There have been whispers about an impending update to Android 5.0.1 for a little while now, and it looks like Google has begun pushing the new release to AOSP now.
The build being pushed right now is LRX22C. We've heard that Android 5.0.1 will also be coming to Android Wear, a possibility corroborated by Derek Ross, who points out dramatically improved battery life for Google's wearables. The update is also supposed to fix a variety of issues with the initial 5.0 builds, but in the absence of factory images or OTAs (for now), all we can do is wait for the push to complete and look around for any goodies.
Google's office suite in the cloud can handle a number of Microsoft's Office formats, a necessity born from the sheer entrenchment of the competition. The search giant isn't bitter though. Rather than shun the task of working with the various file types out there, it has added support for converting 15 more. The list includes less common formats spread across Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
Newly supported Microsoft Office formats:
dot, dotx, dotm, docm
xlt, xltx, xltm, xlsm
pot, potx, potm, pptm, pps, ppsx, ppsm
After converting the documents, you're free to edit them as you would any other.
With Android Lollipop finally getting into full swing, November was the month for developers (or at least those devs that are paying attention) to release Material Design UI updates. Those updates took up a lot of AP coverage last month, but there are still a few standout apps for you to check out below. Just don't get too attached to Clippit - it's entirely too cool and useful to survive the wrath of the US copyright system.
Google has just updated the language of the support page where software update policies for Nexus and GPE devices are summarized, and the new text is not exactly encouraging on first read. The following clause, regarding carriers, was added:
Based on your carrier, it may take longer than two weeks after release to get an update.
We do not know if this is merely a safety net to avoid the ire of customers in the case of things like the Nexus 7 2013 LTE and the whole Verizon debacle, or if this is actually a forward-looking change in policy that could affect new devices like the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 LTE.
Many developers are rushing to get apps updated with material design interfaces, but Delta is still working on Holo. The new v3.0 update adds a navigation drawer, as well as some new itinerary views to keep you up to date. It's not material, but trust me, it could be a lot worse.
If you're a fan of strategy games, you had a very good month in November. In addition to soft strategy like Kingdom Rush: Origins and Godus, you've got new entries in the XCOM and Civilization series, not to mention the very impressive newcomer The Banner Saga. There are also some respectable entries in what you might call the casual genre (if you weren't busy swearing at some of the higher levels in The Blocks Cometh), and we've added a few honorable mentions as well.
On December 2, 2014, AT&T and Samsung released a software update for the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. This software update bring HD Voice capabilities, as well as additional application preloads, and improvements. The size of the update file is 184MB, and is available for download via Wi-Fi only.
This software update includes
HD Voice capability*
Amazon Shopping App
AT&T's version of the Galaxy Note 4 is receiving a substantial over-the-air update to a new build (AUCU1BNK3) today, though we don't know much about what the 233.7MB package does.
I think almost every human being in the developed world has, at some point, played the original Peggle games. Those games offered satisfying pachinko-style casual gameplay on numerous platforms, but the new Peggle Blast is different in a few ways. It's the first Peggle game designed primarily for mobile devices, but it's also crawling with EA's customary in-app purchases.
Yota's unconventional hardware design has gained the company a lot of press, but following the Mobile World Congress debut of the YotaPhone 2, we've heard nary a peep for the better part of a year. That changed today in a Moscow presentation: the second-gen phone with a built-in e-ink screen on the rear of the case will go on sale in 20 European countries later in December, presumably including Russia.
When asked which speaker company I think offers the biggest bang for the buck, the answer is pretty easy: it's either G-Project or Soundfreaq. Both are great companies, and each offers a lot of speaker for the money. They both target very different sets of users, however, so I don't really feel like they easily cross paths in the market. For example, Soundfreaq makes killer "around the house" speakers - they're not necessarily designed for ultimate portability, and they don't have a super robust look or feel to them.