The original Shield Portable is finally getting the bump to Android 5.1 from 4.4, but don't rush right out and download the OTA just yet. There are a few caveats with this one. Yes, you get the latest version of Android, but it will remove several games and features that are bundled with the old KitKat software. Read More
Dell took its sweet time updating the super-slim Venue 8 tablet to Android 5.0. It finally got this done back in early May, though this was after blowing several previous release dates. To make up for it, Dell just pushed Android 5.1 to this device. I'm a little surprised Dell hasn't moved on yet.
Sony is ready to take its Android phones to the next Lollipop level. The company is sticking to its previous word that the Z series devices will start getting Android 5.1 in July and is starting the roll-out today with the Z3 and Z2 series. So consider yourself lucky if you have an Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, Z3 Tablet Compact, Z2, or Z2 Tablet, because you're among the first Sony owners to get Android 5.1... well, if we don't count the GPE Z Ultra.
You'll obviously get all the benefits of Android 5.1, like better volume control and plenty of design and usability tweaks, but Sony has also added a few improvements to its own software. Read More
Asus announced a new ZenWatch several weeks ago, and now the original ZenWatch is getting a price drop, presumably to pave the way for the new version. It used to sell for $199.99, but now you can have the first-gen ZenWatch for just $129.99.
The long-awaited Nearby is on the horizon, and it will be launching with Play Services 7.8. The APK is in the midst of its rollout right now. It contains a few elements of Nearby, and surely plenty of bug fixes and tweaks, but there are also plenty of interesting pieces hidden inside, as well. After a quick long examination, we've got the interesting bits and pieces ready for viewing, along with some theories about what it all means. It's time for a teardown!
Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
On more than one occasion when trying out a new app and taking screenshots for the benefit of Android Police readers, something in the status bar has overshadowed the actual content I was showing off. It might be a battery in the red (which really seems to bother some people, even when they see it on someone else's phone!) or an incoming OTA update I've yet to flash. Apparently Google is tired of seeing this sort of thing in screenshots as well.
In the second version of the Android M Developer Preview, there's a new entry in the Developer options menu called "System UI tuner." (We previously took a look at this in the story about removing permanent items from the network cluster area.) Open the System UI tuner and you can also see an option called "Demo mode." Enable this, then turn it on, and your statusbar will hide all notifications, even new incoming ones, though they may still appear temporarily as heads-up notifications. Read More
The Android L developer preview remained largely static in the time between its launch and Lollipop's official release. That isn't the case with Android M, which Google says will receive monthly over-the-air updates. The first of them is now available for the Nexus 5 and 6.
There isn't much new to see in this update. Google announced it last week when it released system images, and you can see the provided list of changes in our coverage at the time. Read More
HTC One M9 owners on AT&T, your update is now ready. The Android 5.1 update is going out to customers starting today. Well, yesterday, at least according to the support page text, though we haven't actually heard from any AT&T customers who have actually spotted the OTA yet. In addition to the software goodies in Lollipop 5.1, this build includes "Device Protection." Remember, it may be a week or more before the staggered rollout gets to everyone.
Can't wait that long to get software version 2.6.502.16? HTC has provided its ROM Update Utility (RUU) for the upgrade, weighing in at a rough 2.25 gigabytes. Read More
The M preview changes the way Android deals with permissions. Rather than viewing a bulky list and approving all of the things an app wants access to right from the beginning, M lets you grant permission as the need arises.
Starting with the second preview, apps now need permission to access storage outside of their own personal space. This was something they could do out-of-the-box in the first preview build of Android M. Now attempting to read or write to any area that is also accessible to other apps has been designated as dangerous behavior, and you will have to allow apps to do so. Read More