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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Android Match

Android Match


Google posts timelines for when updates will end for Nexus devices

Posted: 21 Jun 2016 04:13 PM PDT

Google is being very open about how long it will support Nexus devices. A support page describes the rules Google has set, and honestly, they're extremely good. Android version updates are guaranteed for at least two years from launch, and security patches are guaranteed for three years from launch or 18 months after the Google Store stops selling the device, whichever is longer.

Those are some very generous guidelines. At least three years of security patches is a big deal, and we wish every other OEM could guarantee this. And keep in mind that there could be updates and patches after these dates; these are just the minimums.

Google also posted dates for when each device would no longer be guaranteed updates. The list is missing the Nexus 6, but it's likely an oversight.

It's definitely awesome that Google is upfront about its support policies. And even when support officially ends, Nexus devices are known to get community support for years. So Nexus owners, you have nothing to worry about.


Android Match

Motorola’s head of design departs, Lenovo employee to replace him

Posted: 21 Jun 2016 04:13 PM PDT

Jim Wicks, Motorola's Senior Vice President of Consumer Experience Design, has been at Motorola for 12 years. He's had a hand in designing many of Motorola's smartphones and the Moto design that's been quite attractive lately. Unfortunately, he is leaving Motorola for a job at Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering.

He will be replaced by Ruben Castano, Lenovo's mobile Design Studio chief. If this means Motorola design will slowly transition to Lenovo's current mobile design, it will be a big hit for Motorola (let's be fair, Lenovo's design is uninspired and not very attractive).

With a second major employee gone (former Motorola CEO Rick Osterloh left earlier this year), the company not meeting Lenovo's expectations, and layoffs happening inside the company, things aren't looking bright for the once-great American phone maker. The Moto Z is looking fairly promising, but future of the company may ride on this new series of devices.


Android Match

Nova Launcher Prime and Fenix for Twitter currently discounted

Posted: 21 Jun 2016 02:08 PM PDT

Two very popular apps are currently on a pretty substantial sale on the Play Store, so you better get them soon! Both Nova Launcher Prime and Fenix for Twitter are down a few bucks.

Nova Launcher Prime is the pro unlocker for the popular Nova Launcher. It adds features like gestures, unread counts, hide apps, extra animations, and more. It's currently $0.99, down from $4.99.

Fenix for Twitter is another Material design Twitter app with a beautiful look and tons of features. It's currently $2.99, down from $5.49.

The sales aren't going to last long, so if you're interested in these apps, hit the source links and grab them!

Source: Google Play: Nova Launcher Prime, Google Play: Fenix for Twitter


Android Match

AUKEY 5-port desktop charger with Quick Charge 3.0 Type-C port review

Posted: 21 Jun 2016 02:08 PM PDT

Desktop chargers are a lifesaver. In a time where electronic devices are widespread but outlets are not, charging a few devices with their original chargers means taking up a bunch of outlets, which are often in short supply. Desktop chargers with a multitude of USB ports are a great way to solve that problem.

Overview


Ports: 4 standard USB, 1 Type-C with Quick Charge 3.0
What's in the box: Desktop charger, 3.3′ USB Type-C cable
Where to buy: AUKEY, Amazon

Aukey desktop charger 2

The AUKEY 5-port desktop charger allows you to charge four regular devices and one USB Type-C device at the same time. Four of the ports are rated at 2.4 amps, so they can charge regular devices and tablets at the proper speed. The USB Type-C port, however, supports Quick Charge 3.0 for topping your device up much faster.

Aukey desktop charger 3

The charge rate for the four standard USB ports are about what you'd expect from a regular charger. They're great for charging devices when you aren't using them, but they're no good in a pinch. This is where Qualcomm's Quick Charge comes in, allowing you to fill up a significant amount of battery at once. The single USB Type-C port can do this for any new device featuring this port, like the Nexus phones, the HTC 10, and the LG G5.

However, not everyone wants Quick Charging all the time. I don't use my Turbo Charger to charge my Moto X overnight, nor do I use the Tronsmart 5-port Quick Charge desktop charger. Whether quick charging your phone's battery affects it significantly in the span of two years is unknown, but in theory, charging a lithium ion battery should degrade it faster. If you have all night to charge it, a slower charge might be preferable to the paranoid (like me). I look forward to the arguments down in the comments. Either way, having non-Quick Charge ports is a positive.

