Google completes rollout of Google Play Services 4.2, Chromecast compatible apps can now be released


Last week, Google announced the release of the Google Cast SDK, but developers weren’t allowed to release their Chromecast compatible apps until Google Play Services 4.2 was completely rolled out. If you remember, released an updated version of Dayframe with Chromecast compatibility, but had to pull it later in the day since Google didn’t want new apps to be released just yet. For whatever reason, they allowed AllCast to stay in the Play Store.

Google just announced that the rollout is complete, thus the Google Play Services 4.2 SDK is now available. This new version of Google Play Services includes Google Cast APIs as well as updated Google Drive APIs. and more. This means that apps like Dayframe, and hopefully a slew of others, can now be released with Chromecast compatibility. Let the floodgates open.

source: +Android Developers More info: Google Play Services 4.2

Geeksphone ‘Revolution’ to be released Feb. 20, will dual-boot Firefox OS and Android


Geeksphone, a Spain-based OEM, will be releasing the “Revolution,” an Android and Firefox-based device on Feb. 20, just four days before Mobile World Congress.

The device will feature a dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, a 4.7-inch 960 x 540 screen, 1GB RAM, an 8MP rear shooter, and a 2MP front camera.

Its main feature, obviously being able to switch seamlessly between Firefox OS and Android, is certainly a nice addition to the device.

It can be purchased for 289 euro ($395) at launch. An early bird sale will have the phone for sale online-only for 269 euro.

We’ll keep you posted with more information as the release date approaches.

Source: Engadget


LG G2 leads the way in screen-bezel ratio, iPhones sit far behind


A recent graphic tweeted out by @somospostpc shows the screen-bezel ratio of a number of different phones— the LG G2 leads the way with a 75.7% ratio. (The percentage indicates the amount of the phone that is actually screen and not bezel.)

The iPhones (4S, 4, and 3GS) came in last, with the 3GS being the worst— its percentage was 50.8%. The 5S and 5 sat around 60%.

I mean, just look at the photo above and tell me that the iPhone’s forehead isn’t the biggest thing you’ve seen in your life!

It definitely surprised me to see these numbers, but at second glance, the area above and below the the iPhone’s screen, combined with the side bezels, can easily make up about half of the front of the device. Rumors suggest that the next iPhone will be bezel-free, mostly because there will be no home button. We’ll have to see whether or not Apple stays true to the rumors, but my guess is that they’ll find a way.

Check out the full graphic of bezel percentages after the break.

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Privacy Guard receives new feature in CyanogenMod 11


If you’ve taken a quick gander over in CM11’s Privacy settings, you’ll see that a new feature has been added. Over in the advanced AppOps view, a new panel has been added showing apps that start up upon your device booting up. This allows you to pick and choose which apps you would like to disable upon booting up.

Certainly a cool feature if you ask me. Out of curiosity, any of you guys use CM as your daily ROM?

source: CM’s Google+

Latest images of KitKat notification bar on Samsung devices evidence of improved relations?


In late January, word came out that Samsung and Google had reached some agreements to work on presenting a more unified user experience on Android devices. As part of that agreement, it appears Samsung is on the way to phasing out the Magazine UX it had been working on despite the recent release of new tablets equipped with Magazine. A new screenshot of the KitKat notification bar that Samsung is working on for their devices shows how the company is in fact reversing course to come closer to Google’s vision for the platform. The choice of color for the icons may seem like a simple thing, and it is, but it reveals a lot about the direction of development.

When Google released KitKat last year, one thing users noticed almost immediately were the white-only icons in the notification bar. The change to a monochrome design was significant enough that Google even had to spend some time explaining why this had occurred. The new image shows that Samsung has adopted Google’s direction in this area and extended this design cue to its own TouchWiz interface. Eldar Murtazin, @eldarmurtazin, indicates in his tweets about this change that it also means a lot for the future of the TouchWiz interface. This likely means the flat, monochrome concept may be extended throughout the user experience on Samsung devices.

source: @eldarmurtazin tweet 1, @eldarmurtazin tweet 2

Firefox teases its upcoming Android launcher


Today Firefox announced that they are currently working on an Android launcher. While they didn’t really reveal too much on its features, they did give us a screenshot giving us a small sample of what it looks like. According to the Firefox team:

Firefox Launcher for Android makes it easy to discover the content you want in any moment and is optimized for the way you use your phone. The app integrates the contextual adaptive app search from EverythingMe with the Firefox for Android Web browser to offer users a personalized and customizable Web experience that is fun and intuitive.

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Pebble releases beta version of app store for Android users


Earlier today Pebble released an app store for their smartwatches for users mating them with iOS devices. Not wanting to leave out Android users, Pebble’s developers have released a beta version of the Pebble Android mobile app that includes code for the app store for the first time on the Android platform. The app is intended for developers, so access to the app store even on a beta basis means having to register as a developer. You will also have to know how to sideload apk files to get it installed.

As a beta release, Pebble’s development team is aware of problems. The good news is the beta works, along with the app store component, albeit it runs slow. Users do have to contend with Pebble’s limitation of 8 apps installed at any one time as well. Hopefully Pebble will be able to attract enough testers to provide some solid feedback so the app can move out of beta and to an official release for all users in a short period of time.

source: @PebbleDev

Samsung and Google announce 10-year global patent license agreement


Samsung and Google have announced a new, long-term partnership to cross-license patents “covering a broad range of technologies and business areas.” The agreement covers both existing patents as well as any new patents filed during the next 10 years. Although Samsung and Google in general are not antagonistic toward each other, outside of the occasional small spat, they did take the opportunity to dig at other companies using litigation-based strategies with regard to their competition.

Samsung’s intellectual property lead, Dr. Seungho Ahn, stated the agreement shows “the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes.” Meanwhile, Allen Lo, Deputy General Counsel for Patents with Google noted that, “by working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation.”

source: Samsung Tomorrow Blog