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Android

  • Latest Android N preview brings Vulkan API support, more emojis

    Google engineers are quietly beavering away on Android N, the latest version of its all-conquering mobile platform. Last month, the company introduced the first preview for developers, giving us a peek at a host of upcoming features. Now, Google has released its second developer preview, giving us a look at a few more hitherto unannounced features. First of all, the new preview delivers support for the Vulkan graphics API, which offers a massive boost over the platform's current APIs. Vulkan also harnesses multiple cores for faster performance. The second big addition is the inclusion of "launcher shortcuts", which allows users to post a shortcut of an app's functions/sections to their homescreen. Related: Android N: what...

  • Android N: what you need to know about Google’s ‘nutty’ OS

    Only this week did nearly two-year-old Android Lollipop become Google's most popular mobile OS version, but the company has now released Android N -- it's latest iteration of the OS -- a lot earlier than expected. Traditionally Google announces its new OS iterations at I/O -- its annual developer conference -- but it's dramatically changing tack this year. According to its developer page, it's planning a five stage release roster before the final consumer ready version of the OS is ready in Q3 2016. This week's release is stage one, and sees the alpha version of Android N available to download...

  • CyanogenMod 13 first impressions: bringing Marshmallow to the masses

    Now that Android Marshmallow is out in the wild, Android enthusiasts everywhere, at least those without Nexus devices, will be waiting to see when it’s their turn to upgrade from Lollipop. Numerous manufacturers have already released their lists of which devices will see the upgrade as well as those that are scheduled to be left behind. This is normal and should come as no surprise, however, for those not wanting to wait, (for instance, me), Cyanogenmod has delivered. Named CyanogenMod 13, the custom OS had been updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow and nightlies for a few devices, including my Moto G...

  • BlackBerry finally releases Priv – its first Android phone

    BlackBerry has finally gone over to the dark side. In a bid to find some relevance in our smartphone world dominated by iOS, Android and Windows, the company has just released its first Android smartphone. While most of its features are on par with that of your latest Android smartphone sporting Lollipop, there are a couple of areas where the tech giant is hoping the Priv will really shine through. True to its legacy, the Priv comes with a slider QWERTY keyboard. Like the Passport, this physical keyboard is also capacitive and supports swipes for additional navigation options. Flexible to the...

  • Android Marshmallow update roundup: Huawei Honor range updating Feb 2016

    Google just loves confectionery and after the slow adoption rate of Android Lollipop, Google will hope that the softer Android Marshmallow will filter through devices more efficiently. Although many smartphones haven't even received Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, there's already talk from other manufacturers about their move to the latest, bleeding edge version of Android. So, with that said, when will your device receive its Android Marshmallow update? Marshmallow will be officially released in September, so we should expect some degree of chatter about it fairly soon. We'll be updating this piece regularly as more information per manufacturer is made available, so stay tuned...

  • Android Marshmallow hands on: smarter, shinier, more secure

    It’s that time of year again: upgrade season. You know, the time when iOS users around the world get the latest and greatest that Apple has to offer, while only a small percentage of Android users get to experience brand new Google products. I’m lucky enough to have a Nexus device, and for the past few days I’ve been using Android’s newest and most mature release yet: Android Marshmallow. I’m sure the various OEMs (pipping Motorola to be first again) will start rolling out their versions soon, but for now, it’s only available on Nexus devices. So what have I learned...

  • Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X and Android Marshmallow: what to expect at tomorrow’s Google event

    After the annual post IFA and Gamescom doldrums, we're entering the pre-holiday announcement rush, and the next two weeks are packed. With Microsoft launching products on 6 October, and LG hosting an event on Friday, Google will hold the San Franciscan spotlight on Tuesday with its Nexus event. But just what should we, can we and will we expect? We answer your most pertinent questions before the big announcements. "So it's not Google I/O. Does that mean we'll see new Nexus devices?" Almost certainly, and two at that. Google's turning to LG and Huawei this time to build the Nexus 5X and Nexus...

  • Ware of the Week: Opera Max

    In our weekly series, Ware of the Week, we showcase our favourite organised lines of code from the world of mobile and desktop computing. In today’s edition, we look at an app that's all about data saving and data management from the makers of Opera -- Opera Max. If you missed our previous Ware of the Week winner, catch it below. Read more: Ware of the Week: Prey Anti-Theft You've probably heard the name "Opera" used around the web now and again. The company, once known for its iconic web browser that served mobile and PCs so well is redefining itself...

  • Microsoft’s digital assistant Cortana is coming to your iPhone, Android

    Microsoft is on a mission to create the most device-friendly operating system to date. Native Windows 10 apps like Cortana, the Phone Companion App, and Xbox Music are all going to be available to download on iPhones and Android devices. In competition with Apple's Siri and Android's Google Now, Cortana is a digital assistant that helps you set reminders, do search queries, check flights or weather information on your smartphone. In a blog post announcement, Microsoft explains that all changes made in Cortana’s notebook will be reflected across all your devices. These changes include tasks like taking photos, creating playlists, and so...

  • Ware of the Week: Imagine Free for Instagram

    In our weekly series, Ware of the Week, we showcase our favourite organised lines of code from the world of mobile and desktop computing. In today’s edition, we profile a third party Instagram client that embraces Google's Material Design philisophy to heart -- Imagine Free. If you missed our previous Ware of the Week winner, catch it below. Read more: Ware of the Week: Meerkat Instagram is one of the top Android apps on the Google Play store, with over 500-million installations. It's also one of the fastest growing social media platforms in existence, and growing at a consistent rate as more...