Samsung Galaxy S5 getting a Google Play Edition variant

GPE Samsung Galaxy S5

The title says it all.

According to @evleaks, the Samsung Galaxy S5 will soon be getting a Google Play Edition model in addition to the regular carrier models.

Of course this means stock Android with the awesome flagship specs of the S5, something many users are drooling over. Not to say that the S5 is the best of the best in specs right now, but it’s close.

Pricing, availability and release date are not yet known.

Source: @evleaks

Google Play Edition Moto G receiving Android 4.4.4 update


Android 4.4.4 wasn’t a major update, but there were some decently-sized bug fixes involved. Nonetheless, users are wondering when their devices will finally receive the update — those with the Google Play Edition Moto G can now stop wondering.

The 4.4.4 update is now pushing out to the phone, so if you have one, you can either wait for it to hit your device or flash it yourself. The download mirror to the software’s file is in the source link.

Source: XDA

Google creates Smarty Pins, a cool trivia game involving Maps


That’s not Smarty Pants, it’s Smarty Pins because it involves Google Maps. It’s a trivia game created by Google that isn’t as simple as just knowing the answer. Each question will be about a particular location, and you will have to move the pin to the right location within Google Maps.

The game features six categories: Featured Topics, Arts & Culture, Science & Geography, Sports & Games, Entertainment, and History & Current Events. You will find various topics within each of these categories.

Read more

Google Play Music gets updated with UI tweaks and Android TV support


Google’s Play Music app is getting an update with a handful of small tweaks, bringing it up to version 5.6. It’s not a complete material design update, but it does include some new UI changes that bring it closer to Android L’s design language. You’ll see a new toggle in the sidebar for viewing downloaded music, as well as the circular account switcher that we’re seeing in plenty of newer Android apps.
Read more

LG announces that it has joined the Open Automotive Alliance and is committed to Android Auto


The OAA (Open Automotive Alliance) has a new partner today, as LG announced it would be joining Google, General Motors, Hyundai, Honda, NVIDIA and more in their efforts to bring “greater connectivity into cars through the innovative application of the Android platform.”

The company’s press release noted that LG was present at this year’s Google I/O conference, showcasing its new range of audio, visual and navigation (AVN) system solutions for connected cars. These “connected cars,” of course, refer to those that will be Android Auto-compatible.

Read more

Android L’s new camera API will come with several new features


Google is overhauling a ton of things in Android L, one of which will be the camera API. Fortunately, this means you can expect to see several new features and improvements to the standard Android camera application, which has honestly been lacking up to this point.

The biggest thing to come from this new camera API will be pure performance. Thanks to better synchronization between the physical camera and the software, devices should be able to capture better images as well as 30 FPS videos at full resolution. The Nexus 5 on Android L, for instance, can capture a 30 FPS, 8 megapixel video, which is a big improvement over what it could do on previous versions of Android. 
Read more

Sundar Pichai talks Google’s platform expansion, open approach, and relationship with Samsung


On Wednesday at the Google I/O 2014 keynote, Sundar Pichai and Google introduced new platforms centered around Android. The newest arms of Android include Android Wear, Android TV, and Android Auto. With them, Google is ensuring Android has a presence in various areas of a person’s life. Interviewed by Wire, Pichai explains why Google has an approach in which Android and Chrome are appearing in many different areas while working together. He also spoke about why Google has a horizontal approach in being open and welcoming users of other platforms (like iOS) with their products (like Chromecast). Pichai even noted that the company has healthy relationship with Samsung and often gets to see their roadmap of what is to come.
Read more

Google forges partnership with MediaTek for Android One device development


Android One Google IO

At the Google I/O keynote this week, Google announced that it would be working on a new initiative, called Android One, which would aid OEMs in the development of low-cost smartphones geared towards users in emerging markets.

Google has decided to work with MediaTek on this initiative, which will most likely be manufacturing the chips for the devices.

Read more