There's a lot to like about this AUKEY charger's design. It's built well and it's very compact. It can fit on even a cluttered desk, while some larger chargers I've seen take up too much space for my liking. The charger also doesn't have any annoyingly bright LEDs, nor does it have a power switch to shut it off. It's as simple as it gets, just plug it in and start charging.

The charger comes with a USB Type-C cable, which is a nice touch. The technology is young, so Type-C cables are not abundant just yet. Chances are, if you're buying this for the Type C port, you could use an extra cable.

Aukey desktop charger 5

At the somewhat steep price of $43 as of writing this review, AUKEY's charger on the expensive side, especially considering it only has one USB Type-C port. But it's a great desktop charger and a great travel companion, able to turn a single outlet into five USB ports on the go. It's also easy to bring with you thanks to its compact size. I really like this charger a lot and use it quite often, but the higher price might turn some off.


Android Match

Get an unlocked AT&T BlackBerry Priv for under $300

Posted: 21 Jun 2016 02:08 PM PDT

The BlackBerry Priv is definitely an interesting device, a mix of traditional BlackBerry (including that wonderful keyboard) and a modern Android smartphone. With a 5.4-inch Samsung edge display, 18MP camera, 32GB of memory, and a 3410 mAh battery, it's pretty high end.

Unfortunately, it hasn't been the success that BlackBerry and AT&T hoped it would be. But one carrier's failure is another man's deal. EBay currently has the Priv available for $299.99. It's the AT&T model but it comes with an unlock code, so you can travel abroad with it. It's brand new and retains factory warranty.

For the price, you're getting some killer hardware. Plus you're getting BlackBerry security and support, which is a plus. Updates may not be fast, but the unbranded model already has Marshmallow. Hit the source link to take advantage of this deal!


Android Match

Improving Stability with Private C/C++ Symbol Restrictions in Android N

Posted: 21 Jun 2016 01:57 PM PDT

Posted by Dimitry Ivanov & Elliott Hughes, Software Engineers

As documented in the Android N behavioral changes, to protect Android users and apps from unforeseen crashes, Android N will restrict which libraries your C/C++ code can link against at runtime. As a result, if your app uses any private symbols from platform libraries, you will need to update it to either use the public NDK APIs or to include its own copy of those libraries. Some libraries are public: the Native Development Kit (NDK) exposes libandroid, libc, libcamera2ndk, libdl, libGLES, libjnigraphics, liblog, libm, libmediandk, libOpenMAXAL, libOpenSLES, libstdc++, libvulkan, and libz as part of the NDK API. Other libraries are private, and Android N only allows access to them for platform HALs, system daemons, and the like. If you aren't sure whether your app uses private libraries, you can immediately check it for warnings on the N Developer Preview.

We're making this change because it's painful for users when their apps stop working after a platform update. Whether they blame the app developer or the platform, everybody loses. Users should have a consistent app experience across updates, and developers shouldn't have to make emergency app updates to handle platform changes. For that reason, we recommend against using private C/C++ symbols. Private symbols aren't tested as part of the Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) that all Android devices must pass. They may not exist, or they may behave differently. This makes apps that use them more likely to fail on specific devices, or on future releases --- as many developers found when Android 6.0 Marshmallow switched from OpenSSL to BoringSSL.

You may be surprised that there's no STL in the list of NDK libraries. The three STL implementations included in the NDK -- the LLVM libc++, the GNU STL, and libstlport -- are intended to be bundled with your app, either by statically linking into your library, or by inclusion as a separate shared library. In the past, some developers have assumed that they didn't need to package the library because the OS itself had a copy. This assumption is incorrect: a particular STL implementation may disappear (as was the case with stlport, which was removed in Marshmallow), may never have been available (as is the case with the GNU STL), or it may change in ABI incompatible ways (as is the case with the LLVM libc++).

