Let's change the way we think about Google Glass for a moment. At the end of the day, they're just too jarring for the average person to feel comfortable wearing in public. To people who don't know what they are, they're weird. To people who do, they're $1,500 worth of easily-stolen accessory being flaunted on your face.
Nokia is taking the stage today at Slush 2014, the Eurasian tech incubator event in Helsinki, to announce its N1 tablet with Android 5.0 Lollipop. This is the original Nokia we're talking about here, the one still in Finland, that includes all the divisions that didn't get bought by Microsoft. Part of me wants to scream, "You should have taken this route 4 years ago!" while the other is just too happy to see Nokia standing on its feet and trying something again — while also reviving the Nseries monicker.
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.
Facebook knows the future is in mobile. It just isn't entirely sure what to do about it. The company has experimented with creating its own home launcher and marketing a dedicated Facebook phone, but neither found all that much success. It created a news app called Paper, which has yet to make it to Android. Then it followed up with a Snapchat clone (we got that one). Now the social giant is releasing an app that goes back to its roots.
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.
For a limited-time, Google is willing to pay people to invite their friends to use Wallet. The tech giant will provide you and the recipient with $5 in credit whenever a friend who doesn't already have a Google Wallet balance receives money from you. Any amount is fine, including as little as a penny. All that matters is that you both live in the US and that they don't already have an account.
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.
Out of the box, you probably don't give your phone or tablet's LED notification light all that much thought. It glows, sure, but that's just one more way of conveying information otherwise relayed via a sound or vibration. Well, if you take control of your LED and color-coordinate your apps, then you can get that little light to convey quite a bit. And if you want to do this, Light Flow is going to be one of the best recommendations you get.
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.