after they've finished their respective runs. A new game called ChemCaper is trying to do just that, and after a successful Kickstarter campaign, the first episode is now available on Android. Read More
The developer preview of Android N may have been released a week ago, but we're still discovering loads of changes and new stuff across the OS. The most recent one that's come to our attention is a new toggle in Sound Settings for mono audio, which makes both left and right audio channels get played back simultaneously through any active sound output.
There are plenty of reasons why someone would want to play sound in mono instead of stereo. Many people prefer listening to music with a single earbud in their ear, but with stereo playback this meant that half the song was never heard. 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