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.
Yes, you read that right. We took an early look at it a couple of weeks ago, then Google formally announced its existence, and now Google Calendar 5.0 is here and ready for download, working on devices running Android 4.0.3 and up.
The app itself is exactly what you'd expect having seen our previous coverage - a super smart "schedule" layout at the front, with supporting day and 5-day views on phones, with a month and week view appearing on tablets.
Software updates tend to take time, at least if you look at the historical average. A few OEMs have been pushing the envelope recently, though. For example, NVIDIA is saying that Android 5.0 will be on the Shield tablet this very month.
It looks like Google isn't wasting any time laying down a support infrastructure for its new set-top box push. Just one day after the shiny new Nexus Player officially went on sale, the YouTube app for Android TV has been published in the Play Store to enable easy updates without a firmware upgrade. If you happen to be one of the few people with an ADT-1 developer unit from Google I/O or you got lucky with an early delivery of the Nexus Player, you should see the update automatically.
Over the next few weeks you're going to a see a lot of mainstream apps get quick (and possibly dirty) updates when the new Lollipop devices and software builds break some of their functionality. (No, we don't have any links to images yet.) Some of the first are HBO's streaming app HBO GO, and the same app for its sister network Cinemax, MAX GO. Both apps have been updated today to include "support for Android Lollipop."
The update text also says that the apps have added "higher resolution playback." That's all.
In the world of offline reading services, few come close to the style and ease of use you get with Pocket. This app has stayed consistently at the forefront of Android design, and now it's getting an update to v5.7 with a new Lollipop vibe. You might not have the update yet, but it's rolling out.
No release of Android feels complete until it's sitting in AOSP. The time has come and Google is now uploading Lollipop to the Android Open Source Project. That's every line of code, every resource, and every config file – the result of a year of work by Google's crack team of developers. Given the likely size of this release and everything we've seen in the past, this code dump could take several hours to complete.
While Google did skip October, platform version numbers are back, this time for November. Back in September we saw KitKat's gains continuing, and this month seems little different - in the two months since September, KitKat added another 5.7%, or about 2.8% per month. This is a slightly decline in pace, to be sure. In September, KitKat added 3.6% in a one-month timespan, so 7.2%+ would have been needed to maintain that pace.
In a rather exciting post to its Google Design Google+ page today, Google announced a big set of improvements to the material design guidelines. The design spec, which - since this summer - has been a "preview," has been updated with links to relevant Android developer documentation, a new section called "What is Material?" a "What's new" section (to stay up to date on any changes), and a couple of other exciting changes.