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Android Lollipop full change-log posted: 128,680 commits in total!

By Andrew Grush

Android Logo Mascot Lollipop Nexus-8

Android 5.0 Lollipop’s AOSP code has now been fully uploaded and it’s, hopefully, only a matter of time before factory images start showing up for Nexus owners (whether that’s hours or days, it’s hard to say). In the meantime, Al Sutton of Funky Android has now given us a complete list of changes from KitKat to Lollipop, for those interested in an extremely detailed look at what’s new.

While we’d love to publish the list here in full, it’s way too long, as so we recommend heading over to the AOSP changelog to get a better look. What we can tell you is that there are 128,680 commits, which is substantially more than any previous Android update! These changes go way beyond Material Design, improved notifications and some of the other changes we’ve highlighted in the past. As you’d imagine, many of these changes are bug fixes and other optimizations, and many of the listed changes are very technical.

The biggest takeaway for end-users is that Android 5.0 Lollipop is a substantial change from the Android 4.x family and seems very much worthy of its full number jump. It’s also worth noting that many Android bugs should be gone for good, though new releases tend to introduce new issues of their own. Impressed by Lollipop so far, based on everything we know and have seen? If not, what else would you like to have seen with Android 5.0?

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Disney Movies Anywhere arrives on Google Play, includes free copy of Wreck-It Ralph

By Sean Riley

Originally launched back in February, the Disney Movies Anywhere initiative brings your Disney, Pixar and Marvel movies together under one app across platforms. It will sync your content through iTunes, through the codes on DVDs, and now through Google Play as well.

The app allows you to play all of your existing content and to browse through the Disney, Pixar and Marvel archive. You can watch previews of the movies in the app, but purchases are all routed through Google Play.

For a limited time you will receive “Wreck-It Ralph” for free when you connect your Google Play account through the Disney Movies Anywhere app.

If you are a single platform family, then this may not seem like a huge deal to you, but if you have some iOS and some Android devices in the family then this is fantastic news. In an interview with TechCrunch, Disney Studios CTO Jamie Voris also indicated that another major partnership would be announced soon; Amazon would be the natural candidate to come next.

As the parent of two young kids and a fan of the Marvel movies, I’m thrilled to see Disney make this move, and I hope Amazon is next on their list. Having content that I purchase end up trapped within any one platform is infuriating, and as digital is increasingly the only way that we are buying content, we can only hope that Disney is showing other content producers that this is the model to follow.

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

Verizon now supports Google Voice MMS

By Dima Aryeh

Recently, Google announced that it had partnered with nearly 100 North American carriers to enable sending MMS to Google Voice numbers. It used to be thatMMS messages sent to Google Voice numbers would disappear without even a warning that they were not received. Thankfully, this issue was fixed by Google with the cooperation of many carriers.

Of course, Verizon decided not to play nice and was not included in this list of supported carriers and it seemed as though Google even made a subtle jab at Verizon the day of the announcement (a well deserved one, of course). The good news is that people are now reporting that MMS from Verizon to Google Voice numbers now go through as they should.

Verizon hasn’t announced any changes, so we don’t know what caused this. Whether Verizon had a change of heart, or Google figured out some workaround, it’s great news for users of Google Voice and everyone in contact with them. Have you noticed Verizon MMS coming in? Leave a comment!

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

UK Nexus 6 pre-orders could start on November 18th

By Eric McBride

nexus 6 first impressions (13 of 21)

The Nexus 6 is one of the most highly anticipated devices of the year, which is why UK customers looking to get their hands on it will be pleased to know that pre-orders could likely start on the 18th of this month, and it should reach your doorstep by the first of December.

While these aren’t official dates for when pre-orders will begin on Google Play UK, Mobiles.co.uk recently added November 18th as the pre-order date, and December 1st as the delivery date for this highly anticipated device. This is certainly welcome news in the UK, especially when you consider that US pre-orders for the Nexus 6 have been taking place for over a week now directly from Google Play.

For UK customers, the pre-orders will apparently start with O2 and will cost £28 a month. That particular plan includes unlimited calling, unlimited texts, and 1GB of LTE data. There are naturally other plans you can choose from, and anyone looking to purchase the Nexus 6 will also have their choice of three colors (white, black, and gold).

If you haven’t seen our unboxing video of the Nexus 6, you can check it out to get an impression of what will show up at your doorstep:


For those of you that aren’t too familiar with Google’s newest flagship, you’re looking at Google’s first official phablet Nexus device, which rocks a quad core Snapdragon 805 processor, a 6 inch (5.96 to be exact) 2560 x 1440 display, a 13 MP camera, and Android Lollipop right out of the box.

For those who wish to purchase the device without a contract, there will naturally be an option to do so. But, considering that there’s no official word on the price for the Nexus 6 in the UK, we will have to wait a little longer to see exactly how much it will sell for. What do you think, planning on picking up the Nexus 6 or not?

