Sony has been doing an admirable job keeping its Android hardware on the latest releases, and today they're bringing KitKat to three of the newest phones in their lineup. The flagship Xperia Z1, the slightly smaller Xperia Z1 Compact, and the super-sized Xperia Z Ultra all get an Android 4.4 upgrade starting now, according to this Sony Mobile blog post.
We haven't actually seen any updated devices from tipsters, and Sony makes the usual disclaimer that the rollout may vary by location and carrier. Read More
For our readers across the pond, BBC iPlayer takes some of the network's shows and provides them for easy viewing on Android devices. What about the TV? The latest version of the app has that covered too. This would be a surprise, but we already spilled the beans on this release a few days ago. We knew this update was to coincide with the launch of Chromecasts in the UK on March 19th, and now it's here. Read More
Carrier billing for the Play Store is slowly, slowly making its way across Europe, which probably isn't much comfort for those who want it and still can't access it. If you happen to be in Germany and use the third-largest carrier in the country, you no longer have to wait. German carrier E-Plus was added to the list of carrier billing supporters yesterday.
For the uninitiated, carrier billing allows users to buy apps, songs, books, movies, and in-app purchases by charging the amount to their carrier bill instead of a credit or debit card. Read More
Today, Skype is delivering on a promise that it made back in July of last year. That's a long while to wait for an update, but this one is pretty major. In short, the team has carefully crafted an update for Skype for Android that allows it to run in the background with virtually no impact on battery life. That's what they're claiming, anyway.
Essentially, the application (and the service as a whole) had to undergo some major re-thinking, which led to a "transformation" of the way Skype actually works. Read More
Sometimes Android fans outside of the US feel a bit left out by Google. Not without good reason (and not without telling us and everyone else about it) - Google tends to focus on America for major products and features and expand them to the rest of the world at their leisure. Well Android users down under can now use the voice activation in Google Search and Google Now, or at least use it with a little more ease. Read More
When Google picks a random day to announce a bunch of stuff, it really announces a bunch of stuff. Availability of Play Store devices is expanding yet again to include the Nexus 7 in eight more European countries and the Nexus 5 in four more. [Update: Both devices are now listed for sale in all eight of the new European markets] Want to know which ones? Read on.
The news has been pointing to an international launch for the Chromecast this week, and it looks like Google is making it official in the Play Store. Google's streaming dongle just popped up in the Play Store for several countries for 30-39 of the local currency. Yeah, that might be a bit more expensive than the US price, but at least it's for sale. See update below for the full list. Read More
We all love new Nexus accessories right? After all, Google doesn't have a spotless track record with providing accessories for their own line of phones and tablets. Today, Google added one item to the lineup - a Nexus Charging Accessory. The don't-call-it-a-travel-adaptor accessory is a basic micro USB cable with a block, just as you'd expect.
For reference, the accessory is listed as a 1.8A adapter. The Nexus 5's stock adapter is 1.2A, the new Nexus 7's charger is 1.35A, and Samsung has been shipping 2A adapters of late. Read More
As I'm sure you've seen by now, earlier today Google exploded a bombshell by unveiling the Android Wear smart watch initiative along with a number of partners that will be making the hardware later this year. Last but not least, the Android Wear Preview SDK was announced so that developers could start playing with the Android Wear watch emulator hooked up live to their devices and get the feel for how everything will work. Read More
Artist Janet Echelman builds giant, living sculptures that respond to the elements around them. These massive works of art typically sway in the wind, flow with the water, or respond to light. This time, Echelman's work is interacting with Chrome. Her piece, built in collaboration with Google Creative Director Aaron Koblin, now descends over water and walkways from a Vancouver skyscraper, changing color in response to the input it receives from visitors on the ground. Read More