Cover photo
Cody Toombs
Works at Android Police
Attended Oregon Institute of Technology
Lives in Roseburg, OR
1,650 followers|3,832,011 views


Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
For the first time ever, FF/RW controls rolled out to the YouTube for Android app on a couple of my phones (without using any tricks to enable them). However, this isn't the version I wrote about most recently involving double-tap-to-seek, [1] and it's not the drag-to-seek version some people have seen, this is the original 10-second skip that turned up in Oct 2015. [2]

This version includes the X button that some people have been seeing since Aug 2015. [3] Even stranger is that the player controls are now permanently on until I press the X button to hide them, and tapping elsewhere on the video doesn't hide the controls like it used to. Tapping anywhere on the video brings the controls back up.

YouTube is totally screwing with us.

These controls are appearing on my Pixel with v11.49 and 6P with v11.47, but nothing else so far. I haven't used the YouTube app in a few days, but these controls weren't there at least as recently as the weekend when I'm sure I last used the app. Anybody else getting these controls, or had them and lost them, or one of the other variants?


Isaac Elisaldez's profile photo
Nice! I'd fast forward through Colbert, that's for sure.
Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
Play Movies & TV v3.21 Tiny Teardown: Hide and go search

The latest update to Play Movies & TV [1] isn't completely without changes, but they appear to be subtle formatting and layout changes that shouldn't impact use. A quick look inside does provide an insight into a bigger layout change to come. There's going to be a new tab-based search interface that makes it a little easier to find the type of content you're looking for. The tabs will be: Ready to watch, Buy or rent, and All. Naturally, the first two show the difference between items you've already purchased/rented versus those you haven't, and the final option works just as search always has.

There is already code referencing the strings and a debug setting for use in testing, but the interface isn't live for regular users just yet. Judging by just these clues, it's likely we'll have to wait until v3.22 or a later update for this to go live to regular users.

<string name="tab_search_all"> All </string>
<string name="tab_search_entitlement"> Ready to watch </string>
<string name="tab_search_purchase"> Buy or rent </string>

<activity android:name="" android:configChanges="keyboardHidden" android:exported="false" android:theme="@style/AppTheme.Drawer.Search" />

from /res/xml/exp_preferences.xml
<CheckBoxPreference android:title="Enable New Search Page" android:key="enable_new_search_page" android:defaultValue="false" />

Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
YouTube Kids 1.97 Tiny Teardown: Party Time

A new version of YouTube Kids [1] started rolling out today. It looks quite a bit like a maintenance release with no significant changes, but there is a brand new sequence of images for a new animation that looks very obviously like it will become a 5th page for the navigation icons at the top.

The images are prefixed with ic_party_popper_kids and have a normal (black), pressed (slightly enlarged black), and active state (red) to go with the animation.

There aren't any other resources to give away what this page will be specifically, but my first guess is that it will be dedicated to videos related to birthday parties and possibly other types of celebrations and holidays (like Halloween).

I don't have much more to add on this, but I thought the icon was pretty neat and wanted to share it.

Official_ fazilahmad97's profile photoCody Toombs's profile photoNews Lounge (DailyNewsLounge)'s profile photo
Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
In light of the well-deserved $#*&show that's befalling /r/android [1], I want to point out one case of terrible behavior by a mod that I find particularly egregious.

He goes by the name IAmAN00bie, and he actually demanded we drop our journalistic integrity and release firmwares leaked to us. When he was told he wouldn't get his way, his response was to bully us by making a petty threat to produce a tutorial on how to do teardowns so other people could undercut us. Here's his comment:

Evidently, he isn't aware of how many tutorials/guides already exist with the same information, and he's not aware of how many other sites have briefly messed around with doing teardowns before giving up (because they really aren't cost-effective in the news blogging world).

I simply can't respect anybody that has such a childish outlook that if he can't have something he wants, he's going to try to desperately reach for whatever weapon he can find. He's not there to be a moderator, he's there because he's obsessed with power.

Getting real sick of /r/Android mods removing the majority of submitted +Android Police​​​​​​ posts, like this one, as "blog spam." I'm pretty sure there's a bias against the site among mods (or rather I know this after private discussions with some mods), and there's one mod who's straight up openly hostile to us (, (And do I even need to bring up

Someone tipped us on Google+ and we posted about it? Blog spam (even though the original post wasn't and probably won't be submitted).

