The release of Android 4.4 KitKat continues to bring us new goodies as folks get their hands on the code and compile bits for us to use on our existing devices. We have already seen the release of the new Hangouts, wallpapers from the Nexus 5, and the Google Experience launcher, and now the latest is the new keyboard that comes with KitKat. There are a couple new features incorporated into the keyboard that users may find useful. The first is an awareness of when one word ends and another begins using “space-aware gestures” which Google has named “phrase gesture” in the settings. By dragging your finger down to the space bar, the keyboard will insert a space so you can keep on typing using the swipe method without lifting between words.
We first heard that Google would offer a Google Experience launcher with Android 4.4 Kit Kat a couple of weeks ago. As you know, the Nexus 5 (Hammerhead) factory images were released earlier today, and as a result, the GE launcher is now available to download and use on any device. You will need all three files below in order to get it to work. Let us know what you think.
Android 4.4 brings a major change to NFC payments that could finally be the kick in the butt that Google Wallet needs. Kit Kat brings support for Host Card Emulation (HCE), which means any Android NFC device could be used for mobile payments without needing access to a secure element. With HCE any app can emulate an ISO/IEC 7816 smart card that use the contactless ISO/IEC 14443-4 (ISO-DEP) protocol for transmission.
What does all of this mean in a nutshell? This means it can work on any device on any mobile carrier. Not only that, third party apps can manage payment information in the cloud or on the device. Of course, devices will need Android 4.4 for this to work, and it remains to be seen how long it will take for most of the popular devices to get the update. It will take some time, but it could just be what the doctor ordered for Google Wallet to finally succeed.
source: Android Developers
As expected, the factory images and binaries for the Nexus 5 (Hammerhead) are now available. Of course, this is Android 4.4 and the build is KRT16M. These files can be used to return your Nexus 5 back to stock if you run into a problem.
Sick of waiting for the new Hangouts update that brings SMS and MMS integration? Well wait no more because it’s now available to download. This update is version 2.0.0.012 and gives you all the goodies including the ability to share your location. Just grab one of the download links and let us know what you think.
Verizon has had some major issues with carrying feature Android devices in the past. The Verizon Galaxy Nexus took forever to hit the market because of Verizon’s long software review process, and the Nexus 4 didn’t even support LTE in a world where pretty much every new device had LTE capabilities. Then there was the whole Nexus 7 controversy. It was initially announced that Verizon would be supporting the tablet at I/O 2013, but the carrier later said it wouldn’t be supported, and refused to activate the tablet after launch. After an enormous amount of customer complaints, Verizon said that it would be supported soon. (So we know it wasn’t a matter of it being possible or not, it was purely a business decision.)
Today, Google’s Sundar Pichai said that the Nexus 5 will not be on Verizon— it will, however, run on Sprint and T-Mobile’s network. (AT&T not yet known.)
However, Pichai did say that Google is working with Verizon on a set of projects for 2014. We’re not exactly sure what that means, but hopefully it’s a Verizon version of the Nexus 5, or maybe even a Verizon Nexus 7— maybe even an entirely new device.
Source: The Verge
It looks like Sprint is going to be offering the Nexus 5 come November 8th, according to the press release below. The device will go for $149.99 with the Sprint Unlimited Data Guarantee for Life.
Separately, T-Mobile’s website says that the device will be available on its own service in the coming weeks. The company has a sign-up page which promises to notify you once information comes out regarding release date and price.
Android 4.4 Kit Kat is finally official folks and will be rolling to devices soon. Google is calling it Beautiful and Immersive and says it has a more polished design, improved performance, and new features. What are those features. Well lets get started.
Wireless charging isn’t anything new when it comes to Nexus devices, and Google-branded charging pads aren’t anything new either— the Nexus 4 launched with a dock/charger for the device last year.
But this year, Google has redesigned its wireless charging pad, changing up its design and adding magnets for improved device stability.
The charger is also glossy on top, and no longer features a sticky, dust-collecting rubber finish. The new model is compatible with both the Nexus 5 and the new Nexus 7.
It’s also expected that Qi-compatible devices will also work with the pad (last year’s Nexus 4), but only phones with magnets inside of them will actually stick to the charger.
The device should be available on the Play Store online today, but pricing and shipping availability information is not yet available.
Hit the break for info on new cases from Google and LG.
With the announcement and release of the Nexus 5 to the Google Play store, Google has also started the process of releasing videos, including commercials, for the new device. The first one to hit YouTube is centered on capturing the moments that matter in our lives, like marriage. Hit the break to check out the video. » Read the rest