All About Android 129
Guest: Shannon Morse
Topic: Are benchmarks important? new Kindle Fires, Google's app update-palooza, LG G2 review, and more.
Recorded: October 1 2013
All About Android 129: Another Tutorial
- Ars Technica's Ron Amadeo made an interesting discovery when reviewing the new Samsung Note 3: That there is some special sauce on the device that is actively gaming benchmark tests. He explains that in normal app usage, the phone shuts off inactive cores and throttles the speed of the device down to conserve power. But when a large number of Benchmarking apps are launched, it recognizes this and activates all cores at top speed. This recognition happened by way of the decice recognizing the package names of popular benchmarking apps.
- So, Ron renamed the Geekbench benchmarking app to Stealthbench and sure enough, the phone ran the app in normal mode, giving Ron a true look at the untainted benchmarked specs. After running comparisons, the Note 3 was goosing the numbers by 20 percent or so.
- Strangely, the untainted numbers still have the Note 3 coming out ahead of what is likely the closest competitor at the moment, the LG G2.
- It's also possible, Ron says, that the Note 10 tablet has similar voodoo happening under the hood as well.
- Does this matter yet? Should benchmarks measure normal performance or peak performance?
- Samsung Busted Boosting International Galaxy S4 Benchmarks
- Google Japan launches Android vending machines in Tokyo
- The Upcoming Glass Development Kit Launch Will Finally Allow Google Glass To Live Up To Its Potential
- First, third party apps by be coming to the next Glass update, XE10. Sources are confirming to Geek.com that devs will have access to the GDK (Glass Dev Kit), which means they can make apps that do more than just push and retrieve images, audio and video using the Mirror API. The GDK means devs will finally have access to the motion tracking sensors and create customized voice commands for launching their app from the main menu. As well, expect a timed announcement from Google revealing the devs they've already been working with and what they might have to offer. Sometime in October.
- If you have yet to use Glass for yourself and want to check it out, hit up the cross-country tour! Try on Glass, chat with the Glass team and indulge yourself with Google's food and drink. First stop is Durham on Oct 5.
- "Fire OS" with better enterprise features for secure browsing and email.Mayday, a 24/7 customer support picture-in-picture solution (you can mute them and block the from seeing your screen if you choose) Free.
- 16GB $229 Wifi
- $329 with LTE
- $379 wifi
- $479 with LTE
- New pictures, and a log that supposedly details the specs and offerings:
- Likely has wireless charging, Miracast support, more hints at the ability to theme the OS/notification bar (possibly a color scheme picker for the oS in KitKat), and the previously leaked specs (a 5-inch, 442 ppi full HD display; 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 CPU; 2GB RAM; 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.2-megapixel front; a full host of sensors; and LTE radio and NFC capability.)
- The date of October 14 as the reveal has been floating around as well.
- Nexus 5 log tips wireless charging, Miracast, themes
- Leaked Nexus 5 log details specs and subtle ui changes
So what is going on with Chromcast? Pocket Casts states they are ready but GOOGLE is not approving it. Plex is still not available. I see no support approved for it other than the initial apps that shipped with it. What is going on? Did I waste money on another failed streaming product from Google??
- ReadWriteWeb asked the same question. Google says that the software developer kit isn't ready yet for mass adoption, and that's about all we get from Google.
- Google has a history or releasing a product or service with MUCH fanfare, and then taking forever to to take it to the finish line. Gmail being the most obvious example.
- It also dropped the ball in a number of ways in capturing the Living Room with Google TV. So they want to get it right.
- But if they wait too long, they lose that momentum.
LG G2 Review
Chad Johnson gives a review of the LG G2.
- Gmail app updates:
- Improved conversation view
- Better multi-select
- Cleaner design with Cards!
- Code reveals:
- A few very minor fixes.
- ADS (though we don't know exactly how it will be implemented)
- APK Teardown / What's Really New Gmail 4.6: Ads Are Coming To Gmail For Android, Unsent Messages Warning, And More
- Hangouts 1.2 Update Rolling Out, Brings Availability Statuses, A Better Organized Contact List, And More
- Hangouts updates:
- See who's online FINALLY
- Contacts organized by People you Hangout with, Suggested People, and Other Contacts.
- Long press contacts in the New Hangout screen to hide them.
- Invites are now above your conversations so they're easier to find.
- Pinch-to-zoom photos!
- Code reveals:
- Rich status coming back! (ie. "Ron is ignoring you right now" or "Jason is about to throw his phone out the window")
- Might update based on activity (ie Biking, driving, etc)
- Set your mood
- APK Teardown Code Within Hangouts 1.2 Indicates Rich Statuses, Including Activities And Moods, Are Coming
- Google Search Updated To 2.8.7 With Automatic Language Pack Updates, Wider TV Program Recognition, Tablet UI Tweak APK Download
- Google Search app updates:
- Synced Google Now actions (for example, set a reminder on one device, get that reminder on another.)
- Auto-update language packs
- Hotword switching to "OK Google" from "Google" and it also works from results and not just the search screen
- Google unveils search updates for mobile, new Page Rank algorithm, and Knowledge Graph comparisons
- Surprise! Google Search Update 2.8.7 Changes Hotword To 'Ok Google' And Enables Hotword From Search Results, After Language Pack Update
- YouTube Updated To Version 5.1.10 With New Video Notifications, Better Contextual Menus, More APK Download
- Very minor update to YouTube
- And finally, Google Voice adds support for SMS short codes, so you can finally use your Google Voice number to do things like online banking verification, SMS alerts, and American Idol voting.
- Chrome app update:
- Search by image
- New gestures for navigating tabs and menus
- Swipe horizontally across the top toolbar to quickly switch tabs.
- Drag vertically down from the toolbar to enter into the tab switcher view.
- Drag down from the menu to open the menu and select the item you want without having to lift your finger.
You rave all the time about Google Play and while it seems great, those of us in countries like Canada can’t get it. I use Songza but it not the same because you can’t control the music. I also have a 14 year old who is frustrated because she has a hard time buying music on Android. She is pushing for an iPhone just so she can get the music. Do you have any alternatives that you can suggest to play so my daughter does not go over to the dark side?
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