Sony hasn't always been the best at updating its phones, but the company does have a commitment to AOSP unlike most others. It contributes a lot of code to Android, and developers are encouraged to tinker with unlocked devices. In fact, Sony has just announced support for AOSP on the Xperia E3 and Xperia T3, meaning all Qualcomm-based phones from 2014 can run pure Android with very little hassle.
Google has pushed out a number of tweaks to its suite of mobile office apps: Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Even Drive, the place where edited documents are stored, hasn't gone untouched. Some of these features are nice to see, so let's dive in.
Update: Docs, Sheets, and Slides all have full hamburger menu icons now.
In Docs, an option to select line spacing has appeared in the "Paragraph" section of the app.
The Moto 360 was supposed to be the one. The watch that would rule all other watches with their pitiful square screens and plastic housings. I was excited for the Moto 360, but I couldn't help thinking the hype was out of control. We were expecting too much, and indeed, when I reviewed the Moto 360, the verdict was okay, but not amazing. At the time it was the best Android Wear watch, but that was due largely to the aesthetics.
Two years later, devices are getting updated to Lollipop, a 5.5-inch screen is dangerously close to being considered average, the Pebble is looking a little dated next to the new kid on the block, and Instagram has finally introduced five more filters.
The Mint app has a case of hyperactive redesign. This devastating disease is characterized by rapid design changes, fluctuating icons, and death. Okay, not so much the last one. Still, the Mint app is getting more design tweaks in the most recent update, which is mostly okay.
Big tech companies are hesitant to admit when a competing platform offers something that they don't. But the folks at Pebble are more than ready to take advantage of the functionality introduced by Android Wear. The team has pushed out a beta that lets the Pebble not only interact with notifications, but respond to them in a manner akin to an Android Wear watch.
Instead of swiping from the right repetitively to access various options (as you would with Android Wear), Pebble lets you access different options using the three physical buttons available on the side of the watch.
Most apps should work just fine on new versions of Android. That is, if you have a forgiving definition of the words "most" and "just fine." Sky PLC's Sky Go streaming app for the United Kingdom and Ireland was one of a few that ceased to function on devices that came with Lollipop or received a subsequent software update. The latest version of Sky Go works with Android 5.0, at least according to the "What's New" text for version 4.1.2.
You might not know it to look at retail stores in the US or Europe, but Huawei has quickly become one of the world's largest phone manufacturers, even while it keeps most of its high-end hardware restricted to China. The company is showing off its engineering and manufacturing chops with the Honor 6 Plus, a new 5.5-inch phone slated to hit the market on December 23rd. It, uh, might look a little familiar.
T-Mobile's latest ploy to steal customers away from the other national carriers is a big one. Starting in January, the carrier will no longer "confiscate" your unused data at the end of each billing cycle. Instead, that data will rollover and be kept in your "Data Stash" for one year. Sure, they'll confiscate it at that point, but that's a lot of extra data. Plus, you get 10GB of bonus data to start.
SHIELD Portable and SHIELD Tablet owners, mosey on over to the Play Store for your latest app update. NVIDIA has pushed a 4.0 upgrade for its SHIELD Hub app (previously called Tegra Zone), which ties into most of the unique gaming-related software on the devices. The new version has a Material Design upgrade to make it play nice with the Lollipop build on the Tablet itself, though it uses NVIDIA's usual green-on-grey color scheme, so you'll have to look closely for the changes to the animation and layout.