This weekend's poll asks a simple question, but it's an interesting one nonetheless, I think: do you prefer your smartwatch round or square?
The Moto 360 and G Watch R remain the only announced Wear devices with round displays. And, despite their coolness, circles have their downsides - they're unabashedly less efficient when displaying text, especially in a computing world that has been designed around quadrilaterals since the earliest monitors; there are so many interfaces that simply aren't optimized for a circle.
Time to break out that old Nexus 7 or Nexus 10—Google has just posted system images based on Android 5.0.2 for both of these devices (razor and mantaray). The most recent version on these tablets before today was 5.0.1, so it's not like they've been waiting on Lollipop this whole time like somedevices (cough razorg cough).
Android developers gain a lot of advantages from working on a platform with a wide variety of libraries, open source projects, and other resources to help get their work to the finish line. Unfortunately, if a problem can’t be solved by checking out the SDK samples or reading a few dozen StackOverflow questions, it can be pretty hard to find good alternatives when they are most needed. Before giving up on the tricky problems, or possibly before attempting them, check out Android-Libs.com – a registry of open source code, libraries, handy websites, utilities, and other tools that may be useful to Android developers of all types.
HTC was quick to announce Lollipop upgrade plans a few months ago, and today those plans begin to come to fruition. The first large-scale HTC rollout of Android 5.0 is starting today with the unlocked and developer edition One M8.
HTC One (M8) Unlock and Dev Owners! We have received TA from Google on Lollipop + Sense 6. OTA will be out starting tonight. #HTCAdvantage
There's still no sign of it in the US, but Samsung has started pushing Lollipop to its current flagship phone in the UK. Users of the Galaxy S5 across the pond (SM-G900F) should be getting OTA notifications very soon, which means plenty of new features and some tweaks to Samsung's TouchWiz UI.
Update, January 11th, 2015: Verizon has issued another update alert for the Galaxy Note 4.4.4. This one also updates the phone to 4.4.4 and includes the same changelog, but for some reason the build number is changed to N900VVRUDNK1. Whether or not there was a problem with the original rollout, we can't say, but it appears to be continuing.
No, it's not Android 5.0. There, we've got that over with.
A messaging service is only useful so long as a certain amount of your contacts use it along with you. So we'll refrain from making jokes at BlackBerry's expense (not a small effort, mind you) or pointing you towards alternatives like Hangouts or WhatsApp. If you use BlackBerry Messenger, and your friends and/or associates do too, pointing out other options isn't going to do much for you. But here's something that will: BBM is getting Android Wear support!
The developer dashboard has been updated, and there's some big movement this month. In the post holiday window, KitKat is up a healthy 5.2% and Gingerbread drops another 1.3%. One thing you won't see on the chart is Lollipop. Android 5.0 still hasn't hit the 0.1% threshold to be included in the data, just like last month.
You most often see MediaTek chips in budget smartphones and tablets, but they could soon be showing up in another place—your watch. The company has announced the MT2601, an ARM system-on-a-chip designed with Android Wear in mind. This isn't one of those "later this year" things either. The MT2601 is already in mass production and ready to go.
Dedicated technology newshounds have already heard that all of Sony's upcoming BRAVIA televisions will feature Android TV powering their integrated electronics. At CES, the biggest show around in terms of home theater (among other things), they've made good on that promise. Don't believe me? Watch these attractive people over-emote and demonstrate a BRAVIA television's Google Cast feature and ability to play games from the Play Store.
Android TV runs these TVs, including the various inputs and live television, in a manner similar to some Roku-branded HDTVs already on the market.