All About Android 165

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All About Android
Episode 165

All About Android 165: It's Creepy... Creepy Good


  • Matteo Doni, Test Engineer (Mobile Web and Mobile Applications), Skyscanner
  • @todoleo


Android distribution numbers are out and KitKat shows a growing presence at 13.6% of devices, nearly double the percentage from last month. That means KitKat and GB and are nearly equal at this point, with GB at 14.9%. Now, Chitika, an online advertising network, posted a report where they say, based on their own data, that KitKat comes in around 37% of the devices reporting to them, with Jelly Bean at 47% and GB at 7%. They claim the huge KitKat number is likely due to the Galaxy S series receiving its own updates to KK in recent months. So all in all, KitKat is making its way, finally. Just in time for another update to come along and kick it out of the front seat. What else is new?
An interesting piece on Ars Technica goes long on the recent Android 4.4.3 rollout. That update went to Nexus devices, Play edition devices, and Motorola devices all at the same time. Ars writer Andrew Cunninghams says this update seemed awfully coordinated and well-timed, reaching a large number of devices simultaneously, better-timed than any other Android rollout in the past. He thinks this may be a pre-cursor to the rumored Android Silver program, and that Google is actively working on getting ahead of the update curve and influencing the playing field to move toward more timely updates, and that Play Edition devices could in fact simply be batting practice for these improvements. Of course the downside will likely always be the carrier involvement that slows down any updates for most phones, but do keep in mind that the Moto X still received speedy updates EVEN ON VERIZON when 4.4 rolled out, so it is possible.
Android Police return with another rumor that they say is so credible, it needs no rating. It's practically certain: The feature is called Nearby, and once activated, will enable a user to be tracked via Location History in higher resolution ways than before… by doing things like turning on the mic, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc… in an effort to detect when your device is in close proximity with another Nearby device that you've chosen to be visible to. Not only that, it activates this functionality on all of your devices, so it could come in handy when, say, you arrive home and you want your home automation to know about it. Android Police reminds us that the Android Wear video had a point where a girl riding a bike says to her watch "OK Google, Open Garage." This could be a piece of that functionality.

Discussion - Matteo Doni




Amazon sent out a teaser to a "device unveiling" event that will be taking place on June 18 in Seattle (which-of course-happens to be the day after next week's episode airs). Amazon issued the invites using an application process that is for developers, media, AND customers. The invite came with a video of people reacting to *something* (the new device) and saying things like "It moved with me" and "wow." Of course, everyone expects this to be the unveiling of the Amazon Phone that we've talked about previously, with its four front-facing cameras that will track your head movement to simulate 3D on the screen. TechCrunch says they've confirmed that it will be, and they've also shared information about the technology powering the face sensing technology. Omron's Oakao Vision modified its head tracking tech to bring stereoscopic effects to the phone's LCD screen for things like accessing hidden side panels in the UI.
Another device that tracks motion is the Project Tango tablet that Google finally showed off in this video. It will be sold for $1024 as a development kit to get creative people working on cool ideas for the hardware. Google is supposedly producing thousands of them. 7" display, Nvidia Tegra K1, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, LTE.
Vertu brings the bling with the Vertu Signature Touch. Around $11,300 gets you a phone. Oh, right, the specs. Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC with 2.3GHz quad-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, and 64GB of memory. The handset’s display is a 4.7” 1080p unit covered by sapphire glass. 13MP camera unit with dual-LED flash, tuned by the photography powerhouse Hasselblad. The front-facing snapper is a 2.1MP unit. audio is tuned by Bang & Olufsen. LTE in addition to the standard high-end smartphone fare. The device is powered by a 2,275 mAh battery and supports Qi wireless charging. 4.4 KitKat. Encased with Grade 5 titanium and a slew of exotic leather options. Available this month to all 2 of you.

Android Wear


Bunch of Android Wear rumors: * MoDaCo reports a rumor that the LG G Watch will be released on 7th July in the UK and will cost less than Gear 2 Neo which means under $200. * The Chinese phone leaker @upleaks on Twitter supposedly leaks the G Watch's spec sheet, which lists a 36-hour standby time * Android Authority says the LG G Watch is essentially a reference device for Android Wear and will not only be shown off at Google I/O, it will be a giveaway to I/O attendees! Motorola will also be showing off the Moto 360, and another manufacturer - Asus perhaps? - might also be showing off their watch at I/O.



A few Google Play related things: First, if an update for the Play Store app is announced, and you haven't gotten it yet, there's a secret way to get it right away: Open settings menu in the Google Play Store app. Scroll all the way down. Tap on the Build Version section. And second: With the latest update, you will notice that the permissions display has changed considerably. Google trimmed 145 permissions down to around a dozen groups, making it much easier on the eyes. Google is obviously trying to better organize the permissions so people actually pay attention to them. In doing so, however, potential for abuse emerges. Let's say a developer has a phone related permission when you install the app. You say ok and install. Now that permissions are grouped, if that developer adds a new permission from the phone category, you will not be prompted to review the changes on the app update. All in all, it seems that though Google has cleaned up the UI, it stills leaves a lot of amiguity for the user as to what an app is actually doing behind the scenes. XDA encourages users to deactivate "Auotmatic update" for the time being and of course, carefully examine permissions changes. And a Redditor showed just what kind of power this change yields.
One of the most popular media streaming apps across all platforms is VLC, and VidelLan developer Felix Paul Kuhne said that Chromecast support is coming! To iOS, Android, Mac, Windows and Linux. Timing: the iOS version will come first, possibly as early as mid-July; no timing on the Android (or desktop) support release

Android Arena!



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