When Android TV launched, it did so to an attitude that, at best, could be described as lukewarm. Google has attempted to corner the living room for years now, and its most successful attempt - the Chromecast - has essentially undercut Google's own more ambitious TV products.
Google TV never really had a chance - it was slow, the hardware was never particularly powerful, and the remotes were a nightmare. Google eventually let GTV die by slowly letting it fade into uselessness piece by piece.
Chromecast actually launched before Google TV was really "dead" in any official sense, and its success was immediate.
Earlier this week, Blu announced a handful of new phones: the Vivo Selfie, Studio C 5+5, Studio C 5+5 LTE, and Energy X Plus. Each handset has something that makes it stand out from the others, and all of them come in at the low price points that we've come to expect from Blu. In short, we've got a thin and light phone made for selfies, a pair of ultra-affordable devices with dual 5MP shooters, and one with a battery that's in it for the long haul.
I've had three of the four for the last few days, with the only exception being the 5+5 LTE since it's virtually identical to the 5+5, just with the addition of LTE.
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.
Of our many jobs here at Android Police, one is to make our readers' lives easier when we can. With that in mind, here's a roundup of every known Android 5.1 OTA for every Nexus device that will be receiving it. As new ones become available, this post will be updated accordingly. Android 5.1 will be released to Nexus 4, 5, 6, 7 (2012 and 2013), 9, and 10. As I'm sure you've guessed, there will be plenty of files to be had.
As the OTA rollout has just begun, we don't have all the links for manual flashing just yet.
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous 2 weeks or so.
Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Photo Wall FX Live Wallpaper
Today's app roundup is sponsored by the Photo Wall FX live wallpaper by Handy Apps. The idea behind this wallpaper is simple: it uses the local photos on your phone or tablet to make a grid collage, dynamically selecting and cycling photos and sizing them so that there's no space left between them.
If you own an Android Wear device right now, chances are you're probably waiting patiently furiously checking for that elusive Android Wear 5.1 update. Well, we've got you covered. As the links to the OTA ZIP files become available, we will post them here. To flash these, you'll need to have ADB installed and have the Google USB drivers from the Android SDK. You'll reboot your watch into recovery mode, then select "Install Update From ADB." You can then run "adb sideload filename.zip" from a command prompt.
A Note About Flashing
You can only sideload an OTA update manually if you can actually connect your watch to a computer via USB, and even then, you may not be able to.
When you think smartphones, ASUS probably rarely comes to mind. While the company has been building Android phones for several years now, their market penetration outside of Asia has been relatively low, and so they rarely get much attention in American or European markets. But the ZenFone 2, when it launched at CES six months ago, definitely raised eyebrows.
At a starting price of just $199, ASUS is offering up a phone with extremely impressive specifications for a do-a-double-take MSRP - it almost sounds too good to be true. Thankfully, I don't think it is - the ZenFone 2 is a solid phone that works pretty much like any Android 5.0+ device you'll encounter while simultaneously blowing the doors off pretty much any competitor at this price point for raw spec sheet power.