All About Android 116

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All About Android
Episode 116

Contents

All About Android 116: A Speculation Celebration

News

Full-page ads running in tomorrow's Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today: "the first smartphone designed engineered and assembled in the USA." "The first smartphone that you can design yourself. Because today you should have the freedom to design the things in your life to be as unique as you are." Tagline: "Designed by you. Assembled in the USA." Brian Wallace, Motorola's VP-global brand, told Adage "Smartphones are very different than other tech products a consumer owns. They're closer to shoes or a watch. You carry it with you everywhere you go. Everyone sees what phone you're carrying and they judge you on it. Yet it's the one thing you carry that's the least customizable." And Verge reporting that sources say the Moto X will not be a "Droid" device on Verizon, pointing to a unified brand message across carriers.
Previous Motorola flagship phones like the Droid RAZR HD and Droid RAZR Maxx HD have all been Verizon exclusives in the US. But while Verizon will almost certainly carry the Moto X, the Droid relationship is not over: it appears Motorola will also be building a new line of Droid Ultra phones, which will be branded and sold separately from the Moto X.
People familiar with the matter told the WSJ Google is currently developing: A videogame console, similar to Ouya, and reportedly in response to expectations that Apple will launch a console of their own with Apple TV. A wristwatch that connects to smartphone via Bluetooth. The next Nexus Q, much less expensive, but still with the goal of selling music/movies through Play. Next Android release known internally as "K release" this fall tailored to integration with a wider array of devices such as wearables/laptops/appliances/etc. Also better performance and compatibility with lower spec'd devices.
New Glass XE7 update for you Explorers out there. Hands-free in more places, for example: "OK Glass, reply" to an email or "OK Glass, answer call". All Gmail "My contacts" now accessible, not just the 9 you pre-selected. Full browser for search results. Touchpad single and two-finger gestures for navigation. Playback Youtube videos from a page, for example. Scroll - Slide your finger forward on the touchpad to scroll down. Zoom - Slide two fingers forward or backward to zoom. Look around - With two fingers down on the touchpad, move your head around to pan. Click - As you look around, you can tap to select anything in the center of the screen.

Email

25:45

Although I never actually used Google Reader, I did use Google Listen. Even after they took it off the Play store I stayed committed to Listen. Unfortunately, with the closing of Reader it means that Listen is permanently broken because it uses Reader to sync my podcast subscriptions.

I loved Listen's extremely simple UI. I'm in the process of trying out other podcast players but so far they all suck. Please announce to all the developers listening to All About Android to stop with all the bells and whistles and make a simple audio podcast player just like my dearly departed Listen.


Wayne in mourning

Pocket Casts

Hardware

27:57

The GS4 Google Edition can be had for $649, while the HTC One goes for slightly less at $599. Both are running the latest version of Android 4.2 shod of all skins and add-ons, with promised updates via Google itself. At the moment, the phones are only available to United States residents.
These worries began because select media outlets with the devices in hand noticed that the kernels for each have been built by HTC and Samsung in both GPe phones. Oh no! That means that the OEMs are still a part! It’s like the Galaxy Nexus LTE on Verizon all over again…or something! Ok, not so fast. Settle, folks. This is what Google told us: On background, we will be working very closely with Samsung and HTC on future software updates for these devices and they will receive software updates shortly after a new version is released.
4.3: New camera app Bluetooth Low Energy support (finally) WiFi scanning, even when WiFi is turned off (location services pulled from wifi SSID location as opposed to GPS, saves battery) Roboto font tweaks Sunbeam live wallpaper Notifications Hints at the possibility of a new notification API allowing developers of apps like LightFlow that depend on notification access (something they have to hack into at the moment) could use more effectively. Google contacted the dev of Light Flow in fact, saying of 4.3: Foreground apps will be required to have a status bar icon." Speculation: This could benefit Glass which deals with notifications on its own currently, not synced with device. (controlling notifications like play music from another device like Glass) Or Pebble which hacks accessibility API to do notification interaction currently. Or maybe devs could create notification panel replacement apps. App/Widget sorting Code snippets hint at dynamic sorting of apps/widgets based on frequency of use 4.3 is to be released very soon.
The GS4 Google Edition can be had for $649, while the HTC One goes for slightly less at $599. Both are running the latest version of Android 4.2 shod of all skins and add-ons, with promised updates via Google itself. At the moment, the phones are only available to United States residents.
HTC One S was released in April 2012. 15 months ago. HTC has confirmed that the phone will stay at 4.1 with Sense 4+, though they promised an update to 4.2 in February. Compare this to the Juniper studio last week where they determined that 77 percent of mobile malware threats could be avoided if users were upgraded to the current version of the OS, and you have a great device that gets no support early in its life cycle. HTC: "We realize this news will be met with disappointment by some, but our customers should feel confident that we have designed the HTC One S to be optimized with our amazing camera and audio experiences."

Email

45:15

I recently was working on speeding up my elderly Nexus S, and wasn't ready to commit to the pain of a factory reset and reinstall (as mentioned on All About Android 115.

Then I remember to try Android's safe mode. You can access it by pushing the power button, and then long-pressing on the restart option. Rebooting into safe mode will disable all background services from apps you've installed, and will only let you access the apps with shortcuts on your desktop. (The apps in the launcher are limited to the built-in apps.) The difference in speed blew me away - it truly felt like a new phone. It's not a long-term solution, but if you want to see how much of a difference a factory reset can make, it's worth a reboot to try it.

Thanks for the show!

Sam in NJ


Apps

48:00

A tipster on the Verge forums with a decent track record says he's seen the new YouTube app and it will enable (at launch) the playback of videos in a small window while the user does other things throughout the system. He also says to expect more breakout apps of core functionality. Discuss notifications…
For Android 4.1+ (Jelly Bean): - New voice action: play music from your phone or the Play Store - Information about shows you're watching on your internet-connected TV (US only)* - Saved offers when nearby a redemption location - Voice actions tips * Requires phone/tablet to be on the same network as your TV
In June, the Gmail app was overhauled and the delete button disappeared (by default.) Tons of people complained. Gmail was updated last week and sure enough, delete is back. People rejoice.

Android Arena!

59:55

Sponsors

Production Information

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