Android Lollipop for Nexus 7 (2012) now available as factory image leaks ahead of time

Nexus 7

While official Android Lollipop factory images for the all-new Nexus 9 and Nexus Player were made available earlier this month, users with other Nexus and Google Play Edition devices are still waiting on Google to seed the update. In the meantime, Nexus 7 (2012) owners are in luck, as an Android Lollipop factory image for the tablet has leaked ahead of its official release. Read more

Galaxy S5 apps leaked online ahead of phone’s April release, work on other devices

Even though the phone won’t be released until next month, some of the Galaxy S5’s apps have been leaked online and can be installed on current Samsung devices, according to Android Police. The apps leaked include S Note, S Health, S Translator, the hardware managers for both the Galaxy Gear and the Gear Fit, Samsung Watch ON, and for all you math enthusiasts, the Calculator app.

The apps can be downloaded from the XDA thread where they were leaked, though it seems that some of them (specifically S Health) aren’t actually functional on older devices. Installing some of these packages will require a rooted phone so that old versions of the apps can be removed and replaced by the updated versions.

Google Drive Android app updated with ‘scan’ for storing physical docs, improved UI, and more

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Google announced on its Google Drive blog today that it is rolling out an updated Google Drive app for Android that includes a couple notable new features.

The app’s UI has been overhauled and now displays your Drive files in a familiar grid style view:

You can swipe between files to see large previews that let you quickly review and discover the information you’re looking for. And if you want to keep some Drive files on your Android device, you’ll now be able to “download a copy” from the actions menu inside settings.

Google-Drive-Scan-featureAnother big update included in the latest version of Drive for Android is the ability to ‘scan’ and store physical documents as PDFs. The new scan option will allow users to snap photos of documents and save them within Drive as a PDF. Thanks to Optical Character Recognition, you’ll also be able to search for the scanned docs using keywords.

The update includes a number of other improvements as well including the ability to download a copy of your files in Drive your device’s local storage, improvements to editing features in Google Sheets, and much more: Read more

Chrome enters version 25 with speech-to-text API

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Chrome version 25 was released with a new Web Speech API that allows web developers to integrate speech-to-text dictation into their web applications.

The other feature of importance on the new version is the removal of “silent extensions.” Silent extensions are web-browser extensions that install without your knowledge. From now on, every web extension installation must be manually approved.

The updated version is available here, but Chrome’s auto-update feature may have already installed it for you.

Android 4.2.2 released to Nexus devices only

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WeeManFoo, a user on the popular Internet board site Reddit, claimed his Galaxy Nexus received a OTA update of Android 4.2.2 this morning. Judging by the comments, it seems the update was only rolling out to GSM Galaxy Nexus’, but download links and a screenshot from a Google+ user seems to put the kibosh on the rumor. While there’s no word on what the update holds, because it’s an x.x.1 update, it’s probably a mix of bug fixes and minor improvements. More on what the update holds as information comes in. In the meantime, get downloading!

Flipboard for Android now unofficially available to all

We already know Flipboard made its Android début last week with the introduction of Samsung’s new Galaxy S III, but today the app is available to everyone willing to download and install the APK themselves. XDA-developer forum user Valcho uploaded the .apk that he extracted from the Galaxy S III, which means you’re getting the actual app. It should also be easily installed through your device’s Web browser, so you will get to try it before its official release on Google Play. Go over to the XDA forums to grab it now.

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Samsung releases S Pen SDK 1.0 for Galaxy Note S Choice apps

We originally got our first look at “S Choice” apps running on the new 5.3-inch Galaxy Note when Samsung showed off a selection of apps designed specifically for the device’s S Pen stylus at the launch event in London. While they already had a handful of apps including OmniSketch and Soonr Workplace up and running, the S Pen SDK (version 1.0) is now available for developers interested in creating their own applications optimized for S Pen.

Available from the Samsung Dev Tools portal here, the S Pen SDK allows you to create backgrounds for drawing with a ‘CanvasView’ feature, create panels for adjusting settings like line color an opacity with the ‘Pen Setting Popup’ feature, create panels for adjusting eraser widget with the ‘Eraser Setting Popup’ tool, and enable undo and redo. Screenshots after the break.

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New Android Market begins to get pushed to handsets featuring auto-update apps over Wi-Fi

The new Android Market version 3.3.11 has begun being pushed to Android handsets. The new update adds a ton of welcomed features, and what seems to be the most welcomed feature is the auto-updating of apps over Wi-Fi — which rids away of having to go back into the Market every time a new update is pushed. 3.3.11 also allows you to select the app being downloaded to automatically set an icon on your homescreen. Other tweaks include voice search inside of the market and a new app drawer.

While you’re waiting for the update to be pushed to your device, you can go ahead and give it a try by downloading it here. We must worn you, though, that the manual install doesn’t work well on tablets and has a few bugs on handsets. Let us know in the comments down south if you’re seeing the update. (via Android Police)

Head on past the break for a full gallery:

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Download the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 TouchWiz over-the-air update now

We brought you our 5-minute video walkthrough of the new TouchWiz UX update for Samsung’s Honeycomb-powered Galaxy Tab 10.1, and now the somewhat underwhelming 188mb firmware refresh is available as an over-the-air update.

Some of the more notable features include a new dock-like application launcher, the Swype for tablets app, and mobile printing. You may, however, want to wait this one out, as Samsung’s Gavin Kim confirms to the WSJ the OTA update will not be reversible:

Users, who will receive the over-the-air download for their WiFi devices beginning Friday, won’t be able to remove the Samsung features even if they desire to return to the standard Android platform, Mr. Kim said.

If you’re having trouble getting the update, make sure you’ve set up a Samsung account on your Galaxy Tab. Full list of features from the official press release below, if you’re interested.
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Google Maps for Android now features offline maps

Android users who downloaded the updated  Maps application today got a nice surprise.  Google Maps for Android now features offline viewing. To enable the new feature, simply navigate to the Labs section of the Maps application and enable the Download Map Area option. After this is enabled, each time you want to download maps for offline viewing you will need to visit a Place page, click the more button, and then select the option to store locally. Maps will then store a 10 mile radius, locally to your device.

Offline viewing is available for Android because of the way it displays the maps. Android uses a vector-based system for displaying map tiles, where the iPhone uses an image based. This means Android can pull maps using about 1/100th of the data the iPhone would. Maybe we’ll see a change to the iPhone’s Google Maps soon.

via TechCrunch