This might be the best new Android 5.1 feature yet. Lollipop brought with it so-called heads up notifications, where the entire notification appears at the top of your screen momentarily when it first arrives. The problem was that you had only three options:
Wait until it goes away
Tap on it to open up the app notifying you
Swipe it away, making the notification disappear permanently
With this feature addition to Android 5.1, you can swipe up to get it out of your way without losing it entirely.
Despite its appearance on Android One devices, we've had complete radio silence from Google about Android 5.1. Still, as long as it is in the wild, we're going to keep hearing about it. In this case, we have found out that the animation associated with toggling the auto-rotate feature has come back in 5.1 after disappearing in 5.0. Take a look.
This might not exactly change the way you use your Android phone or tablet, but it's nice.
Google has come out unscathed from a lawsuit in which consumers accused the company of anti-competitive practices. The basic allegation was that Google requires manufacturers to use a Google version of Android and that the way they place their own apps at the forefront has increased prices and prevented potential rivals from emerging. The main issue is the stipulation that Google's search be default in order to preload Play Services on Android devices.
Android 5.1 is in the wild on Android One devices, but it's still not totally official yet. Google has yet to announce it and there's no changelog available. As more people get their hands on 5.1, though, we're bound to learn some things about it. Like, for example, the quick settings changes and these neat little animations in the 5.1 clock app.
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.
December brought us many gifts, not least of which was the official release of Android Studio v1.0. While things have been fairly quiet for developers sticking to Stable releases, the Android Tools team has been busy with a steady stream of updates for those of us on the Canary builds. After two months in development, v1.1 is finally ready to roll out to the masses. This version is mostly dedicated to bug fixes, but there are a few features added in test builds that will feel new to users that are just now receiving the update.
Owners of several Android Wear watches (Sony Smartwatch 3, LG G Watch, and Moto 360 so far) have reported seeing an update hit their devices to bring it up to Android 5.0.2. The corresponding build number is LWX49K for the G Watch and Smartwatch 3, LWX49L for the Moto 360.
But before you get excited about a host of new features rolling up to your favorite wearable, this one seems to be all about the bug fixes and stability improvements. Motorola posted the 360's release notes and they include updated Google Play Services and a "variety of system optimizations and security updates to improve performance and stability." It seems that a few users are already noticing small speed improvements on their watches and some bugs being ironed out — for example, if your watch's apps used to fail to launch sometimes, this appears to be fixed now.
Samsung still makes more phones than anyone, so when Android 5.0 rolls out to its flagship devices, that's when you know the latest version of Google's mobile operating system is really getting in front of people. Users have started to report that T-Mobile is currently pushing out Lollipop to the Galaxy S5.
Ever wanted the Moto 360's charging screen on another Android Wear watch? Ever wished you could see more information on that charging screen? If you answered yes to at least one of these two questions, then you might be interested in Wear Charging Widget.
The application automatically triggers when your Android Wear watch is charging. With a Moto 360-inspired design, it has an evolving circle that shows the current amount of charge on the watch, along with the time, date, and weather. Then if you want to disable it for some reason, you simply long press the screen to exit the app.