March 21, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat is rolling out to the Xperia Z Ultra, Z1, and Z1 Compact! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement of Google Wear and the Moto 360 SmartWatch and how you can root the Android Wear emulator! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for Quick Access. Then, AdamOutler tore apart the Omate TrueSmart. Finally, TK gave us an Android App Review of Don’t Pause. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
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March 20, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Earlier this week, Google made some serious waves by announcing its take on wearable computing. While some could argue that the Android Wear platform is a little bit late to the game, its innovative UI, Google Voice Search integration, and rich notification support set the platform apart from the sea of other wearables.
Although Android Wear features a UI that’s radically different from anything we’ve seen thus far, it is based on the same powerful Android underpinnings as Android OS proper. And as such, pretty much all the same things we’re used to on Android apply to Wear as well—including root access.
If you have already loaded the developer preview and gotten the emulator working on your PC, you can now root it as well. This could be useful to test root-only applications that you may be building for Wear, but let’s be honest. The real reason to do this is just because we can.
The root method is courtesy of XDA Senior Members MrBIMC and r3pwn, and it comes in the form of a root-script that must be executed every time you reboot the emulator. It works by remounting the file system, pushing the superuser and busybox binaries, and installing the superuser APK. The root method is available in both Windows .BAT and Unix .sh form.
To get started truly messing around with the Wear emulator, head over to the original thread and get rooted.
[Big thanks to Pavel for the tip!]
March 18, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
Nine days ago, we talked about how Google was planning its entry into the world of wearables. Recently, we also covered leaked specifications for LG’s potential contender in this new product space. Now, Google has gone one step further by officially announcing Android Wear.
Android Wear is a new version of the Android OS, built specifically for wearable devices. Rather than relying on a traditional touch-driven interface, it features an entirely new UI with a heavy emphasis on voice commands. As such, Google Now / Search will be at the heart of the device’s functionality.
Developers will naturally want to start creating new applications for the platform as soon as possible. As such, Google will be releasing a developer preview of the Wear SDK today to help you bring notifications notifications to smartwatches and other wearable devices.
While Google states that many different OEMs are planning on releasing their own takes on Android Wear, the platform’s first device is expected to be from LG. However, Motorola has also announced its moto360, which will be available some time this summer.
Are you excited for Wear? We sure are! Did Google just make all other smartwatches obsolete? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Make your way over to the Android Wear Developer Preview to download the preview SDK. And of course, head over to our newly created Android Wear forum!
March 9, 2014 By: Will Verduzco
It’s no secret that wearable technology is the new “it thing” for 2014. Looking back at this year’s CES only reinforces this, as we saw quite a few new players like Omate and new versions of old favorites like the Pebble Steel. Looking back to when Android 4.4 was on the verge of release, we discussed a report speculating that KitKat would (among other things) bring an increased focus on wearable technology. KitKat has now been available on various consumer devices for nearly two-and-a-half months, and we haven’t heard much in the way of official support from the big GOOG, but this is about to change.
Today at SXSW, Google SVP of Android and Chrome Sundar Pichai said that Google is approximately two weeks away from releasing a developer SDK to make it easier for OEMs to create wearables that run on Android OS. While there was unfortunately no mention of the rumored LG Nexus Watch that keeps popping up in the digital tech tabloids every now and then, this is still exciting news, as current Android-based Smartwatch efforts like the Galaxy Gear haven’t yet found much commercial success.
There is unfortunately very little known about what the SDK will entail other than standardization for common protocols by which devices and their sensors can communicate with the OS. However, it is undoubtedly a great first step in bringing smartwatches to the masses.
What are your thoughts on Google’s new-found interest in wearables? Would you be interested in a Nexus Watch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
International CES 2014 has begun, we’ve talked about Nvidia’s exciting announcement and the entrance of Android into automobiles, but there is a bigger overarching trend when it comes to mobile devices. That trend is wearables.
Wearables are not new. We’ve had them for a while—everything from the Pebble smartwatch to the Sony Smartwatches, and even Google Glass. However this year, wearables are blending and merging in their functions. READ ON »