Google Allows Search Queries To Interact With Apps

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Android 5.0 Lollipop brings lots of new features that are quite useful for end users and developers. In the interview with Google execs we talked about earlier, they talked about making integration with Ok Google a bit easier. As promised, Google has now provided a method to use the search with external applications.

The solution comes in just six lines of code that can be added to the AndroidManifest.xml file in your app. After adding it, users will be able to say, for example “Ok Google. Search for pizza on Eat24.” This command will search for the term pizza in the Eat24 application. Here’s the required code:

<activity android:name=".SearchableActivity">
    <intent-filter>
        <a
. . . READ ON »
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Lenovo Officially Owns Motorola, Following ~$3 Billion Deal

lenovorola

Google is now officially no longer the owner American phone manufacturer Motorola. Earlier today, the $2.91 billion deal finally took place, and now the American company is officially owned by Chinese giant Lenovo. The deal has been confirmed by executives of both parties. This means that Lenovo has full rights to Motorola’s product portfolio and acquires all technologies owned by this OEM.

Motorola’s headquarters are set to remain in Chicago. Lenovo will also keep its newly integrated employees working on their existing projects. It’s likely that we will see new phones featuring different branding, such as what we’ve seen with Microsoft’s Nokia acquisition a. . . READ ON »

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Microsoft Band Fitness Tracker Announced, Available

Microsoft Band

The wearable market has been around for a few years, with Pebble and Samsung smartwatches essentially carving out the initial segment. However, only this year have wearables gained so much traction, with a glimpse of the future demonstrated at CES in January, where multiple wearable-focused SoCs were announced. This was further complemented by Google’s Android Wear announcement, followed by smartwatches from Motorola, LG, Samsung, Asus, and even Apple.

With more companies jumping on the smartwatch bandwagon, rumors began circulating recently of a Microsoft fitness tracker. True enough, Windows Central confirmed this by pointing out that apps to connect to the device were available on t. . . READ ON »

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Forums Added for the Oppo R5, Oppo N3, and Xiaomi Redmi Note

Oppo R5

Just yesterday, Oppo unveiled a pair of rather unique smartphones, the Oppo R5 and Oppo N3. The R5’s claim to fame is that it’s the world’s thinnest smartphone, whereas the N3 is the first device to feature a motorized camera swivel that lets you automatically and easily take rather high quality selfie shots. Not too long ago, Xiaomi unveiled and released the Xiaomi Redmi Note smartphone. Due to popular demand, we’ve gone ahead and added forums for the devices!

First up, we have the Oppo R5. This device, as mentioned earlier, is officially the world’s thinnest smartphone–for now. Coming in at an anorexic 4.85mm, the device is so thin that it doesn’t even have . . . READ ON »

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How to Play Music From Android Wear – XDA TV

musicsync

Yesterday, we showed you how to do some advanced things with your Moto 360 quite easily with the Moto 360 toolkit. We showed you How to Unlock, Root, and Restore Your Moto 360. Today, we are going to show you another trick with your Android Wear device, that is a little less technical, but not any less useful.

In this episode, XDA TV Producer TK show you have to sync music to your Android Wear device. This allows you to use the storage on your Android Wear device to save and play the songs from. Until recently Android wear devices were just a second screen, now they are getting more and more native functionality. Check this video out!. . . READ ON »

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Google Updates Play Games, Wallet, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive, Google+, and Camera

Google Android Apps

While we haven’t really had much in the way of consistent “Google Update Wednesdays” in the past few months, Google sure knows how to get back in the groove of things when they want to. Throughout the day yesterday, Google unleashed a massive wave of updates to a good deal of its first party Android apps, including Google Play Games, Wallet, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive, Google+, and Camera. So what’s new in all of these Google updates and how can you get in on the action a bit early? Read on to find out.

First up, we have Google Play Games. Yesterday’s update brings a rather substantial user interface update that finally makes the app Material Design compliant. The app dons new ani. . . READ ON »

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Google Execs Talk to Ars About Android 5.0 Lollipop

Lollipop Forest

Android 5.0 Lollipop is right around the corner, and it’s expected to hit AOSP shelves on November 3. This release is one of the most significant in Android’s relatively long history, so we are pretty excited to see this bad boy in action. The folks over at Ars Technica had the pleasure to speak with Android’s head honchos: VP of engineering for the Android platform and Nexus devices Dave Burke, VP of product management Brian Rakowski, and Android team group product manager Gabe Cohen. The Ars team learned some new tidbits and behind the scenes info about this release, which we will now share with you.

As you might have read already in our previous features recap, WebView is now unbundled f. . . READ ON »

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UX Design in Apps and ROMs w/ Kevin Bruckert – BABBQ2014

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This year’s Big Android BBQ has come and gone. While the whole event was buzzing from the Android 5.0 Lollipop announcement and its discussion during the Opening Keynote, there were still other great sessions going on. One such session was put on by Kevin Bruckert, technical lead for the user interface area of the NVIDIA SHIELD line of products.

In Kevin’s presentation, we learned about UI design and the often overlooked part of Android development, user experience. It doesn’t matter if you are making a ROM, an app, or the next big game; having a good user interface is only part of the whole user experience equation.  So if you wanted to learn more about user experience, check out the video below!. . . READ ON »

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Bring Material Design Goodness to Your App with Support Library

Material Design Support Library

At Google I/O 2014, the next iteration of Android was announced and disseminated to the world in preview form. Despite the impressive API additions, Android L, or Lollipop as it was later revealed, quickly became famous for its refreshed user interface design language. Google has moved on from Holo UI and embraced the new “Material Design,” which is comprised of virtual paper and ink metaphors, rich and meaningful animations, as well bold and intentional graphics.

While Material Design apps were restricted to Android Lollipop at first, Google went on to launch an official support library that allows developers to backport the Material Theme to older platforms. The support library brings Th. . . READ ON »

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