Face unlock was added in Android 4.0, but it was little more than a clever tech demo. It was a pain to use for many reasons, not least of all it actually took longer to unlock the device than a regular lock screen. Along with trusted devices, Android 5.0's smart lock functionality includes trusted face mode. It fixes face unlock, and fixes it good. It's seriously amazing.
Google showed off the trusted device unlock support back at Google I/O, but the feature didn't make it into the last dev preview. Well, it's there now and it works as advertised. Just pair your favorite wearable or Bluetooth gizmo, and the secure lock screen goes away. Lose connection, and it's back.
We've known Google was looking to bring Chrome into the app switcher since we learned some details of "Project Hera" earlier this year (and confirmed at I/O). The framework for making that happen appeared in Chrome beta in September, but now it finally works in the new developer preview.
When you open Chrome Beta on Android 5.0, you will get the above splash screen telling you where to find all your tabs. Read More
Not all of the changes to Android 5.0 Lollipop are meant to be seen by regular users, but that doesn't make them any less important. One of the core components of the operating system is about to break free from the shackles of firmware updates and join the Play Store and Google Play services in receiving automatic updates directly from Google. Read More
If you've spent any time in Google's ecosystem of hardware and software, you're no stranger to impatiently waiting to receive a firmware update. Hey, we've all been there. While we know the ADT-1 is set to receive an OTA to Android 5.0, it seems Google is still holding back a full rollout despite the very small number of units in circulation. If you don't feel like waiting for your number to come up, it's possible to sideload the update manually onto your ADT-1 and take advantage of everything it has to offer. Read More
If you're an owner of an LTE Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition on T-Mobile (SM-P607T), today could be your lucky day. If you head on over to your tablet's settings and check for an update, you may just have a surprise waiting for you. According to Samsung, a new Android 4.4.4 update is available. This update is significant, not just for its Android version bump, but also because it means that an LTE variant of this tablet is getting said bump before its WiFi-only counterpart. Read More
With every new Android version, we get a long list of useful new features and a few, well, quirky ones. Nevertheless, we're here to dissect every aspect of Lollipop and that includes this fun new feature of the Clock app. Short story: the app's background now switches gradually throughout the day to mirror the time. Just in case, you know, looking out the window or reading the actual time isn't clue enough as to what it feels like, outside. Read More
Android has offered up the option for multiple users to share one device since the days of Jelly Bean (no, not that version, this one), but if you wanted a couple of people to use a phone, you were out of luck. For several releases now, the feature has been tablet-only. With Lollipop, multi-user support is coming to phones.
After looking past the new feel of things, the core functionality is largely the same. Read More