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...
When I was in Istanbul last week, I saw street vendors waving selfie sticks (aka the wand of Narcissus) and offering for a few liras to hold your phone so you can take a selfie from a better angle. If something hits the hawker market, it's safe to say that it's pervasive and in-demand. That's the angle that the newly announced Sony Xperia C4 is coming from. Sony even has a name for all the cool selfles that this smartphone can take — PROselfies. Because regular selfies aren't enough.
The recipe for cooking up a PROselfie involves a 5MP 25mm wide-angle lens with Sony's Exmor R sensor, a soft LED flash, and HDR for balancing the exposure as much as possible and capturing both you and your background clearly.
Until now, all the Android Wear watches you could buy were made by technology firms moonlighting as watchmakers, but now there's the Fossil Q Founder. This is the first widely available Android Wear smart watch designed by a company that makes regular watches. In some ways it looks more like a real watch than any of the others, but there are also some design concessions that remind you Fossil is new to the whole wearables thing.
We're entering into an era where you no longer have to spend more than a few hundred dollars on a good, usable smartphone. Manufacturers like Blu have done a lot for the budget smartphone, and more mainstream phone makers like Motorola have brought the words "budget" and "flagship" together in a way we didn't think would ever be possible.
I've been messing with a new affordable device from a relatively new manufacturer to the scene here lately: the Nuu Z8. Nuu currently has a couple of other budget devices on the market, but the Z8 is what the company is calling its flagship device.
CyanogenMod supports a few new devices today, all of them Sony. Just head over to the CM download section and you can get nightly builds for the Xperia Z3, Z3 Compact, and Z3 Tablet Compact with LTE (that's Scorpion). This follows the WiFi version of this tablet getting support just a few days ago.
The Dell Venue 8 7000 is a sleek piece of tech, despite the large chin. At 6mm, it's as thin as tablets get. Now Dell is following up with the bigger Dell Venue 10 7000, a device that maintains the awkward name and a few other peculiar quirks.
The internet of things may be the most overused, annoying, comically oversimplified tech term of 2014, dreamt up by some winnovator god knows when, but it was the keystone (and keynote) of an increasingly schizophrenic CES that, in the last few years, has been searching for a more cohesive theme.
Yes, that's a carrot. At one of Lenovo's CES party / showcase nights.
CES 2015 was easily the least mobile device-focused CES since 2008, when many companies were still deciding whether or not to respond to the unexpected popularity of the first iPhone. At that point, CES was firmly entrenched in the television and personal media market - TVs, camcorders, PMPs, and Blu-ray were the talk of the town.
To address several relatively minor problems and requests, Sony's Xperia Z2 and Z3 devices will be getting an update to their firmware. They will remain on 5.0 Lollipop, which speaks to the fact that these are mostly optimizations rather than wholesale changes. The headlining feature is probably the fact that the app switcher now has a close all button, but there are some other goodies as well.
Another feature change is making the LED light independent of the sound settings. Previously, putting the device on silent also turned off the LED indicator. This was probably annoying, since the light is the exact thing you would want in place of audio.
For those who like to tinker with their Android phones on a regular basis, the Substratum Theme Engine is a great way to style your rooted device with seemingly endless possibilities. It's based on code hidden within Android that's intended for use by OEMs to change themes in their skins, but this app now allows anyone to do this. Additional apps can be installed to work in conjunction with Substratum to change certain aspects of a device's theme, and that's exactly what Awesome Navbars does. It changes (you've guessed it) the Android navbar.