“App Ops” privacy feature removed from Android 4.3

app_ops
That awesome “App “Ops” feature that appeared on Android 4.3 is now gone. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has found that Google removed the feature because it was “put there accidentally and wasn’t supposed to be part of Android 4.3.” The feature allowed users to “install apps while preventing the app from collecting sensitive data like the user’s location or address book,” an incredibly safe and useful feature.

The EFF says that Android should bring back the feature, as well as introduce the capability to let users disable network access for applications that clearly don’t need it, like flashlight apps, wallpapers, UI tweaks, and some games. The Foundation urges users not to update to Android 4.4.2, despite the fact that the update includes security enhancements and bug fixes.

Source: EFF
Via: BGR

LG G Pad 8.3 GPE receiving Android 4.4.2 now

google_play_edition_LG_g_pad_update

The Google Play Edition of the LG G Pad 8.3 is starting to receive the Android 4.4.2 update. According to a reader over at Droid Life, the 8-inch near-Nexus tablet is receiving the update sized at 52MB. The update “improves performance and stability and bug fixes.” On the surface, there are no major user interface changes. Head on over to Settings/About tablet/System updates to see if your LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition is ready for Android 4.4.2.

Via: Droid Life

Estonian LG Optimus G receives Android 4.4 update [Updated]

LG_Optimus_G_Sprint_TA_Back

Back in October, France announced that their LG Optimus G would receive Android 4.4 as early as October. Considering KitKat’s release date was only October 31, that was preposterous. Still, it seems like the Optimus G will still be one of the first devices to receive the 4.4 update – at least in Estonia. LG’s Facebook page in Estonia announced that Optimus G customers of Elisa, the second largest carrier in the country, will begin receiving Android 4.4 today.

No word on when Optimus G owners outside of Estonia will receive KitKat, or when the higher-end LG G2 will receive 4.4.

Update: Unfortunately the information on LG’s Facebook page was untrue and LG reached out to us with the following statement…..


Read more

Sprint rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat update to Moto X

Moto_X_Touchless_Control_TA

After sending out soak test invites last week, owners of the Moto X on Sprint are finally receiving Android 4.4 KitKat. While all of the KitKat goodies are being added, except for the Google Experience Launcher, Motorola is also enhancing some of their own features such as Touchless Control.

If you’re unaware of what this update will bring, hit the break for an overview.
Read more

Hangouts 2.0.2 released adding import SMS option, group messaging toggle and MMS bug fixes

Hangouts_2.0.2_Update

Today an updated version of Google Hangouts began rolling out, adding a number of new features. Many of these features aren’t really that exciting, but they certainly fix a couple annoying little bugs that were introduced when SMS and MMS support was added to Hangouts.

One of the biggest problems of Hangouts 2.0 was that it automatically converted SMS messages sent to multiple people to MMS messages – something that could cost extra money for a lot of users. Users can now disable this and not use MMS when sending a text to multiple recipients.

Hit the break to read more and for a download link.


Read more

Nexus devices receiving Android 4.4.2 (KOT49H), manual update ready

Nexus_5_Nexus_Logo_TA

Nexus 5, 4, 7, or 10 owners should be receiving Android 4.4.2 (KOT49H) starting today. The update brings small changes that are all behind the scenes. Security enhancements and software fixes are included.

If you prefer to do things yourself, then you can manually install the update yourself. Just like the Android 4.4.1 update, instructions here, have the ZIP file for your specific Nexus device downloaded. But remember, you must have the previous update downloaded first.

Hit the break for download links.

Thanks Barry!
Read more

Sprint sending out Moto X KitKat soak test invites

moto_x_sprint_soak_test

Just about everyone with a Moto X has or is getting KitKat relatively soon. Verizon got the update first and AT&T followed shortly after. US Cellular’s update is even around the corner. And according to a tipster over at Phone Arena, Sprint is sending out soak test invites for the Android 4.4 KitKat update. If you’re part of Motorola’s Feedback Network, you are likely to have received the invite. Being a part of the soak test allows Motorola to have a sample size good enough to identify problems and fix them before a major roll out.

Sprint Moto X owners, have you received a soak test invite?

Source: Phone Arena

Update hits Play Movies, lets users save videos in low resolution to save space, increase download speed

Google Play Movies

A new version of Google Play Movies now allows users to stream video in standard definition even if the user had purchased the HD version of the movie. Previously, users were forced to download the massive video file of HD content— now, more options are presented.

You’re most likely asking: why would I watch the standard definition version of a video after purchasing the HD version? Well now, having the choice of which version to watch lets you save storage space if it’s running low, especially if your device doesn’t support microSD storage.

There isn’t anything else too major in the update, but it’s still noteworthy that Google is providing another option to users looking to stream media to their devices. Hit the break for the link to the app in the Play Store.


Read more

New custom ROM for Chromecast released on XDA-Developers

Chromecast_481

A diamond in the rough tends to pop up on XDA-Developers every week weeks, and this time it’s ddggttff3‘s PwnedCast ROM for the Google Chromecast. The ROM is based on the 13300 stock image, is rooted, and features its own OTA system. It also has a dedicated recovery and a custom kernel. If you have a rooted Chromecast, hit the break to link over to the XDA-Developers post with instructions and more details.


Read more

Jelly Bean Android distribution climbs again, KitKat appears

android_distributionRemember last month when Jelly Bean climbed to claim more than half of the distribution on Android devices? Well, that figure has climbed again, from 52.1% to 54.5%. That includes Android 4.1.x, 4.2.x, and 4.3. Newly released KitKat is currently only on 1.1% of devices, but that number’s sure to continue growing.

Ice Cream Sandwich dropped to18.6% from 19.8%, Gingerbread to 24.1% from 26.3%, and HoneyComb and Froyo are down to 0.1% and 1.6%, respectively.

Source: Android Developers