Staying in a hotel with crappy Wi-Fi is frustrating, but not half so frustrating as finding this out by starting up your phone, connecting, realizing there's no Internet access, then manually disabling Wi-Fi to make sure it goes back to 3G or LTE. In Lollipop, Android 5.0 will do that for you: when the system sees no connection to the Internet (or more probably Google servers) via a Wi-Fi connection on a device with a cellular radio, it will automatically default to mobile data to keep an active connection.
Technically the Developer Preview builds of Android L that Google issued are meant only for, well, developers. But of course a ton of regular users have downloaded them to try out Lollipop, and those users tend to be the same ones that like to use root apps. The updated Android 5.0 preview builds for the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 2013 issued yesterday broke the existing root functions, so SuperSU developer Chainfire issued a quick fix.
Chrome and Android have been strengthening the old Google family ties for a while now, but according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, they just got a little tighter. The WSJ reports that Hiroshi Lockheimer, who currently serves as the Vice President of Engineering for Android, has also assumed the role of Vice President of Engineering for Chrome. That would put him in charge to a greater or lesser degree of the Chrome browser on desktops, Chromebooks and similar ChromeOS hardware, and Chrome on Android and iOS, plus whatever else Google has cooking up.
When Samsung and LG began selling their Android Wear watches, it seems they made a small oversight: the only way to get the proprietary POGO pin charging docks was to buy the watch. That left customers who had lost or damaged the chargers with no way to get their devices charged again. LG made good on the problem by adding a G Watch Charger to the Play Store back in August, and now Samsung has followed up for the Gear Live as well.
Sony's relationship with "pure" Android is an interesting one. As a company they generally make it easy to root or otherwise modify their phones or tablets, with a few notable qualifiers. The AOSP for Xperia project, which provides the basic tools for building standard Android ROMs on popular devices, is also one way that Sony stays relevant for those who buy phones with the intent to add aftermarket software. Today it gets two new flagship options, the older Xperia Z1 and Z2.
After Star Wars, Marvel, and The Walking Dead, it seems like just about any property is fair game for Zen Studios' expanding pinball franchise. The latest addition is South Park, Comedy Central's foul-mouthed animated show now in its 18th season. As usual with Zen Pinball expansions, you can get the two new 3D tables as either a stand-alone paid app or as in-app purchase expansions to the original game. The separate app is $4, or each table is $2, so it works out the same.
If you were a fan of "sim management" games in the early 2000s, you probably played at least one version of RollerCoaster Tycoon. Next year Atari will revive the franchise with RollerCoaster Tycoon World on the PC, but for now the official fourth installment of the series is oddly limited to mobile, arriving about six months late on Android. RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 uses the same basic structure of the original 1999 game, albeit with remixed limits and annoyances for the free-to-play format.
NVIDIA has generally been among the best manufacturers when it comes to timely Android updates. With semi-monthly software updates to the original SHIELD Portable and SHIELD Tablet, complete with bug fixes and feature improvements, there wasn't really any doubt that the company's new Tegra K1-powered flagship would be getting a Lollipop upgrade. Even so, NVIDIA went and made it official with the tweet below.
Android 5.0 Lollipop and more is coming to NVIDIA SHIELD tablet.
Are you super-anxious to get your hands on Android L, now that it's been officially revealed as version 5.0 with the Lollipop name? Well tough noogies - it looks like we'll have to wait for the releases of the new Nexus 6 phone and Nexus 9 tablet before the older Nexus and Google Play Edition devices get their updates. But if you have a Nexus 5 or a Wi-Fi Nexus 7, you've already got the Android L Developer Preview builds as an option.
The Nexus 6 looks to be Google's most widely-released phone ever, at least in the context of United States carriers. While the company has taken an "unlocked first" approach to carrier partnerships since the ill-fated Verizon Galaxy Nexus, it has offered at least some of the traditional phone sales on the Nexus 5. For the new Motorola Nexus 6, every major American carrier will have a phone option, though whether that means there's one phone that will work with all or there will be multiple versions, we can't say at the moment.