Kernel source files for LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live released by Google

Android_Wear_Sample_Cards

Google, via the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), has made the official kernel files for the Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch available for download. This is good news for developers who want to work on developing custom ROMs for the devices or fine tune apps to take full advantage of the platform. Being smartwatch devices, this should also help those developers who want to create unique watch faces for the devices.

In releasing the code, Bill Yi on the Android Building Google Group indicated the development team is planning a “full platform push” for the next version of Android, currently dubbed Android L.

If you want to grab the source, hit the source link below.

AOSP

Google redesigns the Chromecast site with improved usefulness

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Google has given the dedicated site for Chromecast a redesign. It was previously difficult to actually use the site as a tool for exploring what Chromecast has to offer in terms of applications. Now, though, Google is giving breakdowns for featured, new, and other apps to help users get the most out of the $35 dongle. A filter is included to see which platforms for Chromecast are supported. And there is even a search button to see if Chromecast has exactly what you are looking for.

Let us know if you find the redesign useful.

Source: Chromecast

New and improved ‘Explore Nearby feature’ coming to Google Maps

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Google recently updated the Maps app last week with new features, but it looks like a handful of people are getting one additional feature. It’s a new and improved “Explore Nearby.”

Everybody already has the current version of Explore Nearby, which will give you ideas for different types of establishments. This newer version gets its own button at the bottom right, and it’s more powerful. It has more groups along with points of interest. You can even select the time of day to get better suggestions such as a bar for later at night.

We aren’t sure when this will land on an official update, but we are thinking sooner rather than later.

source: Android Police

Want an updated factory image of Android L Dev Preview? Not gonna happen, a Googler says

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If you’re one of the many who jumped ship from their stable Android version to try out the Android L Developer Preview, you definitely noticed it’s not exactly the most polished thing in the world (not even close, actually).

No reason to be mad at Google, though — it’s just a developer preview, and we’re lucky to have something before launch.

As most Android enthusiasts tend to do, we looked ahead, and hoped for Google to upload an updated factory image of the L Developers Preview. But according to Googler Rich Hyndman, it ain’t happening.


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ZTE announces Google Now Launcher coming on new devices

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ZTE has announced that they are adopting the Google Now Launcher for a couple new devices, and probably more later, instead of loading a custom user interface making them some of the first smartphones outside of Nexus devices and Google Play Experience devices to do so. The ZTE Blade Vec 4G is a mid-range device that has been selling in China and Europe. ZTE’s announcement regarding the use of the Google Now Launcher coincides with the device’s entry into the Hong Kong market.
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Games with in-app purchases will no longer be called “free”

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Everyone loves free games, but many of them are not actually free. In-app purchases within a game can make just as much money for a developer that releases a paid one without any purchases after the initial download.

The European Union feels that this is an issue for consumers since many parents have run into an problem with children making in-app purchases after a “free” game has been downloaded. Google has listened and will no longer use the word for games featuring in-app purchases. Also, the company will have restrictions built to make it not so easy for people (but primarily children) to make in-app purchases without permission. These changes will all become official in September.

Google working on fixing laptop battery drain bug in Chrome

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A recently uncovered bug in Chrome showed that Google’s browser was unnecessarily using too much battery on laptop computers due to the way Chrome handled PC processors when it was idling. Chrome sets the processor tick rate at 1 millisecond, even when it’s just sitting in the background not doing anything, which can cause up to an extra 25% battery drain on some hardware. Other browsers, like Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, keep the CPU tick rate at the default 15.625 milliseconds when it isn’t doing intensive tasks.
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[APK Download] Google Maps now has richer biking navigation and voice input

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A Google Maps update is rolling out now (to version 8.2). Firstly, it brings a much better experience to bikers that use Maps. When designing a route for biking, Maps will now show much information such as altitude. This will be very helpful for bikers that are serious bikers. the other part of this update is in the form of new voice input while navigating. Just hit the microphone on the display and voice input is ready to go with whatever you throw at it.

The update is unsurprisingly moving at a slow pace, but we have the APK file ready for you.Hit the break for download links.


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Google, Samsung have growing tension over wearables

Gear Live

First they argued and made up over a software scuffle, but now there is tension regarding wearables. Samsung recently made the decision that Tizen would be its smartwatch platform, but Larry Page of Google is not very happy about that. According to The Information, Samsung’s vice chairman Jay Y. Lee met with Page a few weeks ago and Page expressed exactly how he felt.
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Google will release a custom watch face API for Android Wear soon, current watch faces may not work with it

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When Google released the Android Wear SDK at Google I/O a few weeks ago, we were told that custom watch faces weren’t supported. I was very disappointed, but very excited to actually see custom watch faces in the Play Store a week later. How was this possible? Well I am no developer, but there is some sort of workaround that is working pretty well.

Google’s Wayne Piekarski recently posted about this and mentioned that a custom watch API is in the works.  He also notes…


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