Phandroid » Developers Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:58:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live kernel sources now live in AOSP Mon, 21 Jul 2014 22:44:06 +0000 Android Wear 1

For those with knowledge in these matters, (read: Android devs/modders/tinkerers), Google has just uploaded the kernel sources for both the Samsung Gear Live (Sprat) and LG G Watch (Dory) t0 AOSP. Like with saw with the Android L release, it appears Google is once again going with a partial upload for “kitkat-wear” (Android-4.4w_r1), meaning GPL repositories only.

When it comes to us regular folk, this wont do much good. But as so often is the case with the Android modding community, this should help ROM developers in tweaking devices from the stock software that may otherwise hold our smartwatches back from greatness. Google says they plan on doing a full push for Android’s next milestone release, so we’ll have a while to wait before then.

For devs looking to do some tinkering, you’ll find everything you need via the download link below. Cheers.


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Android Wear watch face API is on the way, developers urged to hold off until then Thu, 17 Jul 2014 17:03:29 +0000 SweepWear_Android_Wear_LG_G_Watch

We’ve already seen tons of great watch faces for Android Wear smart watches pop up in the Google Play Store, but Google says developers should hold their horses before going a bit too crazy. Wayne Piekarski revealed that the company is working to bring an official API that will make it easier for developers to create custom watch faces.

As it stands, he says apps have to be tweaked a great deal to make sure the watch faces act as behaved. That includes implementing ambient mode correctly, appropriately positioning status indicators and more. As such, when the latest API arrives there is a fear that current implementations might be broken or might not work as intended.

Google isn’t asking developers to stop making watch faces. Instead, they’re encouraging developers to keep their apps in “alpha” or “beta” status until the API is released and they can be be properly implemented. Otherwise developers might find themselves in a sea of complaints should users accept the platform update and find their favorite smart watches to be broken without apparent cause.

So when can we expect all this to happen? Piekarski said they’re planning to introduce the API once they migrate the Android Wear platform to Android L later this year, so we might still be a few months out from see anything. Develop on, we say, but make sure you keep an eye out for those new APIs as soon as they’re available.

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Learn Android development directly from Googlers with this Udacity course Wed, 16 Jul 2014 15:13:26 +0000 There are a lot of great courses and resources out there for learning Android development already, but what would be better than learning from the folks who created the mobile OS? That’s exactly what you have the opportunity to do thanks to Udacity’s newest course.

The course is named Developing Android Apps: Android Fundamentals, an 8 week ordeal that’ll have you learning everything from installing Android Studio and creating your first simple app to using advanced, responsive layouts, notifications, intents, content providers and more to make feature-filled Android apps. You’ll be learning all this from Googlers like Reto Meier, Katherine Kuan and Dan Galpin, all of whom have extensive experience with Android.

The best part is that it’s free to enroll and follow along if you aren’t interested in paying anything. Pay $150 per month and you’ll get the whole kit and kaboodle. Here’s the breakdown of what is and isn’t included in each track:

udacity android courseSounds worth the money to me. I should note that this course won’t be meant for folks entirely new to software engineering and object oriented programming. You shouldn’t enroll if you don’t already have any development experience as they likely won’t be slowing down for anyone who doesn’t know what a class or a variable is.

In fact, they exclaim that you should have “strong” working knowledge of Java or any other object-oriented programming language (such as C#). Fortunately there are introductory programming courses (Computer Science 101 and Introduction to Java Development) available from the same site for those of you who aren’t quite “there” yet.

But if you think you’re up to the task and want to learn how to develop quality Android apps (so you can make the next “Yo” or something) then there’s no good reason you shouldn’t give it a try. Udacity has everything you need right here.


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Developers can now apply for a Project Ara dev board Tue, 15 Jul 2014 15:19:29 +0000 project ara

Google is starting to get the train rolling on getting early Project Ara development boards into the hands of software and hardware engineers. In case you don’t remember, Project Ara is a work-in-progress concept that will allow users to build smartphones how they want with the use of rectangular modules.

