The Nexus 6 is a pretty fantastic piece of Android hardware. The Nexus 9 is... a tablet that runs Lollipop. And even some hardcore Android fans have yet to be sold on Android Wear. But if you're in the market for any of those devices right now, you want to get them from the new Google Store, at least if you live in the United States. Google is offering $50 of free Play Store credit with a new purchase of the N6, N9, or any Android Wear device.
That mysterious LMY47E build of Android 5.1 for the Nexus 6 has arrived on Google's factory image download page. This build leaked online as an RSD image last week, but it wasn't clear what its purpose was. It's not really clear now either, but you can download and probably flash it.
Owners of the OnePlus One tend to be among the most dedicated (read: rabid) Android fans out there - they have to be, since it still takes no small amount of legwork to actually buy the phone. That being the case, those owners have waited a long time for the final, official update to Android 5.0. They won't have to wait much longer: an official OnePlus representative told members of the company forum that the updates will begin on March 27th, just a little over a week from now.
Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact, Z2, and Z2 Tablet owners around the world may soon have a reason to smile. According to XperiaBlog, Sony has started to roll out Android 5.0 to these three devices in various regions.
Android Auto is probably the Android platform of least general public concern, but it's an exciting one, if you ask me - who doesn't want Google Now in the car? Still, if you've not been paying close attention to Auto news in the past few months very closely, you might not have noticed that Android Auto is... not actually officially released.
Which is why you're seeing some articles today about Pioneer's aftermarket head units with Android Auto being on sale. You can buy one - like this one, for $1400. And since it says Android Auto on the box, it's got Android Auto, right?
Sony promised it would bring Android 5.0 to all its Z series phones, and now it's starting to live up to that. The newest generation Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact are first up. The OTA is rolling out now to devices in Nordic and Baltic countries, but other markets should follow within two weeks. There's a nifty demo video to go along with the announcement.
If you like some granular control over synced accounts, you probably ran into a little roadblock with Android 5.0. If you wanted to manually sync items in one of your accounts, the button to do that was missing. Well, at least, sort of. In its place was "cancel sync," even though there was nothing to cancel. That should have only been present after initiating a sync manually with the "sync now" option. None of that worked in 5.0. With Android 5.1, though, everything is back to normal.
Above, you can see things working properly on Android 5.1. In the first screenshot, you can see the menu options for initiating sync.
In the Android community, Lollipop 5.0 is known for a lot of things. Unfortunately, among those things is a pretty severe memory leak that has plagued users with app crashes and launcher redraws, as device memory filled and failed to clear.
Motorola gained a lot of good will by updating its latter phones to the newest version of Android, starting with the Moto X. Even carrier-customized versions of that phone tended to get new incremental updates to KitKat long before other manufacturers' devices. But for some reason, the 2013 Moto X has lagged far behind for updates to Lollipop. Now, five months after Android 5.0 first started rolling out to Nexus devices, the OG Moto X is finally getting its Lollipop update. Well, sort of: it's getting a soak test.
A soak test is basically Motorola's beta test for device firmware. Participants of soak tests are usually limited to the members of Motorola's support forum, and the program is rarely commented on in any official capacity.
We've heard a number of rumors about Google launching its own Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), codenamed Nova. According to reports, the service will source wireless service from Sprint and T-Mobile, but it will rely on Wi-Fi networks to bear most of the weight of both data and voice services (though VoIP). While the details of this plan still aren't clear, another piece of the puzzle just emerged that indicates Google is going to offer its own virtual private network (VPN) service, and it may be targeted specifically at Nova subscribers.
This information resulted from a tip we received a few days ago, pointing us in the direction of a new application called Google Connectivity Services.