Personally, I'm usually not a secure lock screen user. Very rare is the occasion that my phone is out of my sight, so I usually just breeze right past the lock screen. But after a tip from a reader, I'm giving the lock screen a second look on Android 5.1. For users who rely on a pattern-based lock, Android 5.1 has yet another delightful detail - a new animation after a successful unlock. Now, the pattern dots float up more elegantly, gently rolling into the transition that delivers the home screen. The dots have animated in gracefully since 5.0, so it's nice to see their out animation catch up. Read More
If you own a reasonably modern car (say, within two or three years old), there's a significant chance that car has some kind of cellular connectivity embedded in it, and this allows the car to do stuff remotely. Like, start. Or unlock the doors. Or lock them. Or honk the horn. These things have names... like mbrace (Mercedes), AcuraLink, Enform (Lexus), OnStar (GM), MyLincoln, and so on.
Hyundai's version, BlueLink, isn't the most fully-featured of the bunch, to be honest. But, as one of the first and arguably most enthusiastic Android Auto partners, Hyundai's shown an interest in Android that few automakers have, as evidenced by the fact that BlueLink now has an app for Android Wear. Read More
What's this? A current-generation AT&T phone and its year-old sibling getting updated on the same day? We have an embarrassment of riches, folks. Just a few hours after the Lollipop over-the-air update for the Galaxy Note 4 started on Ma Bell, the Galaxy Note 3 (from 2013) is getting the same treatment. AT&T's support page says that this is Android 5.0, build number N900AUCUEOC1.
As AT&T does with all their updates, the OTA will only start on Wi-Fi (and not that mobile connection that you're paying them to provide). The OTA file is a massive 1.2 gigabytes, and whatever server AT&T uses for these things probably has some tiny Flintstones dinosaur manually pushing data packets down a CAT-5 cable. Read More
The Galaxy Tab S 10.5 is one of the best all-around tablets on the market right now, if you don't mind a steep asking price and Samsung's rather heavy-handed software. The tablet launched with Android KitKat, but now it's getting an update to Android 5.0.2! ...just in time for owners to be miffed that they're not getting the bleeding-edge 5.1 release. Oh well, if wishes were horses we'd all be eating steak.
Android Police reader David Tarling sent us the above screenshot showing the rollout to his Wi-Fi Tab S 10.5 in the United States. SamMobile's ever-increasing repository of Samsung firmware is also hosting builds for the US Wi-Fi version (under "Cellular south," for some reason, but the download page is labeled for Wi-Fi), the Canadian Wi-Fi version, and the French Wi-Fi version. Read More
When Google introduced Android 5.0 with material design back at IO14, one part of the new design methodology that received a lot of attention was animation. Implementing cohesive, sensible, predictable animations is a big part of Google's new design push, but - as the guidelines point out - "delightful details" are just as important.
In Android 5.1, Google has turned the "dismiss all" button in the notification shade into one such detail. The icon has been flipped around to accommodate a new animation. When the user touches the icon to dismiss all notifications, it smoothly animates out, mimicking the motion of the notifications above it. Read More
If you thought we had run out of details to talk about in Android's latest Lollipop iteration, think again. We'll go into 5.1 in gory detail for Getting to Know Android but in the meantime there are still a couple of little details worth pointing out individually. One of those is a tweak to fast scroll bars.
Fast scroll bars are typically used in lists of alphabetically-organized content, where users might want to quickly scroll to a particular entry or section. In 5.0, the fast scroll bar was an oblong shape sitting on a tiny little wire of a scroll track, but it served its purpose. Read More
The Android 5.1 update for the 2014 Moto X is just starting to roll out to the Pure Edition device, and it adds all the things you're now familiar with from other devices. One new feature exclusive to the Moto X is a handy addition to Moto Actions. You can now turn the flashlight on and off with a "chop twice" gesture.
Motorola got Android 5.0 out the door to the 2014 Moto X Pure Edition within a few weeks of Nexus devices, and now the company is already testing Android 5.1. This is just a soak test, but the changelog has been posted on Motorola's customer support portal. They might take it down, but we've got all the details.
Google is currently rolling out a new smart lock mode called on-body detection. The feature, described in the screens below, uses your accelerometer to figure out when your device is in your hand or pocket, and lock when it's not. The idea being if you leave your phone sitting on a table or forget it somewhere, it will lock, preventing would-be thieves from easily accessing your data.
Once you unlock your phone, it will stay unlocked while you're holding it or it's in your pocket. Once you set it down, it will lock again. Picking it back up requires you to manually unlock it (assuming you're not using another trusted authenticator factor). Read More