Now that most of the critical issues have been worked out of Android 5.0 Lollipop, most of the releases are going to center around cleaning up less pressing oversights and taking care of bugs. However, it seems that we're still not quite through with the device-specific fixes as an update is now rolling out to the 2012 Nexus 7 (Wi-Fi), codenamed Grouper. No official changelog has been posted, but Al Sutton has compiled a list from the AOSP commits, giving us a pretty good insight into what's new.
Unified Remote is a remarkably powerful app for remotely controlling the functions of your PC. (Not your TV, unless you have an IR port.) The last beta release of the app, which used the frustrating Google Groups testing system, implemented remote control support via an Android Wear app. Now you can get that Wear support in the standard Play Store version, no beta opt-in necessary. You'll need the full version, a $4 add-on, to access the Wear app.
The next minor release of Android is going out just a couple of weeks after 5.0.1. But don't head to your Settings menu just yet: it looks like this one is just for the 2012 version of the Nexus 7, at least at the moment. Because the N7 2012 (Wi-Fi version) has yet to receive Android 5.0.1, this could be a rare model-specific release. Right now the new build has been published as code in the Android Open Source project and a system image is also available.
According to Wayne Piekarski, senior developer advocate for Android, Wear, and Glass, the rollout of OTA updates to Android Wear 5.0 is complete now, meaning all users should have - by this point - had the opportunity to download and install the update if their watch is paired with a phone.
We've now seen the entire first generation of Android Wear watches, many of which have their own angle—a reason for being, if you will. The Sony SmartWatch 3 is great for outdoors, the Moto 360 is pretty and round, the G Watch R is rounder, and the original G Watch is cheap (sometimes). The Asus ZenWatch is the last device to hit the market, but just like the others, it now has the Android Wear 5.0.1 update.
I'm no Android developer, but I figure if I wanted to get started, I'd check out some videos and pick up a couple of books. That leads to the obvious question: where are these things? Packt, a publisher of both eBooks and good old-fashioned print ones, is currently offering its full catalog of development-oriented works for $5 each (in digital format only). It's also offering a few videos at the same price.
DualBoot Games, the makers of the Live Wallpapers that our team had taken a shine to back in 2012-2013, have been in a deep slumber for many moons. But they have just risen up (the forced metaphors will make sense in a bit, trust me) and released, of all things, an Android Wear watch face: Celestial 3D.
Celestial builds on DualBoot Games' animations and design capabilities to create one of most impressive and intricate watch faces I have seen on Wear so far.
Android TV is still in its infancy, but now Google has a way to tweak the UI easily without a system update. The Android TV launcher is now in the Play Store, and it apparently comes with some bug fixes.
Although I'm not a to-do list kind of person, I have had to change my habits ever since I became a small business owner and had to manage multiple orders, payments, and responsibilities throughout the day. Todoist became my de-facto solution for various reasons that aren't the goal of this post, but the one aspect of the app that kept nagging me a bit was the lack of Android Wear integration.
Sure, I could use the mirrored rich notification to mark a task as completed, but that was the extent of the watch support.
Sony hasn't always been the best at updating its phones, but the company does have a commitment to AOSP unlike most others. It contributes a lot of code to Android, and developers are encouraged to tinker with unlocked devices. In fact, Sony has just announced support for AOSP on the Xperia E3 and Xperia T3, meaning all Qualcomm-based phones from 2014 can run pure Android with very little hassle.