Here's something most of us probably weren't aware of. Since Unicode 6.0, Emoji flags have each been given a two-letter regional indicator listed in ISO_3166-1. Until now, only ten of these flags actually showed up as images on Android. This remains the case on other platforms, such as iOS, Windows, and Mac OS X. Instead of an image, you see the two characters associated with each country. You can test this out for yourself by going over to Emojipedia and seeing which flags load (the ten standard ones are placed separately at the top).
Motorola's been planning a soak test for select users of the Moto X 2014 Pure Edition for a little while now, and it looks like it's officially beginning. Earlier this evening, a tipster shared a shot of the update prompt with us, confirming that the test is bringing Android 5.0 Lollipop to the handset, earlier than Google's own OTAs for existing Nexus devices (besides the new Nexus 9 and unreleased Nexus 6).
Yes, you read that right. We took an early look at it a couple of weeks ago, then Google formally announced its existence, and now Google Calendar 5.0 is here and ready for download, working on devices running Android 4.0.3 and up.
The app itself is exactly what you'd expect having seen our previous coverage - a super smart "schedule" layout at the front, with supporting day and 5-day views on phones, with a month and week view appearing on tablets.
Yesterday we reported on the appearance of several redesigned emoji in the keyboard Google's rolling out with Android 5.0. In the piece, I concentrated on the improved consistency brought in by the tweaks. As it turns out, there was one more change hidden in plain sight among the others, and its importance shadows all others. Google has quietly addressed a bug report that has lingered for years.
Let's take a look at the issue at hand here.
In Android 5.0, the default keyboard looks substantially different from how it has looked largely since the days of Ice Cream Sandwich. The new out-of-the-box method of typing comes with a flatter theme that supplies a stark new feel. At the end of the day, though, it's still used primary to punch in letters onto the screen, and there's nothing particularly exciting to share there. One change we would like to highlight though is the addition of new emoji.
Google's been updating apps left and right recently to fall in line with its new material design philosophy, and the results have been impressive. There are a few apps it appears Google's saving for the final Lollipop release though - Gmail 5.0 among them.
While we won't be distributing the updated Gmail app until the official update is released, we will be sharing a goody from the new onboarding process, which shows some of the new awesomeness coming to the app in its overhaul.
Android has offered up the option for multiple users to share one device since the days of Jelly Bean (no, not that version, this one), but if you wanted a couple of people to use a phone, you were out of luck. For several releases now, the feature has been tablet-only. With Lollipop, multi-user support is coming to phones.
After looking past the new feel of things, the core functionality is largely the same.
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.
Rumor has it tomorrow is a big day for the Android world. Of course officially, Google hasn't made a peep about potential new devices, their announcement date, or Android's upcoming L incarnation, but we've heard plenty about the Nexus 6, Nexus 9 (and its accessories), and L itself.
Sundar Pichai, however, has shared a video clearly meant to tease the Android community (already stirred to a fever pitch) at least one more time, following the story of the L casting call, where various desserts audition for the role of L's official mascot.
Don't panic! Despite the original Lollipop announcement stating the update would "be available on Nexus 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks," it looks like Nexus 4 owners won't be left out in the cold after all.
Googler Sascha Prüter clarifies in a Google+ post that the Nexus 4's conspicuous absense is "just a mistake." Indeed, the error is already fixed. There's no specific word on timing, but if history is anything to go by, the N4 will fall right in line with the rest of the Nexus updates soon enough.