Modules can be displays, cameras, storage space, RAM and more, allowing you to make the device you want. The main benefits of Ara will be to provide devices that are as inexpensive, flexible and powerful as you need them to be. Google’s planning to target a $40 starting price for a barebones device that doesn’t come with a lot of bells and whistles, and you’ll be able to add the extras you need a la carte. motorola-project-ara-featured-LARGE-2

You can now apply to receive one of these exciting devices for purposes of development (meaning your average Joe Schmo consumer shouldn’t be touching this form). In case you don’t believe me Google spells it out quite clearly in the first line of their evaluation agreement:

You agree to only use the Device for purposes of development, evaluation and testing purposes directly related to Project Ara.

And to weed out the folks who don’t fit the type of candidates Google is looking for, they’re going to ask you questions about your technical expertise and the concepts you want to work in when or if you receive a development board. Needless to say, it’s probably not worth lying about your intentions to try and score a unit. Google will be reviewing applications in waves:

  • First wave: from now until July 17, 2014, 11:59pm PDT.
  • Second wave: from July 18 through August 17, 2014.

Should you be lucky enough to be accepted you’ll be contacted within a week to receive your device, and Google says they’ll begin shipping the first batches starting later this month. Oh, and if you’re from Cuba, Iran, North Korea or Syria then you need not apply: Google says they won’t be able to ship to those countries.

Knowing all that, if you think your idea can catch Google’s attention and you want to apply for a development board you can head right here for the signup form, the evaluation agreement and all the other information you’ll need to hit the ground running. We certainly can’t wait to see what comes of all this once the product is ready for commercial availability.

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Video: Google IO 2014 in under 2 minutes, and all the developer sessions you can handle Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:52:36 +0000

Google IO was a two-day developer conference jam packed with tons of stuff that developers and users alike can get excited about. In case you weren’t there to attend it or missed all our coverage during the show itself, Google is giving us a rundown of all the event’s happenings in under 2 minutes. It won’t provide the full rundown, but it gives you a sense of the excitement of the show and all the goods that came from it.


What we do get an extensive archive of, though, are all the developer sessions Google held at the Moscone West this year. There are more than 70 in all, and they’re all available for your viewing pleasure online right here. Whether you weren’t able to attend the show or you were there in person and too busy to zip around to each one, this should ensure you didn’t miss a single beat. The only problem will be finding the time to watch all of it. Settle in and press play!

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HTC One M7 gets port of Android L developer preview Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:53:21 +0000 HTC One M7 thin case DSC01079

HTC One M7 users: want to test Android L ahead of its official launch and don’t mind putting up with a bug or 1,000? You’re in luck if that’s the case, because a team of talented developers over at XDA has an Android L port ready to go from HTC’s flagship of yesteryear.

Before you rush off to flash this thing, be warned: the Android Developer preview is the equivalent to an alpha build right now. A port of an alpha build probably won’t be the most stable and polished experience you’re going to find. Don’t believe me? This list of what’s not working should tell the story quite effectively:

  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • Data
  • Sensors (except GPS)
  • Camera
  • Sound

Everything else should be good to go, but that list is by no means comforting. As such, you should only go through with flashing this thing if you’re interested in helping the developers test the firmware as they look to stabilize it over time.

Needless to say that if the HTC One M7 is your only phone or your primary phone, you shouldn’t be touching this file with a 10-foot pole. Understand those warnings and still interested in giving it a go? Everything you’ll need can be had in this XDA thread. Otherwise you can wait for HTC to bring what you’re looking for later this year.

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Google Play Games 2.0 introduces Player Profiles with XP stats, SDK updated too Fri, 11 Jul 2014 01:17:40 +0000 Google Play Games 2.0 update

A new update to Google Play Games for Android is now rolling out in the Play Store. The update brings the app all the way up to version 2.0.11 and introduces a new Player Profiles, complete with Player XP to show your friends your mobile gaming dedication.

Privacy advocates will be happy to find that profiles will be automatically be set to private in the event that any previously downloaded games wasn’t given permission to post publicly on your G+ profile. Should you find yourself accumulating several hundreds of games in your travels, well, you’ll just have to go through each one to set its activity to public (lame).

But that’s not all. Google also introduced an update to the Google Play Games SDK. Apparently, Google wants to make it easier than ever for developers to implement Google Play Games into their games, regardless of platform.

