Remember last night, when we were excited about the Galaxy S5 getting its Android 5.0 update already, at least in Poland? That was nice. Let's try to hang on to that warm, comforting feeling while we face this cold fact: a combination of lowered expectations for non-flagship devices and good old US carrier apathy means many Android owners won't be so lucky. For example, the Galaxy S4 Zoom on AT&T is just now getting its update to Android 4.4, more than a year after the release of both KitKat and the phone itself. Read More
If the mention of "Poland only" in the title didn't deter you, you'd probably like to know that, hot on the heels of the LG G3's Poland-only Lollipop update, Samsung has decided to begin its Lollipop update for the Galaxy S5 in that country as well. As for what's new, you obviously get all the new goodies that Google has included in the OS, as well as some fairly substantial visual changes to the look and feel of Touchwiz, including a material redesign of some core Samsung apps. Read More
Something I loved after signing up with Simple Bank was that the app offered super quick account access - once you signed in with a pass phrase, you needed only to enter a PIN to get to your account. It seems that Chase has (at last) found a way to provide at least a quick glimpse into your account.
While it doesn't provide full account access, Chase's latest update does give users the option to opt in to a pre-login account summary, where a simple gesture will give an overview of your account, without needing to enter your password and wait for the login to compete. Read More
Smartphones are great—except when they don't work right. Google aims to make sure that doesn't happen as often with the new Device Assist app for Nexus, GPE, and Android One devices running Lollipop. Just open the app and it can (maybe) tell you what's wrong.
There have been whispers about an impending update to Android 5.0.1 for a little while now, and it looks like Google has begun pushing the new release to AOSP now.
The build being pushed right now is LRX22C. We've heard that Android 5.0.1 will also be coming to Android Wear, a possibility corroborated by Derek Ross, who points out dramatically improved battery life for Google's wearables. The update is also supposed to fix a variety of issues with the initial 5.0 builds, but in the absence of factory images or OTAs (for now), all we can do is wait for the push to complete and look around for any goodies. Read More
Google has just updated the language of the support page where software update policies for Nexus and GPE devices are summarized, and the new text is not exactly encouraging on first read. The following clause, regarding carriers, was added:
Based on your carrier, it may take longer than two weeks after release to get an update.
We do not know if this is merely a safety net to avoid the ire of customers in the case of things like the Nexus 7 2013 LTE and the whole Verizon debacle, or if this is actually a forward-looking change in policy that could affect new devices like the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 LTE. Read More
One of the nicest little surprises lurking in Android 5.0 is the support for native on-device screen recording. The ADB screen recorder was added in KitKat, but now we can finally do it without a cable. Apps are still being updated with support, but AZ Screen Recorder is a new listing that seems to hit all the high points, and it's free.
The one Nexus-style smartphone that's even bigger than the N6 is getting its Android 5.0 update today. At least a few owners of Sony's Z Ultra (nee Xperia) Google Play Edition are getting over-the-air updates to Lollipop, as evidenced by this XDA thread. Conveniently, one of those fine folks has found the link to OTA ZIP file, so you can download and flash it manually to your own phone if you don't want to wait for the rollout. Read More
The numbers are in - the Android version distribution numbers, that is. This month's update shows no surprising change in trends, with KitKat adoption growing 3.7% over last month. Jelly Bean continues its net decline, this month losing 2.2% of the pie.
Ice Cream Sandwich fell 0.7%, as did Gingerbread, and Froyo is down another 0.1%. Lollipop isn't featured in the chart, as it does not yet have the requisite 0.1% to be shown. Read More
Android has gone through quite a few changes during its short 6 years of life. The Android that drives most of the world's smartphones of today would be almost unrecognizable to what was launched in late 2008. We've seen massive visual changes, expansion to almost every conceivable form factor, and a completely fleshed-out content ecosystem for multimedia and apps. As the operating system matured, some elements have successfully grown with it, and others have become dead weight. Read More