When it comes to alternative launchers based on the standard Android homescreen design, I think it's safe to say at this point that Nova Launcher is the best available. But developer TeslaCoil isn't resting on its laurels: the app is constantly being updated, tweaked, and improved. Today the biggest update to Nova Launcher in years is going out on its Google Play Store beta channel... and yes, it has Material Design.
There are already a number of ways to test the capability of your Android device's hardware, but one more isn't going to hurt. Rightware has released Basemark ES 3.1 for Android in both free and paid versions. Do you need a paid graphics benchmark? Probably not, but maybe someone does.
Even while the more corporate side of CyanogenMod makes new deals with smartphone makers and OEMs, the original "CM Team" continues to expand the ROM's lineup of officially-supported phones and tablets. Today the original Moto E (from 2014) and the Oppo N3 both get their first nightly software builds, and yes, both of them are CyanogenMod 12 (based on Android 5.0 Lollipop AOSP code). You can download and flash them now.
Budget phones used to be the bane of Android's existence, embarrassments that gave buyers horrible first impressions of the platform and sent them running, tears in their eyes, towards the nearest iPhone they could catch on sale. Things have changed. Low-end phones may not offer the looks or build-quality of their flagship counterparts, but they provide plenty of screen real estate and power for average folks to stay connected.
In the wake of Apple's big watch announcement, Google is wasting no time talking about what it has planned for its more mature Wear platform. In the next update to Wear, Google will deploy a feature we've been anticipating for some time, as well as some previously unexpected additions.
As if it wasn't already news, Apple announ...Android 5.1 is officially launching today. While the latest version already made its debut on a few Android One phones, the rest of us have been (impatiently) waiting for our chance to check it out on some Nexus hardware. We're still looking for OTA packages and factory images, but it looks like Google is already busy uploading the source code to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).
Oh Pandora, how I wish I could quit you. I pay the folks at Google Music for their services, and I know they work hard. They even include music controls in the notification bar and the lockscreen, which you seem to take absolute joy in withholding from me. But on a roadtrip or an exercise session, I always come back to you - years of curated music stations are hard to let go.
Android 5.1 is finally here, at least according to Google (they'd know, right?). The company just posted on the official Android blog that the 5.1 Lollipop update begins rolling out today, though they didn't quite specify which devices will be getting it. Granted, if it's a Nexus or GPE phone and it already has Android 5.0, you can probably count yourself in for the 5.1 party - this release is mostly bug fixes with a few features rolled in (see our feature spotlights for 5.1 here for some of them).
It's been about a year since Android Wear was announced, and here we are with a few watches and a ton of apps and faces. I hear there's some other company that announced a smartwatch recently. I think they usually sell fruit or something. Whatever, we're here to talk about all the cool new stuff you can do with your Android Wear watch. So here are the best new apps and watch faces that have come to Wear in the last few weeks.