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4 years ago

In pictures: The Nexus 5

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Hands-on photo gallery

While we prepare our hands-on coverage of LG and Google's latest Nexus handset, why not take a glance over our complete hands-on photo gallery? We've got a dozen or Nexus 5 photos waiting for you in the gallery after the break — enjoy!

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4 years ago

No, Google, thank you — Nexus 5 retail launch as smooth as you'd expect

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Before we go any further today, we do need to mention just how smooth Thursday's launch of the Nexus 5 appeared to go from a retail standpoint. Google Play appeared to stand up to the nerd crush. Google Wallet — which in the past has been the bottleneck — handled the transactions as well as we could expect.

And phones are already shipping.

So kudos to the men and women behind the scenes — whose names and faces we never hear or see and who don't get anywhere near enough credit from an all-too-often ungrateful public — for keeping the wheels turning better than they have in previous launches. You made a lot of nerds happy this week.

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4 years ago

Android 4.4 KitKat 'Easter egg' animation

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With each new version of Android there's a new, hidden animation tucked away in a corner of the Settings app. In Ice Cream Sandwich it was a NyanCat-style bugdroid robot. In Jelly Bean it was a field of floating, happy multicolored beans. In Android 4.4 KitKat there are actually three layers to the hidden animation — first a big spinning "K," then an KitKat-style Android logo, then a big grid of jumping confectionery celebrating Android versions of old.

Check out the animation in our video above.

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4 years ago

In Android 4.4, Google Now is finally part of your home screen

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Swipe left-to-right to get to Google Now from the KitKat launcher

When Google Now was unveiled back at Google I/O 2012, we asked how long it would be before this new predictive search app became your home screen. Now, with Android 4.4 KitKat on the Nexus 5, it seems that time has finally arrived.

Similar to HTC BlinkFeed, the stock KitKat launcher lets you swipe right from the leftmost home screen to get directly into Google Now. Of course you can still get to it the old fashioned way by swiping up from the home key, too. And it's also possible to disable the Google Now pane entirely through the new home settings menu, accessed by long-pressing on any blank space.

Google Now has taken on more and more importance within Android over the past year, to the point where it's even rumored to form a major part of Google's upcoming smartwatch. So it's no huge surprise to see it given a piece of prime Android real estate. If anything, it just underscores the idea that the future of mobile search is indeed predictive.

We've got a handful of screenshots after the break.

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4 years ago

Kit Kat branches hitting the Android source tree, Nexus 5 factory images now available

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Source code is coming and computers will soon be crunching

Google's Ed Heyl has announced on the Android Building Google group that the source code for Android 4.4 in now available from Google. We'll have two branches — one for the open-source contribution and one for the Nexus 5 itself, per Heyl.

  • kitkat-dev for kitkat open source contributions
  • kitkat-release the kitkat release build (KRT16M) for the Nexus 5--which will be tagged with android-4.4_r1. 

The code is available for download, as well as the factory images and proprietary binaries for the Nexus 5. You can find the images here, and grab the binaries if you're going to do a bit of code crunching yourself right here

Prepare for the ROMs.

Source: Android Building

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4 years ago

Google Play adds new colors of Nexus 7 Sleeve, HP Chromebook Sleeve

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Google expanding its accessory options, but they can't be ordered just yet

While the Nexus 5 and its associated accessories hit the Play Store today, Google quietly also updated the case offerings for the Nexus 7 and HP Chromebook 11. The Nexus 7 Sleeve, which was released back in August and works with either generation of the tablet, has picked up a neon yellow and subtle grey color. The sleeve will still set you back a hefty $29.99, but you're getting a well-made case for the money. We're still seeing "coming soon" for both new colors, unfortunately.

On the larger side of things, the newly-announced HP Chromebook 11 Sleeve is getting a new color — a red inside with white outside combination. It's the same $49.99 price as the other colors, and again is still "coming soon."

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4 years ago

Google Wallet 'tap and pay' can work on any Android 4.4 device, but still requires a U.S. SIM

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Giving hope for the future of NFC payments rather than notably changing the way anything works today

Changes in Android 4.4 KitKat are going to open up the possibilities of using NFC payments through Google Wallet, but it may not go as far as we would hope. Although the Google Wallet app itself has been opened to install on any device, the ability to use it for NFC payments (aka "tap and pay") at physical stores has been dramatically limited by carriers and manufacturers. Responding to a post by Michael Bond on Google+, the official Google Wallet account gave us a bit of info today on the status as of Android 4.4:

If you have a Nexus 5 device, you can now use Google Wallet to tap and pay in stores with any carrier. We look forward to bringing NFC tap and pay functionality to more Android phones soon.

Now that doesn't exactly mean every device running Android 4.4 — it specifically refers to the Nexus 5. And in that respect, nothing has really changed just yet. The Google Wallet support page, which has been updated to reflect the Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 announcement, currently lists every device that is able to use Google Wallet tap and pay and the caveats associated.

