With the holiday season now fully underway, maybe you've decided to treat yourself to a new Android Wear watch. But what do you do with it once you get it on your wrist? You can only respond to so many text messages from your wrist. That's why we've got this roundup thing we do, that way you'll have stuff on your wrist that makes the smartwatch investment worthwhile. Well, maybe kind of worthwhile.
Android 5.0.1 began rolling out to devices and AOSP just a few days ago, and now we've got a changelog from Al Sutton to give us some insight into what has changed. This is the first version bump since the Android 5.0 landed, putting an end to the initial stage of build releases, which are often used to fix hardware specific issues and catastrophic bugs. There are still some fixes for individual devices, but some of the bigger bugs have been squashed, as well.
Here's a handy feature in Chrome's implementation on Lollipop. You know how the browser now lets you optionally merge tabs with apps, so that when you tap the multitasking button to view your carousel of recent apps, each open Chrome tab appears as a standalone card instead of all tabs being lumped together under the Chrome card? Well, while this option is rather handy to jump directly back to, say, the Android Police article you were reading rather than your ex' photos on Facebook, it might create a bit of a logistical hell should you also have some incognito tabs open.
Every power user has a favorite file manager. It doesn't matter how many are installed or why, there is always one that takes the lead position. Of course, as new features become popular, it's not uncommon for people to switch out their favorite app to pull up one that offers whatever they need. The new must-have among file managers is support for writing to the SD card on Android 5.0 Lollipop.
The update everyone has been waiting for is finally here - YouTube has been updated with some material design goodness. The app's makeover is essentially what you'd expect - along with circular avatars (per Google's spec), it features a tall, tabbed toolbar in YouTube's signature vibrant red brand color, a full-height material nav drawer, and a clean white background.
Channels receive special attention, with Lollipop's Palette API pulling colors from the channel art to color the app's toolbar.
Lollipop is slowly, slowly making its way to all of the Nexus and Google Play Edition devices available (yes, N7 LTE owners, we hear you). If you purchased the "pure," AOSP-packing version of either the HTC One M7 from 2013 or the flagship One M8 earlier this year, you should be getting an over-the-air update to Android 5.0 soon. We're seeing tips from owners of both Google Play Edition phones.
Screenshot provided by Kyle Smith
And surprisingly, it looks like both phones are in fact getting Android 5.0.1, the ever-so-slightly newer edition of Lollipop that should fix some of the initial problems discovered after large-scale software releases.
The trusted face component of Lollipop's Smart Lock system is really neat, but it's a little buggy on the Nexus 6. Shortly after launch, users noticed that the front-facing camera wasn't very good at recognizing them. According to the Google Groups thread, Google has fixed the problem in the Android code and an update is on the way.
Remember last night, when we were excited about the Galaxy S5 getting its Android 5.0 update already, at least in Poland? That was nice. Let's try to hang on to that warm, comforting feeling while we face this cold fact: a combination of lowered expectations for non-flagship devices and good old US carrier apathy means many Android owners won't be so lucky. For example, the Galaxy S4 Zoom on AT&T is just now getting its update to Android 4.4, more than a year after the release of both KitKat and the phone itself.
If the mention of "Poland only" in the title didn't deter you, you'd probably like to know that, hot on the heels of the LG G3's Poland-only Lollipop update, Samsung has decided to begin its Lollipop update for the Galaxy S5 in that country as well. As for what's new, you obviously get all the new goodies that Google has included in the OS, as well as some fairly substantial visual changes to the look and feel of Touchwiz, including a material redesign of some core Samsung apps.