Android updates are in the spotlight again, thanks to Motorola's questionable dedication to its own recent products. And while you can (usually) count on at least one or two software updates for most flagship phones, sometimes a low-end device comes back and surprises you. Such is the case with the Galaxy Core Prime, a Verizon exclusive in the US which launched with Android 4.4 back in February. At the time the relatively small and underpowered budget phone was promised an update to Lollipop. Quoting David earlier this year: "Oh, and it actually comes with a promise of a Lollipop upgrade, so that's good, though how long it'll take is anyone's guess."
You can stop guessing: it took a little less than eight months. Read More
That took quite a while. According to a tip sent from an Android Police reader, that very small sliver of Galaxy S4 owners which opted for the Google Play Edition of the phone (running stock AOSP software) is now receiving the Android 5.1 update. That's the one that first started coming out way back in February, at least to Nexus devices. Yeah, the Google Play Edition program isn't looking quite so hot these days, more's the pity. Read More
We've known that it's coming for about a month, and today Google has made good on those expectations. According to a post on the official Android blog, Android Wear will be getting a software update "in the coming weeks" that will enable interactive watch faces. These are essentially tiny apps/widgets built into a watch face design that let you do more than simply tell the time or check the weather. A sufficiently advanced face app could replace several individual Wear apps, or do away with the need to check for updates from a specific app.
Here are some of the examples Google gives in its post. Read More
Still reeling from the reveal of the official Android Marshmallow statue at the Googleplex and the confirmation that the new version is Android 6.0? Well hold on to your butts, because there's more coming. In addition to the new reveals, Google has published the third version of the Android M Developer Preview. Presumably this latest release is pretty close to the final version that we should be seeing on new devices and over-the-air updates later this year. Read More
Screenshot credit: Lisa Antunes
Remember the Tegra Note 7? It was supposed to be an OEM platform from NVIDIA, but it got a bit overshadowed when the SHIELD Tablet came out. About a half-dozen manufacturers took NVIDIA up on its offer, notably EVGA, Zotac, Gigabyte, and HP, but it doesn't look like a second model is coming any time soon. Still, they're pretty nice little tablets, especially if you want one with a relatively clean version of Android and a built-in stylus for a low price.
One of the other nice things about the Tegra Note 7 tablets is that updates come straight from NVIDIA (though HP's Slate 7 Extreme seems to be an exception). Read More
Sony is ready to take its Android phones to the next Lollipop level. The company is sticking to its previous word that the Z series devices will start getting Android 5.1 in July and is starting the roll-out today with the Z3 and Z2 series. So consider yourself lucky if you have an Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, Z3 Tablet Compact, Z2, or Z2 Tablet, because you're among the first Sony owners to get Android 5.1... well, if we don't count the GPE Z Ultra.
You'll obviously get all the benefits of Android 5.1, like better volume control and plenty of design and usability tweaks, but Sony has also added a few improvements to its own software. Read More
HTC One M9 owners on AT&T, your update is now ready. The Android 5.1 update is going out to customers starting today. Well, yesterday, at least according to the support page text, though we haven't actually heard from any AT&T customers who have actually spotted the OTA yet. In addition to the software goodies in Lollipop 5.1, this build includes "Device Protection." Remember, it may be a week or more before the staggered rollout gets to everyone.
Can't wait that long to get software version 2.6.502.16? HTC has provided its ROM Update Utility (RUU) for the upgrade, weighing in at a rough 2.25 gigabytes. Read More
Take a moment to consider the plight of poor app developers. In order to evade the fury of Android users, they need to check their apps every few months to make sure they work with incremental updates. Then every once in a while they need to add support for new phones with weird manufacturer skins or new chipset architectures. And if that wasn't enough, Google keeps adding entirely new product categories - Android Wear on smartwatches, Android TV for televisions, and Android Auto for cars. I'm not saying that developers shouldn't make every effort to keep their apps current, just that we should take a moment to recognize what a hassle it is. Read More