An obscure page on the web changed, which we noticed first and reported on? They'd rather see the page itself without the background info or comparison submitted than credit AP.

A staged rollout to an app which we examined and documented? "Blog spam," even though there was no changelog or any indication of the change.

Hell, even when the author of the post we reference is a member of AP and we've worked closely with him on our post (, it's still "blog spam."

Here's another recent example, which another mod agreed was removed for no reason when I pointed it out to them via mod mail, but it was never reinstated

Etc. We have many examples.

Yes, some removals, maybe even a majority, are justified because they're duplicates. I also agree that when features get announced in a company blog post, posts about them from other blogs should be removed (but only if the original post is submitted too). But "blog spam" trigger fingers are abusing their power, and it's getting worse.

How about you let /r/Android decide what deserves being on the subreddit and chill out on the spam button? 
56 comments on original post
Timothy Langer's profile photoCody Toombs's profile photoPrem Suraj's profile photo
+Cody Toombs The bias could be because they really are immature and some of your opinion pieces or editorials may have said something that didn't like. But yeah, screw them..
Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
Play Books v3.10 Tiny Teardown: Have Some Education, On Me

The idea of Play Store Gifting has been discussed on AP many, many times. The subject originally came up over five years ago [1], and has since been rolled out in very select forms for Play Music subs [2] and even Play Store credit [3]. We've even seen proof [4] that gifting was in development nearly a year ago, right alongside Family Library, which has since launched (and is far more complicated in both implementation and legal issues).

Now a pair of new lines in Play Books shows that another very niche form of gifting will be added. This is book gifting, exactly as we would want it, but it appears to be limited to just educational materials, at least based on the "edu" in the string names.

<string name="gifting_edu_text"> In the Play Books app, buy gifts from the context menu inside a book. In the Play store, tap the Gift icon on the page describing the book. </string>
<string name="gifting_edu_title"> Send books as gifts </string>

This concept isn't exactly new; it already appears to be supported through a special Google Play for Education [5] site, but that's certainly different from gifting straight through the Play Store.

If this feature launches on Play Books without any restrictions, this is likely good news and suggests gifting is still in the works for apps, movies, and other content. On the other hand, if the educational requirement actually turns out to be there, it's likely another niche option, and that almost certainly implies true gifting is still a long way from happening (because there would be no good reason to launch a niche form if the full form is reasonably close to launch).

Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
YouTube Gaming v1.6 Tiny Teardown: Who Cheats At Easter Eggs?

The latest update to YouTube Gaming looks decidedly lean on identifiable changes, so I'm feeling like it's probably just a bug fix release. There are signs that it may have made some improvements to the live chat interface for broadcasters, but seeing as I don't stream anything, I didn't really get to test it fully.

Even if there's not much to speak of for features, this is technically a new version, and as such, there's a new easter egg. Unlike most in the past, this one was spelled out very clearly for the teardown. I know there are quite a few completionists out there that want to hit all of them, but since this didn't really seem to justify a post on Android Police, I still wanted to share the secret somewhere so people wouldn't have to look too hard. So, from here on, I must post the warning:

If you prefer to look for the easter eggs in YouTube Gaming on your own, do not read any further!

The easter egg in this update isn't very elaborate, but it certainly works. Just search for the term 'Gauntlet' and pick any entry based on that title, including the 1985, 1986, 1987, 1991, 1998, 2005, and 2014 releases. Tap on the fork & knife icon and you'll score a point for another easter egg discovered. You'll also see a randomly selected message appear as a toast with phrases familiar to any true Gauntlet fan, including:

- Elf needs food - badly!
- Valkyrie needs food - badly!
- Warrior needs food - badly!
- Wizard needs food - badly!
- Remember, don't shoot food!

That's it for this one. Good luck hunting for all of the easter eggs. I've found all of them, so if anybody really needs help, drop a line in the comments and I can put you on the right path..
Moshe Stone's profile photo
Update, got em all
Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
This is the laziest "testing" procedure I've ever seen. +Consumer Reports​​​​​​​​​ should be ashamed of what is obviously an attempt to cash in on the current news cycle. Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt the new MacBook Pros have pretty dismal battery life, but CR's testing methods are demonstrably negligent. This is not how professionals do it.