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Meet the Devs – bytecombo

By Joe Hindy

bytecombo developer interview

Welcome back to our Meet the Devs segment! In this piece we take a little time to get to know the people who really make Android what it is today and that is the app developers. In this week’s developer interview, we are talking to Lars Quentmeier of Bytecombo.

Name: Lars Quentmeier

Developer Name: bytecombo

Country: Germany

Website: http://www.bytecombo.com/bronko/

Google+ Profile/Page: N/A

How many people on your team? 2

Apps

Bronko Blue Lite
Bronko Blue, the kitten copter

About your company?

Bytecombo is a small startup, founded in 2013 in Berlin. We love liquorice, coffee and good mobile games. We especially love innovative small indie games with simple graphics. These are exactly the kind of games we want to develop.

What level of experience do you have with coding and development?

Both of us studied Media Informatics and develop software for more than 10 years. Two days a week we delvelop games of our own, the rest of the week we work as software developers for several companies and projects.

What languages do you know? How and where did you learn them?

We both spend the last years developing Web and Java Enterprise applications before we started our journey into game development and founded bytecombo. So we both feel compfortable in Languages like Java, C#, Php and Javascript that we used regularly in the last years. As our experiences with C, C++, Objective-C, OpenGL and DirectX are a bit rusty we decided to go for a higer level language and to develop “Bronko Blue” with a cross platform language called Haxe.

What level of experience do you have with design?

We do have some design and UX skills due to our studies and personal hobbies but there is still a lot to learn.

What apps have you made?

We just released a sidescroller called Bronko Blue, the kitten copter which provides a challenging gameplay inside a physics based world with simple touch controll, a stunning atmosphere and some charming graphics. Last year we developed a small picture book for children called “Harold the horse”. In the past, we also developed some apps for clients.
bytecombo developer interview

How do you monetize your apps?

For now we have got a free lite version and paid full version. So far we haven’t tried another monitization model yet.

Do you consider yourself successful?

If you mean financially, then we have to admit, “no” would be the right answer. But we have fun while developing games. With every step we gain new skills and knowledge how to do better next time. 🙂

How difficult is it to make money as a developer?

As a hired developer you usually earn a lot of money. Creating your own applications could be a complete different matter. It’s especially difficult to get noticed in the app stores without being a known company for example.

What can Android do to improve?

All in all we are content with how Android supports developing and publishing apps. New apps though could be placed more prominently in order to be seen by a larger audience.

Why did you choose Android? Do you develop for other platforms? What are the differences between them?

Right now we develop cross platform, so the only differences we came across are about the stores themselves and the publishing process. We especially do like Google play due to its easy, self-explaining and fast publishing process which stands out against other markets.

What are your thoughts on iOS and Windows 8?

Android, iOS and Windows 8 are the main mobile makets and therefor interesting for mobile developers.

What do you think of the Android design guidelines?

In order to have a unique and consistent user experience, the guidelines are useful and necessary.

bytecombo developer interview

What are your favorite apps?

What has been your experience been like working with Google?

We like Google play because the publishing process is easy, self-explaining and fast.

What does the future of development look like?

evelopment will speed up even more as frameworks and prgogramming languages improve every day and allow the developer to work on a higher abstraction level.

What tips do you have for aspiring developers?

Love what you are doing and try out a lot of technologies.


We want to thank Lars for chatting with us in this week’s developer interview! If you’re a developer and this looks like something you’d like to do, check out our Meet the Devs form! We look forward to hearing from you.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

NVIDIA SHIELD tablet will receive Android 5.0 Lollipop update this month

By Sean Riley

NVIDIA has stressed the near stock version of Android on their SHIELD hardware since the launch of the SHIELD portable, as that has meant some of the most rapid updates to the new OS of any OEM.

Android 5.0 Lollipop on the SHIELD tablet will be no different. NVIDIA is showing a sneak peak of the update running and has announced that it will be out via an over-the-air update later this month. As you are probably aware, the SHIELD tablet uses the same Tegra K1 processor found in the Nexus 9, so if the Nexus 9′s 4:3 aspect ratio, 8.9-inch screen or price turn you off, SHIELD tablet is definitely a device to consider at $299 for the WiFi version and $399 for the unlocked AT&T LTE variant.

Beyond the upgrade to Lollipop NVIDIA has a couple updates to their own apps. Dabbler, the drawing app that comes pre-installed on the SHIELD tablet to take advantage of the included stylus, is getting a design update and the SHIELD Hub app will be updated with a new design that’s much more in line with current Android standards.

