Sony promised it would bring Android 5.0 to all its Z series phones, and now it's starting to live up to that. The newest generation Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact are first up. The OTA is rolling out now to devices in Nordic and Baltic countries, but other markets should follow within two weeks. There's a nifty demo video to go along with the announcement.
T-Mobile's Uncarrier 8.0 announcement was centered around letting you keep your unused data for a bit longer. Data Stash is already available on all Simple Choice post-paid plans, but now it's coming to prepaid too. Starting on March 22nd, people on a prepaid Simple Choice plan from T-Mobile will have Data Stash.
Square's app for ordering food and drinks ahead of time won't be helping people consume meals much longer. Square has removed the app from the Google Play, and it plans to shut down the service in just a matter of days.
Well, there's a minor caveat. While users won't be able to place orders from a mobile app, they will still have the ability to order items for pickup through Square on restaurants' websites.
If you like some granular control over synced accounts, you probably ran into a little roadblock with Android 5.0. If you wanted to manually sync items in one of your accounts, the button to do that was missing. Well, at least, sort of. In its place was "cancel sync," even though there was nothing to cancel. That should have only been present after initiating a sync manually with the "sync now" option.
It seems like portable chargers are getting smaller, cheaper, with a larger capacity all the time. What better example of this phenomenon than this Omaker external battery, which boasts 15,600 mAh and two USB output ports that push 2.1A, the amperage needed to charge tablets and some phones at faster than a snail's pace. The device itself supports 2.1A input too, so it should refuel reasonably quickly once you've drained it.
For reference, the new Samsung Galaxy S6 will have a 2550 mAh battery.
So, as many of us in the tinkering mindset will likely agree, flexibility in any product is generally a good thing. Case in point: many Android smartphones over the years have shipped with removable batteries and microSD card slots. Battery runs down in half a day after a year? Swap it. Need to store 20GB of music and TV shows for a long flight (or live somewhere mobile streaming isn't a real option)? SD card to the rescue!
And in some places and situations for some people, removing those options really can be a major bummer. But when the Galaxy S6 was announced devoid of a microSD slot or user-replaceable battery, it seemed Samsung was finally waving goodbye to a large group of power users, emerging market customers, and people who just want this stuff in a sort of flippant way.
In the Android community, Lollipop 5.0 is known for a lot of things. Unfortunately, among those things is a pretty severe memory leak that has plagued users with app crashes and launcher redraws, as device memory filled and failed to clear.
Just in case you were getting comfortable with the YouTube app's latest design, it looks like there may be more changes in store. It seems a number of users are encountering a new YouTube interface, apparently triggered server-side without an app update.
The change sees YouTube's hamburger menu flipping right out of the interface, going the way of Google+ in discarding the left-side navigation drawer. Instead, users are given four primary tabs - Home, Trending, Subscriptions, and your profile. Interestingly, a couple of these tabs seem to have bars underneath to switch from, say, all videos to music on the home tab, or from uploads to channels on the subscription tab.
Because there clearly weren't enough apps that help you count your steps and/or compare them with your friends, HTC has filled the imperceptible void. Fun Fit is a social fitness app where you and your participating Facebook friends (there are sure to be many!) pick "cute avatars" and compete in the time-honored contest of taking the most steps.
Despite their recent partnership with Under Armour, this would not seem to be a product of it. Rather than UA's more-serious-than-necessary aesthetic, Fun Fit tends toward the overly cheesy. As a product of HTC Research, it probably won't be part of the standard pre-loaded apps on future HTC phones, like the M9.