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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 »

Android “L” Developer Preview Available Tomorrow: Material Design, ART Now Default, Improved Performance and Battery Life, and Much More!

Android L Developer PreviewWe all knew it was coming, and now it’s finally here. Android “L” was officially unveiled earlier today during the first half of the Google I/O 2014 opening keynote. As expected, L packs quite a long list of both user-facing and developer-centric features.

In a surprise turn of events, Google has decided to make the developer preview images of Android “L” available for the Nexus 5 and 7 tomorrow morning. Join us as we take a closer look at what makes L important.

materialsupport1Material Design

Perhaps the most immediately noticeable user-facing change in Android L comes courtesy of Material Design. Previously known . . . READ ON »

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Snapshots of Android “L” Found in Chromium Issue Tracker

Android "L" Leak Quantum Paper

Google I/O 2014 is a mere 35 hours away, and many of us are hoping for the release of the next major version of Android, thus far only known as “L.” Whether or not Android “L” makes its appearance at I/O, we already know quite a bit about it.

At this point, we have a few relatively concrete details about the upcoming Android “L” release. We know that Dalvik will soon be shown the door in favor of ART, and we know that quite a bit of emphasis has been placed in the 64-bit codebase. And through rumors detailing the new Quantum Paper . . . READ ON »

Amazon Fire Phone Unveiled, Forums Added

Amazon Fire Phone Unveiled, Forums Added

For some time now, we’ve heard rumors suggesting that Amazon was planning on releasing an Android-based smartphone. After many months of rumors, leaks, and hints, we finally have Amazon’s entry into the smartphone world. Earlier today, Amazon officially unveiled the Amazon Fire Phone, which will make its way to consumer hands on July 25, starting at $199 on-contract.

From the outset, Amazon worked hard to differentiate the Fire Phone from the sea of other Android smartphones. It hopes to accomplish this goal with the help of a number of innovative technologies including Dynamic Perspective, Firefly technology, Mayday, and Amazon Prime integration.

Dynamic Perspective

Through the . . . READ ON »

Application Signature Verification: How It Works, How to Disable It with Xposed, and Why You Shouldn’t

If you’ve ever tried to modify and reinstall a system application, you probably encountered application signature checks in one form or another. Either you removed the original app before proceeding, or you gave your modified APK another package name in order to get it to install without first removing the old application. And in either case, you also had to re-sign the application yourself in order to get it to install in the first place.

You can get around all of these behaviors by temporarily disabling application signature checks. But before we get into the metaphorical meat and potatoes of this article and tell you how . . . READ ON »

SwiftKey and Google Keyboard: Ever Heard of User Privacy?

unnamedA few days ago, I wrote an article here discussing some changes in Google Play Store permissions handling, and how these changes may have adverse privacy risks for users. The comments on that article indicated an overwhelming amount of concern from readers as to the permissions being used by applications, with many looking to use App Ops or XPrivacy to protect themselves.

Today, I’m going to take a slight detour and look at the permissions needed by two popular apps: Google’s first party keyboard, and SwiftKey. Both of these are keyboard applications, and both are available for download for free on the Play Store . . . READ ON »

Protecting Your Privacy: App Ops, Privacy Guard, and XPrivacy

After yesterday’s article about Google’s recent changes to the Play Store that post a number of privacy concerns for users, today we are going to look at the three most popular options for users to protect their own privacy on their Android devices. First though, let’s take a look at how they work, and what they are for.

Why Should I Care?

Since the start, Android has had a permissions system, to allow users to control what apps are able to do on their device. When an application is installed, the user is prompted to agree to the permissions that an app requires. The . . . READ ON »

Latest Android Platform Stats Show KitKat up to 13.6%, Honeycomb Gone, Gingerdeath Continues

gingerdeathAt the start of every month, just like clockwork, Google releases updated Android Platform Stats that show the latest state of fragmentation in the Android ecosystem. This information is of course quite important to developers looking to better target their application development efforts.

When we last left off one month ago, we were seeing some rather positive  trends. Android 4.4.x KitKat was up to 8.5% from 5.3% the month before, resulting in a 60% relative growth. Unfortunately, Android 2.x was still hanging strong at 17.2% of devices last month. Also of note, that red-headed step child Honeycomb had been hanging in at 0.1% for several . . . READ ON »

[OTAs Captured] Android 4.4.3 Rolling Out to Google Play Editions, Kernel Source Available for HTC GPe Devices!

Today will undoubtedly be remembered the day of Android 4.4.3–at least among us die hard Android fans. Immediately following yesterday’s official release, we’ve seen quite a bit of Android 4.4.3-related activity. Early this morning, we saw the Android 4.4.3 OTA make its way over to the WiFi-only variant of the Google Nexus 7 (2013). Just a few hours later, we talked about all of the changes made in 4.4.3. Not too long after, Motorola began updating its “Moto” devices to 4.4.3. And finally, Google began rolling out the 4.4.3 incremental OTA to the flagship Nexus 5.

Now, we’ve . . . READ ON »

Next Version of Android to Bring Even More Root Headaches

About a week and a half ago, we took a look at a few recent AOSP merges initially spotted by XDA Senior Recognized Developer Chainfire that severely impact root app developers due to changes in SELinux, default runtime compiler, and the requirement of PIE (Position-Independent Executable) for non-statically built executables. These changes compounded previous headaches caused by commits that prevent SU from executing files stored on the /data partition. Luckily, potential workarounds for the above changes were quickly publicized by Chainfire when he updated his How to SU guide.

Now, the breakage continues, as new AOSP commits are poised to make life more difficult for root app . . . READ ON »

[APK] Google Issues Updates to Chrome, Goggles, Docs, Sheets, Device Manager, and Books

Just a few hours ago, we talked about how Google issued a major update to its Google Camera app. This update, which brought the app up to version 2.2, added two new panorama modes, 16:9 capture, and self-timer support. While this app update itself offered a great increase in functionality, it fell a bit short from what we’ve come to expect from Google Update Wednesdays. But although it is already Thursday in most parts of the world (including XDA HQ here on the US Eastern Seaboard), it’s still Wednesday evening over in Google land, and as such, we’ve got more Update . . . READ ON »

Apple Holding iOS Users Hostage with iMessage Flaw

We all have our own unique tastes. We favor certain styles of music, prefer certain foods, and enjoy making decisions about what products to buy. Because of this, something that we as consumers unanimously value is the freedom of choice. In the world of mobile devices, this freedom can be manifest in several ways: choice of installed applications, choice of wallpaper, choice of storage capacity, and above all, choice of device. Actually, we can go ahead and scratch that last one for iOS users looking to switch to Android.

Not too long ago, former Lifehacker Editor-in-Chief Adam Pash decided to make the jump from . . . READ ON »

Could the Nexus Program Come to a Halt This Year in Favor of Android Silver?

There are a few things that we as Android geeks look forward to every year. One of these things is undoubtedly the unveiling of new Google Nexus devices. And who’s to blame us? After all, with a Nexus device, you’re generally getting top notch hardware (with the exception of their cameras) at a bargain basement price. But beyond that, you’re also getting the promise of expedient Android version updates to keep up with newer generations of devices—well unless you’re rocking a Galaxy Nexus.

You may recall that over the past two weeks, we’ve seen a few hints at the names . . . READ ON »

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