Profile

Cover photo
Cody Toombs
Works at Android Police
Attended Oregon Institute of Technology
Lives in Roseburg, OR
1,622 followers|1,688,807 views
AboutPostsCollectionsPhotosYouTube

Stream

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
 
Stop saying stupid things on the Internet, people will see you!
If you can't watch the linked video, either because this masterpiece requires Flash or because you had a foreboding vision of infinite regret that's bound to follow a single viewing, allow me to explain. The video actually opens with the phrase "worldwide storage formating conspiracy." Go ahead, let that sink in.

Even worse than saying that, she never explains what she means or how this is a conspiracy. Listen, you can't just throw that word around and then totally leave it hanging. There are people wearing tinfoil hats that need to know what you're going on about.

Pro Tip: If there's a worldwide conspiracy, that's a much bigger story than how to speed up a USB Drive. Though, I'm not sure that's true if all you care about is getting an extra share or two on Facebook.

Oh, and when a major story is broken by PC World (the origin of the video) or MacWorld (the jerks that auto-played the video on an unrelated post), especially with the gravitas of a worldwide conspiracy, please let me know. I will totally be waiting by the phone for that to happen. /s

#ItsOkayToMockStupid
Your USB drive isn't slow because you have too much stuff on it. It's slow because it uses a slow storage format like FAT32 or exFAT. You can re-format it to NTFS to get faster write times, but there is a catch.
7
1
Matthew McNair's profile photo
 
I just watched the video and I think the comment was a poor attempt at humor. 
Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
 
Gmail v6.7 Tiny Teardown: Drag 'n Drop It Like It's Hot

Today's update to Gmail didn't bring anything particularly exciting in features, but it shows they're working on something for Android 7.0 Nougat that I think we're all looking forward to: drag 'n drop file support in split-screen/multi-window.

<string name="drag_n_drop_target_text"> Drop files here </string>

Put simply, you'll be able to open Gmail in one side of the screen and a file manager in the other, and then drag files over and drop them into a message – no need to hit the attach button and worm your way through multiple steps.

Obviously, this requires other apps that know how to create draggable files, which are fairly rare at this point. I've tried a few apps that seem to create draggable entities (e.g. the built-in Downloads app and Google Drive), but Gmail isn't popping up this message or a spot for me to drag anything to, so I kinda doubt it's live yet. Still, once it launches, it should probably work about the same way as it does on the web.

It's not really a surprise that this is coming. Dragging files into Gmail on the web is practically second nature for most of us, so it's common sense that it will become a part of Android now that we'll be able to run apps side-by-side. Still, even if it's sorta obvious, it's good to see this is in the pipeline. Features like this have a tendency to show up in one version and be ready for use by the next, so it will probably be operational for the first official release of Nougat. I've also got a hunch the Inbox app won't be far behind.
54
4
Artem Russakovskii's profile photoZachary “Wiki” Kew-Denniss's profile photoAdrian Cabrera's profile photo
4 comments
 
I wonder what it's like to be someone's "tear down guy"
Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
 
Somebody had to say it.
60
6
Pavel Tikhonov's profile photoPrem Suraj's profile photoMarty Ballard's profile photo
3 comments
 
That's so awesome
Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
 
Please stop unnecessary testing and staged rollouts
I have the same (latest) version of YouTube installed on 3 different devices, and none of them have the same list of settings. YouTube is doing this far too much. 😟

I totally understand the point of staged rollouts and A/B testing, both of which give different features and interfaces to a random set of users, but they should be used in moderation. Try to imagine talking to your parents on the phone and trying to explain how to change a setting or use some feature when you're both looking at different screens.

That's bad enough, but it's absolutely insane that a person might have to actually make a decision about which device to use for a specific task because one of them got a feature before another.

I see this stuff all the time because I do teardowns and compare different versions on multiple devices, but I've also seen this become an issue when people (including myself) have contacted Google to report issues. I'm used to talking with tech support people that aren't necessarily well-trained on every last detail, but there was an incident where I spoke with a person that thought I was making up details because he couldn't see the same things on his screen. This is a situation that should never, ever happen.

In case it's not obvious, I'll quickly explain the screenshots. The first one has only 5 options, all of which appear in the other screens. The second screen includes Autoplay. The third screen also has Autoplay, but also includes Buffering. And yes, I totally understand that these are pretty innocuous settings that aren't going to affect most people enough to be an issue, but I've seen other features in YouTube–like fast forward/rewind–that are much more confusing if one person has them and another doesn't.
84
11
Chet Gurevitch's profile photoDaniel “dictvm” Heitmann's profile photoCharles Sewell's profile photo
3 comments
 
Yup. On the Nexus 6p I have the second screen but on Shield tablet I have the third. Why? I want the buffering in the background on my Nexus 6p.
Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
 
I'm not gonna lie, I want to see how Google Allo handles a sexting session.
33
Derek Ross's profile photoCody Toombs's profile photo
2 comments
 
+Derek Ross You got it bb ;)
Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
 
I want Google to announce a Pixel Watch.

