Verizon has finally started rolling out the long-awaited Android 5.1.1 update to its carrier-branded variant of the second-generation Nexus 7. In addition to the latest consumer build of the open-source operating system, this upgrade also transports a much-needed patch for the device’s ever-so-scary Stagefright vulnerability.
All the changes you’d expect to find in the Lollipop software are bundled into this upgrade alongside Verizon’s XLTE service, such as support for multiple accounts, improved notifications, stronger 256-bit encryption, a smoother multitasking experience, a new recent screen, personal unlocking and Material Design.
As is the norm, the update is being rolled out in stages, but if you don’t feel like waiting for a notification confirming that it’s ready for your device to hit your unit, you could always search for the upgrade manually.
To do so simply open the Settings app, scroll to the bottom and tap on “About Device”, hit “System Updates”, then select “Check for updates”. Once done, the upgrade will start downloading from Samsung’s servers.
Come comment on this article: Verizon starts rolling out Android 5.1.1 update with Stagefright fix for the Nexus 7
Amid the concerns of Android’s Stagefright vulnerability, Google has commented on the protection of its own devices. Nexus devices ranging from the Nexus 7 to the Nexus 6 will now be covered by monthly security updates. The company pointed out that Android being open source means that potential security risks can be identified and addressed by anyone to strengthen the platform.
Nexus devices have always been among the first Android devices to receive platform and security updates. From this week on, Nexus devices will receive regular OTA updates each month focused on security, in addition to the usual platform updates.
Starting today, at least seven Nexus devices are receiving the first monthly security update. The Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 7, Nexus 9, Nexus 10, and Nexus Player are all protected from the Stagefright vulnerability in addition to receiving other smaller fixes. Any changes made will be added to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).
Google reminds everyone that Nexus devices will receive major software updates for at least years years while security patches continue for as long as three years.
People have long bashed Google and Android for not being secure, but the company notes that its decisions are responsible for there being less than 0.15% of devices with a potentially harmful app installed.
Come comment on this article: Expect Nexus devices to receive monthly security updates from now on
When Android M was officially announced, Google gave the bad news that the Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and Nexus 7 (2012) were not to receive the update due to the age of the devices, but that may be about to change.
A reference to the codename of the Nexus 10, manta, appeared in the AOSP repository for the device and an update dated May 28th was found marked as android-m-preview. Similar updates were found for the Nexus 4, and Nexus 7 WiFi, lending suggestion that those devices may actually receive the updated Android operating system.
It seems that Google is still investing in the older devices with the Android M rollout, which is great news for adopters of the Nexus devices, because that’s what the Nexus programme is all about. Whilst there’s no official announcements for the support of these devices, don’t be surprised if that changes closer to Android M’s public release.
The post Nexus 4, 10 and 7 (2012) may still receive Android M after all appeared first on AndroidGuys.
Google certainly hasn’t forgotten the Nexus 7, more specifically the 2013 edition. The latest build now available is Android 5.1.1 (LMY48G). There isn’t an OTA yet, so your only option for now is manually flash via fastboot. If you you have done this before, which I am sure most of you have, then this should be a breeze. Remember to download the system images under the code name “razor”.
For those who don’t want to get their hands dirty, be sure to check your device every so often to see if the build is available via Settings > About Tablet > System Updates.
As always when performing updates of any kind, be sure to backup any data you don’t want to loose just incase things go haywire during the update.
Come comment on this article: Google releases Android 5.1.1 build LMY48G for Nexus 7 (2013)
Blackberry has been below the smartphone competition partly due its proprietary operating system, BlackBerry OS, that even after its partnership with the Amazon Appstore, lacks access to the more than a million applications available on android and iOS smartphones. Despite of that, Blackberry’s focus is and has always been security and productivity, and is respected for those qualities. Now, how great would an Android-based BlackBerry smartphone with added security would be for professionals looking for a more flexible and familiar user experience? Well, rumors have been around that BlackBerry has been in the works of making their first smartphones running on Android.
During a CNBC interview, BlackBerry’s CEO John Chen was asked about the possibility of an Android-based BlackBerry smartphone, and replied with the following:
“We only build secure phones, and BlackBerry is the most secure phone. So, if I can find a way to secure the Android phone, I will also build that.”
According to an earlier report from N4BB, BlackBerry will be unveiling its first Android smartphone in August, known to this day as the BlackBerry Prague. The device is said to share design elements from the BlackBerry Z3. In addition, BlackBerry is reportedly making a high-end android smartphone codenamed BlackBerry Venice and will feature a Quad HD display with other high-end specs such as a snapdragon 808 SoC, 3GB of RAM and an 18-megapixel rear-facing camera.
All of these claims however have not yet been confirmed by Blackberry, and might not necessarily hold true. BlackBerry is committed to making highly secure smartphones, and no precise information was given by CEO John Chen on the progress of this potential project during the interview. Either way, such a device would be a huge milestone for BlackBerry and might allow the company to attract a large number of new customers.
