Can you feel it? It's in the air. Of course I'm referring to the impending arrival of Android 5.0 on Nexus devices. It's starting now with a full jump to Lollipop for devices that are currently on KitKat, and a small bug fix update for new devices like the Nexus 9.
If you've got a Moto X 2014 Pure Edition or a Moto G 2014, then you stopped reading this story at the headline and you're furiously tapping the "System updates" option in your Settings menu. For those of you who are still with us: those phones are getting an official over-the-air update to Android 5.0 today. Motorola announced the updates on its official blog. This comes shortly after soak tests (closed betas) for the update on both phones.
Reviewing a Nexus phone is always a daunting task. It’s one of the most important devices of the year for much of the Android community, and it represents - in theory - the very best of what Google has to offer on phones for the respective update period.
I’ll start by saying the Nexus 6 is a great phone, albeit huge. It’s also different from previous Nexus phones in a number of key ways, which I’ll try to cover as faithfully as possible in this review.
A new Google app that allows you to text your friends? Wait, is this replacing Hangouts? Wait, why? Yes, no, and because, to answer those queries, respectively. Google Messenger is now out on the Play Store, having been officially confirmed to exist by Google last month.
This new app is the stock SMS/MMS handler in Android 5.0, but also can be downloaded to other devices with SMS/MMS capabilities, provided they run Android 4.1 or higher.
Here's something most of us probably weren't aware of. Since Unicode 6.0, Emoji flags have each been given a two-letter regional indicator listed in ISO_3166-1. Until now, only ten of these flags actually showed up as images on Android. This remains the case on other platforms, such as iOS, Windows, and Mac OS X. Instead of an image, you see the two characters associated with each country. You can test this out for yourself by going over to Emojipedia and seeing which flags load (the ten standard ones are placed separately at the top).
It's really only been a few months since Android Wear officially launched, but already it feels like we've been waiting ages for certain features. The wait, it appears, is almost over. In the second part of Phandroid's Android Wear leak, we get a look at what's coming in the Android 5.0 build for Wear, and it's basically addressing everything we've been complaining about.
Sometimes late nights lead to interesting tips finding their way into our inbox. Tonight was just such a night. If you've been waiting to get a taste of Lollipop on your Nexus 7 2012, you're in luck. We just happen to have signed factory images for Google's original 7" tablet. The build is LRX21P, which lines up with builds we've seen on the Nexus 9 and Nexus Player (LRX21L and LRX21M respectively).
Less than a week ago, we received word that Motorola had already started its soak test for an over-the-air update bringing Lollipop to the Moto X 2014 Pure Edition. With this news, there's a good chance the phone will get Android 5.0 before Nexus devices (not counting the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, which ship with the software). Now a tipster has come to us saying that the company has begun a test for this year's Moto G as well.