Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.
He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM
Google hasn't had much to say about Android Auto since it previewed the platform back at I/O in June. Now there's some movement as we wait on Android Auto to show up in vehicles. The Google Developers blog has posted an introduction to Android Auto and announced that the final APIs are ready for developers to get to work.
Android Wear is based on the idea of cards with all of your data and notification content on them. However, it's still Android and that means developers can play around with that model. Circa is an attempt to make notifications more attractive with a cool animation and configurable colors.
Android 5.0 is a big step up in security with its tweaked implementation of SELinux. Chainfire managed to get root on Lollipop shortly after it was released, of course, but the process has been a little more messy. There are also a fair number of root apps that are broken on Android 5.0. The newest build of SuperSU from Chainfire might fix many of those issues, though.
Those lucky few who were able to order a Nexus 6 from the Play Store in that first round should have a surprise on their doorsteps very soon. Buyers started getting shipping notifications last night indicating the devices are on the way.
Smart Lock in Lollipop encompasses both trusted face and trusted devices, but a new option is joining the party—trusted places. The latest Google Play Services for Lollipop devices is adding this option to the menu automagically. Just choose a trusted place, and your phone will remain unlocked when it's in that geographic area.
Google's latest and greatest smartphone is still hard to come by in most of the world (i.e. impossible), but Indian buyers can now pre-order the phone for quite a lot of money. Flipkart is offering both colors and storage sizes on its website for shipping in the second week of December.
The third installment of Motorola's Spotlight stories has arrived in the Spotlight Player, and it's called Duet. Like the last two videos, this is an interactive story that you experience by moving your device around to follow the characters. While the last stories (Windy Day and Buggy Night) were quirky and whimsical, Duet is one of those heartstring-tugging, Disney-esque shorts. If you don't want to see too much, go watch the story now before checking out the screenshots.
There's a lot of new stuff in Lollipop, so there are bound to be some bugs. One particularly weird bug can be found in the recent app list. Pull up the app switcher and swipe away all your cards. Go back, and there's another random app card. What gives?
Now that Lollipop is out in the wild to be abused in every which way, we're starting to see the bugs pop up. The latest one has to do with that new flashlight toggle in quick settings. If you turn it on and leave it like that until it times out and shuts off, the camera and flashlight will stop working until you reboot. This is confirmed at least on the Nexus 5.
You can add a few new tricks to the list of stuff Google search does. Just ask your phone or tablet to flip a coin, and it will be done. This was actually announced by Google last week, but now they've added a die. Neat.