‘Project Svelte’ to end Android fragmentation issues once and for all

Android_4.4_Kit_Kat_Everybody_Dance_Now

We first saw Project Butter in Android 4.1, which had the goal to make Android’s system processes “buttery smooth”  by making the operating system faster, more reliable, and less prone to crashes.

However, Project Butter didn’t do much on the memory footprint reduction front for Android. So, with the goal to make the newest features and design elements of Android work on almost any device, Android introduced Project Svelte in 4.4 KitKat.

Next month’s Chromecast Hackathon could mean a lot more apps on the horizon

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There’s no question the Chromecast might be the coolest new device of the year, but the lack of apps is a little disappointing. The reason is because the SDK is still in preview, which means apps can be developed, but they can’t be released without Google’s approval. Eventually the SDK will be released, which will open it up to all sorts of stuff, a day we are eagerly looking forward to.

Now that day might be very close because Google is hosting a Chromecast Hackathon in Mountain View on December 7th and 8th. They have invited a number of developers, including Koushik Dutta and Thomas Kjeldsen. We have highlighted a few apps that Koush created in the past including AirCast.

Sony files patent for “smart wig” with computing technology and sensors built in

Sony wig

Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, especially after the Motorola filed a patent for a “smart tattoo” to be placed on one’s throat, Sony comes along to outdo it all.

The company filed a patent today for special wigs with computing technology and sensors built in. It’s definitely not as permanent as the tattoo concept, but perhaps a bit more bizarre. We’re one step closer to being complete cyborgs. Here’s an excerpt from the patent application:

Wearable computing device, comprising a wig that is adapted to cover at least a part of a head of a user, at least one sensor for providing input data, a processing unit that is coupled to the at least one sensor for processing said input data, and a communication interface that is coupled to the processing unit for communicating with a second computing device. The at least one sensor, the processing unit and the communication interface are arranged in the wig and at least partly covered by the wig in order to be visually hidden during use.

Like I’ve said before, we can’t really judge whether this is totally insane or not, because most of the things we now see as mundane would have seemed pretty insane back in the day.

Source: Techaeris 

Job postings hint that Chromecast could be going international

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With Google’s Chromecast starting to gain more support, international consumers are wanting to get their hands on the $35 dongle. Job postings in London, Paris, and Hamburg that involve Google-branded hardware like Chromecast according to Digital TV Europe. Two of the United Kingdom based jobs directly involve the device. One is a technical account manager and the other is a “developer advocate.” Over at the Mountain View headquarters in California, Google is seeking an international product manager for Chromecast. So it’s safe to say that Chromecast will be extending itself beyond the United States within the next few months.

Source: Digital TV Europe
Via: Ausdroid

Google’s Patch Reward Program adds numerous open source software projects

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Approximately six weeks ago, Google launched a new program it was calling the Patch Reward Program. The program encourages coders to take a proactive approach to improve “third-party” software that Google believes is key to the health of the Internet. According to Google:

“The goal is very simple: to recognize and reward proactive security improvements to third-party open-source projects that are vital to the health of the entire Internet.”

New KitKat build KRT16S being pushed out to squash bugs

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Google has started to push out updated code for Android 4.4 KitKat on Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 devices. The build, KRT16S, replaces the version that was released last week, KRT16O. Google indicates that factory images and proprietary binaries will also be available shortly. No details have been released about what is different in this latest version or what specific bugs are addressed that required such a quick release. There is no indication that the Nexus 5 is being impacted by this new build.

source: Android Build group

Google engineer explains white status bar icons and connectivity in Quick Settings

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The shift from blue to white icons in the status bar was one of the many visual changes to Android 4.4 KitKat. Another change was the location of your connectivity’s status. Prior to KtiKat, a gray internet or WiFi icon meant you had no internet connection; however, this is now orange and in a new location. Pulling down the status bar, you’ll see your usual notifications. Tap on the top right icon and you’ll see Quick Settings. If your connection is orange, you have no connectivity.

Google engineer Dan Sandler explained the reasoning on Google+. The white icons are much easier to see on a transparent background and blue could clash with a user’s wallpaper. The connectivity indicators were sent over to Quick Settings because of confusion among users. They had no idea what the change from blue to gray meant. And the up/down arrows for data are also in Quick Settings because it was using a fairly good amount of computing power just to display that information every time data was used.

