Nokia is taking the stage today at Slush 2014, the Eurasian tech incubator event in Helsinki, to announce its N1 tablet with Android 5.0 Lollipop. This is the original Nokia we're talking about here, the one still in Finland, that includes all the divisions that didn't get bought by Microsoft. Part of me wants to scream, "You should have taken this route 4 years ago!" while the other is just too happy to see Nokia standing on its feet and trying something again — while also reviving the Nseries monicker.
Android Wear is based on the idea of cards with all of your data and notification content on them. However, it's still Android and that means developers can play around with that model. Circa is an attempt to make notifications more attractive with a cool animation and configurable colors.
Android 5.0 is a big step up in security with its tweaked implementation of SELinux. Chainfire managed to get root on Lollipop shortly after it was released, of course, but the process has been a little more messy. There are also a fair number of root apps that are broken on Android 5.0. The newest build of SuperSU from Chainfire might fix many of those issues, though.
Smart Lock in Lollipop encompasses both trusted face and trusted devices, but a new option is joining the party—trusted places. The latest Google Play Services for Lollipop devices is adding this option to the menu automagically. Just choose a trusted place, and your phone will remain unlocked when it's in that geographic area.
Whenever Google announces a new version of Android, everyone wants to know when they'll get it. If you're an NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet owner, today is your day for Lollipop. That's pretty incredible, as this update comes just days after Google started sending the 5.0 update to most of its own devices. In fact, ST is the first non-Nexus tablet to land the Lollipop update. It's worth noting that, while the update is ready for both the LTE and Wi-Fi versions of the device, NVIDIA is waiting on carrier approval for the LTE update, so it'll be pushed back just a bit later.
Anybody who owns an ADT-1 has noticed the inexplicable absence of a Play Music app, something that became even more apparent after the Nexus Player began shipping with it. Well, the wait is finally over! An update to the Play Music app began rolling out earlier today, and it includes a banner on the Leanback Launcher for those of us with Google's development hardware. If you've got a Nexus Player, you haven't been left out with this update.
There's a lot of new stuff in Lollipop, so there are bound to be some bugs. One particularly weird bug can be found in the recent app list. Pull up the app switcher and swipe away all your cards. Go back, and there's another random app card. What gives?
Now that Lollipop is out in the wild to be abused in every which way, we're starting to see the bugs pop up. The latest one has to do with that new flashlight toggle in quick settings. If you turn it on and leave it like that until it times out and shuts off, the camera and flashlight will stop working until you reboot. This is confirmed at least on the Nexus 5.
Not all new features are created equal, and this particular change has us kind of scratching our heads wondering why Google would consider it a good idea. In Lollipop, you can now access your quick settings straight from the lockscreen. This way you can toggle Wi-Fi, cellular data, and Bluetooth without unlocking the device, even if it's secured behind a passphrase.
The Lollipop Smart Lock functionality is pretty cool. You can have the phone stay unlocked when it's connected to a trusted Bluetooth device, in range of a certain NFC tag, or when it sees a trusted face (presumably yours). Trusted Face mode in particular is quite cool, but it's not necessarily as secure as a PIN or pattern lock. You can, however, temporarily switch to the secure lock screen with a single tap.