Android Wear 5.0 is finally out on all devices, and that means developers are playing a little catch-up. Not only are there new system features to take advantage of, we finally have full support for custom watch faces. Many of the previously released ones have been updated for Android 5.0, but we're focusing here mostly on newly added apps and watch faces.
A lot of the new Android Wear watch faces are cool, and a surprising number of them are free. Read More
Raise your hand if you like carrier apps added to your phone. Anyone. Go ahead, don't be shy. Well if you don't, here's a great example of why companies like AT&T should leave the software alone. An over-the-air update to 4.4.4 for the carrier-customized version of the Galaxy Note 3 was sent out on November 28th, then unceremoniously pulled. A previous message on the support page explained why:
Update: The software update for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (SMN900A) is temporarily on hold, effective November 28, 2014.
Reddit user Ponkers posted an interesting find to /r/Android today, pointing out a significant privacy hole in Skype that essentially allows users to force an Android device to answer a call, making eavesdropping nearly effortless.
Ponkers drew a diagram below, which I feel compelled to include based on its artistic merits, but here's the gist of how the process works.
Assume you have three devices, device 1, device 2, and device 3. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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.
Piekarski reminds watch face makers that time is ticking to migrate their faces to the official Watch Face API. Google says watch faces not using the official API will have support dropped after January 31, 2015. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More