This is decidedly not the heart-fluttering OMaGad-I-must-have-it-now-or-else feature of Android 5.1, but it's worth noting nonetheless. Remember on Android 5.0 when you headed for the About > Status screen of your phone or tablet and were greeted by a long list of information fields that you had to scroll through and try to figure out the logic behind? No? Maybe? Oh... you have already erased all previous recollections of Android 5.0. I see. Here, let me refresh your memory. Read More
No sooner had Google announced the Android 5.1 update, that the factory images for the new version started popping up for some Nexus devices. Notably absent, however, was Google's latest and greatest — the Nexus 6. If you're using this phone and you are impatient about getting the software update, you should be happy to know that the wait is almost over, hopefully.
On its support pages for the Nexus 6, Sprint says that the Android 5.1 software update with build number LMY47D will be available today, March 11th 2015. Read More
Google's WebView app debuted in the Play Store a few weeks ago, but that was just a beta. Now the listing has opened up to the general public. It's still Lollipop only, but now those running Android 5.0 and higher will get the latest patches and tweaks to the system WebView automatically.
Android 5.0 introduced recurring downtime as part of the new notification control scheme, and Android 5.1 brings an important enhancement to this system. You can now choose whether you want programmed downtime to trigger priority mode or block all notifications. It's all right there in the downtime settings, which you still have to dig for.
Left: 5.0, Middle and right: 5.1 Read More
One of the more interesting behind-the-scenes additions in Android 5.1 is a new carrier provisioning API that provides functionality which likely benefits carriers and customers alike. Any time you join a carrier, you get services along with your account, whether it's Play Store billing, visual voicemail, premium subscription services billed to your account, or any number of other things. For as long as Android has existed, the methods used to provision these services on a customer's account have varied widely from carrier to carrier, and there was no standard way of doing it. Read More
Android 5.1 made some major changes to the way recent apps are handled in Android. You can include Chrome tabs in the recent app list, and apps that are called up from another activity get their own card to keep things more consistent. However, Google also decided to never clear the list of recent app cards. It just goes on and on and on... it's kind of annoying. "Recently" from Chainfire fixes that, but you need root. Read More
Google is progressively rolling out the full array of releases for Android 5.1, and the SDK is now joining the ranks. If developers open up the SDK Manager today, they will find a brand new software development kit for API 22. The SDK package is there, along with the typical documentation, samples, source code, and an assortment of system images for each of the major hardware architectures. All is ready to start updating apps to take advantage of everything Android 5.1 has to offer. Read More
Android 5.1 seemed like a very minor update when it was announced, but there are actually a lot of cool little changes throughout the OS. For example, you can now (finally!) change the system volume while you have audio playing. Google added a new button to make this happen.
Left: 5.0 volume, Middle: 5.1 with volume button, Right: 5.1 changing system volume Read More
Back in October, we posted a quick look at some of Google's very early plans for multi-window functionality on Android Lollipop, a feature that had apparently been in the works since at least KitKat. The system, in a nut shell, would allow users to have two apps open at a time, scaling the apps to take up more or less space on the screen, and interact with the overview or Google Search, passing text or other data back and forth.
Today, a reader pointed out an interesting Android commit that makes mention of the feature (about which we've heard nothing official). The commit in question, made January 27th 2015, mentions "multiwindows" briefly, implying that it's a feature destined for some unspecified future release. Read More