Say it with me now: piracy is bad. There are ways to get free copies of just about everything online, but even setting aside the legal and moral aspects of it, doing so can come with the risk of infecting your computer with something icky or falling victim to a phishing attempt. People who know their way around the woods will continue to be able to take advantage of things, but Google's working on reducing the likelihood that the average user will end up in a place they don't want to be.
Last summer's trifecta of DROIDs are all getting hit by the same over-the-air update right about now. Verizon has announced a bump up to software version 23.1.12 that's going out to the DROID Maxx, Mini, and Ultra. The OTA prepares the devices to deliver better call quality through what the carrier has coined Advanced Calling 1.0.
This update also brings along improvements to the phones' messaging client and visual voicemail service.
The Sharp Aquos Crystal is very close to being an Android nerd's dream device. It has virtually no bezel (except on the bottom) and comes with a stock version of Android 4.4.2. It looks unlike anything else on the market in the US today, and many Sprint customers will no doubt be happy to pick one up from the carrier starting today at $239.99 off-contract. People who prefer to walk out without putting any money down can get the phone for $10 a month.
We have a reliable source (two, in fact) telling us that the first over-the-air updates to Android Lollipop will come not to the Nexus 4 or 5, but to the Nexus 7 (2012), Nexus 7 (2013 Wi-Fi), and Nexus 10. Why? Because they're all Wi-Fi devices - supposedly hardware with cellular data will have to wait a bit longer to get the OTA, meaning the Nexus 4, 5, and 2013 Nexus 7 with LTE will be stuck a bit longer waiting for the L update.
Update: If you're in another country, Amazon may have the Nexus 9 for you to pre-order, as well. So far we're seeing UK, France, and Germany. The US pre-order links also seem to work for Canada and Mexico.
Sony's relationship with "pure" Android is an interesting one. As a company they generally make it easy to root or otherwise modify their phones or tablets, with a few notable qualifiers. The AOSP for Xperia project, which provides the basic tools for building standard Android ROMs on popular devices, is also one way that Sony stays relevant for those who buy phones with the intent to add aftermarket software. Today it gets two new flagship options, the older Xperia Z1 and Z2.
Jelly Bean seemed to stick around longer than other versions of Android. While most previous iterations were content to move along with each point release, Jelly Bean stuck around for 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3. It took quite a while for KitKat to arrive, and for some people, that wait has been longer than others.
If you purchased an AT&T Galaxy Note 8 back when it launched in 2013, you probably didn't think you would be stuck with Jelly Bean for this long.
Android 5.0 has only been official for about 24 hours now, and already OEMs are lining up to explain their upgrade paths. Yesterday was Motorola, and today Sony is laying its cards on the table. Sony has a lot of cards. The company has confirmed that all its Z series devices will get Android Lollipop. That's a whole mess of phones.
Google announced the Nexus Player on Wednesday as the first Android TV device, but there was no news on an updated Chromecast. Google's $35 streaming stick has been a big hit, and it's been more than a year since it was released. Now a device has passed through the FCC, and it's clearly a Chromecast with the updated model number A4RH2G2-2A.