The Nexus 6 uses an Ambient Display notification system that was heavily inspired by the Active Display feature on the Moto X. Essentially, the device shows a black-and-white version of the lock screen whenever you receive a new notification or pick the phone up. This is all made possible by the N6's AMOLED display that doesn't have to waste any battery to power black pixels on the screen.
When it comes to theming your Android device, it's the little touches that count the most. That's why developer SArnab created the Android Theme Engine, an Xposed Module to theme those hard-to-reach corners of the Android System that often go untouched with other themes.
The new preview build of Android is out, and it looks good. But if you're not quite ready to install Android L on your phone, there's still another way to enjoy some of these new visual elements on your Nexus device.
Just about every softMod requires some kind of reboot. Whether it's because something in the System UI was changed, or because a ZIP needs to be flashed in custom recovery.
Google has finally released the next version of the world's leading operating system—Android 6.0 Marshmallow. This latest iteration isn't as much of a visual overhaul as Lollipop was, but it packs in more new functionality than almost any update before it. Awesome features like Now on Tap, granular permissions control, and a deep sleep battery-saving feature called Doze round out the highlights, but there is far more to it than that.
Back in August, Google introduced Android Device Manager. This new service allowed you to locate, lock, or wipe a lost or stolen Android device from either a companion app or a web interface. Effectively, this is the "kill switch" that legislators are clamoring for.
It's hard enough to keep tabs on the battery life of one device, let alone all of the different gadgets that a typical consumer owns in this day and age. Say your smartphone is running low on juice, so you switch to your tablet only to find out that it's almost dead as well. Better hope your laptop is fully charged, right?
If there's one gripe I have with Android Lollipop, it's the new volume menu. When Priority mode was introduced, the stock volume panel was revamped to accommodate it, and somewhere along the way a bit of functionality was lost.
The flexibility within Android is pretty amazing. Unlike iOS, you can make a lot of modifications with nothing more than a download from Google Play, but to really step up your softModder game, you'll need to go a little further.
There are so many things to love about the Nexus 5, from timely updates to newer versions of Android to a terrific blend of price and specs. But while mobile phone tech keeps churning along, battery technology isn't quite up to snuff yet, and I find myself wishing that my phone's battery lasted longer on a single charge.
If you're like me, things just seem to look better when they're symmetrical. While Android's status bar icons are indeed weighted against the notifications that show up on the left side of this area, the balance still seems skewed to the right.
As a parent, navigating smartphone usage with your children can be a perilous journey as you hand them that new device they've always wanted, or even your older hand-me-down phone or tablet.
There were over 1.2 million changes made to Android when the OS got updated from KitKat to Lollipop, but a minor front-facing modification has many users in an uproar.
You have a cool picture that you want to show someone, but when you hand your phone over, they start swiping through all of your photos. Surely, you've encountered this scenario before. I definitely have.
The attention to detail and build quality that Motorola put into the new Nexus 6 is amazing. Its curved backplate fits the hand like a glove, and fingers slide effortlessly across the rounded edge of its glass front, making the swipe gesture for side navigation menus feel more natural than ever—even for its huge, nearly six inch display.
The fact that we own a Nexus means we get to experience the Android interface exactly as Google intended it. But that doesn't mean we can't make a UI tweak here and there, does it?
The more you use your device, the more you'll download and install apps. These apps range from helpful to fun to simple distractions, but after a while, you may notice slow down on your device or a marked reduction in battery life.
One of the main reasons to buy a Nexus device is the fact that they're always the first to get new Android updates. Another great selling point for the Nexus series is that the devices are amongst the easiest to root and mod. Unfortunately, though, these two features are somewhat mutually exclusive.
On-screen navigation buttons offer many distinct advantages over physical buttons—they can change orientation along with your device, they're capable of visually morphing to indicate secondary functionality, and the user experience is more consistent when buttons and app elements require the same amount of force to press. Add to that the fact that they're far less likely to fail and can be themed or even switched out altogether, and it's hard to come up with an argument in favor of physical b...
As Nexus owners, we love our device's operating system, and it's probably the reason we went for a pure Google experience in the first place. But that doesn't mean there's not room for improvement in Android, especially when the OS has so many freely available softMods to tinker with.
Out amongst the ether of the internet lies a completely different version of the Netflix library you've come to know and love. Because of licensing and rights fees, the streaming media giant maintains separate libraries for each country it services. Ultimately, this means that certain movies and TV shows are only available in certain countries.
Not too long ago, we told you about a new feature within Android KitKat that allowed for video recording directly from the screen of your Nexus 5. Though functional, the method was a bit clunky and involved hooking your phone up to your computer and sending over an ADB command to start the recording.