Not Nexus. I want a well-built watch with no corners cut. I think the Pixel brand makes sense for a watch mostly because Google tends to use it in more experimental ways, with more premium quality, and the software customizations are more creative.
33
3
Cody Toombs's profile photoPuleen Patel's profile photoJace Hernandez's profile photoKevin Kel's profile photo
5 comments
 
I just want to see an Android Wear "Nexus Jacket" with Project Jacquard by Levi's.
Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
 
Play Services v8.9.16 Tiny Teardown: G+ +1 = 2 Many

With the release of Android N, there were a handful of new, previously unseen versions of apps. Most turned out to be a bit of a bust (or at least didn't have anything for a teardown), but Play Services included an unusual assortment of strings related to Google+ and +1'ing things... or so they first appeared.

A big part of doing teardowns is analysis (and over-analysis) of phrasing. Sometimes the very fine details of sentence structure reveal a lot about things that are coming. Other times, they are wildly misleading. Either is possible with this next set of strings.

The phrasing of some new strings use a number of odd word choices like "sign up for +1", "to create +1's", and "grant permission to +1". There's even a line that says "you need to sign up for +1 in order to create +1's." This use strongly suggests there is a new product or feature with the name +1 and it also has a form of content called a +1 that users will be creating, and it's somehow distinct from the existing action most people refer to as +1'ing a post or picture. Confusing, right? Users still have to sign up to Google+. The app is referred to by the name Google+, which strongly indicates that it is not changing branding to +1, but it will be used in connection with the product, whatever it may be. At least, that's the way it seems.

Unfortunately, there's not much to go on, and even the message that reads "...we want to tell you a little more about it" is lacking a matching explanation of what it will do. Since that string is associated with a webview, an explanation will obviously load separately.

<string name="browser_signup_message"> "You need to sign up for +1 in order to create +1's. Would you like to go to the signup page?" </string>
<string name="install_plus_app_message"> "You need to sign up for +1 in order to create +1's. You can sign up by downloading the Google+ Android application or by visiting plus.google.com on a computer." </string>
<string name="plus_one_self"> +1 by %1$s </string>
<string name="plus_one_offline_error"> Please connect to the Internet to +1. </string>
<string name="plus_one_button_needs_permission"> You need to grant permission to +1. Tap to retry. </string>
<string name="sign_up_for_plus_message"> "You need to sign up for +1 in order to create +1's. You can sign up using the Google+ Android application or by visiting plus.google.com on a computer." </string>
<string name="sign_up_prompt_title"> Get started with +1 </string>
<string name="signin_cross_client_auth_toast_text"> "Welcome back to %1$s. You're signed in with Google as %2$s." </string>
<string name="webview_signup_message"> "You're new to +1, so first we want to tell you a little more about it." </string>

So, I gotta say, there's not much else to take away from this yet. The wording is vague enough and definitely incomplete, but certainly unusual enough to warrant some attention. By all means, throw some ideas into the comments. If not just a counter at the bottom of a post, what is +1 going to be?
25
1
Jondan Rothfus's profile photoJake Utah's profile photoCody Toombs's profile photo
7 comments
 
+Jondan Rothfus Oh, I was discounting Spaces because it already has a name; if you could say an unannounced product from Google ever has a name. But you're right, it does make sense given the language and how the service is positioned to a prospective user.

I've also had this quiet suspicion that Spaces (which many people made very bad assumptions about) and the "messaging service with chatbots" (which was at least partially misreported by the original source) are going to turn out to be related. This feeling isn't based on anything material, but I have a picture in my mind of a service that fits both descriptions. If that turns out to be the case, I can imagine the "+1's a user can create could turn out to be the so-called "chatbots" that threw everybody off.
Add a comment...
In his circles
168 people
Have him in circles
1,622 people
Tom Koster's profile photo
Amber Nichols's profile photo
Mohamed Mohamed's profile photo
Adam Douglas's profile photo
Kevin Gauthier's profile photo
aslam cb's profile photo
David Jones's profile photo
GAME WORLD's profile photo
Max Haghighi's profile photo

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
 
Play Music v6.12 Tiny Teardown: Leaning Over the Edge

It's rare to see Google's apps working with proprietary SDKs and platforms. A few apps in the past have supported Samsung's split-screen functionality on the Note series, and from time to time a couple of other oddball things have shown up, but Google is now working on support for another Samsung feature: the Edge screen. Yes, Play Music is going to get its own custom panel for Samsung Edge phones.