Announced on the Android Developers Blog, Google revealed a new set of tools that they first introduced at this year’s Google I/O and brings support for turn-based multiplayer, Quests and Events, and Saved Games. The Google Play Games SDK for iOS saw the same developments, allowing developers to take advantage of Quests, Saved Games, and Game Profiles (along with Player XP APIs) in their iOS titles as well.

As so often is the case, the new Google Play Games update is rolling out in stages but if you’d like to grab the app early, you can sideload the apk via the download link below. Happy gaming!

Download: Google Play Games 2.0 (MediaFire)

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KitKat now running on 17.9% of Android devices as Android L release looms ever closer Mon, 07 Jul 2014 22:07:22 +0000 Android Platform distribution July 2014

We know. Android is a “toxic hell stew” and despite Apple’s claims that only 9% of users are even running the latest version, the latest Android platform distribution numbers are telling us something completely different. Checking in for the month of July, 2014, KitKat can now officially be found running on 17.9% of active Android devices (up from 13.6% the previous month). Not too shabby.

Unfortunately the numbers still haven’t been updated with the specific versions of KitKat rolling out around the world (4.4.2, 4.4.3, 4.4.4), or it would paint a much different picture. As any die-hard Android enthusiast will tell you, there’s no satisfaction in simply running the latest major firmware release, the only way some can sleep at night is knowing their phone is running the absolute latest version of Android possible (currently Android 4.4.4). In which case for them, we recommend a Nexus or Google Play edition device.

Of course, Gingerbread is still hanging on for dear life, with Froyo drifting off into obscurity. It can be argued that many new features are being added to legacy versions of Android all the time thanks to updates to Google Play Services. But after taking a look at the Android L Developer Preview, there’s simply no denying the appeal that comes with major firmware releases.

It will be interesting to see how this chart evolves in the coming months and whether or not Android TV and Android Wear will find a spot in the platform numbers.

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Watch this guy publish an app to Nokia’s App Store while paragliding [VIDEO] Thu, 03 Jul 2014 18:54:19 +0000

Nokia’s on a mission to let developers know how easy it is to publish apps to the Nokia Apps Store with a very eye-opening contest. Dubbed the Xtreme Coding Challenge, they’ve invited developers to publish apps in extreme conditions.

The developer in their first highlight jumped off the side of a mountain in Rio De Janeiro with a 3G-equipped laptop strapped to his chest and ended up publishing an app within 6 minutes, all before he landed. The fact that he didn’t have any experience gliding is even more ridiculous to think about. Of course, he wasn’t responsible for actually steering himself while doing all this as the paragliding instructor attached to his back likely handled all that, but impressive nonetheless.


Nokia’s decision to skip the Google Play Store in favor of their own marketplace for Nokia X devices has left them in the dust in terms of readily available apps, so it’s no wonder they have to go to these measures to get the attention of developers. We’re not sure any sane developer will ever need the ability to publish apps within 6 minutes while they’re gliding in mid-air, but it’s nice to know that it can be done. Take a quick peek above.

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Android L Developer Preview goes live in AOSP for Nexus devices Wed, 02 Jul 2014 01:41:50 +0000 android l devices

Heads up Android developers: the source code for the Android L Developer Preview is now available in AOSP (well, populating anyway). While the kernel source and drivers weren’t provided, we’re sure Android’s community of developers are already chomping at the bit to sink their teeth into this.

Of course, only the Nexus devices are supported with code for the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (WiFi and LTE), Nexus 7 2013 (WiFi and LTE), and Nexus 10. What can you do with this? Not much unless you know your way around Android code. Expect an influx of custom ROMs to hit the forums in the coming days — especially for devices like the Nexus 4 and 7 (2012) that we don’t expect will officially see Android L roll out over-the-air.


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Chainfire SuperSU root app updated for Android L preview Tue, 01 Jul 2014 13:23:40 +0000 Android L

The Android L preview is as easy to root as you’d expect, but for those who prefer one-click solutions it hasn’t been happy days. Thankfully Chainfire’s SuperSU app has quickly been updated to bring proper support for Android L. Not only does the app manage superuser access properly, it also has built-in autoroot functionality for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 2013.

