While Google did skip October, platform version numbers are back, this time for November. Back in September we saw KitKat's gains continuing, and this month seems little different - in the two months since September, KitKat added another 5.7%, or about 2.8% per month. This is a slightly decline in pace, to be sure. In September, KitKat added 3.6% in a one-month timespan, so 7.2%+ would have been needed to maintain that pace.
In a rather exciting post to its Google Design Google+ page today, Google announced a big set of improvements to the material design guidelines. The design spec, which - since this summer - has been a "preview," has been updated with links to relevant Android developer documentation, a new section called "What is Material?" a "What's new" section (to stay up to date on any changes), and a couple of other exciting changes.
You know those orange headphones that come pre-installed on stock Android devices? They pump tracks through a service called Play Music. It's a downright dandy offering, but it's only available in certain countries. As of now, that list has just expanded to include thirteen more.
These new additions are spread predominantly throughout Eastern Europe. Here's what Play Music looks like if you're browsing the web in Bulgaria.
Here's what the Android app looks like in Romania.
When the forces of evil get together, it's usually bad news for the innocent bystanders, but this time it might be a good thing. Verizon and AT&T are getting together to take over the world make voice over LTE (VoLTE) work across carriers. That means you will soon be able to make calls from one carrier to the other using LTE rather than falling back to 3G technologies.
VoLTE is an all-IP calling technology that aims to improve voice quality and add additional services.
Fire TV is getting an update that bumps the software powering the set-top box up to version 126.96.36.199_user_514006420. This awkward string of letters and numbers will provide owners and guests alike with more ways to get enjoyment out of Amazon's little black box.
This update gives the Fire TV the ability to run tablet-style games using an Amazon Fire Bluetooth controller. The modified game controls significantly expand the amount of content available to the platform.
The HTC RE is the kind of camera that doesn't come with a viewfinder. Similar to GoPro's action-oriented video recorders, the RE is something that you wear while doing something active or hold pointed vaguely towards something of interest.
The RE doesn't require a paired device to work, but if you really need to see what the device is picking up, you can turn to the companion app. HTC has dropped it into the Play Store for users to install on their smartphones regardless of make or model.
Google Inbox has been available for only a week, and Google is already tweaking the Android app. Not much, of course - sweeping changes don't come that fast. But as with the recent updates to Newsstand and other apps, Google is getting a little more consistent with its Material Design standard. There don't appear to be any huge shifts in functionality in this update, though users with multiple email accounts will certainly appreciate at least one.
You can cross another one off your list—Google Calendar is getting its material design update today for Lollipop devices, according to Google. It's not just the design, though. The new version of Calendar is adding some awesome features and new layouts too. It's a big, big deal. This is usually where I tell you we have an APK for you, but we don't (it's out "in the coming weeks"). We do, however, have all the details for you to salivate over.
Fastboot oem unlock is a command many Nexus owners know by heart. The command, which unlocks a Nexus device's bootloader, takes a special consideration in Android 5.0 Lollipop, though. The command will fail unless a certain box is checked in the device's "Developer Options" menu. This is a minor change, but one that isn't immediately obvious to the user.
On my Nexus 6 review unit, the option was already checked after I opened Developer Options, but it appears that may not always be the case, as one tipster indicated the option on the Nexus 9 had to be checked manually.