Google I/O was pretty amazing this year, right? We got the deets on Material design, a preview version of Android L, the formal release of Android Wear, the first manifestations of Android TV and Android Auto, and plenty of other bits and pieces. However, all of that content and all of those developer sessions can take forever to absorb, and professional developers just don't have time for that. Now that all of the videos have been posted, I've combed through every last one to narrow the list down to just the sessions that absolutely can't be missed.
Update: This update is limited to Australia, New Zealand, and India, and addresses carrier support / fixes in those regions.
If you're seeing an update notification on your Nexus 5, you're not alone - Google is pushing a maintenance release of Android 4.4.4 to the smartphone, though this one appears to limited to a few corners of the world. New Zealand, Australia, and India should be seeing the OTA, which contains a new radio image, likely addressing issues with networks in those regions.
Lockitron is a crowd-funded "smart" door lock that aims to let you control your home or office door lock with your smartphone. And now that Android Wear is available, some developers won't rest until every facet of their phone is tied into their watch. Thus, Wear-a-tron, which allows users to activate the unlocking function of the official Lockitron app via a Wear extension. It's available for free on the Play Store.
The world was a whole lot simpler back in 1999 – the economy was doing fine, MTV played music, and the Matrix was much less ridiculous without all that weird pseudo-philosophy from the sequels. There's a new watch face that can take you back to those relaxing days each time you look at your Android Wear watch. Yes, a Matrix watch face.
Perhaps you've tried the Minuum keyboard on your phone or tablet. It's designed to take up as little space as possible on the screen with just a single line of keys, which is great for smaller screens. How small, though? The developers think smart watch size sounds good, so they are working on Minuum for Android Wear. There's a beta you can try to get into as well.
Captain's log, stardate 45638.2. A scan of a long-lost pleasure cruise that exited Earth in the late twenty-first century has yielded some fascinating archaeological findings. In addition to a pair of primitive foot coverings that Commander Data identified as "Converse All-Stars," a complete and mint-condition collection of the classic mythological saga known as Animorphs, and a small, vibrating "Furby" that Mister Worf immediately eviscerated, we have discovered a piece of anachronistic human technology.
Dedicated Android fans will probably be a little disappointed that the latest update to HTC's One M8 flagship on Sprint doesn't include the bleeding edge 4.4.4. But it's pretty close, 4.4.3, and Sprint has thrown in a couple of notable expansions specifically for its network. In addition to the small back-end improvements in 4.4.3, the 2.16.651.4 release adds the Wi-Fi Calling feature that Sprint has been slowly rolling out for the last few months.
Motorola hasn't forgotten about those devices that aren't part of the "Moto" family. The Droid Maxx, Droid Ultra, and Droid Mini on Verizon are getting the Android 4.4.4 update starting today. Even the Moto X hasn't been given the go ahead yet.
Android Wear apps are continuing to flow into the Play Store, but Wear Mini Launcher might be the most interesting one yet. This app places a slide-out app list on your smart watch, saving you from diving into the options to access things by touch. It was a little wonky at first, but already it's shaping up nicely after a few weekend updates.
Running Android on a PC seems like a good idea, until you actually look at the logistics of making the platform work on a non-touch interface. Add to that all the projects out there attempting to do so with limited or completely absent support for Google Play, and you've got a recipe for lame. Console OS was looking for a cool $50k to make Android work on PCs, and the company has succeeded with almost a month left in the campaign.