Android

News about Google's Android, Android devices, and Android forks

Disagreements Arise Over the Prospects for Android Wear

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Android
Gadgets

When Android itself first arrived, it took some time succeed as well, as I noted in a post on OStatic back in 2009. Then, almost no phones shown at Mobile World Congress ran the platform. Since then, Google has shown that it can create strong markets for open mobile platforms.

In all likelihood, we'll see Google offer incentives for developers to rally around Android Wear, and incentives for buyers. There, too, Google has prior experience, as it has incentivized users and developers surrounding both Android and Chrome OS.

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Android L unofficial ROM available for Nexus 4

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Android
Google

It has barely been two weeks since I/O and L’s official introduction and we have seen a crazy influx of ported L features. Today though we are able to bring you the very first (that we know of) working prototype of L. This was created by some of the developers over at xda and (as of print) seems to be on the whole working to a good degree.

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Also: Android L Theme available for CM11 and PA users on Play Store

Best Custom Icon Packs for Android

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Android

Android is best known for its customizability. By installing a simple app, you can completely change the look of your smartphone. When compared to its competitor iOS, Android is miles ahead in this department. Despite the fact that the new iOS 7 offers a look that one finds hard not to drool over, Android users can imitate the flat-looking UI in a matter of seconds. In fact, we even wrote a whole article in helping you get that clean iOS 7 look.

In this article, we won't be helping you create a UI that imitates any other OS. Instead, we will be focusing on showing you some of the coolest-looking icon packs that will turn your boring vanilla phone into fabulous eye candy. The following is a list of some of the best icon packs for Android.

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Android Circuit: Samsung's New Galaxy Smartphones, Android Is The Top OS In The US, And The Home Screen On The Front Line

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Android

Taking a look back at the week in news across the Android world, this week’s Android Circuit focuses on Samsung’s new Galaxy handsets; Android tops the US market share; the Android ‘L’ changes; Google Play Services’ update for Android Wear support; Android Wear apps arrive in the Play Store; the battle for the home screen continues with Aviate; and what happens next in the smartphone world.

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Google Now Is The Killer App For Android Wear

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Android
Google

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.

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Build Android, Chrome apps from the Chromebook

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Android
Google

The app allows you to code through HTML, JavaScript and Dart - Google's JavaScript-like language, so there is no Java at this time, but you do get Git support.

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BlueZ 5.21 Adds More Android Features

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Android

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.

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HTC One M8 Prime to release with Android 5.0 L OS in October-December

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Android

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.

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Why Android One was Google’s most important announcement at I/O

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Android
Linux
Gadgets

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.

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Also: No Facebook, no iPhone, no problem: how I declared my digital independence

Improve Literacy – Open Source Software with Lowest Cost Tablet, Aakash

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Android
Linux
Gadgets

A “Spoken Tutorial” is a ten minute audio-video tutorial for K – 12 lessons and modules on “Aakash” (meaning Sky in Sanskrit), the world’s lowest cost device at $50. The spoken part of Tutorials is dubbed in all Indian languages, to help kids weak in English.

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Linaro Announces Android Open Source Project port for ARMv8-A

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Android
Linux
OSS

Linaro announces Android Open Source Project port for ARMv8-A Architecture is ready and running on a 64-bit multi-core SoC

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Now it’s easier to boot Linux on an RK3188 Mini PC (with a microSD card)

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Android
Linux

Want to run Android apps on your TV but don’t want to wait for the official Android TV launch? No problem — Chinese companies have been offering pocket-sized sticks with HDMI ports and ARM processors that lets you run Android on a TV for the past few years.

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Google launch Android Wear Apps on Play Store

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Android
Google

After the official unveiling of Android Wear devices last week Google have now finally uploaded a selection of Wear Apps to the Play Store. In total there are currently 33 apps available to download to your wear device although Google do insist more will follow soon.

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Wink's Linux Hub and Mobile App Take on Home Automation

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Android
Linux

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.

Wink also released its Javascript-based API to developers interested in building Wink apps for the supported Android and iOS platforms. Last week, Wink announced it will also ship an Android Wear version that will run on Android Wear smartwatches like the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live. The Android Wear app will communicate with devices via the full Android smartphone app, rather than directly, and will offer more limited features.

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A Closer Look at Android RunTime (ART) in Android L

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Android

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.

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Watch out iPad, Nvidia will soon launch a Shield Tablet

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Android
Mac

After releasing its Android-powered Shield portable console last summer, Nvidia is now all set to announce a new device called the Nvidia Shield Tablet.

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CyanogenMod users may not see Android L anytime soon

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Android

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”.

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VLC for Android available on Google Play Store

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Android
Software
OSS

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.

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LG is the first smartphone maker to join Google's Open Automotive Alliance

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Android
Google

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.

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Samsung announces Galaxy S5 mini, retains S5 gimmicks

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Android

Samsung enthusiasts who are eagerly waiting for the next Samsung device have some news in store. Samsung has announced the Galaxy S5 mini, the mini version of its 2014 flagship smartphone. While the pricing of the device has not been revealed yet, the specifications surely tell a story.

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