In order to reduce the user impact of this transition, we've identified a set of libraries that see significant use from Google Play's most-installed apps, and that are feasible for us to support in the short term (including libandroid_runtime.so, libcutils.so, libcrypto.so, and libssl.so). For legacy code in N, we will temporarily support these libraries in order to give you more time to transition. Note that we don't intend to continue this support in any future Android platform release, so if you see a warning that means your code will not work in a future release -- please fix it now!


Table 1. What to expect if your app is linking against private native libraries.

LibrariesApp's targetSdkVersionRuntime access via dynamic linkerImpact, N Developer PreviewImpact, Final N ReleaseImpact, future platform version
NDK PublicAnyAccessible
Private (graylist)<=23Temporarily accessibleWarning / ToastWarningError
>=24RestrictedErrorErrorError
Private (all other)>AnyRestrictedErrorErrorError

What behavior will I see?

Please test your app during the N Previews.

  • N Preview behavior
    • All public NDK libraries ( libandroid, libc, libcamera2ndk, libdl, libGLES, libjnigraphics, liblog, libm, libmediandk, libOpenMAXAL, libOpenSLES, libstdc++, libvulkan, and libz), plus libraries that are part of your app are accessible.
    • For all other libraries you'll see a warning in logcat and a toast on the display. This will happen only if your app's targetSdkVersion is less than N. If you change your manifest to target N, loading will fail: Java's System.loadLibrary will throw, and C/C++'s dlopen(3) will return NULL.

  • N Final Release behavior
    • All NDK libraries ( libandroid, libc, libcamera2ndk, libdl, libGLES, libjnigraphics, liblog, libm, libmediandk, libOpenMAXAL, libOpenSLES, libstdc++, libvulkan, and libz), plus libraries that are part of your app are accessible.
    • For the temporarily accessible libraries (such as libandroid_runtime.so, libcutils.so, libcrypto.so, and libssl.so), you'll see a warning in logcat for all API levels before N, but loading will fail if you update your app so that its targetSdkVersion is N or later.
    • Attempts to load any other libraries will fail in the final release of Android N, even if your app is targeting a pre-N platform version.
    • Future platform behavior
      • In O, all access to the temporarily accessible libraries will be removed. As a result, you should plan to update your app regardless of your targetSdkVersion prior to O. If you believe there is missing functionality from the NDK API that will make it impossible for you to transition off a temporarily accessible library, please file a bug here.

What do the errors look like?

Here's some example logcat output from an app that hasn't bumped its target SDK version (and so the restriction isn't fully enforced because this is only the developer preview):

03-21 17:07:51.502 31234 31234 W linker : library "libandroid_runtime.so" ("/system/lib/libandroid_runtime.so") needed or dlopened by "/data/app/com.popular-app.android-2/lib/arm/libapplib.so" is not accessible for the namespace "classloader-namespace" - the access is temporarily granted as a workaround for http://b/26394120

This is telling you that your library "libapplib.so" refers to the library "libandroid_runtime.so", which is a private library.

When Android N ships, or if you set your target SDK version to N now, you'll see something like this if you try to use System.loadLibrary from Java:

java.lang.UnsatisfiedLinkError: dlopen failed: library "libcutils.so" ("/system/lib/libcutils.so") needed or dlopened by "/system/lib/libnativeloader.so" is not accessible for the namespace "classloader-namespace" at java.lang.Runtime.loadLibrary0(Runtime.java:977) at java.lang.System.loadLibrary(System.java:1602)

If you're using dlopen(3) from C/C++ you'll get a NULL return and dlerror(3) will return the same "dlopen failed..." string as shown above.

For more information about how to check if your app is using private symbols, see the FAQ on developer.android.com.


Android Match

New button layout in Android's YouTube player UI is fomenting finger frustrations

Posted: 21 Jun 2016 12:13 PM PDT

Screenshot_20160621-110643

A few small tweaks to the YouTube player UI for Android have caused a few issues of late - digital issues. And by digital, I mean digits, as in fingers. In summary: it's hard to touch stuff right.

You see, the YouTube app for Android has been experimenting with this new player UI for some time now, but as it rolls out to more and more users, some issues are cropping up.

