This one's for you developer-types. Google has just pushed the Android 5.0 kernel sources for the Nexus 9 and Nexus Player. Head over to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) and poke around at your leisure. For non developers: a thing happened that is good, but it's not something you personally need to worry your pretty little head over.
Google's developers are notorious for including little jokes and easter eggs throughout all of their products. When your job consists of writing thousands of lines of code and testing obscure bugs, you're going to lose your mind without some kind of outlet. We usually see their sense of humor show up in Google Doodles, easter eggs, and even in the occasional bug report.
This time we're diving straight into the Android SDK to check out a function called isUserAGoat. This is for real, people. And as a few Android developers could tell you, it's actually been there since Android 4.2 (API 17).
Android 5.0 is a new age for rooting on Android. Google's latest security enhancements require more hackery to circumvent and the Nexus 9's 64-bit software complicates matters even further. Still, after just a few hours, Chainfire has updated SuperSU to work on the Nexus 9, but there are a few extra steps.
Update: Apparently Google is doing something different with the Nexus 9's binary release: there isn't one. According to Bill Yi, a regular Google poster, the necessary proprietary drivers are actually included on a separate partition of the Volantis software image. That would explain why the LRX21L release is almost twice as big as the last KitKat images for previous devices.
Proprietary Binaries are also available for Fugu. No proprietary binaries are needed for Volantis. The proprietary vendor binaries are on a separate 'vendor' partition, which is flashed with the factory image update, should not change for AOSP development builds (only boot, recovery, and system partitions need to be updated).
Over the last few years, few topics have been more hotly contested by Android users and developers than how SD cards are handled by the OS. Back in February, I discussed some of Google's changes during the transition from Android 2.3 to 4.0, and then how more recent policy changes ultimately led to 3rd-party applications losing most of their access to removable storage. By the time I/O came around, Google acknowledged that KitKat's newly added Storage Access Framework still didn't offer enough range for apps to get their work done. With the release of the L Developer Preview, new APIs were added to allow apps to request access to directories owned by other providers.
Yes, you read that right. We took an early look at it a couple of weeks ago, then Google formally announced its existence, and now Google Calendar 5.0 is here and ready for download, working on devices running Android 4.0.3 and up.
The app itself is exactly what you'd expect having seen our previous coverage - a super smart "schedule" layout at the front, with supporting day and 5-day views on phones, with a month and week view appearing on tablets. (Week view also appears on phones in landscape.)
Google's new Calendar app integrates events from Gmail and your reminders, adding them in just like any other appointment, and putting in smart imagery where appropriate - including a map snippet when your event has a location set.
Software updates tend to take time, at least if you look at the historical average. A few OEMs have been pushing the envelope recently, though. For example, NVIDIA is saying that Android 5.0 will be on the Shield tablet this very month.
It looks like Google isn't wasting any time laying down a support infrastructure for its new set-top box push. Just one day after the shiny new Nexus Player officially went on sale, the YouTube app for Android TV has been published in the Play Store to enable easy updates without a firmware upgrade. If you happen to be one of the few people with an ADT-1 developer unit from Google I/O or you got lucky with an early delivery of the Nexus Player, you should see the update automatically.
As far as the actual update is concerned, it doesn't add much: YouTube video recommendations have been added to the homescreen, but based on the screenshots in our own Nexus Player review, they seem to be there already.
Over the next few weeks you're going to a see a lot of mainstream apps get quick (and possibly dirty) updates when the new Lollipop devices and software builds break some of their functionality. (No, we don't have any links to images yet.) Some of the first are HBO's streaming app HBO GO, and the same app for its sister network Cinemax, MAX GO. Both apps have been updated today to include "support for Android Lollipop."
The update text also says that the apps have added "higher resolution playback." That's all. We've done a little testing, and it doesn't look like the streaming video is going any higher than 1080p (and it would be strange for the mobile version to get higher resolution than cable set-top boxes).