Smartphones are great—except when they don't work right. Google aims to make sure that doesn't happen as often with the new Device Assist app for Nexus, GPE, and Android One devices running Lollipop. Just open the app and it can (maybe) tell you what's wrong.
There have been whispers about an impending update to Android 5.0.1 for a little while now, and it looks like Google has begun pushing the new release to AOSP now.
The build being pushed right now is LRX22C. We've heard that Android 5.0.1 will also be coming to Android Wear, a possibility corroborated by Derek Ross, who points out dramatically improved battery life for Google's wearables. The update is also supposed to fix a variety of issues with the initial 5.0 builds, but in the absence of factory images or OTAs (for now), all we can do is wait for the push to complete and look around for any goodies.
Google has just updated the language of the support page where software update policies for Nexus and GPE devices are summarized, and the new text is not exactly encouraging on first read. The following clause, regarding carriers, was added:
Based on your carrier, it may take longer than two weeks after release to get an update.
We do not know if this is merely a safety net to avoid the ire of customers in the case of things like the Nexus 7 2013 LTE and the whole Verizon debacle, or if this is actually a forward-looking change in policy that could affect new devices like the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9 LTE.
One of the nicest little surprises lurking in Android 5.0 is the support for native on-device screen recording. The ADB screen recorder was added in KitKat, but now we can finally do it without a cable. Apps are still being updated with support, but AZ Screen Recorder is a new listing that seems to hit all the high points, and it's free.
The one Nexus-style smartphone that's even bigger than the N6 is getting its Android 5.0 update today. At least a few owners of Sony's Z Ultra (nee Xperia) Google Play Edition are getting over-the-air updates to Lollipop, as evidenced by this XDA thread. Conveniently, one of those fine folks has found the link to OTA ZIP file, so you can download and flash it manually to your own phone if you don't want to wait for the rollout.
No, it's not Android 5.0. There, we've got that over with. And while I'm sure at least some owners of the Verizon version of Samsung's penultimate Note are disappointed at the lack of Lollipop, others will be happy to see it updated to the latest version of KitKat. A new software update is rolling out to Verizon's Samsung Galaxy Note 3 right now (PDF link), with Android 4.4.4 in tow. The last time the phone got an Android version bump was the KitKat (4.4.2) update back in May.
The numbers are in - the Android version distribution numbers, that is. This month's update shows no surprising change in trends, with KitKat adoption growing 3.7% over last month. Jelly Bean continues its net decline, this month losing 2.2% of the pie.
Ice Cream Sandwich fell 0.7%, as did Gingerbread, and Froyo is down another 0.1%. Lollipop isn't featured in the chart, as it does not yet have the requisite 0.1% to be shown.
Android has gone through quite a few changes during its short 6 years of life. The Android that drives most of the world's smartphones of today would be almost unrecognizable to what was launched in late 2008. We've seen massive visual changes, expansion to almost every conceivable form factor, and a completely fleshed-out content ecosystem for multimedia and apps. As the operating system matured, some elements have successfully grown with it, and others have become dead weight.
While owners of Nexus devices have been getting Android 5.0 updates all over the place for the last few weeks, Google Play Edition owners have had to wait a little longer. The first GPE device to get an over-the-air Lollipop update seems to be the LG G Pad 8.3 - or as it's affectionately known around here, the LGGP83GPE. Users on Twitter and XDA are reporting at least some OTA updates, and you can grab the ZIP file for a manual flash here (direct link).
Update, 8 AM Pacific: Predictably, both the Nexus 6 and the discounted G Watch are out of stock. You can still grab $50 of Play Store credit with the purchases of any other Android Wear device or the Nexus 9.
Update: It looks like the Nexus 6 (which is actually in stock right now, at approximately 12:45 AM Pacific) and the Nexus 9 are also eligible for the $50 Play Store credit.