Read More

New button layout in Android's YouTube player UI is fomenting finger frustrations was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

[Update: Winners] Friday night giveaway: we've got 100 codes for ADW Launcher 2.0 Premium

Posted: 21 Jun 2016 11:56 AM PDT

ap_resize

After five years, ADW Launcher has returned with a version 2.0. It looks pretty sweet, and there's an in-app unlock for the premium version that disables ads and tosses you a few new features, and by a few, I mean a ton. Including no ads. Here are all of said features.

  • Unlimited number of custom widgets on the desktop
  • No Ads
  • Change desktop screen sizes
  • Change desktop cells width/height
  • Change top panel size
  • Change bottom panel type (icons / widgets)
  • Change desktop indicator primary and secondary colors
  • Change icon dimensions
  • Lots of icon customization filters
  • Lots of icon customization compositions
  • Change icon badges appearance
  • Desktop transitions
    • Cube inverse
    • Wheel
    • Crossfade
    • Crossflip
    • ICS Pages
    • Unfold
    • Cube 2
    • Zoom Out
  • Folder transitions
    • Horizontal fling
    • Vertical New
    • Vertical Paginated
    • ICS paginated
    • Cube
  • App Drawer types
    • Cube inverse
    • Wheel
    • Crossfade
    • Crossflip
    • ICS Pages
    • Unfold
    • Cube 2
    • Zoom Out
    • Vertical 4D
    • Vertical New
    • Horizontal Fling
    • Vertical Paginated
    • Roll
    • Ball
    • Wall
    • Fast Scroll
    • Indexed Fast Scroll
  • App drawer Open/Close Animation
    • Slide Up
    • Slide Down
    • Swirl
    • Flip Up
    • Flip Right
    • Flip Down
    • Flip Left
    • Grow Horizontal
    • Grow Vertical
    • Slide Left
    • Slide Right
    • Wipe Reveal

Interested?

Read More

[Update: Winners] Friday night giveaway: we've got 100 codes for ADW Launcher 2.0 Premium was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

[Update: Wide Release] VLC v2.0 Is Rolling Out With Network Browsing, Merged Android TV Version, And More

Posted: 21 Jun 2016 11:39 AM PDT

vlc

VLC is one of those apps that takes beta testing seriously. The developers have been testing a big revision (1.9.x) for ages, and now it's finally rolling out on Android as v2.0. This update finally embraces the LAN part of VideoLAN Client with proper network browsing, and that's only the start.

Read More

[Update: Wide Release] VLC v2.0 Is Rolling Out With Network Browsing, Merged Android TV Version, And More was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

[Deal Alert] Nova Launcher Prime is 99¢ ($4 off) in the Play Store for a limited time

Posted: 21 Jun 2016 11:00 AM PDT

novaThere was some stiff competition for alternative launchers in the early days of Android, but now thanks to tireless dedication and improvement from the developer, the excellent Nova Launcher stands at the top of the pile. Nova has been one of our favorite apps since it debuted way back in the Ice Cream Sandwich days, and while it's quite serviceable as a free app, the $4.99 upgrade to the Prime version is worth every penny.

Read More

[Deal Alert] Nova Launcher Prime is 99¢ ($4 off) in the Play Store for a limited time was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

PlayStation Vue will launch for Android phones and tablets next week (with Cast support!)

Posted: 21 Jun 2016 10:25 AM PDT

vue

Sony announced on the official US PlayStation blog this morning that its Vue live TV and video streaming service will launch on Android next week (the week of June 26th). The Vue app will work with Android smartphones and tablets with Android 4.4 or higher, and the app will support Casting - hallelujah. PlayStation Vue essentially aims to be a "cable replacement" service of sorts, offering cable, premium, and specialty channels at a variety of pricing packages ranging from $29.99 a month up to $54.99 a month.

Read More

PlayStation Vue will launch for Android phones and tablets next week (with Cast support!) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Logitech's UE Boom 2 and UE Megaboom speakers gain Google Now voice integration

Posted: 21 Jun 2016 10:06 AM PDT

nexus2cee_wm_IMG_4912

Logitech announced today that its UE Boom 2 and Megaboom speakers are being updated to add support for Google Now voice interactions. To use it, just press the Bluetooth button, and I'll let Engadget's explainer take away the rest:

Just do a quick press of the small Bluetooth button on the top of the speaker and wait to hear the audible prompt, which is the same as when you say "OK Google" or press the microphone icon for voice control on your phone.

