Microsoft announced last month that its Cortana voice assistant would be coming to Android in beta at some point in July, but it looks like the APK has managed to leak out a bit early. We grabbed it as soon as we could, and decided to give it a look. And our first impression, frankly, is that there’s not really anything special about Cortana — especially when Android has Google Now, Hound, and other competitors to pick from. Read more
According to The Information, Google secretly bought “app streaming” startup Agawi late last year, an acquisition that wasn’t reported until today. The company built technology that is basically the Netflix or Spotify of apps—letting users stream games and apps to their phone without having to necessarily “download” them:
The search giant last fall secretly acquired an “app streaming” startup called Agawi whose technology allows people to access apps on their smartphone without downloading them first.
The acquisition, which hasn’t been previously reported, provides strong clues about the direction that Google is trying to move mobile software development.
While Sony has yet to officially announce a second generation SmartBand fitness tracker, it briefly released a companion Android app this evening for the device before quickly taking it down. The app, no longer available in the Play Store, was simply titled SmartBand 2 and gave a handful of features we can expect to find in Sony’s upcoming wearable (via Xperia Blog).
Android Wear 5.1.1 is now rolling out to smartwatches everywhere, but as is the case with Google’s over-the-air updates, it might be days before you actually see the latest version pop up on your device. Rollouts start slowly, but thankfully there’s a way around Google’s careful and incremental rollout: OTA download links. It takes a little know-how to capture one, but once they’re discovered, anyone can simply download them to their computer and sideload them via ADB.
The over-the-air download links are now starting to show up for the most recently-released Android Wear 5.1.1 update, and you can find them organized below… Read more
Android 5.1 has been slowly but surely making its way to the slew of Nexus devices that still get updates, and the Nexus 4 was one—until just now—that still hadn’t gotten the latest version of Lollipop. The factory image still hasn’t been uploaded to Google’s developers’ website (we’ll update this post when that’s available), but some Nexus 4 owners are already receiving the update over-the-air and have kindly shared the download link—meaning you can get the update right now straight from Google’s servers. Read more
The Apple Watch was once again shown off at Apple’s “Spring Forward” event on Monday, and it looks like the Android Wear community is already putting together some watch faces inspired by Apple’s selections. Ironically, first up is the iconic Mickey Mouse face that has been the brunt of many a joke in the Android community on Google+, and it looks like the XDA-Developers user who made it did a pretty good job of replicating the real deal…
Google recently started publishing Nexus factory images for Android 5.1, but now download links for the over-the-air update are hitting the Internet. It likely won’t be long before your Nexus device has the update up and running (5.1 for the Sprint Nexus 6 started rolling out yesterday, for example), but if you just can’t wait to get your hands on those performance improvements, we’ve got you covered…
Samsung focused blog SamMobile today posted the videos above and below showing off an upcoming Android 5.0.1 update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge, and Galaxy S5 LTE-A.
The update is mostly bug fixes, according to the report, but it also has a few notable new features including slow and fast motion video recording functions. Read more
The latest build of Android, 5.0.1 Lollipop, has been rolling out to devices for about a week now, and the factory image page has been slowly but surely getting updated with more downloads. A couple days ago we saw the addition of factory image downloads for the Nexus 4 and 6, but today the page has been updated with a link for the LTE model of the Nexus 9.
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
Following the actual announcement of Android Lollipop earlier this week, Google has now released its official SDK to developers interested in writing apps for the new OS. The release comes following the Android L SDK preview that was released earlier this year at Google I/O (which was only for the Nexus 5 and 7).
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.