Source: +Dan Sandler
Via: Android Police

Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 do not have Google Experience Launcher after Android 4.4 KitKat update

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According to a Nexus 7 owner over on Reddit, that device and the Nexus 10 do not have the Google Experience Launcher after receiving today’s update to Android 4.4 KitKat. As we noted last week, Google said that the Google Experience Launcher would remain exclusive to the Nexus 5 because they want “to see how users take to the Launcher on Nexus 5 before it offers it on other devices.” This Nexus 7 owner says the only changes he notices are the different icons for apps like Settings and Camera and the switch from blue to white in the notification bar. The update did not bring Google Now on the far-left of the home screen and still has the home screen count at five.

Source: Reddit

CyanogenMod Installer becomes official as it hits the Google Play Store

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ROM flashing has just become that much easier for all of us. Today, Cyanogen and his team have officially released their much anticipated CM Installer into the Google Play Store. While flashing ROM’s may be easy and 2nd nature to some, it can be scary and difficult to venture into for others. Now with the CM Installer, having CyanogenMod on your Android device is just “a click” away, so to speak. Just make sure your device is part of the “supported device list” and you can give it a shot. QR code and Play Store link will be after the break along with the full press release.

Android 4.3 update arrives on US Cellular Samsung Galaxy S 4

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Android 4.3 is eventually making its way to all versions of the Samsung Galaxy S 4. Following the Sprint and Verizon S4s getting 4.3 last week, it’s US Cellular’s turn to get the new software. In addition to 4.3, firmware version R970VXUAMJA brings Galaxy Gear support, Samsung’s KNOX enterprise security suite, and various bundled apps including Mobile TV, Slacker Radio and Amazon Shopping.

We’re still waiting for 4.3 to land on the AT&T and T-Mobile S4s. According to a leaked timetable, it looks like they will come on November 13 and 18, respectively.

Source: Samsung Support

Motorola files patent for “smart tattoo” on throat

Wearable Tattoo

We’ve seen some pretty crazy patents filed in the past few months, and simultaneously, wearables are becoming more and more popular in the mobile device industry.

But it still may be a bit surprising to find out that Motorola has just filed a patent for a “smart tattoo” which would be placed on one’s throat, and would act as a microphone to improve voice quality so well that you would be nearly crystal clear on the other end.

Most of these far-out patents don’t go into too much detail about how they will work, but Motorola’s filing actually gets pretty extensive. Hit the source link below for more information.

A lot of people think this idea is extremely ridiculous, and this could never possibly reach the market and be successful, but we have certainly been surprised before.

Via: Android Guys
Source: US Patent and Trademark Office

Images hint that Android 4.4.1 will come in the near future

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It’s almost a given that Android will get better and better with age. New updates are constantly being pushed, both by Google and the manufacturers which build your devices. Every once in a while, Google will release a new version of their operating system. And sometimes, we find out about them right after the announcement of the last.

That’s exactly the case we have here before us today, as a leaked image off the Chromium site depicting build KOT31B. Myce.com believes that this is the second version of Android Kit Kat 4.4 OS, possibly 4.4.1. It’s not expected to be full of new features like Android 4.4 was, but the usual bug fixes/performance updates will certainly be welcome.

Hit the break for the full image.

Google Glass ‘XE11’ update release notes posted by Google

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If you want to know all the details regarding Glass’ XE11 update, Google has just posted everything on their support site.

Here are some of the highlights:

Personalized search results have been updated, so that you can program “Home” and “Work” to the exact addresses. Directions will now be much more convenient. You can also search your Google Calendar, and see everything that’s coming up on your schedule.

There’s also an updated “swipe to setup” screen. If your device is new, you’ll see this right away but otherwise you’ll have to do a factory reset if you’re really that interested.

When you’re connected to Glass, you’ll also see a shortcut to Screencast in your notifications drawer on your phone.

Long press is also gone. To search, now you can just tap the touchpad three times while the display is off, or say “Ok Glass/Google” from the home screen.

Source: Google Support

 

Google Experience Launcher exclusive to the Nexus 5 for now

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For now, the Google Experience Launcher will remain available only on the Nexus 5. Google has told The Verge that its exclusivity could extend to last year’s Nexus 4, but for now they’re analyzing how users handle it on the newest Nexus device. Another possibility is for the Google Experience Launcher to be made available in the Play Store; however, that is likely far off as they would rather like to see devices get upgraded to the latest software version. So if you don’t have the Nexus 5, hang tight or see if there’s a KitKat ROM or leaked build available for your device. They’re showing up quite frequently. Hit the break for the full quote on what Google shared with The Verge.