Dyslexia affects millions of people, and it's time Android started to help
Depending on which medical institution you ask, dyslexia affects 10–20% of the population. Despite being discovered in 1877, then known as word blindness, the condition is still largely misunderstood and difficult to treat. Accessibility has been a major focus in the mobile space in recent years, rightly so, with important features like Live Caption and more. But there’s one feature missing in the mobile space, and that’s the use of a dyslexic font, something Android phones should adopt as soon as possible.
From Nyandroid to zombies, here's our favorite — and least favorite — of Google's hidden secrets
It's just about that time again. After months of buildup, we're likely just weeks — if not days — away from the official launch of Android 14. New Android versions are exciting for plenty of reasons, from new features to the official statues Google places on its campus, but one of our favorite elements has to be the annual Easter egg. I mean, this year's space-themed exploration game is pretty incredible, even if I have no idea what I'm doing while I play it.
Project Mainline delivers key OS updates through Google Play — here's how it's changing
Google introduced Project Mainline in Android 10, modularizing OS components so feature and security updates could be delivered through Google Play instead of regular OTA updates. Android 10 launched with 12 supported Mainline modules, but in the latest release, that number has ballooned to 37 updatable modules. Here’s a look at how Project Mainline is changing in Android 14 and beyond.
Android 14's 'headphone loud sound alert' feature will protect your hearing by warning you when you're listening to loud music for too long
When you’re jamming out to your favorite beats using a nice pair of wired earbuds or headphones, it’s tempting to crank up the volume as high as possible so you can fully immerse yourself in the music. But if you listen to music at excessively high volumes for prolonged periods of time, eventually, you might irreversibly damage your hearing. That’s why experts recommend limiting your exposure to loud noises. Android has long had a safety feature that warns you when you try to raise the media volume above a safe limit, but this warning can be easily ignored. Android 14 will be more proactive in protecting your hearing with its new headphone loud sound alert feature.
Don't even get us started on the notifications
These days, Android and iOS aren't as different as you might expect. Everyone has their preferred platform of choice, but as both operating systems have matured, each has followed the paths first charted by their smartphone rivals.
The Google Pixel series is still your best bet if you want a stable experience
Google released Android 14 Beta 2 earlier this month, following its annual I/O developer conference. And with it, Google also finally opened up the beta and developer preview program to more phones beyond its own Pixel lineup. Let’s be real — even on Google's own phones, Beta 1 was maybe the buggiest such release in years, with things only really getting better with Android 14 Beta 2. But now that new hardware is being supported, what do things look like on phones from other manufacturers?
Samsung's Android 13-based skin packs several features and improvements
The best Samsung phones and tablets on the market run One UI 5 or a new build of its skin. Samsung has come a long way from its TouchWiz days, and with its Android 13-based One UI 5 update, the company raised the bar once again. Below is a look at the new features and changes One UI 5 added to all compatible Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets.
Google’s QPR3 beta program will soon come to a close
Google's beta programs have become outright confusing for anyone who doesn't follow too closely. The company is currently testing the next big release of its mobile operating system, Android 14, which is now in its developer preview phase. Google is also at it with Android 13 betas, though, which it uses to test its quarterly Pixel Feature Drops. Since the March Feature Drop is now live for everyone with a supported Pixel phone, the next in line is the June Feature Drop. As such, Google is working on the Quarterly Platform Release 3 (QPR3). Here is our ongoing changelog detailing what's new in the betas preceding the final Android 13 release.
It wouldn’t be a Google beta release if it were bug-free
Android 14 is now available to the masses as public beta testing began earlier this week. In customary Google fashion, the first beta build comes after the company released two Developer Preview builds intended for app makers to test their software and iron out compatibility issues. Bugs and instability are synonymous with beta builds, but we'd hoped Google would iron many of them out in the developer betas. We couldn’t have been more sorely mistaken, and here’s every issue we found in Android 14 Beta 1 so far.
Here is how the latest mobile operating systems compare
Android and iOS are excellent mobile operating systems and capable options for your everyday smartphone needs. They have grown more similar over the years, but there are still differences between the platforms. That's why some people prefer one over the other.
