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Latest Features▼ Android

Device Review: Nvidia SHIELD Tablet

Device Review: Nvidia SHIELD Tablet

A little over a year ago, Nvidia decided to change the game–literally. The Nvidia SHIELD Portable was announced, released, and was very well received. Here we are, shortly following the announcement of a new, and epic, generation of mobile device processors, and Nvidia has officially released their next SHIELD installment, the Nvidia SHIELD Tablet.

Hardware

One of the chief complaints we saw with the original SHIELD Portable was the screen size and resolution. A 5” screen with 720p resolution was usable for most tasks, but could get to be a bit of a strain on the eyes after a while. Nvidia has attempted . . . READ ON »

Blackphone Gets Root Access in MORE Than Five Minutes

Security is a rather paramount issue in this day and age where sensitive technology is handed to people who probably should not have it until they are old enough to drive. People are as widely, overtly inappropriate on the Internet as they humanly can be, yet they have the audacity to reach out for web outlets whenever their “stuff” leaks out into the Internet. Then, these same people are the ones who complain that hackers and the government are after them because of all the important (eye of the beholder) text messages that are stored in their devices are gone. After . . . READ ON »

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Latest Android Platform Stats: KitKat Nearly 21%, 2.x Hovers Around 14%

August 2014 android platform statsNear the beginning of every month, just like clockwork, Google updates its Developer Dashboard website with updated Android Platform Stats. As we’ve said many times in the past, these numbers show the current state of Android ecosystem fragmentation–both in terms of version/API adoption, as well as screen size and density, and OpenGL support. As such, this is all incredibly valuable information for developers looking to better target their application development efforts.

The last time we took a look at the Android Platform Stats just one month ago, we were pleased to see quite a bit of continued growth in the right direction. Android . . . READ ON »

Device Review: OnePlus One

Device Review: OnePlus One

oneplusone1Seemingly every day, there are a bunch of new devices being released. Some are budget devices and some are flagship devices. Naturally, there are budget conscious enthusiasts who would like to have both. Recently, a device has made a big splash in the tech industry, and is called by some as the Nexus killer. Then again, what’s not being (perhaps inaccurately) called a Nexus killer these days? This device is the first offering from OnePlus. Let dive in and see if we have a Nexus killer or not.

Before we start this review, please note that some people are having some . . . READ ON »

XDA Partners with Pebble for Developer Challenge

XDA Partners with Pebble for Developer Challenge

Can you #MakeAwesomeHappen? Your app idea could win a Pebble and a trip to our 2nd Annual Developer Retreat in Mountain View, CA!

For those who haven’t kept up with the wearables market over the last year or so, you may not be aware of Pebble. Pebble is the smartwatch that 68,000+ people brought to life, crowdfunding a record $10.3MM on Kickstarter, and put wearable technology on the map. With a vibrant developer community and thriving ecosystem, Pebble is the platform for the best and brightest wearable apps. Pebble SDK 2 invites developers to build unique, delightful, and practical apps that push the . . . READ ON »

Google to Consider Changing SD Card Access Rules in Final Android L Release

With the release of Android 4.4 KitKat, Google introduced a few changes that impacted the way in which SD cards are handled. As a result, user-installed applications are not longer allowed to access the entirety of your SD card partition. Instead, user-installed apps running on KitKat are only given full access to files and folders of their own creation.

The change in SD card behavior in KitKat was a very deliberate one–and one which was aimed at improving both security and overall SD card tidiness. As you would expect from such a marked change, both users and third party applications were caught in the . . . READ ON »

Latest Android Platform Stats: KitKat Nearly 18%, Overtakes Gingerbread But Growth Slows

Google Android Platform StatsIt’s become quite customary for Google to release updated Android Platform Stats at the start of every month. These figures show the latest state of fragmentation in the Android ecosystem–valuable information for developers looking to better target their application development efforts.

When we last left off one month ago, we were pleased to note some rather significant progress in the right direction. Android 4.4.x KitKat was up to 13.6% from 8.5% the month before, resulting in a 60% relative growth. This figure kept pace with the 60% relative growth over the month before. Unfortunately, Android 2.x was still hanging around at 15.7% . . . READ ON »

Rovo89 Speaks up Regarding ART and Android L Support

If by now you haven’t already heard of XDA Senior Recognized Developer rovo89‘s fantastic Xposed Framework–well, maybe you’re in the wrong place. But for those of us who are well acquainted with this incredibly versatile and powerful tool, there’s only one question: When Xposed will gain support for ART runtime, and by proxy, Android L.

Two weeks ago when we first learned that the L release would be the first version of Android to remove all traces of Dalvik and make ART the default runtime compiler, many in the comments were quick to complain about how this would “be . . . READ ON »

Don’t Expect Developers to Update Apps for Material Design Just Yet

Android L Developer Preview SDK

During the Google I/O 2014 opening keynote, we caught our first glimpses of the radically different Android L. And when Google made an early developer preview available, many end users went ahead and installed L on their own devices. Unfortunately though, intrepid users were quick to find that the developer preview didn’t feature all of the UI goodies that we saw in the Android Design Guidelines and event keynote.

While part of the disconnect between expected and actualized features is due to the incomplete nature of the developer preview, an even larger part boils down to the lack of application support for . . . READ ON »

Google to Take Back Platform Control with Android Wear, Auto, and TV–That’s a Good Thing, But Questions Remain

Android OEM customizations like Samsung TouchWiz and HTC Sense are undoubtedly a love-it-or-hate-it affair. There are certainly users out there who care for the added features that these skins introduce. But on the other side of the coin, there are more than a fair share of users who despise the aesthetic nightmares found in some skins. What’s more, this extensive customization often (but not always) results in Android firmware update delays—and that’s if the bloated firmware doesn’t prevent updates in the first place. Oh, and let’s not forget about how these customizations result in a greater number of security vulnerabilities. . . READ ON »

First Impressions with Android L Developer Preview

Android L on the Google Nexus 5It’s now been several hours since the release of the Android L Developer Preview Images. Undoubtedly, many of you reading this have already loaded the preview firmware onto your Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 (2013). However, not everyone is lucky enough to own one of these devices–and even if you have an N5 or N7 by your side, you may not be willing to wipe your data in order to flash test images.

In the time since release, we’ve been poking and prodding at the Android L Developer Preview firmware on a Nexus 5 to see how far Google has come with L and where there’s still . . . READ ON »

Google I/O 2014 Keynote Highlights

Google I/O 2014 Keynote Highlights

Google I/O 2014 KeynoteThe first day of Google I/O 2014 has come and gone, and just as we were expecting, Google used the opening keynote to shed some light on the future of Android, Chrome, Android Wear, Android Auto, Android TV, Google Cloud Platform, and Google Play. While the keynote was available for live stream viewing from the comfort of your own home, we’ve boiled down the nearly three hour keynote to its most important highlights for those who lack the time to watch the entire presentation.

Android Platform Momentum

Like I/O events of yore, yesterday’s keynote began by discussing the momentum seen in Android. As expected, . . . READ ON »

A Closer Look at the User Interface Changes in Android L

materialdesign-goals-landingimage_large_mdpiWith the curtain raised on Android L at Google I/O, we thought it was a good time to take a look at what we know about Android L, given the significant user interface changes we are all expecting and have seen. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what changes in Android L that we have uncovered by digging in the updated Android design documentation.

New Notification Bar Style

Android L Title Bar Style

First up, it seems there’s a new style of notification bar in Android L. The new icons seem more rounded and fluid, as opposed to the current ones with delineated . . . READ ON »

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