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Cody Toombs
Works at Android Police
Attended Oregon Institute of Technology
Lives in Roseburg, OR
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Cody Toombs

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Google+ v7.2 Tiny Teardown: Unpins And Needles

I'm too busy to get flowery with the preamble, so I'll just come out and say it: pin and unpin are coming to (back to?) the G+ app. Pinning came to the web version of G+ at the end of 2014 [1], followed shortly thereafter by the app. When Google decided to scrap most of G+ and relaunch a "preview", a boatload of features were stripped out, including Pinning of profile posts. To be clear, Pinning of posts in Collections and Communities remained functional, it was just Profile posts specifically that were left out. Well, that feature just returned to the web interface [2], and judging from these two new strings, it's safe to assume it's coming back to the app, as well.

<string name="menu_item_pin_profile_post">Pin to profile</string>
<string name="menu_item_unpin_profile_post">Unpin from profile</string>

This feature doesn't appear to be live yet, but given that it was initially launched with a server-side switch, we could very likely see it happen that way again. I know a lot of people want to see this come back, so just hold tight and it should be available fairly soon.

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Play Music v6.3 Tiny Teardown: Podcasty Goodness

We already know podcasts are coming to Play Music [1], and in fact, you can already find a few of them showing up in search results. Just look for "This American Life" and you'll get a handful of episodes, even on older versions of the app.

The latest update [2] switches the nav drawer item "My Library" to read "My Music". I suspect another item will be added for podcasts when the feature ultimately launches. Nevertheless, there aren't any particularly new or surprising changes in the latest version, but a fair amount of motion related to podcasts suggests that we're probably going to see a launch really soon.

<string name="accessibility_dialog_podcast_details">Podcast episode details</string>
<string name="accessibility_podcast_episode_info_button">Get info</string>
<string name="empty_screen_podcasts">"Search and subscribe to add podcasts.
After you subscribe, we'll let you know when new episodes arrive."</string>
<string name="info_card_podcast_welcome_body">Thousands of podcasts are now available. To get started, search for your favorites, or check out popular podcasts.</string>
<string name="info_card_podcast_welcome_title">Now playing: podcasts</string>
<string name="my_podcasts_grid_title">Your Podcasts</string>
<string name="my_podcasts_title">Your podcasts</string>
<string name="subdlg_title">Subscribe to <g example="This American Life" id="podcast_title">%1$s</g></string>

Also, one fun note. The advertising text for Play Music used to say there were 30 million songs in the library, but it was just updated to read 35 million. Nice going, Google. Congrats on building those content deals.

<string name="manage_nautilus_no_account_summary_new">Listen to 35 million songs and unlimited radio</string>

Cody Toombs's profile photoSteve Kluver's profile photoMax Rumpf's profile photoMatt Gothard's profile photo
​English text switched from "My library" to "My music", German text switched to "Musikbibliothek=Music library"..
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A Visit from St. Nexus

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
everything was charging, even my mouse.
The phones had been set to silent to keep the rooms quiet
because somebody in Hipchat started an @all riot.

The phones were nestled all snug in Doze mode,
while LEDs blinked with notifications untold.
And me in a chair, a kitty on my lap,
typed many words about a really bad app.

When from the door there arose such a noise,
it was the UPS guy with plenty of new toys.
I sprang from the chair to sign for the package,
And sliced through the tape, careful to do no damage.

I opened the box under the light of my TV's soft glow,
glad that I was warm inside, away from the snow,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a Nexus and various bits of other Google gear.

With a Huawei 6P, so shiny and quick,
I knew in a moment I had made the right pick.
Setting up the phone, as fast as it would go,
ART ensured each app was optimized nice and slow:

"First Calendar! Then Chromecast!
Now, LastPass and Authy!
On, Dropbox! On, Drive!
On, Twitter and Timely!
So much to install! How long must I wait?!
Now download! Download! I’ll be up so late!”

As the metal and glass glinted with light,
I pulled on the band of my smartwatch until it was tight;
So now just the Chromecast Audios remained
Waiting to bring life to some speakers I had retained --

And then, in a burst, I heard it through the house
The deep EDM beats of Rob Swire and Deadmou5.
I pumped my fist in the air and rocked my head,
No fear of commercial breaks thanks to YouTube Red.

A call came in and I answered it quick,
All I heard was crackling, and it was thick.
I checked the Product Forums for others with this fate
Somebody suggested, ‘flash the latest factory image, mate.’