If you find yourself switching between Android devices frequently—for instance, your Nexus 6P and a Samsung tablet—you've probably noticed how the button placement can be different. Normally, it's back, then home, then the recent apps button, from left to right. But Samsung devices have this backwards, which can lead to frustration when muscle memory kicks in and the back button isn't where you expect it to be.
Buried deep in the code of many Google apps is a set of debugging options. These options, which are designed for developers to help test the way their apps interact with Google's own, are normally hidden from view.
Most of the time, the LED notification light on the front of your Android device just sits there doing nothing. Other than that brief period of time between when you receive a notification and when you turn your screen on, it's practically useless for anything other than showing when your charger is plugged in.
One of the more talked-about features of Android Lollipop is a new Priority Mode that allows you to mute all notifications except for those coming from starred contacts. As simple as that sounds, this can still be a bit confusing—or at least lead to some unwanted interruptions.
A rooted Android device means we're on our way to some truly amazing customization options. But there may be a few steps left to completing that journey, and a major one is installing a custom recovery.
Android 5.0 brought a lot of changes to the world's most popular mobile OS, but few were more central to the user experience than tweaks made to the "Overview" menu (more commonly known as the "Recent Apps" menu). Aside from a visual overhaul, Chrome tabs now exist as separate entries in this list, as do Google searches and a few other activities.
With limited storage options available on the Nexus 5, cloud storage can definitely come in handy. But sometimes, with the seemingly endless options of cloud services for us to choose from, our online data can get a bit disorganized.
We got a fairly extensive look at the newest version of Android at Google I/O yesterday. The "L" version, which we're betting stands for "Lollipop", brings Google's new design philosophy to Android, and one of the main aspects of that design are new "heads up" notifications. Allowing you to continue using whatever app you're currently in without interuption, this new type of alert borrows from Apple's iOS, but does it the Android way. These notifications can be dismissed with a swipe away, ex...
Emojis are a huge part of communication these days. In fact, I'm beginning to think that in a thousand years, historians will come across our then-ancient texts and speculate that we used a writing system that evolved from hieroglyphics.
In the past few weeks, the internet has been abuzz with nightmarish horror stories of Comcast's questionable decision-making and downright terrible customer service. The central theme of many of these disputes with the nation's largest cable provider is that without evidence, the conglomerate will refuse to acknowledge its mistake and place the burden of proof on the customer.
A new API in Android Lollipop allows apps to color the status bar to match their overall theme. Google billed this as a more immersive user experience that allows app developers to extend their color branding even further. It certainly seems like a win-win on the surface, but unfortunately, not many apps are using this feature yet.
There are a lot of instances where we find ourselves typing virtually the same phrase that we've typed many times before. Whether it's the standard spousal reply of "I'll be home in a few", or a work-related phrase like "I'll have that to you by the end of the day", typing phrases like these can feel very redundant at times.
You've seen it a million times. You try to do something on your Android device and a box pops up asking you which app you'd like to use. You could try Photos, Gallery, Drive, Picasa Web Albums...the list is fairly extensive sometimes. And what's worse, after that you have to select "Always" or "Just once". Add it all up, and that's three taps to do something you thought would take just one!
Android "Lollipop" introduced a ton of cool new functionality. Unfortunately, the Nexus 5 didn't get all of these features, as some were exclusive to other devices. For example, the Ambient Display function on the Nexus 6 that shows new notifications as they come in with a black-and-white lock screen. Sure, the new Nexus phablet has an AMOLED display that doesn't waste any battery to power black pixels, but it would be nice to have this feature as an option on the Nexus 5, wouldn't it?
While the preview images for Android's upcoming "L" release just came out yesterday, the new firmware has already been rooted, as is standard with its openness. So if you were feeling reluctant to try Android L because it didn't support existing root methods, then you might want to reconsider.
So, you've finally scored the coveted upgrade to chocolaty KitKat deliciousness, or you've managed to get your hands on a Nexus 5, the freshest thing from LG and El Goog. Satisfied with your new lease on life, you direct your phone's web browser to catch up on your Amazon Instant Video library, but not all is well—there are errors to be found. Much of the internet utilizes Adobe Flash, and Amazon Instant Video (who does not have an Android app) is just one such example. It simply won't work u...
One of the lesser known features brought along by the roll-out of Android 4.4 KitKat is the ability to screen record from within the device. This features isn't overtly obvious, nor is its implementation the most streamlined, but if you were ever looking for a way to capture video of what's happening on your screen, this is now the best way to do it.
Currently, all Nexus tablets running Jelly Bean or higher can enjoy multiple user accounts. With tablets often migrating between various people in the same household, there’s no reason for Dad’s finances to mingle with little Tammy’s candy crushing. Multiple users, each with separate profiles, just makes sense on an Android tablet.