One of the bummers about buying electronic devices is that you know there will be a point after which the manufacturer will no longer keep the software updated. We usually hope for at least two years when talking about smartphones, though some OEMs barely even reach half that time. One of the benefits to buying Google's phones nowadays is that the company now maintains a page where you can see the end-of-life for those devices.
Ever since March of last year, Google has been testing a new payment method called Hands Free. The premise was that you could pay for goods with your smartphone without ever having to remove it from your pocket. The pilot was limited to the Bay Area and to only a few businesses. But now, the experiment has hit its end of life for the time being.
Google formalized the update guarantee for Nexus devices last year in the wake of the Stage Fright vulnerability, but now it's gone a step further by listing the approximate end-of-life (EOL) dates on its support site. Google added this data at some point in the last few weeks, but it has only now been noticed.
The Nexus 9 never really clicked - not as an Android tablet, not as a Nexus device, and certainly not as the premium, segment-leading gadget that Google and HTC wanted it to be. Between a host of bugs, inconsistent build quality, and general apathy from the buying public, the N9 isn't nearly as well-regarded as its predecessors (both versions of the Nexus 7 and the Nexus 10, many of which are still in use) and its successor (the Pixel C). Today Google seems to have finally written off the ill-fated tablet, as it's gone from the Google Store.
The standalone Photos app was released to the public during last month's Google I/O conference, finally completing the separation with Google+ as rumors (and facts) had long suggested. While the new Photos app was widely accepted as an improvement in many ways, it also lacked many of the enhanced editing features that had made the old version so useful. Unfortunately, installing the standalone Photos app effectively hid access to the version built into Google+. That was probably a pretty good sign about what was to come. With the latest update to Google+, users who have stuck to the old version will be warned that it is not long for this world.
According to a source inside of Sprint, the wireless carrier has officially placed the LG Nexus 5 on the end-of-life list. That means that Sprint won't be promoting the N5 in its stores, though any stock that's still in retailers or sales partners will probably remain on sale in at least some capacity. It also means that Sprint won't be sending out any more standard software updates to the phone.
Of course, that's not as big a deal for the Nexus 5 as for other devices, thanks to the developer status of the phone. Like other Nexus phones and tablets, the N5 gets its updates directly from Google, even when those updates include features specific to Sprint.
Everything dies. It's kind of a grim reality we have to face, but there's nothing in this world that's truer. One day, everything and everyone you love will die. There is no escaping it. Now for a bit of lighter news: Sony is finished updating the Xperia L, M, C, and SP. While that's generally bad news, I tried to ease the blow by reminding you that you're going die one day. Did it help? I hope it helped.
Anyway, all of these devices are on some form of Jelly Bean, be it 4.2 or 4.3, and that's as high as they're ever going.
In what will surely be a crushing blow to at least four, maybe five gamers across the globe, Sony has announced that it is ending support for its branded PlayStation Mobile game store and platform. If you'll recall, that's the app and control setup that is (or was) exclusive to Xperia phones and tablets, plus a few select models from HTC and Sharp. In a statement posted to the Japanese PlayStation website, the company said that devices running versions of Android past 4.4.3 would not be supported.
The point of PlayStation Mobile was to offer unique digital games, some of which were also on the PlayStation Vita, in a syncing cross-platform implementation tied to the user's PSN account.
No matter how much we may love a phone, there comes a time for it to head on to greener pastures, to shed its physical body and exchange bytes with the souls of other great handsets in the sky. Today I am sad to write the obituary for the Droid Maxx Developer Edition. This is a great phone with a massive 3500mAh battery and support for wireless charging, giving it the optimal power situation. Yet despite packing so much juice, even it can't last forever. The Droid Maxx Developer Edition has reached the end of its life, and Motorola has taken the phone down from its site.