Sony's back to its AOSP tricks, working to release some functional (if not exactly ideal) versions of the latest release of Android based on open-source code. This time they've quickly put together Android Open Source Project builds for the flagships of the last two years: the Xperia Z1, Z2, and Z3. You can see the bone-stock builds running in the video below.
As always with Sony's developer promotions, these builds aren't intended for end users - they aren't provided with any kind of promise for reliability or functionality.
Have you felt the draw to get into app development, but didn't really know how to get started? Google wants to make things a little easier with a brand new guidebook that's meant to get developers on the right path. The Secrets to App Success on Google Play is an 81-page eBook that outlines the process and best practices for developing and submitting your software to the Play Store, and hopefully make some money on it.
Android Wear still has some growing to do, but the G Watch R might be the watch to get while that happens. It has a round OLED display, good construction, and great battery life. It is also not completely unattractive, and now it can be yours. Google is selling the G Watch R for $299.99.
You might recall that Android 4.4 added support for native screen recording, but it was a very developer-oriented tool that required you to plug the device into a computer and use ADB to control the capture. Some root-only apps came about that made use of that system sans USB cable, but Android 5.0 adds an API for screen recording that doesn't require root. We're still in the early days, but it looks like there's one less reason to root now.
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.
This one's for you developer-types. Google has just pushed the Android 5.0 kernel sources for the Nexus 9 and Nexus Player. Head over to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and poke around at your leisure. For non developers: a thing happened that is good, but it's not something you personally need to worry your pretty little head over.
Google's developers are notorious for including little jokes and easter eggs throughout all of their products. When your job consists of writing thousands of lines of code and testing obscure bugs, you're going to lose your mind without some kind of outlet. We usually see their sense of humor show up in Google Doodles, easter eggs, and even in the occasional bug report.
This time we're diving straight into the Android SDK to check out a function called isUserAGoat.
Android 5.0 is a new age for rooting on Android. Google's latest security enhancements require more hackery to circumvent and the Nexus 9's 64-bit software complicates matters even further. Still, after just a few hours, Chainfire has updated SuperSU to work on the Nexus 9, but there are a few extra steps.
Update: Apparently Google is doing something different with the Nexus 9's binary release: there isn't one. According to Bill Yi, a regular Google poster, the necessary proprietary drivers are actually included on a separate partition of the Volantis software image. That would explain why the LRX21L release is almost twice as big as the last KitKat images for previous devices.
Proprietary Binaries are also available for Fugu. No proprietary binaries are needed for Volantis.
Over the last few years, few topics have been more hotly contested by Android users and developers than how SD cards are handled by the OS. Back in February, I discussed some of Google's changes during the transition from Android 2.3 to 4.0, and then how more recent policy changes ultimately led to 3rd-party applications losing most of their access to removable storage. By the time I/O came around, Google acknowledged that KitKat's newly added Storage Access Framework still didn't offer enough range for apps to get their work done.