Update, January 11th, 2015: Verizon has issued another update alert for the Galaxy Note 4.4.4. This one also updates the phone to 4.4.4 and includes the same changelog, but for some reason the build number is changed to N900VVRUDNK1. Whether or not there was a problem with the original rollout, we can't say, but it appears to be continuing.
No, it's not Android 5.0. There, we've got that over with.
A messaging service is only useful so long as a certain amount of your contacts use it along with you. So we'll refrain from making jokes at BlackBerry's expense (not a small effort, mind you) or pointing you towards alternatives like Hangouts or WhatsApp. If you use BlackBerry Messenger, and your friends and/or associates do too, pointing out other options isn't going to do much for you. But here's something that will: BBM is getting Android Wear support!
The developer dashboard has been updated, and there's some big movement this month. In the post holiday window, KitKat is up a healthy 5.2% and Gingerbread drops another 1.3%. One thing you won't see on the chart is Lollipop. Android 5.0 still hasn't hit the 0.1% threshold to be included in the data, just like last month.
You most often see MediaTek chips in budget smartphones and tablets, but they could soon be showing up in another place—your watch. The company has announced the MT2601, an ARM system-on-a-chip designed with Android Wear in mind. This isn't one of those "later this year" things either. The MT2601 is already in mass production and ready to go.
Dedicated technology newshounds have already heard that all of Sony's upcoming BRAVIA televisions will feature Android TV powering their integrated electronics. At CES, the biggest show around in terms of home theater (among other things), they've made good on that promise. Don't believe me? Watch these attractive people over-emote and demonstrate a BRAVIA television's Google Cast feature and ability to play games from the Play Store.
Android TV runs these TVs, including the various inputs and live television, in a manner similar to some Roku-branded HDTVs already on the market.
The ranks of Android Auto in-dash head units continue to grow at CES, but they aren't going to be cheap. While Parrot neglected to mention a price for its fancy new Android deck, Pioneer is coming right out with it. The new NEX series units will start at $700 with support for Android Auto and CarPlay.
Seeing which manufacturers will bake Android Auto into their latest models is cool and all, but I'm looking to see which third-party options start appearing on store shelves. After all, I bought my vehicle in 2013, and I'm not looking to replace it in the next couple of years. Fortunately Kenwood has come to CES with one that supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the DDX9902S.
Out of the box, Kenwood's unit has a tacky interface that perhaps only a car enthusiast could love.
Certain 2015 Volkswagen cars with come equipped with Android Auto and CarPlay (Apple) support starting later this year. The option will be available in any models that come with MiB II, the second generation of the manufacturer's "modular infotainment platform," though the Golf is the only vehicle explicitly mentioned in the announcement. MirrorLink support will also come included.
We've known that Razer was working on its own branded version of an Android TV set-top box for more than half a year, but at CES 2015 the well-known gaming peripheral company has given the gadget its coming out party. The Razer Forge TV hopes to be the go-to choice for gamers, with support for up to four simultaneous players, keyboard and mouse input, and (eventually) streaming high-end games from a local gaming PC.
We have been wondering for a while when we'd see Lollipop-based builds from CyanogenMod, and now is that time. For this first round of nightlies, 31 devices will be supported with many more to come in the near future. CyanogenMod 11, based on KitKat, will now be on a weekly update schedule until its M13 release, after which development will be frozen. While some bugs are to be expected, all supported devices should have core functions working smoothly right away.