My breath was lost as I took a second take,
This was Dave Burke's advice, and it was no fake
His words had worked, and he signed his post right,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
Roderick Gadellaa's profile photoChris Pick's profile photoFrancois Roy's profile photoAnanya Gupta's profile photo
+Dave Burke's new gospel.
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In other news, Sony Pictures announces more terrible titles:
- How To Lose A Goldfish In 10 Days, Presented By
- GoDaddy's Guide To Winning The Super Bowl Through Ads
- Fail Tale: An Indigogo Story
- Tom Anderson (you-know-that-guy-from-MySpace-that-was-automatically-friends-with-every-new-account-but-was-totally-not-cool. This one would be just like the Steve Jobs movie, except Tom would play himself because even Jason Biggs wouldn't want take that role.)
- I Know What You Did Last Summer 4 ...wait, wat?!?! That's actually happening?… F*&# this planet, I'm leaving!
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I've absolutely had it with +FedEx. I can't imagine a company can become successful with such gross incompetence. The latest incident a package meant for me being swapped with one meant for a completely different zip code. Not only that, but they didn't even make a passing effort to actually deliver it. The package was dropped in my hard in a plastic bag where it's a surprise it wasn't stolen.

This is hardly a new experience. I've lived at 5 addresses in the last 10 years and I've seen FedEx lose several packages destined for each and every one of them. This doesn't happen with any other shipping company. I've had one lost package with USPS, and never had a problem with UPS. This is beyond a few flukes, it's systematic incompetence.

As +Michael Crider put it in an earlier discussion, "The postal service can find my house, UPS can find my house, the fucking Jehovah's Witnesses can find my house, WHY CAN'T YOU?"

Can we please organize a protest to insist that businesses stop shipping FedEx, or at least give the option to use UPS, even if it has to cost a buck or two more? Let's be honest, the cost of dealing with customer service issues is easily enough to justify spending a little more on a shipper that has its act together.
Ian Rosen's profile photoZachary “Wiki” Kew-Denniss's profile photoCody Toombs's profile photoAndrew Bernstein's profile photo
+Cody Toombs​ Lasership is even worse. They lost two back to back packages. They where parts to my PC worth close to 1,500$. At first they told me the shipment was delayed due to rain by a day since the truck it was on was called back after a light rain started. Three weeks and hours spent talking later a rep told me she didn't think they had the package anymore and was declaring it lost. Newegg shipped me new ones, but Lasership for 3 weeks said it was coming. 
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Android Wear v1.3 Tiny Teardown: The Teardown That Never Was

This one almost made it onto AP. I had 1600 words of analysis for just two strings, but at the last minute I stumbled across a public announcement [1] that Google had chosen a partner to bring Android Wear to China. Unfortunately, that news made the teardown completely irrelevant, it just hadn't received much attention, so I missed it. Sometimes, that's the way things go.

Nevertheless, I was really happy with the hero image I made for the post, and I wanted to at least bring some attention to the fact that Google is actually launching Android Wear in China, which is pretty awesome in and of itself.

These are the two strings that are so interesting. One will show up if you try to pair an Android Wear for China watch with a non-Chinese phone, and the other appears if you try to pair a regular Android Wear watch with a Chinese phone (or any Android Phone without Play services).

<string name="incompatible_chinese_device_summary">
"Incompatible Android Wear device connected.
To pair with an Android Wear for China watch you must install the Chinese version of the Android Wear companion app."

<string name="incompatible_device_summary_china">
"Android Wear requires Google Play which is not available on your device
If you are attempting to pair with an Android Wear device made for China please download the Chinese version of the Android Wear application from the manufacturer's app store."

(Seriously, I need a better way to post xml on Google+. There aren't enough formatting options.)

Onel Benjamin's profile photoMichael Oghia's profile photo
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I actually went to this school briefly before transferring for my degree. I don't really have many thoughts on the event itself (I don't believe I knew anybody directly affected or involved), but I'm dreading the terrible and thoughtless rhetoric that is bound to follow.

