Android developers gain a lot of advantages from working on a platform with a wide variety of libraries, open source projects, and other resources to help get their work to the finish line. Unfortunately, if a problem can’t be solved by checking out the SDK samples or reading a few dozen StackOverflow questions, it can be pretty hard to find good alternatives when they are most needed. Before giving up on the tricky problems, or possibly before attempting them, check out Android-Libs.com – a registry of open source code, libraries, handy websites, utilities, and other tools that may be useful to Android developers of all types.
HTC was quick to announce Lollipop upgrade plans a few months ago, and today those plans begin to come to fruition. The first large-scale HTC rollout of Android 5.0 is starting today with the unlocked and developer edition One M8.
HTC One (M8) Unlock and Dev Owners! We have received TA from Google on Lollipop + Sense 6. OTA will be out starting tonight. #HTCAdvantage
There's still no sign of it in the US, but Samsung has started pushing Lollipop to its current flagship phone in the UK. Users of the Galaxy S5 across the pond (SM-G900F) should be getting OTA notifications very soon, which means plenty of new features and some tweaks to Samsung's TouchWiz UI.
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.