- Android 5.1 Lollipop for the Huawei Ascend Mate 2 is now available for download
- AT&T Moto X (2nd Gen) is now receiving Android 5.1 Lollipop
- New Google Fit partners bring support to more wearables, allow developers to pull even more data via SDK
- 20+ Best Android Apps from June 2015
- Android 5.1 is rolling out tomorrow for the DROID Turbo
- Sprint’s Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge now receiving Android 5.1 Lollipop
- Pushbullet’s massive new update makes it a file sharing juggernaut [VIDEO]
- Sprint’s new All-In plans give you a standard $80 monthly rate no matter which smartphone you buy
- Motorola XT1585 “Kinzie” (Verizon) benchmark surfaces, confirms Snapdragon 810, QHD and other specs
- Android 5.1 Lollipop is now rolling out to Verizon’s Moto X 2nd Gen
- Sprint’s HTC One M9 will be receiving Android 5.1 Lollipop on July 1st
- Lollipop for the Motorola DROID Turbo is almost ready, and coming sooner than ever
- Verizon offers up $10,000 to catch Southern California copper cable thieves
- Hangouts 4.0 for iOS brings new UI, lets you send multiple photos at once – so where’s the Android update?
- Moto G (3rd Gen) exposed in leaked press renders
After initially releasing a statement that the Huawei Ascend Mate 2 wouldn't be updated to Android KitKat, the company was quick to go into damage control, later telling users they'd be skipping KitKat and jumping to Lollipop directly. Early this month, Huawei was looking for a few good beta tester to test early builds of Lollipop on their devices, but only for members of their forums. Today, Huawei is allowing anyone with the Huawei Ascend Mate 2 (model number MT2-L03) to update their device to Android 5.1 Lollipop along with EMUI 3.1 -- you just have to manually download and flash it to your device. Huawei says that you'll first need to be coming from software versions V100R001C00B126 or V100R001C00B148 before you can update, so make sure and double check. Just be forewarned, Huawei is calling this "Android L Preview" so expect bugs (don't worry, you can always downgrade back to Jelly Bean if you experience any issues). Steps for manually flashing -- as well as the download link for 5.1 on the Mate 2 -- can be found below. * A micro SD card of 4GB or more is required. * Format the micro SD card (This is optional). * Download then extract the B309.zip file. * Copy the entire "dload" folder to the root directory of the micro SD card. * Make sure your handset is powered off. Insert the micro SD card into the handset. * Press and hold the VOLUME UP and VOLUME DOWN keys simultaneously, and then press the POWER button. Release power when you see the device turn on. * The phone should boot and begin flashing. When the progress bar stops, the phone will restart. * You may enter the Emergency Data dialog at the first boot. Choose the Factory data reset and click the Yes button. When the reset is done, reboot your phone.
DOWNLOAD: B309 (ANDROID 5.1 LOLLIPOP)[Huawei]
It's been a busy week for Android users looking to get their Android 5.1 fix. The HTC One M9, DROID Turbo, and Galaxy S6/Edge have all seen updates to Android 5.1 across various carriers here in the US. Joining fellow Android devices in the 5.1 winner's circle is now the Moto X 2nd Gen, which is now officially receiving Android 5.1 Lollipop on AT&T. Don't worry about AT&T's support page. It's kind of a mess right now. Aside from showing the Samsung Galaxy S4 on the header, it also incorrectly states the update is for the original Moto X 1st Gen. As you can see from the updated software version -- 23.16.2.VICTARA_att.att.en.US att -- it actually references the Moto X 2nd Gen (Victara). The update is pretty sizable at about 508MB, so make sure you're on WiFi before pulling it. It was barely last week that Android 5.1 hit all Moto X (2nd Gen) Pure Editions, followed by the Verizon version only last night. [AT&T | via Google+]
Back in May, Google announced an update to Google Fit that allowed users to track their fitness goals and history, even adding a handy Android Wear watch face to help users stay on top of things. Today, Google Fit Lead Product Manager Angana Ghosh announced a handful of new Fit partners not only adding Fit support to their wearables, but bringing additional data to the SDK. Endomondo, Garmin, the Daily Burn, the Basis Peak, and the Xiaomi miBand are Fit's latest partners. With new Fit support, users can now store workout sessions and activity data when using those wearables on their Android device. Others include LifeSum, Lose It!, and MyFitnessPal who bring nutrition data like calories consumed, protein, carbs, fats (even vitamins and minerals) for developers to tap into using the History API in the Fit SDK. A new sleep activity is also headed to the Fit SDK thanks to Basis Peak and Sleep Android. Again, all this data is now accessible to any developer to incorporate into their own apps. For instance, based on meals written to Google Fit by other apps, Runkeeper can now display a Google Now card reminding users to “work off” meals they've just eaten. It's like one big happy family of fitness services and data working together to help keep you in shape. For those that like beta testing new software, Google mentions that Instaweather has recently integrated Google Fit into a new Android Wear watch face currently in beta. You can try it out by joining the Google+ community HERE and following the links therein to download the beta version of the app. For more info on integrating the Google Fit SDK into your own app, check out the developer page HERE. [Google Developers]
