Android L Features: Interacting With the New Lock Screen

Up next in our tour of new features in Android L is a detailed, on-video look at the revamped lock screen experience.

If you have used Android at all over the years, a lot of the new concepts will make sense once you see them in action. There are quick swipes to launch into the camera or dialer, ways to expand out notifications, and access to your settings toggles should you need to adjust brightness or get on a WiFi network.  (more…)

Android L Features: Do Not Disturb Mode

Our series on new Android L features kicked off moments ago with Battery Predictor, but now it’s time to move on to an addition that probably should have been built into Android long ago. This is Do Not Disturb mode.

For those not familiar with a feature like DND, think of it as a way to shut off phone calls and notifications during the night or other times where you would rather not have a “ding” or buzz go off. We are talking during meetings, funerals (whoa!), or anything else in life that would require some quiet time.  (more…)

Gmail API Available for Developers in Beta

The Gmail app for Android doesn’t always keep up with the pace of innovation – third-party mail clients like K-9 mail and MailDroid introduce features faster, and are infinitely more customizable. Until now, though, that meant compromise – IMAP was the only way for those apps to retrieve mail from Gmail, meaning you lost out on editable labels and server-side search.

Yesterday, Google unveiled its answer to that problem in the form of a beta API for Gmail. Available to developers immediately, the API lets apps tap into the more powerful features of Gmail, like drafts and threading. Google says it’s also a lot faster than IMAP.  (more…)

Google Seems to Think the Nexus 5 Comes in Yellow

While cruising the official Android website, one of our readers happened upon what looks to be an early slip up, or complete mistake, from Google itself.

When describing the options available when purchasing the Nexus 5 on Google Play, Google states that the device comes in four colors; Black, White, Red, and Yellow. However, as you may all know, the Nexus 5 is not available in a Yellow variant.

Did Google simply slip up, or should we expect a Yellow Nexus 5 to hit Google Play at anytime?  (more…)

Here are Android “L” App Design Screenshots for Maps, Settings, Music, Keyboard, and More

Everyone is waiting patiently for Google to release the Android L preview build tomorrow, but hopefully these screenshots can help ease the impatience.

Android L, from what we can see so far, is a major redesign for the OS. App color schemes and various layouts are changing considerably inside of system applications, which might have Android L as one of the most distinguishable updates the OS has ever received. For example, colors for system volumes are now going to be a bright yellow instead of Holo Blue, and many other apps and lists seem to be much more vibrant.  (more…)

Google Search 3.5.14 Adds “OK, Google” Hotword Everywhere, Plus Audio History

Google Search 3.5.14 is beginning to rollout with a couple of major enhancements. First, Google is allowing users to enable the “OK, Google” hotword to be said from anywhere on the phone to prompt a voice search. So rather than having to be on your home screen, you can now be in Chrome or looking at photos and quickly kick off a voice search. The update even allows you to trigger an “OK, Google” from the lock screen. It works quite well so far in our testing.  (more…)