Android's new Material Design language is truly a thing of beauty. Slated to make a full debut alongside the upcoming Android "L" release, the vision and simplicity of this UX design recently won Gold Prize at the annual User Experience Awards.
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.
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.
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you're probably well aware that the Android world has been buzzing with excitement over the recently debuted Android L preview build that was released for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 at Google's I/O conference.
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.
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...
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.
The Android lock screen interface is an integral part of our everyday use. For those of us who use lock screen security, it functions as a barrier between the sensitive data contained within our smartphones and potential outside access. Even if you don't use a pattern or PIN to secure your phone, you still interact with the lock screen every time you go to use it.
Android's lock screen has evolved quite a bit over the years. From the Donut days of two tabs that launched the phone app and unlocked the device, to KitKat's clean and simple approach, shortcuts have come and gone.
If you're an Android fan, you probably made your choice in mobile operating systems based on the insane level of customization options that Google's software offers. Don't like your home screen app? Simply replace it. Not a fan of a particular app's sharing system? No big deal, just share through a third-party app.
Android Lollipop has an awesome feature called "Battery saver" mode that reduces power consumption through various tweaks in order to squeeze in an extra hour or two of standby time when your battery is running low. It does this by disabling background processes as well as location services and transition animations, so the phone is essentially running at half-throttle.
With Android 5.0, Google introduced a new "Heads Up" notification system for incoming calls and messages. While the new incoming call interface seems to be a rousing success, the rest of the Heads Up system has been met with much less enthusiasm from users.
Google's upcoming Android release hasn't even received a name or version number yet, but the third-party development community is already having its way with the firmware.
As Matias Duarte and the team over at Google's Android Design department ready their wares, they've given us a preview version of the upcoming "L" release of Android to try out.
While shortcuts to your Camera and third-party apps like Snapchat are great for capturing fleeting moments, it still takes a few seconds to open them and snap a photo. That means you could potentially miss a great shot if you're not quick enough. But now there's a super-fast way to capture and send photos without having to waste time unlocking your device.
As is the case with most software updates, Android 5.0 brought changes that were viewed by users as somewhat positive and somewhat negative. This generally happens because we're accustomed to the old way of doing things, and changes, no matter how useful, can slow us down.
Android 5.0 has a killer new feature that should make securing your device easier than ever. It's called Smart Lock, and it essentially lets you bypass your secure lock screen when you're in a "trusted environment." This means that if you're connected to a known Bluetooth device or near a pre-programmed NFC card, you don't have to bother entering your pattern, PIN, or password.
The biggest complaint I hear about Android Lollipop is the fact that the new Priority Mode notification system has effectively killed off "Silent Mode." Sure, you can still put your phone on vibrate, but that's not truly silent. Selecting "None" as your notification mode isn't a perfect solution either, since no notification icons will be shown in your status bar and your alarm will not go off in the morning.
When we look back on it, 2014 may be remembered as the Summer of Android Wear. With two new flagship smartwatches due out soon, Google's been readying its mobile OS for the wearables sector.
Google I/O is like Christmas for Android enthusiasts. Every year, this conference showcases new and upcoming features for the world's leading mobile operating system, and this year's was no different. Shortly after announcing Android M, Google released a preview version of the upcoming firmware for Nexus devices.
When it comes to theming your Android device, it's the little things that matter most. Whether you're tweaking your navigation buttons or changing the color of system menus, no theme is complete until even the smallest element matches the rest of your color palette.
With the new version of Android due out very soon, Android 5.0 "Lollipop" has received a ton of press lately. It's all well-deserved, of course, because the new "Material Design" interface is absolutely beautiful.
If you're someone who likes to customize their user experience, stock Android is a lot like a blank canvas. The firmware that comes preinstalled on Nexus devices is just Android—no manufacturer skins or carrier bloat involved. This simplicity opens up the door for many root mods and flashable ZIPs that can be installed in a custom recovery.
Deep down, Android is a fork of Linux, which is a desktop operating system that started out as entirely command prompt-based. For that reason, many system-level tasks can still be executed within a terminal emulator app.
When you see a color depicted on your computer, smartphone, or tablet, odds are it was processed as a hex triplet before it was rendered. Most modern websites and operating systems use a hexadecimal coding system to signify certain colors, and these are represented as 6 letters and numbers.
Android Marshmallow was recently released, and as we've grown to expect, a root method was quickly made available to devices running the brand new operating system. Legendary root developer Chainfire has stated that he's working his way towards retiring from the scene, but he still had enough left in the tank to quickly publish an update to his popular SuperSU root method.
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.
Lollipop brought a complete visual overhaul to Android, and while the vast majority of changes have been met with praise, some UI tweaks missed their mark.
It didn't take long at all for developer Chainfire to sort out a root method for the new Android 5.0 Lollipop. After handling a few issues with changes to the SELinux kernel module, Chainfire pushed out an update to his popular SuperSU root app.
If you're anything like me, you rely heavily on your calendar to keep on track throughout the week, month, and year. While Android's built-in Google Calendar provides an excellent cloud-based solution for keeping our schedules properly maintained, it's not perfect.
It appears that the next iteration of KitKat, Android 4.4.3, is fast approaching. If the past is any indication, today's update to the Nexus 5 software changelog on Sprint's website tells us a new version of Android will begin rolling out within 24 hours. Sprint has broken the news of a forthcoming Android release twice in the past. With 4.4.1 and 4.4.2, a mini-changelog was posted on the Sprint website about a day before Google began pushing updates to its Nexus devices.
On most Android devices, the various volume levels are comprised of either 7 or 15 steps between minimum and maximum. For voice-call volume, alarms, and notifications alike, 7 presses of a volume button will bring you all the way from silent to full-blast. With media controls, you get 15 steps between mute and max.
Emojis, smilies, emoticons—whatever you prefer to call them, these fun little guys can bring a text-based conversation to life. If you're worried that someone's sarcasm meter might be broken, just toss in a wink at the end of your message. Or perhaps you can't quite put your sentiment into words, but one of these little graphics suits the moment perfectly.
So you just bought a fancy new Nexus 6 complete with its gorgeous and gigantic display—now what? Unlike Samsung's TouchWiz, stock Android doesn't sport any cool split-screen features, so how do you really take advantage of all that screen real estate?
Update: June 19, 2014 Android 4.4.4 has been released, fixing a small security bug in 4.4.3. The factory images have already been made available to all current-generation Nexus devices, and I've linked them out below. This does not affect the process depicted, you can still use these same steps to bring your device up to date with this latest release.
Losing your phone is a much bigger ordeal today than it was just 10 years ago. Our smartphones carry with them lots of sensitive data that, in the wrong hands, is capable of being used for identity theft and fraud.
If you've ever attempted to report a bug to a developer, no doubt you've heard the response, "Get a logcat." This is infinitely important to a developer because of the fact that a logcat captures a full report of every command that was recently executed on your Android device, and it allows them to see exactly where something went wrong.
Broadcasting your gameplay for others to view has recently become a phenomenon with the advent of Twitch.tv. While computer-based gaming is well represented these days, streaming of mobile gameplay has been virtually non-existent.
Resflux is an Xposed mod developed by Julian Paolo Dayag, aka WisdomSky, that provides users with a straightforward and functional way to customize and theme almost every aspect of the packages (apps and system components) installed on their Android device.
Update, November 12, 2014: Android 5.0 Lollipop is officially out now. If you haven't gotten the OTA yet, check out our new guide on installing the official Lollipop builds on any Nexus for download links and instructions, for Mac or Windows.