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4 years ago

Galaxy Nexus will not get Android 4.4 KitKat

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Android 4.3 is the end of the line for the Samsung-made Nexus

Galaxy Nexus owners, you might want to sit down for this. Your device won't be getting an official update to the newly-announced Android 4.4 KitKat. Quoth the Google support site:

Galaxy Nexus will not be receiving the Android 4.4 update. For more information about Galaxy Nexus, visit the Nexus Help Center.

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4 years ago

Motorola to bring KitKat to Moto X, new Droids and Dev Edition RAZR HD

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Small number of models confirmed for the update, others left waiting a while longer

Motorola has just updated its customer help pages to reflect which devices will receive updates to Android 4.4 KitKat. Just as you would expect, all variants of the Moto X will be getting the latest software, as will Verizon's latest lineup of Droid (Mini, Ultra, Maxx) devices. Left out are the last round of Droid phones from Verizon, the RAZR M, HD and MAXX HD.

The one exception here is the Developer Edition RAZR HD, which is confirmed to have Android 4.4 on the way. Motorola of course doesn't give any time frame on when the updates will hit, but is at least giving its word that they will come eventually. This is also just the list of phones that are confirmed to be receiving the update. Several devices are listed as having a "future plan coming soon" — but we wouldn't count on too many of those getting seeing 4.4.

Source: Motorola; +Punit Soni

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4 years ago

Google Voice won't be integrated into latest Hangouts update, but it's coming

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App developers must stop making unauthorized use of Google Voice by May 14, 2014

Starting with the launch of the Nexus 5, Hangouts will integrate seamlessly with your SMS messages. That is, unless you're a Google Voice user — always a bridesmaid and never a bride, Google Voice is getting left out in the cold again with the latest Hangouts update. Google has confirmed that you'll only be able to use SMS in Hangouts v2 through your regular carrier number, but rest assured that it plans to bring Google Voice support soon.

The plan is to have Google Voice integrated into Hangouts "by early next year," citing that there are obvious carrier hurdles to making it all work. Additionally, work is being done to bring Google Voice numbers to international users as well as support MMS. While we wish there was a clearer time frame for how quickly Google Voice users can be brought up to speed, we'll never turn down some reassurance that the feature integration is coming.

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4 years ago

Partying for Halloween tonight? Make sure to snap some #LloydOWeen photos for the contest!

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Today is Halloween so this is your last chance! Today when you're out trick-or-treating, heading to your kids Halloween parade or just slumming around the house in costume, don't forget to snap a photo for our #LloydOWeen contest. It can be pretty much whatever you want, just be sure to show off your phone or tablet in the picture.

Send us your photos (details below) and we'll pick the best of the best to win some awesome prizes ... or will we?

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4 years ago

HTC One to get KitKat within 90 days in the U.S. [Updated]

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Google Play editions updated within 15 days, unlocked + developer models in 30 days 

Update: HTC America President Jason Mackenzie has told Engadget that the Google Play edition HTC One will be updated to Android 4.4 within 15 days, while the unlocked and developer models will see updates in 30 days.

Original post: With today's Android 4.4 KitKat and Nexus 5 announcements, a natural question to pose is when exactly the new version of Android will be headed to other devices. Taiwanese manufacturer HTC is first out the gate with an official answer for us and a commitment to a relatively speedy update path for its flagship HTC One in the U.S.

An HTC spokesperson said:

"We’re all excited about Google’s Halloween treat and plan on breaking off a piece of that Kit Kat bar for the HTC One. In North America, we’ll deliver Android 4.4 with Sense 5.5 for the HTC One within 90 days, and the HTC One max and the HTC One mini will follow."

Elsewhere the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 are due to receive updates to KitKat "in the coming weeks."

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4 years ago

Yes, you can buy a Nexus 5 from Google Play and activate it on Sprint

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Good news, folks. A bunch of you have asked us if you can purchase a Nexus 5 from Google Play and activate it on Sprint. We've just heard back from Sprint, and the answer is in the affirmative.

Repeat: Yes, you can purchase a Nexus 5 from Google Play and activate it on Sprint.

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4 years ago

Hangouts v2 preinstalled on Nexus 5, updated in Play Store in coming weeks

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New information revealed about SMS integration, statuses and sharing options

Google announced at an event this week that new features would be coming in the latest version of Hangouts, and now we have a better idea of when and specifically what we'll be getting. First up is SMS and MMS integration — Google says you'll be able to receive text messages in Hangouts, and you can even import existing conversations when you make the move. SMS support also extends to group texts and emoji support between Android and iPhone.

You will also be able to send animated GIFs in Hangouts, including Auto Awesome animated photos made through Google+. Even further, you can now set status indicators showing what device you're currently using, whether or not you're in a call and what your mood is (if you're into that kinda thing). You'll also be able to share your granular location on a map (shown above).

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4 years ago

Video: What's new in Android 4.4 design

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For the more visually minded folks, Google's whipped up a video with Android's Nick Butcher, Adam Koch and Roman Nurik discussing some of the new design elements in Android 4.4 KitKat. Have at it, after the break!

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