We don't have news about whether a Nexus phone exists, but we do have information related to HTC's Volantis (or Flounder), an 8.9" Nexus tablet. The information provided to us indicates possible specs, features, and pricing, as well as an early look at the form factor, though the images we have don't appear to be final renderings of the device.
There have been rumors recently that LG's G Watch might be the focus of Google I/O's Android Wear discussion, with the nascent device possibly being handed out to attendees. Whether Moto's watch, the Moto 360, would make an appearance has remained unclear. Until today though, those were the only two Android Wear devices even rumored for I/O cameos.
Cnet has reported, however, that Samsung will (according to sources) be throwing its hat into the Android Wear ring at I/O as well, debuting an Android Wear smartwatch of its own.
An unexpected treat came zooming out of Google HQ today as Android 4.4.4 OTAs and factory images have started rolling out for Nexus devices. The updates have already been posted to AOSP and Al Sutton quickly followed up with a list of the changes. Since 4.4.3 is only 2 weeks old, and I/O is merely a week away, we had a feeling this was just a security update, and it looks like that's all it is.
Both PCWorld and Bloomberg are reporting today that Google is on the record as saying the next version of Android will contain an anti-theft "kill switch," or as Google calls it, a "factory reset protection solution." Smartphones are among the most commonly stolen possessions in the world today, presumably because of their small size and high value. With increasing pressure from governments to incorporate built-in countermeasures to deter theft by rendering a user's smartphone inoperable in the event it is lost or stolen, expanding the existing Android Device Manager's features to include a reset-proof lockout only makes sense.
Nexus owners are about to get a surprise OTA update, but it's not Android 5.0 Lemon Drop Sunshine. It's another build of KitKat, specifically 4.4.4 with build number KTU84P (branch kitkat-mr2.1-release). Sprint has posted the Nexus 5 changelog on its community forums, and it's apparently a security fix.
It looks like Google is putting the last nail in Dalvik's coffin, and the new Android Runtime (ART) is about to take the throne. A pair of commits turned up last night in the master branch of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) repository that spell certain doom for the Android runtime we've known
and loved for all these years. The first of the two changes completely wipes the /libdvm (Dalvik Virtual Machine) folder from AOSP, and the second takes care of changing all of the relevant configuration files and startup scripts to call on the ART runtime.
A day after beginning its rollout of an over-the-air software update for the Galaxy S5 that brings Wi-Fi calling to the device, Sprint is pushing out updates to two other Galaxy devices. The S4 Mini and Mega are both due to receive Android 4.4.2 starting today. The Mini's version number is L520VPUBNE3, and the update comes on the same day as the Verizon variant's. Meanwhile, the Mega is getting treated to L600VPUANE4.
If you're rocking the Verizon version of Samsung's Galaxy S4 Mini, check your notification bar: you may have an over-the-air update waiting for you. According to this Verizon support document, the KitKat update is heading out for the Big Red model of the S4 Mini. KOT49H.I435VRUBND5 upgrades the phone to Android 4.4.2, throwing in Samsung's minor additions to TouchWiz as well. The update also has a smattering of adjusted apps and bug fixes.
Jeff Bezos took to the stage earlier today to announce Amazon's first entrant into the highly competitive smartphone industry, the Fire Phone. Not only was the presentation loaded with some of the shiny new features of the handset and Fire OS, all meant for the press to disseminate to potential buyers, but there were also a few unusually blunt efforts to attract developers. In the midst of demonstrating Firefly and Dynamic Perspective, portions of the presentation were focused on explaining that developers would be able to extend these platform features in their own apps.