Come comment on this article: BlackBerry planning on building Android smartphones if security requirements are met
We have seen a few examples of users incorporating tablet devices into their vehicles to serve in place of auto manufacturer or third-party solutions for in-car infotainment systems. Users typically resort to this due to the dearth of autos that come with Android systems installed and third-party units are typically very expensive. In the latest example of this move to use a tablet device, Kevin Foreman connected a mouse to a Nexus 7 to provide a new input option as he was tired of using the touchscreen.
In a video demonstrating how his Nexus 7 works in his Toyota Prius, Foreman shows the Logitech G700S mouse that he connected to the tablet to serve as an input device. After working to map a variety of buttons and mouse clicks, Foreman is able to do things like launch Spotify or Google Maps with a touch of the mouse instead of trying to do it via the tablet’s touchscreen.
Foreman indicates he pursued this because he was tired of trying to “aim” his finger on the touchscreen while driving. Google has noted this challenge as well, which is why the Android Auto system uses a custom interface designed for use in a vehicle where precise touches may not be preferable.
You can check out his video below.
Come comment on this article: Nexus 7 mated with mouse, used in-vehicle
Just last month Hyundai announced that the 2015 Hyundai Sonata would be the first to market in the US with Android Auto. About the same time, Honda also quietly announced that the 2016 Honda Pilot would feature a brand new audio system powered by Google’s Android OS. To be clear, this is not Android Auto, but rather the full Android OS.
Not much has been said about the specs of the device, but we were able to confirm that it runs Android 4.2.2. Here is a complete run down of what we know at this time.
- Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
- 8″ WVGA (800×480) Electrostatic Color Touch-Screen
- Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity
- Capacitive controls
- Included apps: a web browser and a calculator
- Ability to install/update apps and widgets via USB thumb drive
- Launcher has widget support
In the short time I was able to play with the device I was impressed with the speed and responsiveness of the system. It’s surely a vast improvement over the previous generation Display Audio system available in some of their other vehicles. As we get more information we will update you on the specs. In the mean time you can check out the 2016 Honda Pilot at your local Honda dealer.
Unless you were residing under a rock last week, you are surely now aware of last week’s yearly developer conference, Google I/O. Well, in case you happened to not be available, or need a place to catch up on everything that was announced or talked about, AndroidGuys is here to save the day. From Android M to new Developer Tools and the new Photos service, there was surely a lot that was covered during the Google-fest, known as Google I/O 2015.
While this didn’t come as a surprise to many, Google decided to show off their latest iteration of Android, to the world. Android Lollipop, announced and released last year, obviously brought the Material Design UI design change to the forefront. Android M, because Google did NOT announce the name of the latest version, seems to bring a slew of additional features to the forefront. It may seem like an incremental update at first, but rest assured, there are more than a few changes that can be found with Android M.
The first big change announced was the addition of Granular Permissions with apps across the whole OS. What this means is that you will be able to approve or deny any permissions that a specific app may need to use in order to function correctly, or want the ability to use. Currently, users agree to all the permissions necessary for an app to be installed, upon installation from the Google Play Store. Whoever reads all those, every time you download an app, is a brave soul. I literally equate it to reading the terms and conditions of downloading any type of software update from Apple. TLDR.
Something to note in regards to these permissions changes, is that Google is paving the way for developers to build their apps that still work, even if a user denies any specific permissions request within the app. That’s a nice little touch to ensure that your apps will all still work even if you deny permissions.
Everybody complains about battery life, regardless of what device you are using. iOS or Android. Well with Android M, Google is bringing a new feature known as Doze Mode, which is essentially puts your phone into a deeper sleep mode than what is currently available. No worries, Google still thought about the fact that you are expecting to receive notifications and such throughout the day, so those will still come through as normal. Google is claiming that Doze Mode could increase the battery life of a device, two-fold. Doubled the battery life, without having a bigger battery, is an interesting concept, so it will be interesting to see how it works in RL.
This seems to be the year of USB Type C, with Apple introducing the MacBook, which has only the USB Type C port on it. The latest rendition of the ChromeBook Pixel also has two USB Type C ports on it, so why not introduce this technology on our mobile devices. Well Google did just that today. While they didn’t mention any devices that will include the USB Type C charging port, Google still explained what this will mean when an Android device is released with this new charging port.
Imagine this. You need to charge your phone up, but all you have is your tablet. (Of course this is a hypothetical situation, just stick with me here.) You remember that you got both of these awesome devices from Google and they both have USB Type C. So you plug the USB to USB from your tablet into your phone, and boom. Your phone is now charging. Well that’s what the introduction of USB Type C brings to the table now. On top of the fact that our Android devices will FINALLY have a reversible cable, reducing the frustration in trying to stick it in the right way.
