Although Microsoft is killing off Android on their Nokia smartphones, one bit of software appears to continue to have some life in the Android ecosystem. That would be Nokia’s HERE Maps application, their version of a map and navigation tool similar to Google Maps. HERE Maps was originally designed for Samsung’s Tizen powered Gear devices so pedestrians could use it. Subsequent to that, Nokia and Samsung agreed to make it available on other Samsung devices running Android with a projected release date in October. The exclusivity for Samsung may be short-lived though after an APK of a beta version was leaked today.
We’ve got our hands on a list of APK files included in Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 4 — some of which reveal some interesting information regarding the OEM’s next flagship.
While “VoiceNote4t” and “SamsungMusic_20″ are pretty self explanatory, but others peak our interest a bit more.
Earlier today we reported on the addition of PayPal as a payment option in the Google Play app. Since Google rolls out updates to their core apps over the course of several days, there is a good chance you could still be waiting for this update. You don’t have to though as the APK is now available for download and install using the link below.
Google started rolling out an update to Google Play Services earlier this week to take it up to version 4.4. Publicly, the update included the ability to embed Street View imagery in apps, some motion detectors, and tweaks to Mobile Ads, game services, and Google Wallet. Now that the update has started to reach actual users, a teardown of the APK has commenced revealing Google included a lot more in the file even if it has not been turned on yet.
Back in March, Paranoid Android added a new feature called Peek, which functions much like Active Notifications on a Moto X, to their custom ROM. Since installation of a custom ROM may be more than what some users are willing to undertake, computer science student Zhe Lu decided to break the Peek app away from the rest of the ROM and convert it into a standalone APK that could be installed on any device running at least Android 4.4.2.
Another update from Google, joining an update to Google Play Music and Google Play Games, brings some enhancements to Google Text-to-Speech as it ratchets up to version 3.0. Perhaps the most significant change included in this latest release is support for high quality voices. The files are significantly larger for new voices with the female U.K. voice weighing in at 276MB. The larger files sizes do create some delays loading the voices and getting output in certain situations.
We were already pretty sure that the next big installment of Samsung’s Galaxy series would be called the Galaxy S5, and a recent tweet by @evleaks suggests that the rumors are true. The device is coming soon, and although we don’t know much about it, a second tweet from @evleaks showed an image of an .apk file with the word “QHD” in the file name. (3DTourViewer_WQHD_K.apk.) This may or may not have to do with the fact that the phone could come with a QHD display, but if it does, that’s a pretty big deal. We’ll see soon enough.
Sources: @evleaks 1 / @evleaks 2
When Google announced the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat, one of the “new” apps that was launched was a new phone dialer that came with some unique features. The dialer came with an updated UI, featured Internet-based caller ID, and perhaps most notably, the ability to search for businesses and contacts, both on the device and from the Internet, from within the dialer. For now, it looks like Google is limiting the availability of this new dialer to Nexus devices and Google Play Edition smartphones. If you really want to get a copy of the dialer, it is now available if you meet a couple minimum requirements including root and an Android 4.4 ROM, either official or custom.
The dialer is available as both a flashable ZIP file to be installed via a custom recovery or as an APK file that is placed in /system/priv-app. For the latter option, you will need to be able to change the permissions of the APK file. Some users who have tried the install have reported the app icon does not show up in the app tray. It appears the solution to this problem is to use Nova Launcher and its feature that allows you to run a specific activity within an app. It also appears the default dialer needs to remain active in order for users to receive calls, but this could vary by device.
If you want to give the dialer a try, hit the source link to get the files and detailed install instructions.
We’ve got to give credit and praise where credit and praise are due. When Google announces a new update version, such as KitKat, it can often take third party developers to catch up with the changes and get their application up to speed. So we’re tipping our hats to the developer behind Nova Launcher, a third party home replacement app that allows you to customize your home screen in a variety of ways. Since the announcement of the Nexus 5, we’ve seen the new “translucent” look that comes with 4.4 and well, we want it. As for several selected devices the new look has been added by the dev to Beta version of Nova Launcher and also takes advantage of custom icon packs. And though the selected devices, as we’ve mentioned, are slim, there are some big hitters (see changelog for full list on Kevin Barry’s G+ page at source link).
Did you happen to drop the new XE11 update on your set of Google glasses? If you did, here’s an update feature you may not know it had. The new XE11 update introduced a plethora of changes to the device but did you know there’s support for Google Play Music? And while there hasn’t been an official announcement, yet, there is certainly support for the application. Sideloading the new apk will allow access to several commands specific to Google Glass which will in turn allow control for music playback.
To get the function rolling you’ll need to say “ok glass, listen to….” and just insert your playlist name, artist, album or song. You’ll instantly be met with a card that pops up starting the feature. In addition, a card remains up for you to control other functions of Play Music such as play, rewind, skip and stop. In addition, you’ll be able to control the volume and engage radio play via the hardware’s touchpad. If you’re one of the lucky ones to have Glass check out the full instructions below on how to sideload the apk to get started.