The evidence on this one is a little awkward because you have to know what certain things mean. But here are the significant signs:

1. A new permission has been added to the AndroidManifest.xml file: com.samsung.android.providers.context.permission.WRITE_USE_APP_FEATURE_SURVEY. Notice the "samsung" part, which make the source perfectly obvious. This permission allows an app to ask the operating system about which Samsung services are available.

2. There's a new xml file named edge_now_playing.xml that defines the provider so Samsung's framework will know what to use. The "edge" part of the name makes it fairly obvious which phones this is meant for. Here's the only significant line inside the file:

<cocktail-provider label="@string/app_name" decription="@string/app_name" previewImage="@drawable/splash_play_music_144" updatePeriodMills="3600000" cocktailWidth="550" launchOnClick="com.google.android.music.MainActivity"

The "cocktail-provider" part confirms this is meant for Samsung Edge devices. That's a keyword used in the Look SDK.

So, what is it going to do? It's basically a standard set of music player controls with a few extra bits relevant to Play Music. To begin with, there are two strings for starting music in the "I'm Feeling Lucky" randomizer:

<string name="edge_now_playing_loading_ifl_mix"> "Starting I'm Feeling Lucky Mix" </string>
<string name="edge_now_playing_loading_ifl_radio"> "Starting I'm Feeling Lucky Radio" </string>

And a layout named edge_now_playing.xml gives away the rest of the information and controls:

album art
track name
artist
Prev/Next buttons
Play/Pause
Thumbs up, skip backward, thumbs down, skip forward

listen_now
top_charts
new_releases
music_library
ifl

I don't have an Edge device to test on, but I asked a couple of other people to try it out and they saw no sign that this was operational yet. I didn't see any sign of an included SDK during a very quick glance at the decompiled code, so I doubt it was built into this release. All the same, it's probably coming very soon.

http://www.apkmirror.com/apk/google-inc/google-play-music/google-play-music-6-12-3216e-3118869-release/google-play-music-6-12-3216e-3118869-android-apk-download/download/
21
2
Jason Doyle's profile photoCody Toombs's profile photoPhilip Sieder's profile photoSpencer Shaw's profile photo
4 comments
 
Galaxy Nexus 2017: Confirmed
Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
 
Play Store v6.8 Tiny Teardown: Preloaded Party

Today's update to the Play Store apk didn't bring much in the way of discernable features. We're getting ready to post about one thing shortly, but it's not version-dependent.

The teardown was pretty mundane too. A couple dozen strings about family sharing were updated, but they're not giving away anything that wasn't already known from one teardown after another on Android Police. Since sharing for apps and games is about to go live on July 2nd, this is obviously a bug fix update to get things ready for a wide rollout.

There was one amusing gem to run across. A few weeks ago, a couple of strings turned up in a teardown that suggested the Play Store would pre-load some data [1] to improve performance. The details were thin, but it's not a particularly hard concept to grasp. This version makes a slight change and adds a little bit more explanation. To begin with, the previous version called for a 20 MB cache, but this version bumps that up to 30 MB.

<string name="lite_mode_settings_description_info"> Preload up to 30 MB on your device, over Wi-Fi </string>

The other strings don't really add much to the conversation, but they do slightly focus on the point that this is about improving performance while on a data connection. Does that mean the cached data can't be used if you're browsing on Wi-Fi? I doubt it, but you never know.

<string name="lite_mode_welcome_card_description"> "Some information on the store is preloaded over Wi-Fi. This makes the store faster when you're on a data connection." </string>
<string name="lite_mode_welcome_card_title"> A faster store experience </string>

Anyway, that's it for right now. I've got a couple of other posts that I've been trying to get back to for a little while. I'll try to get those done before the weekend.

[1] http://www.androidpolice.com/2016/05/16/play-store-v6-7-prepares-to-preload-data-for-faster-performance-and-may-hint-at-new-android-wear-features-apk-teardown/
As most of our readers know, an update to the Play Store rolled out a couple of days ago with a feature many of us have been requesting for nearly three ye... by Cody Toombs in APK Teardown, Applications, News
55
5
Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
 
Google+ v8.1.0 Tiny Teardown: It's Like a Roomba For Comments

The latest G+ update [1] turned out to be mostly bug fixes and a bit of a behavioral tweak to the home stream [2], but there's also a clue for a new feature to look forward to in a future release. It looks like Google+ is going to add a handy little setting for Communities that will "hide" low quality comments.

