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.
The Moto 360 was supposed to be the one. The watch that would rule all other watches with their pitiful square screens and plastic housings. I was excited for the Moto 360, but I couldn't help thinking the hype was out of control. We were expecting too much, and indeed, when I reviewed the Moto 360, the verdict was okay, but not amazing. At the time it was the best Android Wear watch, but that was due largely to the aesthetics.
Big tech companies are hesitant to admit when a competing platform offers something that they don't. But the folks at Pebble are more than ready to take advantage of the functionality introduced by Android Wear. The team has pushed out a beta that lets the Pebble not only interact with notifications, but respond to them in a manner akin to an Android Wear watch.
Instead of swiping from the right repetitively to access various options (as you would with Android Wear), Pebble lets you access different options using the three physical buttons available on the side of the watch.
One of the new features we were promised to see in Android Wear 5.0.1 is the ability to retrieve a dismissed notification. Prior to this version, if you received a message, an app notification, or had any other card type appear on your watch, swiping it to the right would dismiss it with no option to get it back. Whether you swiped by mistake, or you did it and then remembered that you forgot to check or act on something in the notification, you ended up having to fish your phone and manage things there.
LG was fast to toot its own horn after being the first OEM to (sort of) push out a Lollipop update. That original OTA only went out to Poland, but now users of the international D855 model are getting their updates all across Europe.
It was a little behind the 2014 Nexus devices, but the venerable Nexus 5 is getting its update to Android 5.0.1 today. Along with that, there's a full factory image so you can flash your beloved 5-inch Nexus back to stock. Joy.