Read More

Logitech's UE Boom 2 and UE Megaboom speakers gain Google Now voice integration was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Grow your business on Google Play with help from the new Playbook for Developers app

Posted: 21 Jun 2016 09:53 AM PDT

Posted by Dom Elliott, the Google Play team

Today, the Playbook for Developers mobile app is now generally available for Android devices. The app helps you stay up-to-date with the features and best practices to grow your business on Google Play. Thanks to all our beta testers over the last six weeks whose feedback helped us tweak and refine the app in preparation for launch.

Here's how you read and watch content in the Playbook for Developers app:

  • Choose topics relating to your business interests to personalize My Playbook with curated articles and videos from Google and experts across the web.
  • Explore the in-depth guide to Google's developer products, with articles grouped by what you're trying to do: develop, launch, engage, grow, and earn.
  • Take actions on items – complete, share, save, or dismiss them – and read your Saved articles later, including offline if they're written in the app. A data connection will be needed to read articles and videos from across the web.

The app supports Android 5.0 and above. We will be adding and updating content in the app to help you stay up-to-date and grow your business. Get the Playbook for Developers app today and then give us your feedback. The app is also available in the following languages: Bahasa Indonesia, Deutsch, español (Latinoamérica), le français, português do Brasil, tiếng Việt, русский язы́к, 한국어, 中文 (简体), 中文 (繁體), and 日本語.

This is the second app we've released for Google Play developers. Get the Google Play Developer Console app to review your app's performance statistics and financial data, get notified about your app's status and publishing changes, and read and reply to user reviews on the go.


Android Match

Mika Mobile releases Zombieville USA 2 on Android and brings the original back from the grave

Posted: 21 Jun 2016 09:47 AM PDT

1

Developer Mika Mobile has a long and complicated history with Android. It very publicly dropped support for the platform back in 2012 before slinking back in 2014 with Battleheart Legacy. It launched a new game last week, and now there are two more listings from Mika Mobile—one new and one back from the dead. Yes, Zombieville USA 1 and 2 are on Android.

The Zombieville USA games are simple side-scrolling beat-em-ups set during a zombie apocalypse.

Read More

Mika Mobile releases Zombieville USA 2 on Android and brings the original back from the grave was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Twitter now supports 140-second videos

Posted: 21 Jun 2016 09:17 AM PDT

Twitter continues to roll on with changes, which has already included a visual refresh for Android users that bring it in line with Material Design and not counting images against the 140-character limit.

Now Twitter is extending the length of videos that users have when they upload a video. Up to this point, Twitter only allowed videos up to 30 seconds, but now users can post videos that are 140 seconds long. The new video support rolls out today.

There are a few other changes in store, too. That includes new suggested videos, which Twitter will populate for you to check out after you've watched a video uploaded to the platform. They'll be Twitter and Vine videos, too, so they're keeping it in the family. Twitter says this change is coming soon for Android (and iOS) users.

It's probably worth noting that 140-second videos are also coming to Vine, so prepare yourself accordingly.

Do you post a lot of videos to Twitter?


Android Match

16 new and notable Android games from the last 2 weeks (6/8/16 - 6/20/16)

Posted: 20 Jun 2016 06:32 PM PDT

nexus2cee_gamethumbWelcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.

Games

Galcon 2: Galactic Conquest

Android Police coverage: Galcon 2 revives a simplified space strategy game with new multiplayer modes and more complex tactics

Galcon is a surprisingly old strategy game where planets are the playing field and spaceships are both the resources and the units.

Read More

16 new and notable Android games from the last 2 weeks (6/8/16 - 6/20/16) was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


Android Match

Google Keep v3.3.243 puts a pin in note pinning [APK Teardown]

Posted: 20 Jun 2016 04:41 PM PDT

keep

Last week brought a rush of new app updates from both the Play Store and the Android N developer preview. There were surprisingly few new features to discuss, and not much for teardowns; but the Google Keep app does have at least one notable addition in store for us. It looks like Keep is going to give users the ability to pin important notes so they remain readily available and won't get lost as new items are added.

Read More

Google Keep v3.3.243 puts a pin in note pinning [APK Teardown] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.


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