Android 5.1 is in the wild on Android One devices, but it's still not totally official yet. Google has yet to announce it and there's no changelog available. As more people get their hands on 5.1, though, we're bound to learn some things about it. Like, for example, the quick settings changes and these neat little animations in the 5.1 clock app.
Ah, February: the time when mobile hardware leaks spring out of the ground like daisies. It looks like Thai gadget site MXPhone has gotten its hands on portions of the Mobile World Congress phone lineup from Lenovo weeks ahead of the event, giving us a tantalizing look at the company's hardware plans for the next several months. Of course, it's possible that at least some of the Vibe phones on display below will never leave China, and the chance of any of them coming to the US market is basically zero.
One of my favorite innovations that has started to become more mainstream over the past several years is wireless charging. I'm bummed that every phone doesn't have it at this point (looking at you, Motorola - the Moto X should've been qi-compatible!), because it's easily one of the most convenient changes of all time. OK, maybe that's a little hyperbolic...but really, I do love it.
When it comes to wireless charging, my go-to charger has been the Tylt VU for as long as I can remember. The angle is great, it's super easy to use, and it's large enough to charge basically everything I own that has wireless charging.
The latest enhancement returns the attention back to simply finding recent and relevant links. Instead of having to search through lengthy pages, Google will bundle together articles and videos from a single site into a scrollable carousel, which can appear when you're looking for a site directly or just when you're browsing for a particular keyword.
See that email in the featured image of this post? It's junk. Several developers have received this and rightfully felt very nervous, but it is simply a scheme to get you to turn over your Google credentials to scammers. It isn't the cleverest phishing expedition we've ever seen, but it certainly is better than most. First of all, it is not filled with the kind of typographical and grammatical errors you often see. Also, the biggest giveaway of what is going on is obscured when viewing from Gmail.
Spotimote for Spotify. Does that sound like an app created by Spotify to you? Do you think it is Spotify? Well, Spotify's complaint thinks that you'll make that mistake. In reaction, the app's developer changed the name to just Spotimote. Also, look at this post's thumbnail; do you see that and feel like Spotify must have made that graphic? Again, that's what Spotify claims you'll think.
After months of silence between the developer of Spotimote and Spotify's legal team, Google suddenly removed the premium version from the app store. Nodria, the developer, had heard nothing from Spotify since altering the app name in response to their first legal threats.
An interesting design change has been spotted on the Android client side of the Google Play Store. Usually, when you're scrolling through a list of apps and games, whether it's a search result or the Store's own top lists, you see the app's icon, name, developer, star rating, price, and the quick options button. However, the star rating seems to be getting bounced back to second-class citizen state when more appealing features are available, like Achievements, Leaderboards, and Multiplayer.
Left: new. Right: old (screenshot courtesy of ryanspoon)
Only one option of the game is deemed worthy of the spotlight, with a hierarchy system determining which one that is.
There are a lot of weird convergence devices that have come and gone (and often gone nowhere) on fundraising platforms, but the Beam is probably unique. It's a combination Android-based computer and pico projector that fits in and is powered by a standard light bulb socket, allowing users to set up a small projector and/or media machine in some unconventional places. The campaign has reached and surpassed its $200,000 funding goal on Kickstarter with more than three weeks left before the end of the campaign, meaning it will (hopefully) go into production and be ready for backers in October of this year.
When Google launched Inbox last year, it was offered exclusively to users who received an invite to their personal Gmail account. Google Apps for Business (or Education) users weren't allowed in on the fun, which seemed rather weird but understandable. After all, the new email organization and interaction paradigm was built with productivity in mind, and business users are the ones that would benefit the most from that. However, since this was an entirely new app and system, it was judicious of Google to test it out with a less demanding crowd first.
Sundar Pichai shared on Twitter that this discrimination against Google Apps users is going to be stopped, "imminently." After expanding to both the iPad and several browsers beyond Chrome, Inbox will soon be available to Apps accounts (presumably, also pending the reception of an invite).
When we mention iFixit here on Android Police, it's often because of the team's excellent teardowns. They know how to take apart the most complex devices and figure out every single part that goes in them. However, iFixit — as the name suggests — is more popular for its comprehensive repair guides that span computers, electronics, and iPhones. Android has finally joined the ranks with a really extensive catalog of supported gadgets.
The iFixit Android Hub organizes devices by phones, tablets, watches, and TV. At this point, the last two sections contain teardowns for the most part, with a few guides available for the LG G Watch and the Nexus Q.