It has now been over two months since the Lollipop OTA updates for Nexus devices began rolling out en masse. So far, every Nexus and Google Play Edition device has received the bump to Google's latest sweet treat...except the cellular Nexus 7s. If you own a 2012 3G or 2013 LTE model, you've been left out in the cold, remaining on KitKat unless you want to venture into the world of custom ROMs.
We first caught wind of an in-progress visual redesign of Pandora's Android app back in September, but it hasn't reached the masses until today's update to version 5.7. Pandora, which had a very dated interface, was well overdue for some kind of reimagining. While Material Design fans are sure to be disappointed, there are several notable improvements and the overall look is much cleaner and modern.
Most of the style is obviously iOS-inspired, which is hardly surprising.
If you have a late-model Samsung phone on US Cellular, odds are pretty good that there's a software update waiting for you. The Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 flagships are getting an updated build of KitKat, along with the last-gen Galaxy Note 3. Don't get your hopes too high: all three phones will still be running Android 4.4.2 after the update. But Samsung is pushing out a few incremental changes, notably for the dialer and camera.
I love my Fire TV. In fact, it's probably the most-used set-top box in my house, and it's also the one that I keep in my home office for testing, watching basketball, and sometimes even playing games (not often). I sideloaded XBMC (Kodi) on it a while back, which made it even more useful. Of course, launching an app like XBMC on Fire TV is a legit pain in the tail.
If you don't mind Samsung's software layer, the Galaxy Tab S series are a couple of darn fine tablets. Cameron called them "the best tablets" you could buy" half a year ago, taking especially fond note of the 2560x1600 Super AMOLED screens. If you've been waiting patiently for the smaller Tab S 8.4 to go on sale (shunning the many deals on the Tab Pro with its LCD panel), today's the day: TigerDirect is selling it on eBay for $299.99.
The newest version of SwiftKey opens the third-party keyboard up to millions upon millions of people. How? By officially bringing Chinese language support out of beta. There are seven new input methods total, with ways to type in Simplified, Taiwan Traditional, and Hong Kong Traditional Chinese.
Is it the age of the smartwatch yet? I don't know, but developers are sure acting like it is. You can hardly turn around without seeing another new watch face or utility for Android Wear. Google still hasn't made it particularly easy to find new Wear apps, but we're keeping track of all the best new stuff, and here it is.
The Ouya raised $8.6 million on Kickstarter, and to its credit, the promised $99 Android-powered game console was delivered and works as described. The problem is that it just wasn't very good in the grand scheme of things. The outlook on Ouya hasn't been particularly positive, but maybe that's about to change. The Wall Street Journal reports that Chinese retail giant Alibaba has swooped in with a $10 million investment
The Internet has made buying things as effortless as possible. You don't need to go to the store or even roll out of bed. You don't have to bother with cash, and in places where you frequently shop, you can do without pulling out a card either. A series of mouse clicks or finger taps is all it takes.
The inverse isn't so simple. Mailing packages typically requires making a trip to the nearest postal service and wrestling with packaging.
The Smart Lock feature that has been slowly cooking in the Chrome OS dev and beta channels has made its way into the latest stable release, version 40. Now anyone with a phone running Android 5.0 or later (sorry, no tablets) can automatically unlock their Chromebook just by keeping the two devices within 100 feet of each other.
You can find the option tucked away under advanced settings. In this shot I've scrolled the area to the top and have already turned things on.