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.
Those of you who dropped some cash on the Nexus Player might want to take a look at your update menu. The OTA for Android 5.1 is rolling out, but even if you don't have it, there's a factory image posted as well.
Yesterday, HTC's Mo Versi, the Vice President of Product Management, caused a few disgruntled sighs from the company's fans and One M7 owners by announcing that the two-year-old device wouldn't get any more major updates, including Android 5.1. That didn't apply to the Google Play Edition version of the M7, which is still set to get 5.1 in April.
But it looks like the replies Mo has received have elicited the company to take another look at the issue and consider changing its stance.
Early this month, Google announced a major update to its Play services framework, which brings the version number up to 7.0 and adds several great new APIs. The SDK for this update was held back until the corresponding apk had time to make its way out to Android devices everywhere. The wait is now over, and the SDK is live. Developers are now free to incorporate all of the new APIs into their apps.
Just before Apple's "Spring Forward" watch event last week, Google released a quick, fun, 17-second spot to promote its own wearable offerings, keeping with Android's new tagline "be together, not the same" by demonstrating that Android Wear watches already come in all sorts of shapes so you can "wear what you want."
Today, Google has released a full minute-long version of the spot, with even more watches and even more dancing. The video uses Shamir's On the Regular as a soundtrack, and features a ton of talented dancers including Dytto, Brian Smith, and dancers from StatusSilver.
On the off chance you've got Android Auto in your vehicle, you might be interested to know there's a developer mode built-in. Even if you don't have Android Auto yet, you might still be vaguely interested in an abstract sort of way. You can access it through the Android app and it only takes a few taps.
Ever since Google began releasing Android 5.1 OTAs last week, there has been a bit of confusion over build numbers. The first build to get released was LMY47D, which went out to international variants as well as US models with Sprint SIM cards. The next build to surface was LMY47E, which appears to be shipping on new devices sold by Verizon, who just launched Google's flagship in stores today. It now seems that T-Mobile USA is getting its own unique build, LYM47M.
Of particularly interesting note here is that LMY47M still uses radio version 01.02.95, which is the same one that appeared with the original LMY47D build.
When your watch and your phone are connected, the ability for one to find the other seems like a natural feature to add. Oddly, Android Wear hasn't been able to do that so far, at least not without third-party apps adding it in. Google is correcting this oversight today with a new update to the Android Device Manager system. With ADM installed on your phone, you can issue an "OK Google, find my phone" voice command to your Wear device to make it ring out like a mildly annoyed baby.
Well, you'll be able to eventually. Apparently this feature isn't available to everyone yet - it looks like it's one of the "silent" back-end updates on Google's end of the system, popping up without an update to either Android Wear's firmware or the ADM app itself.
You knew it was coming. With the Moto 360 being easily the most exciting Android Wear device from the initial video almost exactly a year ago, and then being something of a disappointment upon release thanks to its ancient chipset and not-really-360-degree "round" screen, a follow-up was inevitable. It looks like an executive from Lenovo (the new owners of Motorola Mobility) may have let the cat out of the bag on the company's next Android Wear smartwatch.
Google has finally pushed an official Android Auto app to the Play Store that will allow Lollipop phones to work with the first few head units and cars with support for the platform. It only works on phones running 5.0 or higher, and is pretty much useless without a compatible Android Auto system—you probably don't have one of those.