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.
Fire TV is getting an update that bumps the software powering the set-top box up to version 184.108.40.206_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.
Just like the new version of Google Play Movies & TV, the Google Play Games app sourced from the recent ADT-1 Android TV device update works fine on recent phones and tablets. There doesn't appear to be any huge functionality improvement in this release, it's merely a shiny new coat of paint. That being the case, it might be best to wait for the official phone/tablet update. If you don't want to wait that long, then have at it with the update below.
Today Microsoft has announced its Wireless Display Adapter, a Chromecast-sized dongle that plugs into the back of your TV, monitor, or projector and enables you to mirror content from any Miracast-enabled device. It's not the first product of its kind on the market, but Microsoft's offering is a small and sleek option, and it just so happens to be compatible with Android devices.
[Heads up: to use this application you'll need root permissions on your phone or tablet. If you don't have them, you can stop reading here. Now, we continue with our regularly scheduled blog post.] Yesterday we found out about a new Google Now card that can show you changes in the prices of airfare based on recent searches. At least one developer isn't interested in waiting for Google to rollout new Now cards, and found a way to switch them on manually - even the ones that aren't public just yet.
Regular followers of the Android world know that manufacturers love to skin Google's mobile operating system for the sake of differentiation. As dramatic as Samsung and HTC can get, the Chinese OEMs sometimes take it even further, perhaps because Chinese users don't have official access to the Play Store and Google apps (making compatibility and certification less problematic). OPPO seems to be going even further than that: a new post on the company forum is recruiting testers for ColorOS on, of all things, the LG G2.
Earlier today, someone decided to post to the Android issue tracker complaining about the lack of multiuser support for smartphones. Within a few hours, a developer at Google responded and closed the issue, remarking that "the development team has implemented this feature and it will be available as a part of the next public build." Sounds pretty definitive to us.
The "next public build" is the only ambiguous part of this statement, though that Googler is almost definitely referring to the "L" release of Android scheduled to land some time later this year.
By now, you've probably heard a lot about Amazon's Fire Phone. I figure that most people aren't really curious about what the overall phone is like – if you've used a Kindle Fire/HD/HDX then you already know. It's about Amazon services and a weird launcher layout thing. Most people are curious about the four front-facing cameras and Dynamic Perspective. I'm with you on that – that's exactly what I was curious about before getting this phone for review.
You would think the pace of Wear apps would slow down after the initial rush to be the first to do one thing or another, but no. Big no. The flow of new Wear-enabled apps has yet to abate, so the roundup is back a little early to show you what's cool and new in the Android Wear universe.
Swipify-Multitasker & Launcher
There's no app switcher button on Android Wear, but Swipify sort of adds one as an edge gesture.
Update: An LG representative has informed us that the Tab Book can be purchased with both Windows and Android in an optional dual-boot configuration. There are no plans to release the product outside of Korea, at least for the time being.
LG's current Android tablet strategy is a little baffling. They jumped back into Android tablets with the admirable G Pad 8.3 last year, a well-equipped device with a premium build and a premium price.