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Getting To Know Android: Lollipop Edition

Android 5.0 Lollipop (known previously as just L) was the biggest change to Android since Ice Cream Sandwich. Frankly, I’d rank it as the biggest change to Android ever, for a variety of reasons.

Google has ostensibly searched every corner of Android for opportunities to tweak, improve, or completely reimagine the platform, and Lollipop is the result.

The most noticeable change was undoubtedly the addition of material design, the very first time Google has openly, publicly taken on a cohesive and thoughtful design philosophy, making it - in theory - accessible to everyone, and defining its rules clearly. Material design, which I've written about before, is a huge design shift, which can trace its roots all the way back to Matias Duarte's work on Palm's WebOS.

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CBS Updates Its Sports App With Android TV Support, Forgets To Make It Compatible With Any Android TV Hardware

The official CBS Sports app has been updated to work with Android TV devices. What, you want more? That's all there is to this story. OK, it's also been updated with non-specific improvements for the upcoming Masters golf tournament, plus a few bug fixes. Um... it's now on version 8.2.2. And here's a screenshot from my phone, because I don't have an Android TV box yet and CBS didn't include a shot of the TV interface anywhere.

2015-04-04 16.50.39

Just imagine this, but 50 inches bigger.

On second thought, there might be a reason for that. The app is incompatible with the original ADT-1 Android TV developer device.

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Android Studio 1.2 Reaches Beta, Adds Built-In Decompiler, Inline Debugger Variables, Smarter Formatting, And So Much More

When Android Studio v1.1 entered the Stable channel, about 6 weeks ago, the Dev Tools team gave word that v1.2 was already well underway and that it would be based on the newly released IntelliJ 14. A couple of weeks later, the first preview build turned up, and it had already been upgraded to include IntelliJ 14.1, as well. Developers on the Canary channel have been testing and playing with the new features since early March, and now it's time to bring the goods to a larger audience. Android Studio v1.2 has just been released to the Beta channel with a mindboggling list of improvements.

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[Update: OTA Rollout Paused] T-Mobile's LG G3 Finally Gets Lollipop, But Not Via OTA Yet

It has been a few weeks since Lollipop rolled out to the LG G3 on AT&T and Sprint, but T-Mobile users have been left in the lurch. The update is finally available, but it's not available as an OTA just yet. If you want Android 5.0.1 right now, you need to install LG's (awful) update software on your computer.

2015-04-02 09.46.01

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Verizon's Galaxy Note 4 Is Getting Its Lollipop Update Today

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Android 5.1.1 Spotted In SDK Manager, Suggests New Lollipop Update Is Right Around The Corner

It should come as no surprise that Android is due for a v5.1.1 release at some point, even if only to fix a particularly well-known memory leak. Now, thanks to an SDK update, we've got good reason to anticipate the new version is probably due out in the very near future. If developers check the SDK Manager for updates, they should see a new revision to the Platform SDK with a product description that reads "Android SDK Platform 5.1.1."

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 8.40.38 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 10.10.57 AM

Now that the 5.1.1 version number is out there, it stands to reason Google has finalized the code and is either running some final tests or preparing for a release.

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Viber Updated To v5.3 With Android Wear Support, Chat Administrator Options, And More

Viber is one of numerous services that offer free messaging and calls using your phone's data connection. It's got a few hundred million downloads (no big deal, right?), and at least some of those people will be happy to hear there's Android Wear support now. Oh, and some other stuff.

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[Update] AT&T's HTC One M7 IS Getting Its Lollipop Update Today

HTC's US VP of Product, Mo Versi had some good news for owners of the One M7 on AT&T yesterday evening. After months of waiting, the Lollipop OTA is starting this very day. "Tomorrow" in the tweet below refers to today, March 31st.

HTC originally hoped to have all its One devices updated a few months ago, but that deadline came and went before it could push Lollipop ROMs through the carrier maelstrom.

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Sony Announces Worldwide Android Lollipop Rollout For The Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, And Xperia Z3 Tablet

Xperia owners, watch out. Lollipops are raining from the sky and smashing straight into your screens. If you welcome this phenomenon, don't do anything. These lollipops have heat-seeking sensors and will find your devices wherever they lay. If you prefer KitKat, you can swat the intruders away, but you'll never get to experience the future changes in store for your Android device.

Sony has confirmed that it is launching lollipops at Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, and Z3 Tablet Compact devices all over the world (some of these updates were previously pushed out to smaller, test markets). The manufacturer plans to open fire on the Z2 and Z2 Tablet starting next week.

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LG G2 On Verizon Wireless Receives OTA Update With Android Lollipop

The benefit of buying a flagship, aside from solid specs, is the likelihood of continuing to receive updates after the predecessor has launched. Carriers and manufacturers generally try to keep you current just long enough to make it through a two-year contract without complaining. So now we're seeing the year and a half old LG G2 on Verizon Wireless updated to Android 5.0.

LG-G2-Lollipop-Verizon

Software version VS98039A brings in those changes that come with Android Lollipop, which we've covered in great detail. Many of these tweaks look different when combined with LG's alterations, but everything still remains pretty flat and colorful.

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