In 2012, we started a series called "What We Use," where we, the AP staff, talked about the stuff that we can't live without. It started off as something where we just discussed our Android devices and computers, but last year we took that a step further (at Artem's request, no less) and discussed a lot more than that, basically covering everything that we love in our lives. The most important stuff to us, as people.
It's been over a year since my last WWU post, and you probably know what that means: time for a new one. I actually really enjoy writing these posts, and I hope you enjoy reading it.
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.
A few images of Lollipop running on an Xperia phone have hit the web, and the most noticeable takeaway is what Sony has done to the navigation buttons.
The full-size screenshots can be found over in the original XperiaBlog post. All we care about is what's visible at the bottom of each. To put things simply, Sony has changed the icons, and not necessarily for the better.
Here are the on-screen navigation buttons on a Nexus device.
And here's what we're shown on an Xperia device running Lollipop.
In place of the circle that Google uses as the home button, Sony has inserted a house.
I remember not that long ago thinking that a 4.7-inch phone screen was pretty large. How could they get bigger than that and still be usable? Surely this is the end of the road... and here we are a few years later and the Xperia Z5 Compact is considered diminutive at 4.6-inches. When I say this phone is small (and it is) I mean it's small compared to every other Android flagship.
Consumers have voted with their dollars and told OEMs they want big phones, leaving the Xperia Compact series as your last bastion of tiny flagship phones. When a device basically owns a niche, it doesn't have to be amazing, it just needs to be.
There were rumors earlier this year of a Google Play Edition of the Samsung Galaxy S5, but nothing happened at Google I/O, and there's been hardly a peep since. SamMobile noticed something interesting in an image on the Android site, though. There's a Galaxy S5 running stock Android 5.0 in one of the images. How very suspicious.
Sony has just announced the follow-up to its flagship device, the... why does it feel like I've written this story before? Oh, because I have. So a month after making its Xperia Z4 official in Japan, Sony is taking that device and releasing it with a more appropriate name for the global market: Xperia Z3+. Let's face it, the changes compared to the Z3 are minimal enough not to warrant a full number increase, so the switch back to the Z3+ is more honest on the company's behalf.
On the outside, the Z3+ looks almost exactly like the Z3, give or take a few slots and speaker grill placements.
Xperia owners, watch out. Lollipops are raining from the sky and smashing straight into your screens. If you welcome this phenomenon, don't do anything. These lollipops have heat-seeking sensors and will find your devices wherever they lay. If you prefer KitKat, you can swat the intruders away, but you'll never get to experience the future changes in store for your Android device.
Sony has confirmed that it is launching lollipops at Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, and Z3 Tablet Compact devices all over the world (some of these updates were previously pushed out to smaller, test markets). The manufacturer plans to open fire on the Z2 and Z2 Tablet starting next week.
There's no denying that the Galaxy Note 7 recall is a big deal, but as with any big story, a little caution is called for when reporting on it. There are in fact other things that can catch fire besides the Note 7, including - gasp! - other smartphones. Such is the case with one of the more dramatic reports of a Galaxy Note 7 malfunction. As it turns out this New York Post article about a 6-year-old injured by an exploding Note 7 (which still hasn't been updated or corrected (update: see below)) is in fact about a Galaxy Core Prime, an entirely different Samsung phone model.
We're well past the point where any Android enthusiast would be expecting (or perhaps more accurately hoping) that his or her phone will be getting an update full of Marshmallowy goodness, perhaps delivered by some confectionary fairy. Alas, for owners of the Xperia C4 and Xperia C5 Ultra, it's a bag full of Lollipops instead. Both phones are now being updated by Sony to Android 5.1, a version of the OS which we'll remind you is now almost a year old.
Both phones began receiving their respective software late last night, at least according to the updated pages on Sony's support site.