Google's hot new item, Android Wear, is barely out of the box, but there's already a pretty big issue deserving of a place in our Bug Watch series. The initial rush of native Android Wear apps is starting to roll into the Play Store as developers get their hands dirty with the freshly released SDK. So far, most of these apps have been given away at no cost, but the few that have attempted to charge a fee have run into a wall.
Google has only posted official images of the Android L developer preview for the WiFi Nexus 7 and the Nexus 5, but Nexus 4 users want a piece of the action too. That's why folks on XDA have been burning the midnight oil to get Android L running on last year's Nexus. Beta 2 of the N4 port is now up, and it seems to have resolved the showstopper bugs from the first one.
Travelers passing through TSA checkpoints are sometimes asked to turn on electronic devices like laptops and phones, but that's about to be mandatory for passengers on direct flights to the US from certain overseas airports. This is part of the enhanced security measures recently ordered by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. If your phone (or some other device) doesn't turn on, you'll have to leave it behind.
Some of you have probably been coveting Google Shopping Express, the service which delivers groceries and other items from local retailers directly to your door on the same day, ever since it launched. But with an extremely limited rollout in only certain areas of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City, it's not exactly widespread. A report in ReCode says that Google plans to spend a huge sum of money, as much as $500 million, to give the shopping service a true nationwide rollout, covering major urban areas from coast to coast.
A fair number of you have probably used the ridiculously simple (and bizarre) workaround to get Okay Google Everywhere working on your device without waiting for Google, but there's a catch. If you turn on the lock screen functionality, it makes your phone a little less secure.
There are some things that you don't need to do every day, yet are still important enough to warrant a reminder. You know, like vacuuming, or checking your stock portfolio, or reminding yourself to tweet about how incredibly important it is to bring Firefly back to television. Google's got your back: at some point they added an "occasionally" option to Google Now's built-in reminders, triggered when you tell Now to "remind me" to do something.
If you can put Android into a watch, or a car, or a stove, you can cram it in just about anywhere. And given that last option, placing it into a micro or "pico" projector seems like a pretty good idea. ODIN is a Kickstarter project aiming to do just that, expanding an already flexible gadget by throwing in a little extra electronics and Android for media-focused apps. The Kickstarter campaign passed its $250,000 goal this weekend, and it's got a day and a half left to go.
You probably know that you can use the "OK Google" command in Google Now (and just recently, anywhere else in Android) to do some cool things like set an alarm or check a flight number. But up to now, it hasn't been able to do much with the actual hardware on your phone. There's no easy way to expand Google Now functionality with third-party apps, but at least one developer found a work-around: meet Commandr, the new in-between service for flipping hardware switches in Google Now.
Samsung's Gear Fit, the smaller, sleeker alternative to the company's other smartwatches, is probably the most interesting of the second generation Gears. If you've been coveting one, now would be the time to buy it: Amazon has it for just $99.99. That's a full 50% off the $200 retail price, and notably below alternatives like the Pebble smartwatch and the new Android Gear watches. As usual, Amazon Prime users in the United States can add free two-day shipping to the deal.
Be advised, some of the instructions below are now outdated due to significant changes to the Android Wear firmware and app since the Lollipop update. Most of these activities, like taking screenshots manually, enabling debugging, and even unlocking the bootloader will work with only minor modifications to the steps. However, the rooting steps below can not be expected to work any longer.
You saw Android Wear a couple of months ago when Google unveiled the SDK and both LG and Motorola presented the first promotional pictures.