Gamers were pretty keyed into the SHIELD portable last year and while the SHIELD tablet is definitely a great device for gamers, it shouldn’t be ignored as a general use tablet. NVIDIA is proving time and again that they are working hard to deliver the best Android experience to SHIELD customers.

…read more

Source:: androidandme

    

AT&T gives customers 30 months to pay off their phone

By Eric McBride

AT&T logo [aa] (3)

Todd Kravos

AT&T has announced a new plan today that will provide customers with an additional option when it comes to purchasing a smartphone. The new plan is called Next 24, and allows customers to pay off their phones in 30 months without having to put any amount down.

The other Next plans (12 and 18) will also stay in effect, and with the introduction of Next 24, customers will have the option of 20, 24, or now 30 months to pay off their smartphone. In keeping with previous Next plans, customers will also be presented with upgrade options after 30 months, assuming their phone is still in good condition when they bring it in.

While it could undoubtedly be beneficial for many in having extra time to pay off their device, there is a bit of a downside. With the new 24 plan, customers will have a smaller monthly fee that they’ll pay for their phone. On the other hand, you would also have to wait 6 months longer to upgrade to a new device. Anyone wondering which plan is the right one for them should step back to think about if their priority is paying their phone off as quickly as possible to upgrade quickly, or if having more time to pay off the device is more important for them.

AT&T states that the plan will go into effect on November 9th, and is also offering $150 in bill credit to anyone that opens a new service line on AT&T Next.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Verizon continues pushing against Title II classification with accounting argument

By William Neilson Jr

VerizonSnippet

Recently, Verizon penned another blog post claiming that the FCC was trying to “push for heavier regulation of the Internet.”

You see, Verizon thinks that those who favor Title II classification are somehow not paying attention to the harmful aspect of Title II. Apparently, ISP’s continue to claim that any reclassification of them as utilities under Title II (which allows the FCC to actually help consumers against blatant violations) would destroy the Internet.

Just listen to Heartland’s Scott Cleland who is actually paid by AT&T, Comcast & Time Warner Cable:

Title II is also considered the “nuclear option” because it would destroy much of the value of the nation’s $1.2 trillion in private investment in America’s wireline, wireless and satellite Internet infrastructure, and because the “fallout” from Title II reclassification could make the sector “radioactive” to future private investment. – Heartland.org

Except, as analyst Bruce Kushnick points out, while Verizon has been complaining that Title II will wreck the internet, they have also been using Title II classification to get government perks and taxpayer money.

In fact, we found in a Verizon filing in the Verizon District of Columbia (DC) franchise application, that by 2007 Verizon had franchises in 835 different locations in 12 states, and in the application Verizon again repeats that the DC deployment is a Title II service. – Huffington Post

The Verge

Verizon does this because classifying FiOS as Title II gives Verizon the authority to charge DSL users additional money. Some reports claim that Verizon made as much as an additional $4.4 billion in revenue. Shocking.

Title II gave Verizon a unique opportunity to justify boosting telephone rates in discussions with regulators, arguing that these phone calls would run over the same fiber used by FiOS, Verizon’s home internet service. – Huffington Post

Getting back to Verizon’s recent blog post, they take specific issue with a recent article by Public Knowledge’s Harold Feld who discusses the impact that “forbearance” has on the net neutrality discussion. Forbearance refers to the power that Congress gave the FCC as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, allowing the FCC to disregard specific provision of law that Congress has passed.

Verizon argues that there is no way that the FCC could deal with forbearance with Title II due to its complicated and “nauseating” process. Verizon points to an accounting standard that they do not like which is mandated by the FCC. They have asked for forbearance from it and have not been granted it by the FCC. According to Verizon, this shows how terrible the forbearance process is and will be in the future.

Except, as Harold has previously pointed out, the FCC has granted all kinds of forbearance petitions since 2001. In fact, the FCC allowed forbearance petitions in situations where something “may happen” in the future that helps competition. Of course, none of the petitions did anything to help competition but every telecom company demanded to be treated under this rather idiotic standard when they wanted forbearance petitions to be granted.

Forbearance

When the FCC decided to stop allowing forbearance petitions on the magical notion of “Well, it may happen in the future” and started to base the petitions on actual market share numbers, Verizon sued them (Verizon Tel. Cos. v. FCC, 570 F.3d 294, 302 (D.C. Cir. 2009)). How dare the FCC use actual data!

Additionally, what about the FCC forbearance allowances in the last few years? In 2012, the FCC issued a massive Lifeline Reform Order which gave certain statutory restrictions on who could get Lifeline funds. The FCC did it on their own motion and did not require any factual finding. They simply allowed the petition and moved on.

Harold also brought up the rather straight-forward point that although companies such as Verizon continue to scream about the atrocious process, case-law still specifically allows the FCC to use whatever market analysis that they feel is appropriate (Footnote 18 of Qwest vs FCC).