I left this comment on their article, but I'll repost it here in case their site editors are curating criticisms:

How does this even remotely represent proper hardware testing? All I see is loosely formed evidence that the Safari browser is poorly optimized on the latest version of macOS, not any representative example of hardware battery performance.

I've done formal battery benchmarks for publication before and I would never leave it up to a single, unpredictable application. It's entirely possible (actually likely) a bug in the Safari browser is causing some javascript code to hang, resulting in ramped up CPU usage. That absolutely explains how erratic results like these can appear on Safari and not on Chrome. At the very least, more thorough testing should have been done on Chrome to remove reasonable doubt that this is attributed to a single browser issue. And how on earth did the testing procedures not involved checking out a previous generation MacBook Pro to determine if it too suffered from erratic battery life?

On top of it, these are extremely limited grounds for testing. There are plenty of other things users do on laptops outside of one application. Plenty of people have brought up real world examples like video editing, gaming, and watching movies.

The testing procedure this article was based on is negligent, lazy, and uninformed. It should never have been posted without running at least a baseline of tests. There was no attempt to test older generation MacBook Pros to rule out software issues. The real world testing shouldn't be limited to just a single browser that isn't even used by the majority of people that buy this device. At the very least, this article is effectively lying about its purpose. It's not a report about the battery life of these three models, it's just an anecdotal story of what might happen if somebody opens the box and never does anything with a computer besides running Safari.
Poor battery-test results keep Apple MacBook Pro laptops from earning Consumer Reports recommendations. MacBook Pro owners had complained about battery life.
Ryan Taylor's profile photoSashank Narayan's profile photoTom Hume's profile photoCody Toombs's profile photo
+Tom Hume lol, that's awesome, thanks!

I'm still disappointed Apple won't come right out and say the testing procedure at Consumer Reports is a mess.
Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
Wow, Apple is intentionally blocking case manufacturers from building in headphone jack adapters for the iPhone 7. That's insane. Here are two really well known photographers (they run, both are known to be iPhone fans, and they're talking about switching to Android because of this.

I admit, I originally thought people were blowing the removal of the headphone jack or if proportion, but that's because I always assumed 3rd-party accessories would solve the problem for most people. If Apple is intentionally standing in the way of that, it's definitely not in the best interests of the customers.
Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
Happy Halloween!
Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
YouTube Gaming v1.8 Tiny Teardown: Easter Eggs on Ice

Today's update to YouTube Gaming [1] appears to be mostly about fixing bugs and very gently tweaking the live chat interface. Even if the user-facing changes are pretty light, there's still an easter egg to find. I don't have a great way to hide the screenshots on G+, so I'm sorry if this one spoils the hunt for anyone.

For YouTube Gaming's ninth easter egg, the team chose the Icewind Dale series. Just search for either of the games in the set and look for a little 6-sided die icon. Tap on the die and it will bring up a neat little D&D stats generator. Keep tapping on the die to re-roll.

Add a comment...

Cody Toombs

Shared publicly  - 
This is really awesome. Not only is it a great mathematical and scientific explanation of optics, but #Nexus6P and #Nexus5X owners might get some neat insight into those cameras from a guy involved in their development.

Just a tip to anybody that wants the original videos, Marc Levoy shared them on his site through Google Drive and they've quickly hit their view limit. You can either watch them on YouTube, which he has faithfully linked on the site, or you can open the pages for each video, view source on the page, search for "mp4" to find the video embed, then look nearby for a link to Drive. Remove the word "preview" from the link and it'll open up in a way that you can work with it, or as I did, add it to your own Drive storage and view it from there.
A Stanford professor releasing his entire course for free. It sounds too good to be true, no? Fear not, for it has actually happened.
Jake Utah's profile photo
Add a comment...

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

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.
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's Collections
Software Developer, Writer, and Opinionated Jerk
  • Android Police
    Editor, 2013 - present
    I make words happen, sometimes they even make sense. I'm responsible for the APK Teardowns and developer-related content.
  • Dashing Cat Productions
    Founder, 2012 - present
    App development for mobile and desktop platforms.
  • Pentacle Software
    Founder, 2006 - present
    Software development and design.
  • TravelWorm
    Senior Web Developer, 2005 - 2006
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Roseburg, OR
Las Vegas, NV - Klamath Falls, OR
A tech geek with flair.
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.
  • Oregon Institute of Technology
    Software Engineering, 1998 - 2002
Basic Information
March 29