Chrome and Android have been strengthening the old Google family ties for a while now, but according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, they just got a little tighter. The WSJ reports that Hiroshi Lockheimer, who currently serves as the Vice President of Engineering for Android, has also assumed the role of Vice President of Engineering for Chrome. That would put him in charge to a greater or lesser degree of the Chrome browser on desktops, Chromebooks and similar ChromeOS hardware, and Chrome on Android and iOS, plus whatever else Google has cooking up.
Lollipop brings in significant changes to the way Android switches back and forth between recent apps. In KitKat, this feature worked the same way it did in Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, and Jelly Bean. In short, you clicked the third icon in the navigation bar at the bottom, and the recent apps appeared as a list of thumbnails and app icons arranged into a column.
With Android 5.0, the entire look and feel changes.
On a scale of one to ten, I avoided Flappy Bird like the plague. I didn't play it. I didn't write about it. I didn't look at it in the Play Store. I wanted nothing to do with it and its evil ways. If you just can't get enough of that silly crap, however, there's an Easter Egg in Lollipop that you're just going to love: a Flappy Bird clone with huge lollipops and the bugdroid.
When Samsung and LG began selling their Android Wear watches, it seems they made a small oversight: the only way to get the proprietary POGO pin charging docks was to buy the watch. That left customers who had lost or damaged the chargers with no way to get their devices charged again. LG made good on the problem by adding a G Watch Charger to the Play Store back in August, and now Samsung has followed up for the Gear Live as well.
Lollipop goes after the operating system's janky app restoration process in a big way. Android 5.0 lets users transfer data from one device to another just by tapping the two together using Near Field Communication. But if you don't have a gadget with NFC or can't be bothered with that approach, the setup process also lets you pull down apps from devices that have been backed up to your account. You can even select specific apps to download, so you don't need to bring down all of the junk from your other device.
Of course, as I have to pick up my son from daycare, breaking news had to hit, and Google had to start pushing out the Play Store 5.0 update (5.0.31, to be exact). We'll start looking at every corner in just a bit. In the meantime, a few things are immediately obvious. One, it looks like the app in our exclusive early look from mid-September.
Use two-factor authentication? If not, you should, because it's more secure than if you don't use it. If you already use it, then you probably remember a time when the Android setup process was obnoxious because you not only had to put in your password twice, but also had to deal with an annoying web prompt to enter the passcode. It's a hard knock life.
Google fixed the first issue a while back when it removed the second password prompt, which made us all happy.