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Nvidia confirms November Lollipop update for Shield tablet

By Eric McBride

nvidia-shield-tablet-product-feature-image

In an effort to get the newest Android update out of the lab and into their customers hands as quickly as possible, Nvidia has confirmed that Android 5.0 Lollipop will be rolling out to the Nvidia Shield tablet this month!

In order to give us a preview of what to expect, Nvidia has posted a video onto Youtube that showcases the tablet running Android 5.0 Lollipop. Aside from giving us a brief look at the device running Lollipop, there are also numerous references to the above mentioned November update. Another notable point is that the update is running on an LTE version of the Shield tablet, which may or may not be an indicator of which version of the tablet will get the update first.

The Nvidia Shield tablet is (in our humble opinion) one of the best tablet experiences you can get your hands on, and it’s great to see that it’s already being given priority for a prompt update to Android L after only just debuting a few months ago. With Android Jellybean and Kitkat already commanding a whopping 80% combined total on Android devices, it would appear that Android L is already on track to be an even bigger success in terms of adaption time.

Keep it locked to Android Authority for all the latest news on Android L updates.

…read more

Source:: android authority

    

Project Zero: The Galaxy S6 is rumored to be what (cyber) dreams are made of

By Matthew Benson

Samsung Brand Shots CES 2014-3

We still don’t know if Androids dream of electric sheep (dessert yes), but it’s safe to say we do know what keeps Samsung up at night. Between increasingly tough competition, growing consumer unrest, a disastrous 3rd Quarter earnings report, Samsung is definitely aware of its bedroom boogeyman.

Steps have already been taken, hence the Galaxy Alpha, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note Edge all have metal frames, almost as if the Korean giant finally acknowledged consumer demand for premium materials to go with the premium specs and premium pricing. Taking a step even further last week, it announced the Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5, two mid-range devices made of all metal.

In just a few short weeks, 2015 will be upon us, and with it, the build-up for the Galaxy S6. In many ways the S5 failed to deliver: no 4K screen (outside of Korea at least), no metal, no major design revision, no OIS. Now that the Note 4 is out of the way, techies are looking to the future. To say that the S6 is going to be the zero hour for Samsung’s future is an understatement. It had better be…Amazing. And yet, if early rumors are anything to go on, it definitely will be.

Will the Galaxy S6 finally give us that 'big redesign' the GS5 didn't?

Will the Galaxy S6 finally give us that ‘big redesign’ the GS5 didn’t?

Sammobile, one of the web’s most astute Samsung fan-sites, has uncovered a venerable trove of information related to the Galaxy S6, referred internally as Project Zero. Yesterday its sources indicated the product is being designed from the ground up with a brand new vision, and today more details have emerged. Here are some of the highlights, though please take them with a few dashes of iodized NaCl as nothing has been confirmed:

  • Screen: Quad HD, 2560X1440 display, though nothing has been offered about screen size. 5.3-5.5 inches might be logical given the LG G3’s size.
  • Camera: IMX240 sensor; (same as the Note 4), with Samsung toying between 16 and 20 megapixels, possibly the 16 with OIS. The front camera will be 5mp.
  • Storage: 32, 64, 128GB variants. Yes 16GB has purportedly been eliminated, something not even Apple has done.
  • CPU Variant 1: Exynos 7420 Octa-Core 64-Bit with possible internally developed LTE modem. Presumably for Korea and select markets.
  • CPU Variant 2: Snapdragon 810 64-Bit. Presumably for most markets including North America, Europe, and most of Asia.
  • Additional: Broadcom BCM4773 chip that will integrate various sensors including GPS together on one chip to reduce battery drain.
  • Model Variations: SM-G920x, SM-G925x (replace x with the regional/carrier letter of your choice). To define x, see Sammobile for the full listing of product codes.
Will the GS6 follow the Note 4's example with a metal frame? Perhaps instead go all-metal?

Will the GS6 follow the Note 4’s example with a metal frame? Or perhaps instead go all-metal?

Assuming even one or two of these spec details prove to be true, the phone already sounds amazing, and we can almost guarantee it will be running Lollipop. A blazing fast 64-bit CPU, 4K screen, 128GB of memory, all coupled with a presumed brand new design (hopefully using metal) and it’s quite possible that at this point next year, Samsung will be laughing at everyone for having the foolishness to point out its 2014 fiscal fall. Add this to rumors circulating about a 2015 Galaxy Note 10.1 (will it be metal?!) and next year can’t come soon enough.

Of course it goes without saying that these are early days and so we wouldn’t get our hopes up too much just yet. After all, past Galaxy S handsets have had numerous crazy rumors, and often enough less than half of them come true. What do you think about these purported specs? Decent? Killer? Would you upgrade to the Galaxy S6, providing the majority of this proves true?

…read more

Source:: android authority