Android 5.0 Lollipop (known previously as just L) was the biggest change to Android since Ice Cream Sandwich. Frankly, I’d rank it as the biggest change to Android ever, for a variety of reasons.
Google has ostensibly searched every corner of Android for opportunities to tweak, improve, or completely reimagine the platform, and Lollipop is the result.
The most noticeable change was undoubtedly the addition of material design, the very first time Google has openly, publicly taken on a cohesive and thoughtful design philosophy, making it - in theory - accessible to everyone, and defining its rules clearly. Material design, which I've written about before, is a huge design shift, which can trace its roots all the way back to Matias Duarte's work on Palm's WebOS. Read More
The plaintiffs in an antitrust lawsuit against Google have dropped their case after losing in an initial ruling. Just over a month ago, we reported on Google's win. The federal judge overseeing the case ruled in Google's favor, but the plaintiffs had one last chance to change their arguments before the case was closed. Instead, they have decided to withdraw.
A group of consumers accused Google of anticompetitive practices in the distribution of Android due to the stipulation that their search engine must be default in order for the OEM to load the Play Store on devices. The problem here, the plaintiffs allege, is that this precludes competing search providers from being default. Read More
The official CBS Sports app has been updated to work with Android TV devices. What, you want more? That's all there is to this story. OK, it's also been updated with non-specific improvements for the upcoming Masters golf tournament, plus a few bug fixes. Um... it's now on version 8.2.2. And here's a screenshot from my phone, because I don't have an Android TV box yet and CBS didn't include a shot of the TV interface anywhere.
Just imagine this, but 50 inches bigger.
On second thought, there might be a reason for that. The app is incompatible with the original ADT-1 Android TV developer device. Read More
Hangouts has recently made a habit of adding a little flair to every holiday with some Easter eggs. While most of the year you would know what I mean by Easter egg, let's be clear that I am referring to those hidden little gimmicks that you might stumble upon in software. But, this weekend, I also mean the other kind of Easter egg. Hangouts has come full circle by adding Easter eggs for Easter that are actually Easter eggs. Say that fives times fast!
As some of you send your well wishes for the Easter holiday over the weekend, you and your recipient will be greeted with these little bits of fun. Read More
After the rather public fallout between niche manufacturer OnePlus and its initial software supplier Cyanogen, the company promised to deliver an Android ROM developed on its own. Oxygen OS, the fruit of that particular labor, is now available to download in stable form for OnePlus One owners. OxygenOS is a customized ROM based on Android 5.0.2, built with at least some input from members of the Paranoid Android ROM team. The Oxygen build was originally promised on March 27th.
OnePlus has created a promotional page for OxygenOS with the primary download and an installation guide taking price of place. Read More
You can imagine that running around the CES show floor for someone who has been fascinated (as well as convinced and positively influenced) by wearable activity trackers felt like breaking free inside a candy factory. Dozens if not hundreds of brands were vying for everyone's attention and a share of the pie in the tiny wearable market, and I had to check most of the intriguing and known ones to see what they had to offer. Among the hundreds of displays, from the companies I'd never heard of to the recognizable brands like Fitbit, Garmin, and Withings, one surprised me the most: Misfit.
I knew the Indiegogo origin story of Misfit — which translated into skepticism in my mind — and I'd read about its Shine tracker and simpler/cheaper Flash version, but I wasn't completely convinced by the quality nor the premise of the brand. Read More
The Nexus 6 is a fantastic phone, but it doesn't have the appealingly low price that its immediate predecessors did. If you've been waiting for the price to drop a bit below the $650 mark for the base model, now's your chance. Amazon is selling the unlocked 32GB blue version for just $583.90, a solid 10% discount. The seller is a third party (with no Prime shipping), and at the time of writing there are only 9 left at this price - hurry if you want to grab one.
The blue model in 64GB is actually more expensive on Amazon than on the Google Store, but the "Cloud White" version of the N6 has some different deals. Read More
You may have caught the news earlier today about the alpha and beta versions of Kodi (formerly XMBC) finally reaching the Play Store. Well, as a nice accessory to that, there's the official remote app now too. This listing actually showed up a few weeks ago, but has gone mostly unnoticed, which is why you are reading these words. Kore lets you control the action on Kodi, and it looks rather nice.
If you have been on the fence about whether or not to purchase Google's latest tablet, the Nexus 9, Best Buy may have made your decision a little easier. For the next two days, the blue box store is discounting the price of the 16GB model by $75, bringing the price down to a more reasonable $325. The verdict is still out among Android Police staff on whether or not this is a great tablet, but a lower price might make up for some of its warts.
As a reminder, here is a quick breakdown of the key specs.
- Processor: NVIDIA Tegra K1 'Denver' dual-core at 2.3GHz
- GPU: NVIDIA Tegra 192-core Kepler
- Display: 8.9" IPS LCD 2048x1553 (4:3 aspect ratio) w/ Gorilla Glass 3
- Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB storage
- Cameras: 8MP rear, 1.6MP front
- Battery: 6700mAh, non-removable
The tablet ships free and is available in both white and black. Read More
The Play Store is where you go to watch your other apps get updated, but occasionally it's nice to sit back and watch as the store gets its own renovation. Sometimes the changes are stark. Other times, there are just a few new lights here or there.
In version 5.4, it's not about what's been added, but what's been taken away. The notification bar has lost its color. Now Play Store pages appear with banner images that reach towards the top of the screen. The green strip doesn't return to the bar until you start to scroll down.
Left: Old, Right: New
The amount of chrome at the top of the screen has gradually eroded since 5.2. Read More