I warned all of you that it was likely you’d get two days worth of news and that definitely seems to be the case.
Quite a bit came out last evening/night and it’s more of the same this morning. I have a lot of stuff to pour over and read up on, ignoring what I was already aware of in passing last night before crashing and crashing hard.
So let’s do this, shall we?
Actually, no. Wait. My brain is still not fully awake, despite being up for not quite an hour thus far this morning. I need music to do this. So enjoy one of my handful of “happy songs”. (I.e. songs that make me ridiculously happy and energetic and all that nonsense, which I’ve no clue why they do that but they do.)
I may or may not be somehow related to Philip J. Fry because of that choice. (For those unaware, it is his favorite song.)
It was inflict that song on you or this one and I don’t know why but I feel like you all would quickly start passing out the torches and pitchforks if I went with my second choice, a song which I personally think is the bee’s knees. I mean I don’t get why it gets hate. Everyone should take the chance. The safety dance. With the safety dance. Yes, the safety dance. : P
Everyone who wants to get some Android M on without flashing things please read the following.
So first off, let me just give props to those lovely people over on the XDA Developer Forums. You all rock!
As for the rest of you, why do they rock? Because they’ve already pulled so many things from the Android M Developer Preview. Apps, boot animation, etc etc etc.
I will now share those that I can with you all. (Mostly a handful of apps. I’m leaving all the other stuff as a link for those of you who know what you’re doing to download and install on your own. Since I want to take no responsibility for anyone potentially messing up their device.)
Under no condition are any of you to install Play Services on any device that isn’t “officially” on Android M. It is screwing things up to the level of rollback and then factory reset bad. That’s pretty bad. So, again, DO NOT INSTALL THE ANDROID M PLAY SERVICES APK.
First though, credit where credit is due. You can get your Android M (sorta) on by visiting the following XDA link. (Additional info on everything can be found there and this is where I expect those you familiar with this kinda stuff will head once seeing this. Although, for those people, save yourselves some time and just jump straight to the download links. The stuff you want is all in flashable zip files.)
Now the apps I can share.
Google Search If you install this one and you’re using the Google Now Launcher you’ll get to see what the launcher looks like under Android M. (It’s not pretty though, folks. Frankly, I’ll stick with Nova Launcher when Android M drops.)
Yes, I know. That’s not that much, but goddamnit that’s all I could safely share with most of you. Actually, that’s not true. I have one more thing.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Android M wallpaper!
And now back to the normal stuff.
Oh, that Android M. So much going on with it and so much changing or going back to normal or I don’t know.
Someone needs to tell Google to stop being all over the place with things. I can’t deal with it. Not this early in the day without my first caffeine fix of the day. (Not the least reason of which is there is no caffeine in the house and I’ll be damned if I’m stepping outside for anything but “it’s time to go get trashed”. The sun’s still out for crying out loud! Wtf am I? Some kind of normal human?!”)
The new notifications mode have been changed. Yet again.
Essentially it remains unchanged, but clearly enough people struggled with the concept of what things had become that Google had to make it absolutely, explicitly clear.
For an example of how things are under Lollipop, please, see the screenshot I just took on my phone below.
I personally use Priority mode as “Alarms Only”. Everyone can go to hell. Making my phone beep and whatnot. Get outta here with that nonsense!
I’m sure the new change will be welcome, but sadly Google has set a precedent here. Rather than stick to their guns and force people to, you know, accept change (which wasn’t really change) and deal with it they’ve gone back on their own thing and now people know if they don’t like something and refuse to change that others will move for them. Sigh.
Peek is now (sorta) optional.
What do I mean by that?
Well, you know how in Lollipop if you’re say reading a book or playing a game or whatnot that if someone sends you a text message or you get a call that you’ll see a notification appear at the top of the screen which you can then interact with or swipe away or whatnot?
Well, that thing is now dependent on you to a degree. Don’t want certain apps to ruin whatever you were doing? Now they won’t. Just set the ones you want to bother you and the ones you don’t can go to that very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater.
This is mostly a welcome change. I personally hate having certain app notifications appearing over other apps and throwing me off my stride. (Since this mostly happens when I’m reading I consider it especially annoying. Mostly because it involves calls and/or text messages. DO PEOPLE NOT KNOW I AM READING?! This is an outrage!)
The new app drawer is hideous.
There. I said what a lot of us were already thinking. Don’t believe me? Well take a gander at this!
(And there went the perfect opportunity to trick my friend Sally into shoving me into the side of a Jeep, yet again, while yelling, “He whipped it out!” PSA: Kids, don’t do drugs. Cause you’ll assault me and think you saw my wing wang doodle when you totally didn’t. And that’s a story for another time. Also, note to self: Stop associating with people who do things like that.)
Seriously though, that is a hideous app drawer. It scrolls vertically now too, instead of side to side with pages as we’ve long gotten used to.
The built-in Android hotspot has received a version bump.
Perhaps one of the oldest features of Android has been the ability to natively tether or enable hotspot functionality. (Although up until fairly recently both of these built-in functions were heavily restricted by the carriers, requiring that you pay to enable what was a feature built-in at the OS level. Basically, they wanted you to pay them to enable something that you should have been able to make use of perfectly free without their meddling in the first place. Go carriers! /sarcasm)
That app/feature has received an app update and with it the ability to broadcast a hotspot on the less crowded 5 GHz Band. I am certain eyes glazed over reading that, still this is something really neat and good and beneficial for all. (Disclaimer: For those with the hardware to support it that is.)