The upgraded headed out to the Play Store yesterday, but if your installation is client-side you’ll want this flashable update file to apply within recovery. Chainfire isn’t rushing to make any sweeping changes right now considering things could change between now and the final release of Android L, but until that happens this is the holy grail. Let us know how it works out for you (and don’t blame anyone else but yourself if it doesn’t as anything you do to your device is your own responsibility).

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Download: 61 Android L apps, keyboard, wallpapers, bootanimation and more Fri, 27 Jun 2014 13:23:53 +0000 Android L

The Android L developers’ preview may have been released yesterday, but unless you own a Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 2013 you likely weren’t able to get in on the flashing fun. Thankfully not all hope is lost for everyone to get a bit of a taste of Android L goodness.

XDA member ivan123 decided to dig into his full system dump and pull out all of the juicy bits, including apps, wallpapers, and even the new Android boot animation. Some of these goods can only be installed using flashable .zip files, some are standard APKs, and some aren’t meant to be flashed at all. Here’s a full list of each:

Apps, APKs and flashables



wallpaper_15 wallpaper_16 wallpaper_17 wallpaper_19 wallpaper_20 wallpaper_22 wallpaper_50 wallpaper_51 wallpaper_52 wallpaper_53 Macro leave

Full System Dump (From Nexus 5)

And if you need everything that came from the images being flashed, here’s a big system dump file for you to traverse. Note that this file is not meant to be flashable in any way, so don’t try and do anything funky with it (unless, of course, you know exactly what you’re doing).

As always, you take full responsibility for anything that may happen to your device as of the result of any non-OEM approved modifications. It’s important that you proceed with caution knowing that you are taking a risk and that you are taking that risk alone. As long as you understand that, though, then you’re free to go wild. Have at it!

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Factory images for Android L Developer Preview now available for Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (2013) Thu, 26 Jun 2014 17:39:16 +0000 Android L developer preview factory images

And just like that, Google has officially released the factory images for both the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 2013 (WiFi). For those with knowledge in these things, these factory images can be flashed to your device where you’ll be running the Android L Developer Preview in no time. Download links provided at the source below. Have fun!

[Android L Developer Preview Factory Images]

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SDKs for Android L preview and Android Wear go live, factory images can’t be far behind Thu, 26 Jun 2014 17:09:05 +0000 Android Developers

As promised, Google has officially made both the Android L preview and Android Wear SDKs available to developers. The necessary files are now available via the Android SDK Manger, and should give developers all the tools they need to start building apps for Android L and Android Wear.

Keep in mind that for us normal folk, there isn’t much here. We anticipate the Android L preview factory images will be released very soon for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 (WiFi), so hang tight. Ah, feels like Christmas morning, doesn’t it?

UPDATE: Annnnnnnd… the images are live!

[Android Developers]

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Google gives developers a low-cost VR headset made out of #cardboard [VIDEO] Wed, 25 Jun 2014 20:27:10 +0000 Google Cardboard eye holes

It was back in 2009, a fella from Recombu constructed a makeshift VR headset for the MyTouch 3G using only tape and scissors. While many were quick to scoff at the idea, it appears it was our own Rob Jackson who had the foresight in seeing how this could one day change the way we use our Android devices. Fast forward to today’s Google I/O developer conference and wouldn’t you know it — the dude was right.

Google Cardboard 2

Android lead Sundar Pichai announced onstage that — in addition to the LG G Watch, Samsung Gear Live, and Motorola Moto 360 — attendees would be receiving a cardboard box capable of transforming an Android device into a full fledged VR headset.

After folding the box together, a phone slips into the provided slot and when using the companion app, the eye holes create a sort of virtual reality environment, not unlike Recombu’s from 5 years ago. Check out our very quick unboxing below.

Apparently Cardboard was created as part of Google’s own “20 Percent” project that allows employees to devote 20% of their time on a side-project. Because VR headsets are all the rage these days — and quite expensive — Google came up with this low-cost alternative.

Google Cardboard ingredients

Given this is a developer conference, Google encourages developers to come up with their own VR apps using their experimental SDK, posting their experiences online using the #cardboard hashtag. You can also join up with the Google+ community here. The best part? You can create your very own headset out of a pizza box (order a large) thanks to Google’s step-by-step instructions on their landing page here.

And we all laughed at this guy…

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