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).
Regular followers of the Android world know that manufacturers love to skin Google's mobile operating system for the sake of differentiation. As dramatic as Samsung and HTC can get, the Chinese OEMs sometimes take it even further, perhaps because Chinese users don't have official access to the Play Store and Google apps (making compatibility and certification less problematic). OPPO seems to be going even further than that: a new post on the company forum is recruiting testers for ColorOS on, of all things, the LG G2.
The folks over at Laptop Mag have undertaken a test that really piques our interest. The results show that T-Mobile smartphones consistently get the best battery life among the big four US carriers. The difference isn't insignificant either. We're talking about a steady gap of up to three hours, depending on the phone.
In the chart below we see variation between the 2013 and 2014 versions of Samsung and HTC's flagships.
Update, 7-25-14: A Carnegie Mellon representative informed us that in fact the Duolingo Test Center results will not factor into determining an applicant's English skills, it will merely be used in research to test the exam's effectiveness, at least at the moment.
Carnegie Mellon, a global research university that attracts student applicants from around the world, is the first academic partner of Duolingo for the English language certification exam.
In this role, the university in the coming year will encourage applicants and newly admitted students to take the online exam as part of a research study.
At Google I/O last week, Google announced Project Volta, its effort to change and drastically improve how Android manages battery life. Since then the folks over at Ars Technica have downloaded the publicly available L developer preview build and put it through its paces. Is there a noticeable difference? Yes, apparently. They were able to get an an extra two hours of battery life out of their Nexus 5, an improvement of thirty-six percent.
Clash of Clans fans will find a lot of familiarity in Boom Beach, a similar title from Supercell with more conventional characters and weapons. This tower defense and tower attack game has become popular very quickly on iOS, and now it's available on Android... if you happen to be in Finland or Germany. (A limited geographical rollout is typical for testing.) If you've got access to this early version of the game, have fun: it's a free download.
Version 5.7 of the YouTube Android app introduced the ability to select precisely which quality level you want to stream a video in, as long as that level was 720p or lower. Even then, the options skipped from 360p to 720p. Since that release, users have apparently started to see 480p appear in between the two. Not only that, 1080p has shown up as well.
We haven't been able to get the settings to load on our devices, but some of you have reported having better luck.
Several weeks ago, we caught wind of Android 4.4.3 and some of the changes it could bring, consisting mostly of bug fixes, both big and small. At this point, according to several sources familiar with the matter, Android 4.4.3 has entered internal testing outside of the core Android team - a process otherwise known as dogfooding. The final release isn't expected to hit public devices for a number of weeks, so those of you expecting it any day now will have to wait just a bit longer.
It's been just over three months since we gave you an exclusive look at EnergySense, Google's attempt to jump start their home management offerings. Now it looks like they're ending support for the project, closing down the web and Android apps that are currently in the test phase. This is the email sent to the EnergySense testers from Google.