At present only people on the Android M Developer Preview and using a Nexus 6 or Nexus 9 are seeing this 5 GHz Band change. So yeah, it is clearly hardware dependent.
Google Smart Lock is coming!
This is one of those things you don’t realize you’ll need until you see it in action.
So what is it and how does it work? Well, if you’ve ever used a password manager then you’re likely familiar with the basics.
Enabling the functionality, Google Smart Lock, within Settings (first screenshot) presents you with what you see in that second screenshot (currently only for supported apps). Assuming you uninstall an app or one associated already with Google Smart Lock shows you that third screenshot when you install that app. It logs you in automatically. I’ll let Bender explain how I feel about this.
UPDATE. Apparently this is not limited to Android M! Anyone with a device on Android Lollipop 5.1 and with a relatively recent Google Play Services should see this in Google Settings. The web page is live as well! Again, neat!
The Family focused Google Play stuff from yesterday is rolling out already.
Not all users will necessarily see this, but heading here should allow most users to see this (not sure if that’s limited to on the web or if it’ll work on your various devices) as well.
This is, just to state it again, basically a section of the Play Store that is family oriented and aimed giving parents more control, as well as keeping things safer and more content whatever (I can’t think of the word I want here, again brain still isn’t firing on all cylinders sans my caffeine fix for the day or lack thereof at present) for kids.
Character specific searches will yield relevant results and what have you.
That’s all for now, I’m still catching up on news and there’s still a few live streams I missed or want to watch. So I’ll update the post accordingly, but I wanted to give you all the heads up on what I could. Love me or hate me for it but you can’t say I’m not informing you of stuff.
Any updates will naturally be tacked on to this post as time and info permits me to add them. So if you read these posts then you might want to check back on this post throughout the day to see what if anything I’ve added. I’ll likely update the title of the post to reflect updates as I add them.
Oh yeah, boy did The Verge screw up yesterday!
This was such a huge fuck up that they were called out on that they promptly deleted the forum post (over on The Verge) that mentioned the mistake. They also set the video to private after a few hours. (Cause apparently they didn’t realize their mistake til it had blown up on reddit and elsewhere.)
The guy at no point realizes he is reviewing the old Photos app. Just think about that for a moment. A guy who works for what was formerly a top notch tech news site created a quick hands-on video review of a new app and reviewed the old one instead and did not at any point in the video realize he was actually reviewing the old app. That is after having sat through a keynote where the new app got quite a bit of discussion time, including video and photos of it in action! So he saw that and still didn’t realize it wasn’t the same app as the one in the keynote! That is just so bad. It’s really not hard to see how they quickly made the video private. They fucked up royally and were mocked for it. How the mighty have so horribly fallen. I quit that site years ago and things like this just make me so glad I did.
Oh snap, Google is launching hands free payments this year!
I knew about this last night and forgot to include it in the post!
So the way it works, from my understanding and reading, is basically you walk into say McDonald’s and place your order and when it comes time to pay you say, “I want to pay with Google.” And that’s it. No digging your phone out of your pocket or purse or whatever. It’s just charged on the cashier’s end and that’s it. You’ll see a notification on your phone as soon as you check it showing payment was made and processed.
I can’t tell you how annoying it is to have to dig out your phone (on days where you forgot your wallet in the car) and go through the hassle of unlocking it (or not, yay Smart Lock and wearing a Moto 360) then unlocking the Wallet app then putting it up to the terminal and then hoping it goes through fine. Sometimes it takes more than one try. I mean it’s always neat to see people’s reactions to paying with your phone, but it’s still a hassle. (Yes, I know I could pay with a regular card or cash and I usually do. There’s just some days where I forget the damn thing in the car or at home and yeah.)
Personally, I’m thinking Bluetooth is gonna be what powers all this “no hands” point of sale stuff. However, I’ve seen some comments saying it might involve facial recognition. At this point I honestly can’t say one way or another how this is gonna work. I can only say I’m intrigued.
If you’re at all interested in this you can request an invite for the service/to try it out at the following link.
At present it is going to be limited to the San Francisco Bay Area. That doesn’t mean you can’t request an invite anyway. I did last night, it simply ask you your Gmail account address, zip code, and preferred store. (I put CVS since I go there every single day.)
ATAP unveils Project Jacquard!
I guess they meant it when they said they’d “literally” blow our socks off. Given that I know next to nothing about fashion or textiles or anything along those lines I’m sure there’s a lot of potential and stuff going on here that I’m just not fathoming and thus I can’t comment very much on this, but it seems fascinating any way you slice it.
Seriously though, folks, try to avoid thinking “so it’s just ‘smart clothes’”. I really doubt that’s all this is and that this could lead to. This is the Odeck! I’m sure there’s some fashion and textile industry experts and knowledgeable people here. If so you all tell me/the rest of us what you could see coming of this. By all means, because I for one would love to know more and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
I do know two things though. If Levi Strauss does something with this I’m in, because I love Levi jeans and have worn them all my life. Also, I’d kill for a Saville Row suit. Kill. Not the least reason of which is because I think I’d look smashing in a well cut suit. Smashing! And anyone who says I wouldn’t is just lying to themselves and me. You know damn well I’d look good in such a suit!