In the next few months, Google will get some competition from Microsoft, Apple and a few startups in this space. For better or worse, none of them know as much about you as Google does, so it’ll be hard for them to replicate the Google Now experience. That should give Google a bit of an edge against the competition — unless the iWatch turns out to be so amazing that people will buy it even if it just shows the time and phone notifications.
A new release is out for BlueZ, the Linux Bluetooth stack, with the developers continuing to work on the same theme of the past few months of adding Android features for BlueZ.
This week's BlueZ 5.21 release adds support for the following features from Android: Scan Parameters, Device Information, and Health Device. BlueZ 5.21 also adds a kernel background auto-connection feature, support for storing/loading connection parameters, and also boasts a couple fixes over BlueZ 5.20.
HTC One M8 Prime release date may happen between October and December and is set to come preinstalled with the new Android L OS.
An XDA member leaked the roadmap of HTC in rolling out the Android L OS for its handsets. It seemed that HTC will offer the upcoming version of Android OS to its two-year-old gadgets. In a leaked document by HTC tipster @LlabTooFeR, smartphones from the past two years have all been marked with the "evaluation" stamp. Their tentative timeline is between October and December.
Reaching out to the next billion connected users is a phrase that has been tossed around liberally.
Mozilla used it when they announced their $25 smartphone initiative. Nokia’s (now Microsoft’s) Stephen Elop used it when Nokia launched the revamped Nokia Asha line last year, and again when he announced the Nokia X. Last year Google used the same phrase as it launched Android 4.4 KitKat.
However, these companies’ efforts are still to leave a mark in the countries where the supposed next billion connected customers reside. Firefox’ $25 smartphones are yet to enter the market, neither Nokia’s Asha nor X line have turned out to be “hot items”, while affordable smartphones running KitKat are still few and far between.
The flood of Linux-based home automation hubs that has arrived over the last two years is now being joined by a wave of intermediary solutions that integrate multiple ecosystems. One of the most promising is Wink, a spinoff from crowd-investment firm Quirky. A week after announcing its Linux-based Wink home automation hub and mobile app, the well-heeled startup demonstrated the technology in a model smart home launch event in New York City, and announced 15 partners and 60 compatible devices.
With the latest I/O conference, Google has finally publicly announced its plans for its new runtime on Android. The Android RunTime, ART, is the successor and replacement for Dalvik, the virtual machine on which Android Java code is executed on. We’ve had traces and previews of it available with KitKat devices since last fall, but there wasn’t much information in terms of technical details and the direction Google was heading with it.
Contrary to other mobile platforms such as iOS, Windows or Tizen, which run software compiled natively to their specific hardware architecture, the majority of Android software is based around a generic code language which is transformed from “byte-code” into native instructions for the hardware on the device itself.
Over the last week all the news has revolved around L with early leaks of its features and images. This morning we also reported of L’s source code released as a developer preview. This immediately led to many news articles incorrectly reporting that third party ROM builders will be able to soon offer L based ROM builds.
Well, according to CM (CyanogenMod) who is probably the most well-known third party ROM builder this will not be happening anytime soon. Instead CM is not so keen to jump on the L bandwagon and are holding a much more reserved and held-back position by releasing a statement very clearly indicating “L is for Later”.
VLC is the most popular Open Source video player which can play virtually any video and audio formats on the desktop PCs. It beats every video player out there whether it be QuickTime or Windows Media Player. When we talk about Android, the situation is not much different as due to ARM’s mess, its really tricky to get all videos to play. There are some apps but they are either paid, proprietary or they just don’t work that well. In a nutshell, we need VLC for Android.
Google hasn't yet released details on what specific handsets will work with Android Auto — but it seems like a safe bet that LG's future smartphones will work with the new system. And if the company keeps putting out phones as good as the G3 we reviewed last month, Android Auto support will be another point in favor of LG.
I used to believe that in the next stage of evolution we'd grow a third arm. That would be a sign that our bodies have adapted to one of the greatest physical impediments in human history: constantly having to pull out our smartphones to see if we have important messages.
But there's a less genetically drastic solution. A smartwatch can now deliver the most important and timely information straight to one of your existing wrists. And where Samsung 005930.SE +1.53% and some smartwatch startups have failed to gain momentum, Google's new Android Wear may be the first viable wrist-top platform.
The Blackphone is something that had debuted back in February as an anti-surveillance device in the wake of the severe NSA threats which had emerged around that time. This device has been priced at $629 and it comes equipped with an Android-based operating system which kicks in an array of security traits.
It's not just email either, though it tends to take the brunt of everybody's anger. There are dozens of apps sending us hundreds of notifications; managing all that incoming information is a genuine hassle. Looking at the notification center on our phones, it's hard not to imagine some harried, 1930s office worker. His tie is loosened, sleeves rolled up, sweat beading on his forehead underneath a green visor as he looks at the metal tray marked "INBOX" on his desk. It's piled high with a stack of paper, sent to him from people he doesn't know and doesn't love.
Blackphone, an Android-based smartphone developed by Silent Circle, SGP Technologies and Geeksphone, is now shipping. The phone became a sensation during Mobile World Congress as it offered extreme privacy of communication. After the NSA revelations made by Edward Snowden, there is a huge demand for services or devices which offer privacy from NSA and other surveillance agencies. However even the Blackphone doesn’t offer any protection from NSA. Phil Zimmermann, one of the creators of the phone, said that Blackphone doesn’t make you NSA proof.