We've been waiting on a big update to Google's search app, having seen screenshots here and there that hinted at an updated design. With today's new Lollipop developer preview, the Google app's 4.0 incarnation was made available. We've got a download at the bottom of the post, but be sure to read the instructions first as getting this up and running on pre-L devices requires some extra fiddling. Also, you'll need to be rooted.
Last summer's trifecta of DROIDs are all getting hit by the same over-the-air update right about now. Verizon has announced a bump up to software version 23.1.12 that's going out to the DROID Maxx, Mini, and Ultra. The OTA prepares the devices to deliver better call quality through what the carrier has coined Advanced Calling 1.0.
This update also brings along improvements to the phones' messaging client and visual voicemail service.
Jelly Bean seemed to stick around longer than other versions of Android. While most previous iterations were content to move along with each point release, Jelly Bean stuck around for 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3. It took quite a while for KitKat to arrive, and for some people, that wait has been longer than others.
If you purchased an AT&T Galaxy Note 8 back when it launched in 2013, you probably didn't think you would be stuck with Jelly Bean for this long.
The cool kids like the quality of their music turned up all the way to 320 kbps (the coolest ones prefer lossless), but that's a luxury that often goes away with streaming music over the Internet. Rdio says it's had enough with that lower quality crap (I can't really tell the difference, but the cool kids tell me that stuff's awful), so it is bringing in the ability to stream and download songs at 320 kbps over both Wi-Fi and a cellular connection.
The Google Keyboard isn't one of the flashier apps out there, but it has proven to be an important tool for many people all over the world. The latest update brings better organization to the settings screen and adds support for 8 additional languages including: Bengali (India), Hindi (Compact), Kannada (India), Malayalam (India), Marathi (India), Tamil (India), Tamil (Singapore), and Telugu (India).
Left: Old settings screen, Center: New settings screen.
HTC has detailed an over-the-air update for the Sprint version of the One M7 that rolls out what the company refers to as "Google security fixes." This is vague in the usual carrier-provided-update-way, but folks over in the Sprint Community have reported some more specific changes. Users who install this update should no longer see the annoying "Smith Disabled" notification that appears after every reboot. The default flashlight app has apparently also been replaced by an LED flash app.
Don't panic! Despite the original Lollipop announcement stating the update would "be available on Nexus 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks," it looks like Nexus 4 owners won't be left out in the cold after all.
Googler Sascha Prüter clarifies in a Google+ post that the Nexus 4's conspicuous absense is "just a mistake." Indeed, the error is already fixed. There's no specific word on timing, but if history is anything to go by, the N4 will fall right in line with the rest of the Nexus updates soon enough.
Google Glass is inviting users to "stay connected to your favorite phone apps with notification sync on Glass." The new feature, as you might have guessed by now, grants Google's MyGlass app notification access, relaying all your Android notifications up to your eyeball for quick and easy viewing/interaction. Previously, only apps compatible with Glass (like Gmail and Hangouts) could send up notifications.
The Glass team says the new feature (which the team admits you "may have already seen" on Android Wear) will come in an update to the MyGlass app that will be available tomorrow (an already jam-packed day from the looks of it), and posted a quick tutorial video to show what the setup process is like.
The SwiftKey folks have released a new version of the popular third-party keyboard that comes with support for thirteen new Indian languages bundled in, but it's all still tucked away in beta form. Users who download the 5.1 beta will get access to Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Nepali, and Sinhala (Nepali and Sinhala are not Indian languages but SwiftKey opted to lump them in because they belong to the same Indo-Aryan language family).