Just about everyone has, or has had Google Wallet. Just about everyone has also heard about how Apple Pay works in unison with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ along with the fingerprint scanner. Well Android M is bringing Android Pay with built-in fingerprint support for those devices that have a fingerprint scanner already, and of course with any new devices.
Similar to Apple Pay, Android Pay will be built right in to the OS, so that you can get up and running right away, out of the box. Google was also to gain support from Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile to allow Android Pay to be installed, without restrictions, right out of the box.
As for stores that are on board, Google announced that there are over 700,000 retailers that Android Pay will be accepted, across the US. Essentially, Android Pay will be supported wherever you can find an NFC payment station at your retailer of choice.
Google is also building into Android M, the ability to “Buy with Android Pay”, which will allow users to pay just by tapping the icon, and your items will be instantly paid for through the credit/debit card that is attached to your Android Pay account.
App State Backup
Any apps that will be installed on devices running Android M, will automatically back up to Google’s cloud. This was introduced so that you can have your apps backed up and ready to go whenever you switch to a new device, or perform a full-wipe on your device. I can find this extremely useful for us geeks that switch phones like we change socks, but also for those clumsy one’s who need go through phones like diapers.
The Android M Developer Preview was made available a few hours after the keynote had ended. It is compatible with the Nexus 5, 6, 9 and Nexus Player. We can expect to see Android M fully released in Q3 of this year, while there is a road-map to give users an idea of when to expect the next versions of the Developer Preview.
Before getting into the smaller announcements from yesterday’s event, let’s get into the other big announcement from the Google I/O 2015 keynote. Google Photos. It’s finally here, and you can expect to see a slew of articles claiming that this is the beginning of the end for Google+, but we know differently. Of course, the redesigned Google Photos isn’t anything that we didn’t already know about, but now we can finally play around with the features. The big feature, for me at least, was the cross-syncing between Android, the Web, and iOS.
Bundled with unlimited storage, Google is touting Google Photos as a backup service, more than anything else. However, there is a catch for that. Your photos will have a 16 Megapixel cap, and videos will have to be uploaded at 1080p or lower. There is an option, upon start up, to use your Google Drive storage capacity, which is nice if you have boat loads of extra storage sitting around, but the “unlimited storage” option will be just fine for most.
Depending upon how granular you get with your photo organization, things can be pretty rough sometimes. Google Photos is hoping to help out with some of that, by being able recognize and categorize your photos automatically for you. Photos will be able to identify people, places, landscapes, food, and will categorize those photos for you automatically. While Photos seems to walk the walk, it’s only a matter of time before we know if it can talk the talk.
Users can access their photos across the web, iOS, and Android, so that you have a copy of your favorite pictures, no matter where you’re at. If you want to share one of those photos, you will be able to pull up the sharing menu, and be able to get a link specific to the picture that you are attempting to share.
Another feature announced with Google Photos is your new Assistant. Nope, not a Google Now replacement, or anything like that. Instead, think of it as a modified version of Auto-Awesome for Google+. Your Assistant will help you create albums, custom stories, or movies, and what makes this even better, is that you don’t have to wait for Auto-Awesome to do its thing. You can make these adjustments to your photos, yourself.
Obviously these are just some of the many changes and announcements that Google brought to the Android world at Google I/O 2015. What are some of your favorite announcements? Was it the separation of Google Photos from Google+? Or was it the announcement of Android M and the release of the first batch of Developer Previews? Let us know what you think about everything in the comments below.
During its I/O 2015 keynote, Google has just announced that Android M will introduce a couple of new features in the power department: doze mode and USB Type C support.
The new doze mode uses motion detection to measure your device and when it recognises your handset is idle, it puts the handset to “doze”. While your handset is dozing, it still keeps real time alarms and incoming notifications and Google claims this improves battery up to 2 times while in standby mode.
The other feature just announced is USB Type C support, which brings with it support for reversible charging. Essentially, the addition of USB Type C support means you can now use your phone to charge your tablet and vice versa. Follow all our updates from Google I/O 2015 here.
Now that smartphones have become personal companions, landline usage has understandably dropped. BT launched an Android-powered home phone, complete with smart call-blocking features and apps, in an attempt to lure people back, but because it only offered downloads via Opera’s app store, choice was severely limited. With the BT Home SmartPhone S II, it appears the company has learned from its mistakes. It’s partnered with Google to offer access to the Play Store, while Facebook, Twitter and BT Sport apps are already bundled. It means that you’ll be able to watch Premier League football if the main TV is out of action, but also download your favourite apps and games — as long as you’re connected to WiFi. At £169.99, BT’s Home SmartPhone S II is a little more expensive than Motorola’s current-generation Moto G, meaning you really must be intent on making the most of your landline for this handset to make any fiscal sense.
Via: BT Media Centre
Source: BT Shop