How Android gestural navigation transformed from a train wreck into an absolute success
When you get a new Android smartphone, you may spend a lot of time thinking about the perfect way to organize your homescreen. You'll decide which apps make it to the main homepage, choose the right weather widget, and select the shortcuts that are necessary for daily use. Even your icon pack needs some consideration. What you probably don't consider, at least as often, is how you get to your homescreen. These days, many of us rely on gesture navigation, flicking our thumb up from the bottom of the screen to return to our personalized space.
One UI is one of the most interesting Android skins around
Samsung One UI is a custom Android skin for Samsung smartphones and tablets. It is one of the most popular software skins, primarily due to the Korean tech giant being the second-best-selling smartphone brand in the world. If you own a midrange or flagship Samsung device like the recently released Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, you've likely used One UI. But what is it exactly, and how does it differ from stock Android? This article takes a closer look at One UI, how it has evolved, and why it'll be sticking around for a long time.
More old hands could join the new team
At Android Police, we talk a lot about the best phones to get and the software features we want out of them. We don't often talk a lot about the people behind the details and decisions behind them, though we have talked around them thanks to news of layoffs in the past season. Okay, we do talk a lot about big personalities like Carl Pei of OnePlus and Nothing fame, but as he found out, the specific people he hires do ultimately matter to the product — we're learning that included the Nothing Phone 1 and will include the Nothing Phone 2.
Upgraded your Pixel phone to Android 13 and wondering what to do next? We've got you.
Android 13 is the latest and greatest iteration of everyone's favorite mobile OS, and it's on Google Pixel phones right now and should roll out soon to devices from Samsung and others. Compared to the major overhaul that was Android 12, the newest Android version is a relatively light release as far as new features go. Still, it features many small updates and tweaks to existing functionality. Here are eight tips and tricks for navigating the latest Android release on your Pixel.
The latest Android 13 QPR Beta has some goodies hidden underneath the surface
While we’re all eagerly awaiting the Android 14 developer preview, which should hopefully launch soon, Google is still busy with its extended Android 13 beta program to prepare the Android 13 Quarterly Platform Release 2 (QPR2), or the March Feature Drop. The latest release to come to us is the Android 13 QPR2 Beta 3, which is mostly concerned with fixing bugs, but it also has a few novelties hidden in the code. Here’s all we learned about Beta 3.
As usual, the most interesting features are still hidden behind flags
Google only just released Android 13’s first Feature Drop, but the company is already hard at work preparing the next update, which is supposed to come out in March 2023. Just like that, the first beta for this second Quarterly Platform Release (QPR) came out on December 12, 2022. While Google hasn’t spilled too many beans on what’s going to be new, avid experts took a look at what’s happening behind the scenes and which new features are going to be released as part of it.
Fewer exploding boats, but you do get a lovely swing!
Maybe we laid "The Dark Knight" on a little too heavy, but let us have our fun — we're sure you'll be having fun right along with us as the Android Police podcast covers the launch of Android 13. Plus, we've got Jerry Hildenbrand from Android Central to espouse terrific kernels, too.
It's a shocking point of no return
With Android 13 out of Google's hands and onto developers who are modifying the operating system for their own purposes, it's going to be a tricky road ahead. There are a number of new features the version bump brings that need to be tested, but before they can do that, they'll need to make sure of one crucial thing and that's to install Android 13 on both system partitions of their Pixel device. One developer has found out what happens when things go awry without that second updated partition.
One name across two years and three versions, with countless benefits and an impactful legacy
I’m clearly a big fan of Android, but even I can admit that the platform took a while to hit its stride. It wasn’t until Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich that Android arguably started to feel feature-complete in the face of its (dwindling) competitors. But it was the various Android 4.X Jelly Bean versions that truly made Android start to feel like home for me. It was the era of Holo’s UI refinement and declining jank, the rise of Play Services, and the golden age of Android ROMs. And ten years ago today, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean descended on the world.
Google’s latest Android release lets multilingual users mix and match as they need
Google is a pioneer when it comes to accommodating multilingual users around the globe. Gboard and Google Assistant support seamlessly switching between languages mid-sentence, allowing you to express yourself as you see fit (granted, Google still has its issues with bilingual voice input last time I checked).