We've been hearing from a lot of companies hyping up their plans for Android 5.0 updates - at least one of them seems ready to start issuing it soon. But what of Samsung, the undisputed king of Android sales figures and, not least, one of the more (ahem) robust suppliers of add-on software and interfaces? Apparently the company is working swiftly on a Lollipop update. The folks at SamMobile, as is their wont, have already managed to snag what looks like an early build of Android 5.0 for the Galaxy S4.
Update: the developers of Primecast have confirmed to Android Police that they were "locked out" of the app's streaming functionality.
Don't say we didn't warn you. On Thursday we published a story about Primecast, an enterprising app that allowed Android users to log in to Amazon and stream Amazon Instant Video movies and television shows to Chromecast. Though Amazon has (finally) allowed non-Kindle Fire owners to watch their purchased or subscribed videos, they haven't enabled Chromecast like their competitors at Google, Netflix, and others.
Update: ...aaaaand it's gone.
After literally years of waiting, Amazon finally gave Android users access to their purchased movies and television shows on non-Kindle Fire devices. And lo, the heavens did open and a chorus of angels did declare, "where's the Chromecast support?" With Amazon promoting its Fire TV platform and a new Chromecast competitor of its own, it looks like we might have an even longer wait for that particular feature.
Sony's back to its AOSP tricks, working to release some functional (if not exactly ideal) versions of the latest release of Android based on open-source code. This time they've quickly put together Android Open Source Project builds for the flagships of the last two years: the Xperia Z1, Z2, and Z3. You can see the bone-stock builds running in the video below.
As always with Sony's developer promotions, these builds aren't intended for end users - they aren't provided with any kind of promise for reliability or functionality.
If you're as fed up with the Google Play Store's fumbling of the Nexus 6 launch as everyone else, you now have at least one alternative. Motorola has begun selling pre-orders on its website, at least to the United States. You can order the 32GB model and 64GB model at $649.99 and $699.99, respectively, in both white and blue. According to the site, "availability" of the pre-order is determined when you check out, so just seeing it on the site doesn't mean you'll be able to secure a pre-order.
Basking Ridge, New Jersey, November 5th, 2014
Verizon Wireless corporate headquarters
"I can't believe those jerks at Motorola. A week, a freakin' week after we debut the most powerful, spec-heavy phone in the country as a Verizon exclusive, they go and scrape our magnificent paint off the case and sell it themselves!"
"The Moto Maxx is only being sold in Latin America, sir.
The idea behind MONZO, a sort of simulator for Revell-branded plastic model kits, is actually pretty cool. You "open" a kit, read through a paginated, simplified version of the instructions, then "assemble" digital analogs of the real pieces from the kit. The 3D model of the, uh, model is extremely detailed, and the pan and zoom tools let you examine it minutely. If your phone or tablet has decent 3D capabilities, it's a surprisingly soothing experience.