<string name="low_quality_comments_available"> Low quality are hidden. They can be displayed from the menu. </string>
<string name="menu_hide_low_quality_comments"> Hide low quality comments </string>
<string name="menu_show_low_quality_comments"> Show low quality comments </string>

Precisely what that means and who can use it is still not totally spelled out, but there are some fairly safe assumptions. To begin with, "low quality" probably describes comments that have been flagged as abuse or spam, or they come from accounts that are commonly flagged.

The other notable detail is that this setting is accessible from a menu, but it's a menu that contains a lot of options for both moderators and regular users. I would think this is going to be for everybody since it's clearly meant to be quickly toggled, and it makes sense for any user to have quick access to hide junk comments.

That's about it for this one, but I've got a few things coming up soon.

[1] http://www.apkmirror.com/apk/google-inc/google/google-8-1-0-124973427-release/
[2] https://plus.google.com/+LukeWroblewski/posts/7iZtJY3GkGD
25
3
Solomon Taiwo's profile photoMax Rumpf (Maxr1998)'s profile photoJeff “skynet11” McIntire's profile photoChar G's profile photo
4 comments
Char G
+
1
2
1
 
+Jeff McIntire 🤔👍
Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
 
I totally understand the glorified optimistic perspective that a reboot function shouldn’t be necessary in modern devices and therefore the button should be removed in anticipation of the day that rebooting isn’t necessary. But those people should totally understand my practical realist perspective that they’re trying to piss up a rope to stop a house fire.
This message brought to you by: a Nexus owner.
28
Thomas Schöller's profile photoCody Toombs's profile photoJason Doyle's profile photoMichael Oghia's profile photo
5 comments
 
Is it plugged in?
Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
 
It has been a bit more than 24 hours since Google released a Play Store update with the ability to join and leave beta programs, [1] and now a server-side switch has been flipped to disable that feature. I mean, come on... The cat wasn't just out of the bag, it had been fed a couple of times, took a few naps, and picked a favorite spot in front of a window where it could stare out at the birds. Burying a feature for 3 days (I/O is on Wednesday) just so it gets an official announcement is really pointless.

[1] http://www.androidpolice.com/2016/05/14/play-store-v6-7-is-rolling-out-with-ability-to-joinleave-betas-developer-feedback-for-betas-and-more/
There's a new version of the Play Store beginning its slow rollout, and it's all about all those beta apps you've signed up for. You can see when you're in... by Ryan Whitwam in Applications, Downloads, News
28
3
Marc Springer's profile photoMarkus Birth (mbirth)'s profile photoArtem Russakovskii's profile photo
3 comments
 
Yeah, I think they pulled it cause it wasn't fully baked yet.
Add a comment...
Cody's Collections
People
In his circles
168 people
Have him in circles
1,622 people
Tom Koster's profile photo
Amber Nichols's profile photo
Mohamed Mohamed's profile photo
Adam Douglas's profile photo
Kevin Gauthier's profile photo
aslam cb's profile photo
David Jones's profile photo
GAME WORLD's profile photo
Max Haghighi's profile photo
Education
  • Oregon Institute of Technology
    Software Engineering, 1998 - 2002
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Birthday
March 29
Story
Tagline
A tech geek with flair.
Introduction
I write for Android Police where I rip open apps to find interesting things to talk about. I also write software, some of it you've probably used. In past lives, I've sold computers, worked in wine, and slung booze (yes, real flair bartending <- that's not me, just an example). There are plenty of stories, I just don't tell 'em that easily.

I dig fashion, food, cocktails, movies, tv, and tech. I surround myself with good people, I learn everything I can. Give me a snowboard in the winter, a sand volleyball pit in the summer, and new adventures year round.
Work
Occupation
Software Developer, Writer, and Opinionated Jerk
Employment
  • Android Police
    Editor, 2013 - present
    I make words happen, sometimes they even make sense. I'm responsible for most of the APK Teardown and developer-related content.
  • Dashing Cat Productions
    Founder, 2012 - present
    App development for mobile and desktop platforms.
  • Pentacle Graphics
    Founder, 2006 - present
    Contracting firm for software development and design.
  • Girardet Winery
    IT, 2010 - 2011
    I managed software and networking, and also worked in the tasting room and at wine festivals.
  • TravelWorm
    Senior Web Developer, 2005 - 2006
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Roseburg, OR
Previously
Las Vegas, NV - Klamath Falls, OR