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. 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
Microsoft has a music app. No, really, they do! It may have escaped your notice with the launch of a new service from a certain other company and the continuing dominance of Spotify, but the Xbox Music service is still going strong. Sort of - apparently Microsoft didn't think that brand name was strong enough, so they changed it to Groove. That name hasn't made it to the official Android app, for some reason.
But some other much-needed changes have been implemented in version 3.0, specifically the ability to access your Microsoft account and stream music stored on your OneDrive cloud. Read More
The original Moto G started a revolution for mid-range phones - specifically by introducing the idea that they didn't have to suck. Motorola is still keeping the first-gen Moto G updated, and today (or late last night), unlocked versions of the Moto G LTE in the United States started receiving the over-the-air update to Android 5.1. This was pretty much expected, since Motorola dropped the kernel source code for the update last week and tested it in soak before that.
Dang. That's a nice photo, Joshua Worth.
Motorola's phones tend to stick very close to Android's open source code, especially once you get out of the flagship range. Read More