Not all of the changes to Android 5.0 Lollipop are meant to be seen by regular users, but that doesn't make them any less important. One of the core components of the operating system is about to break free from the shackles of firmware updates and join the Play Store and Google Play services in receiving automatic updates directly from Google. As of Android 5.0, the WebView component will be a distinct apk, allowing it to be upgraded separately from the OS.
Nexus 4 owners, don't lose hope. Though your 2012 Google phone was cruelly looked over for the developer preview builds of Android L (along with everything that wasn't a Nexus 7 2013 or Nexus 5), sharp-eyed Google+ users have spotted two different Google employees posting on the Chromium section of code.google.com claiming to use the Nexus 4 with Android L. Check out this entry from a contributor with a Chromium.org email address, explicitly using the "LRW52G" build of Android on his or her N4.
The Chromium Issue Tracker, a perennial source of accidental "leaks" and unreleased information, has delivered something interesting (the issue appears to have since been removed). Reddit user Doopl came across two screenshots of what look like Android's yet-unannounced L release.
The shots show a Google account login dialog that looks substantially different from the current implementation, and what appears to be a re-styled Chrome with design elements from Quantum. Additionally, the status bar shows a place holder "L" icon, and a bell icon that sources tell us is indicative of a new feature in L that will offer "limited interruptions," basically muting or partially muting notifications.
Occasionally, an OS update will bring around features that really change things. Android 3.0 brought the Android experience to tablets. 4.0 completely revamped the UI and added guidelines that made Android look cohesive for the first time. 4.4 added Svelte, which promised to seat Android comfortably on an even broader range of devices. We have reason to believe another one of those changes is right around the corner, and it's known internally as Hera.
The Opera Browser has been chugging along for years with a small but dedicated fan base. That has certainly extended to mobile. In fact, that's probably Opera's biggest market now. This browser switched to using Chromium a while back, and today it's getting a big update. Not only does it get a new build of Chromium, the tablet layout is getting a redesign.
Opera has been a stalwart of the desktop browser wars for many years now. It was besting Microsoft back when it was a viable business model to sell desktop browser licenses for cash money. The company has had some issues more recently, but mobile apps could be the bright spot, especially on days like today. Opera for Android has been updated to v15 with a ton of new features. It also brings a new version of the Chromium-based Ice platform.
Friday morning I received a surprise visit from UPS - and fortunately it wasn't the sort of surprise visit that requires me to then take a 20 lb. package over to my neighbor's place because the guy was too lazy to read the street number.
A somewhat hefty box, with a seemingly random sender name on it from Louisville, KY had been shipped overnight to my humble abode. I immediately knew it was a CR-48 laptop.