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

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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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

by Jeff Causey on
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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. » Read the rest

Games with in-app purchases will no longer be called “free”

by Justin Herrick on
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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

by Jared Peters on
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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. » Read the rest

[APK Download] Google Maps now has richer biking navigation and voice input

by Justin Herrick on
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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

by Justin Herrick on
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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. » Read the rest

Google will release a custom watch face API for Android Wear soon, current watch faces may not work with it

by Robert Nazarian on
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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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Google partners with Udacity to teach about Android app development

by Justin Herrick on
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We all want to create an application. While there are simplified tools out there allowing users to drag and drop blocks to build something of their own, it does not go very much further. And learning to develop apps is a time-consuming task that not many people have the patience for. It can be rather difficult. Google, though, wants to promote the education of developing Android apps and is doing so by partnering with Udacity. » Read the rest