All About Android 169

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All About Android
Episode 169

All About Android 169: Google Lovin' Baby

Guest

News

Google updated its Android distribution numbers for June of 2014 and KitKat has increased to 18% of the Android userbase, up from 14% in May. Jelly Bean still commands the field at 56%. Older Android builds continue to decrease, with ICS at 11%, Gingerbread at 13%, and Froyo at under 1% (won't be listed in too many more of these updates at all).
Folks at security software firm Avast bought 20 smartphones from eBay to see what data they could find on the "wiped" devices. Well, turns out it was quite a bit - they recovered 40,000 photos, hundreds of emails and texts, names and addresses, one completed loan application, and a whole lot more, including GPS data.
They were able to get to this data, of course, because factory-resetting a phone doesn't truly delete the data on it. When you "delete" a file on your phone or PC, it’s not really deleted. Rather the operating system deletes the pointers to the file and marks the space that the file occupies available so that it can eventually be overwritten. But until it’s overwritten, the file can still be restored. Of course Avast sells software that will overwrite deleted data for you, and this PR move was a good way to tell people about it.
A Play Store hiccup during Google I/O a couple of weeks ago revealed a new section of Android Wear apps before the smartwatches were available to the public, and Google quickly pulled down the promotion. But the Android Wear section of the Play Store is back up now, and contains about 35 apps that work with Android Wear, including Google apps like Hangouts and Maps, to third-party apps like Pinterest, Allthecooks, Duolingo, EAT24, and Lyft.
There is a not-so-minor Android Wear bug that Google no-doubt will address soon: Paid apps don't seem to work on Android Wear at the moment. Android Police reports that because of the way the Play Store encrypts paid apps to prevent piracy, they don't play well with Android Wear. Expect an update to fix that bug to roll out soon.
Google published official images of the Android L developer preview that you can install on the Nexus 5 and latest Nexus 7, but if you've only got an old Nexus 4 around you may be in luck. The folks over on XDA have been working on getting the Android L preview running on last year's Nexus 4. There's a pretty long list of apps that don't work on this port, and several rough edges in L in general, so we don't recommend you install this on your daily driver. Full instructions to flash and install the L preview are on XDA developers.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced over the weekend that some flights coming into the US from certain overseas airports could be subject to additional smartphone or device security screening (outside of the normal x-ray scan), meaning the device will need to be powered on to ensure it’s safe for travel.
This supposedly prevents the possibility of explosive devices being hidden inside popular electronic devices like smartphones or tablets.

Hardware

25:16

1. AT&T has an ongoing deal offering 25% off if you buy three accessories. So if you buy the watch with 2 other accessories (a sleeve, a travel case), that brings the cost of the watch down to $171.75.
2. If you spend $200 on an LG G3 with a two-year contract, AT&T will give you 50% off accessories, which includes the new G Watch. It's $229 retail, so $114.50 when you buy a G3.
iFixIt did a teardown of the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch, and ... surprise! There's a dormant, unused Wi-Fi chip inside the Gear Live. Android and me points out it’s been rumored that Samsung has a cellular-enabled watch planned that won’t need a smartphone for a data connection, but there is no official news yet.
Sony is pitching its new Xperia C3 as the best smartphone for taking selfies thanks to its wide-angle 5MP front-facing "PROselfie" camera, soft LED flash, and a set of quirky apps.
The phone is powered by a 1.2 GHz Snapdragon processor, a disappointing 1GB of RAM, and only 8GB of internal memory (thankfully a microSD card slot is provided). The main camera on the back has 8MP to work with, and on the front we see a 5.5-inch display with a 1280 by 720 resolution.
The Xperia C3 will launch in black, white, and mint globally in August 2014, starting with China. Pricing information is not yet available.
Google officially removed the Z Ultra, G Pad, and M7 from the Play Store, and they no longer appear under the Google Play Edition devices section.
The remaining three phones are the One M8, Moto G, and Galaxy S4. The S4, though, has been continuously out of stock for around three weeks now, so its demise seem inevitable, as well. A long-rumored Galaxy S5 GPE device has yet to materialize, though, even after months of the phone being on the market, and the introduction of the Samsung Gear Live Android Wear smartwatch.

Email

Thanks to Ron's super enthusiastic passion for the Samsung Gear, I ordered one and it arrived today. Ron should put in a claim for a commission !

Overall, I love it, not as much as Ron but I still love it.

The only issue I've found so far is that while texting it's sending texts from Google Hangouts using my real phone number rather than via my Google voice number. Please have Google fix it.

Thanks

Chris



What's the big deal about a round watch?

Here's my point. Traditional watches, that display time, have a round face because a basic clock face is round, make sense? But the smartwatch isn't just a timepiece, they are a computer display on your wrist. Our monitors are rectangular, as are our tablets, phones even TV's. It makes sense that text in a paragraph be displayed in a box. Even Google Now cards are rectangular. So why buy a round display for your wrist? To me it's impractical, trying to put a round peg in a square hole. Is it to fool people into thinking that this huge device is not a tech gadget, that you're wearing just a massive watch?

The Moto 360 looks to me like a ships porthole. I'm a happy Pebble user and have ordered the Gear Live.

What are your thoughts?

Love the show, thanks for all that you do.


Richard


Apps

58:00

The first game for Android Wear is here: and it's a Flappy Bird clone! The protagonist in Floppy Droid is a little green robot, and the gameplay is exactly what you expect: you tap to make the droid fly in between the tubes.
If you perform a voice search and Google misunderstands you, or you happen to garble your words, there's a quick way to take care of that. Just follow up with a second search that begins with "No, I said..." Google will then replace the incorrect word with what you said the second time.
The ability to copy and paste across Android and Windows machines recently made an appearance in the beta version of the app, and a screenshot found its way to Google+.
Pushbullet's account quickly responded on the Google+ image, saying that the surprise showing was accidental. The feature isn't ready yet, and it will be a while before it appears in a stable form.

Android Arena!

1:04:36

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Production Information

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