Hangouts version 4.0 has been released, to both relief and derision among the Android faithful. We're still finding some of the cool stuff that it can do, but at least one member of the /r/Android subreddit beat us to the punch. "Tutsumi" noticed that if you should happen to change between mobile and Wi-Fi networks while you're in an active video call, the connection won't drop out like it used to.
There are a lot of phones that don't come with microSD card slots these days, and it's not always feasible to plug stuff into the USB port. That's when the SanDisk Connect wireless flash drive comes in handy. This device is on sale via Amazon for $29.99, about $10 less than usual and half of the MSRP. That's better than most of the Prime Day "deals" from yesterday.
SanDisk has announced a new product in its Connect line of wireless storage devices, the Connect Wireless Stick. This appears to be the second generation version of the Connect Wireless Flash Drive, which has been around for about a year. This version is slimmer, has more storage, and relies on a new app.
Some early users of LG's Watch Urbane outside of the US were a bit perplexed when they tried to use the Android Wear device's Wi-Fi syncing feature. Apparently the current software build only enables Wi-Fi channels one through eleven - not coincidentally, the only ones legally accessible to consumer electronics in the United States. A long support thread on Google's Android Wear forum is full of new owners wondering why they can't connect to their local wireless networks.
The announcements are coming fast and loose out of Mobile World Congress. Huawei has been steadily sharing new phablets, watches, and more. One of the less conventional gadgets to join the company's lineup includes a Wi-Fi hotspot designed for automobiles, dubbed CarFi. It has been designed to share a 4G LTE connection with up to 10 devices simultaneously, and it doesn't look half bad.
CarFi is similar to many other cellular hotspot devices, but it plugs directly into the DC port found in most cars and trucks.
Back in 2014, one of the changes spotted in Google Search was support for settings toggles through voice commands. At the time, the feature wasn't complete — it merely gave you a shortcut to open the corresponding settings panel. That wasn't helpful at all, since you had to use your fingers to make the change, which would have been done much faster through the drop-down quick settings. In Lollipop, starting with 5.0, some of these toggles work as they are supposed to, through voice commands alone and without the need for some third-party hack like Commandr.
The longer Android 5.0 is in the wild, the more we come across annoying little bugs. It sounds like Google might have broken something in the wireless framework in 5.0 because a sizeable number of users are reporting issues with connecting to their corporate networks after the 5.0 update.
If you follow Artem on Google+ or check Reddit, you probably saw him discussing the likelihood that Google has delayed updating Nexus devices to Android 5.0. This was originally slated to begin November 3rd, but now the date we're hearing is November 12th. There's no official word, but it looks like a particularly troublesome WiFi bug in the developer preview might be to blame.
Several months ago, we discussed something called Nearby, a project that - at the time - seemed to be Google's effort to let "people, places, and things" know when a user is, well, nearby. It seems that Google is still hard at work on its effort to connect various devices to each other and their surroundings, but Copresence (an internal name for this functionality) may have a more specific scope in this effort than we first estimated, apparently including iOS devices in the fun.
Staying in a hotel with crappy Wi-Fi is frustrating, but not half so frustrating as finding this out by starting up your phone, connecting, realizing there's no Internet access, then manually disabling Wi-Fi to make sure it goes back to 3G or LTE. In Lollipop, Android 5.0 will do that for you: when the system sees no connection to the Internet (or more probably Google servers) via a Wi-Fi connection on a device with a cellular radio, it will automatically default to mobile data to keep an active connection.