I just hope people choose to be smart about what they say (and do). The last thing we need are knee-jerk reactions and pushy a-holes trying to control the dialog that will inevitably spring from this event.
The shooter was shot and killed after opening fire in a classroom.
gretchen jaenisch's profile photoArthur Whitehouse's profile photoMelynnie Leavey's profile photo
+Cody Toombs I understand your fears. But honestly, isn't that a given in this country right now? Knee-jerk reactions, political rhetoric and personal agendas are way media, policy and government are  driven in this day and age.
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Google Keep v3.3 Tiny Teardown: Settings Tease

Keep is the ultimate minimalist app in Google's collection (excluding a couple outliers like Opinion Rewards). In fact, it's so minimal that it's one of the very few apps has no Settings screen. It looks like that's going to change at some point in the future. A new string turned up in v3.3 with a prefix denoting that the option will be located in the navigation drawer.

<string name="drawer_link_settings">Settings</string>

Unfortunately, not much else changed, so it's not clear what will go into the Settings screen once it's live. Given that just the title is here, it seems unlikely (but not impossible) that this will be turned on with a server-side switch, so we'll probably have to wait for v3.4 (or w/e) to see what Google has in store.
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I'm holding up much better than I thought I would. I expected to look about like this but the end of the week.

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The thing that bothers me most about USB-A-to-C cables is that one end still has to be oriented the right way when you plug it in... And that's the end we always had the problem with!

We really didn't need USB-C in phones yet. It's not doing much for charging that QuickCharge 2.0 wasn't already doing, and I really didn't have a problem with MicroUSB. If you know what direction the plug goes on your phone, it's as simple as sliding a thumb over the tip of the plug to figure out which side has the springs.

What we needed was for our computers and wall adapters to adopt type-C. We could have stuck with MicroUSB in our phones for a few more years without a problem. We still have a boatload of accessories that won't stop using MicroUSB for years, but soon everybody will need two cable ends for that stuff, and they'll have to start swapping around cables as they upgrade adapters and computers. We're doing this in the wrong order.

Confession: I totally just did the USB Dance while attaching my Nexus 6P to my computer and started thinking, "Hey, isn't this what we were supposed to be fixing?"
Jordan VanCampen's profile photoSummer Tracey's profile photoCody Toombs's profile photo
+Summer Tracey Yup, the left side is USB-C. The shadows landed a little strangely and made it kinda look like a malformed microUSB plug, but it is an oval.
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Gmail v5.8 Tiny Teardown: Prioritized

Like most tiny teardowns, this one is happening because the features are pretty trivial and/or they've already been covered before and I'm just adding a bit of wood to the fire. This time, it's both.

Item #1: Email Priority
If you've been around for a while or ever used an email client that bothered with it, you may have seen the option to set different priorities. This has been a supported feature in the email standard for years, possibly since email was first conceived. Since spammers started marking all of their stuff as high priority, it made the setting pretty useless and most clients stopped giving it any attention. You can probably see why I don't think this is a big deal, but Gmail is bringing it back, so I figured I should at least mention it.

<string name="set_priority">Set priority</string>
<string name="message_priority">Message priority</string>
<string-array name="priority_array">

There are also a couple of icons, but they're not very interesting and look really dumb in G+ posts, so I'm leaving them out.

Item #2: Rich Formatting
I covered this one on Android Police already [1], and we have every reason to expect it's coming since rich text formatting was recently added to Inbox [2]. Well, it looks like the rest of the missing icons have been added and at a quick glance it looks like the rest have been resized appropriately. There are also some new layout files that should fill out the rest of the interface needs.

Neither feature is live yet (for me), but they both look totally ready to go. I've got a hunch they're being held back by a server-side switch. It's just a guess, and Google might hold them back longer, but I wouldn't be surprised to see these go live in the next couple of days.

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I finally have a new car!

It's a 2016 Honda Accord. I now have #AndroidAuto , so I'll be testing app updates on this. There might also be a project on the horizon. ;)

For those that may have missed it, my previous car was retired before its time earlier this year. I'm happy not to be borrowing a car anymore.

I meant to post about this last week, but I've been really busy getting caught on everything I missed while I was out shopping. That's why a few teardowns came later than usual.

tbh, I kinda miss having a blue car. Silver is so much harder to pick out in a parking lot.
Johnny T. Vu's profile photoMarty Ballard's profile photoTim Glaser's profile photo
Looking sharp congrats
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Have him in circles
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  • Oregon Institute of Technology
    Software Engineering, 1998 - 2002
Basic Information
March 29
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.
Software Developer, Writer, and Opinionated Jerk
  • 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
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Roseburg, OR
Las Vegas, NV - Klamath Falls, OR