_Previous months_ The first month of summer is already coming to a close. Can you believe it? In the past month there was tons of Android news, but also new Android apps. If you’re busy enjoying the summer weather you may have missed a few of the best apps that launched this month. We have compiled a list of the biggest and best apps to launch in June. Grab a lemonade and check it out. You might find a few new apps to try. ADOBE PHOTOSHOP MIX Adobe launched a slew of new apps for Android this month. Photoshop Mix is a slimmed down version of Photoshop for mobile devices. It's basically just another photo editor app with filters and cool effects, but a little more hardcore. [Download] ADOBE BRUSH CC Adobe Brush CC allows you to create brushes that can be used in Photoshop or Illustrator. You can create brushes from scratch, or by taking photos of objects. The brushes automatically sync to the Creative Cloud. [Download] ADOBE COLOR CC Adobe Color CC is a color picker app that allows you to get colors from photos and sync them back to the Creative Cloud. If there is a color in the real world that you love you can easily bring it into the digital world. [Download] ADOBE SHAPE CC Adobe Shape CC lets you create vector drawings from the photos stored on your phone. The vector graphics can then be used in Photoshop and Illustrator. [Download] AMAZON CLOUD DRIVE It took a while, but Amazon finally brought a dedicated Cloud Drive app to Android. With this app you can easily access all of the photos, videos, and files you have stored in your Amazon account. It also comes with a free 3-month trial. [Download] CLOUDPLAYER BY DOUBLETWIST Everyone has some sort of cloud storage account these days, and a lot of us also have some sort of streaming music subscription. What if you could combine the two? CloudPlayer allows you to play music from your Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive accounts. It has offline playback, Chromecast support, and lossless audio. [Download] COLBR In a few months, Stephen Colbert will finally take over The Late Show on CBS. They've already started ramping up the promotion for the show, which includes the new Colbr app. You can use the app to watch videos and listen to podcasts. [Download] FACEBOOK MOMENTS Don't you hate it when someone else used their phone to take photos and then never shares them with you? The Facebook Moments app is the solution (unless you already just upload all your photos to Facebook like a normal person). The app groups photos by event and person so you can quickly share them. [Download] FANLY If you're a die-hard sports fan you're always on the look-out for more news about your teams. With Fanly you can read all the news in one place. Stories from over 2,000 sources are aggregated into the Fanly app. There's also social feeds and video highlights [Download] GOOGLE CLOCK Google's never-ending quest to bring stock apps into the Play Store continues with the Clock. This is the same Clock app you can find on Nexus devices, but now Google can easily update it. It includes alarms, timers, stopwatch, and a world clock. [Download] HEADSOFF In Android Lollipop, Google made a major change by introducing "Heads-Up" notifications. Many Android fans were upset by this change. HeadsOff is an app that disables the new Heads-Up notifications and restores the old ticker text in the status bar. [Download] INPUTTING+ Touchscreen input has come a long way, but there is still a lot more to be improved. Inputting+ aims to fix that by adding shortcuts for undo, redo, and find & replace on touchscreen keyboards. When you're typing a bubble will pop up with the shortcuts. [Download] KITCHEN STORIES Kitchen Stories offers aspiring and seasoned chefs alike the opportunity to hone their cooking skills and discover delicious new recipes and cooking inspiration. The recipes are easy to make and come with beautiful pictures, step-by-step photo instructions, and how-to videos. [Download] KODI MEDIA CENTER Kodi (formerly XBMC) is a popular open-source media player that works on nearly every platform, now including Android. The app is a hub for your local media and streaming media from many services. It's highly customizable and easy to use on TVs. [Download] MEDIUM Medium is an up-and-coming publishing platform. The app offers a simple editor to write your own stories, and a modern and clean interface for reading other stories. If you're looking for a nice place to host your own blog, Medium is a good option. [Download] PORTAL Portal, from the makers of Pushbullet, isn't super exciting or some new concept, but it is simple, and it is fast. It works by transferring files over your local WiFi network, so you don’t have to deal with shoddy connection and server speeds. [Download] POUNCE Pounce is a shopping app that lets you snap a photo of any item and then instantly identify it, find it at a favorite store, and buy it. It's a lot like the "Firefly" feature on the Amazone Fire Phone, but you don't have to buy a crappy phone to use it. [Download] REDUB Editing videos on mobile is still something that not many apps have perfected. Redub attempts to fix the problem by keeping it simple, but removing the limits that other "simple" video editors impose. You can edit your own videos with filters and effects, or remix publicly available videos. [Download] SHOOT Shoot makes it easy to send a big batch of photos or a large video directly from your Android device to your friends. It doesn’t matter what device they use or which network they are on as long as they can scan a QR code. Just select all that you want to send and a QR code is generated for you to share. [Download] SIZ Sometimes you just don't have time to watch a full video. You just want the best part, and in a GIF. Siz creates a strip of GIFs made with the highlights of videos. No more wasted time looking randomly for the interesting parts of the video. [Download] TICKLR Ticklr is a lot like the aforementioned HeadsOff app. It disables the new Heads-Up notifications and restores the old ticker text for notifications. It adds custom colors and settings for individual apps. [Download] TINDOG You know what dogs really need? Tindr. You never thought about that? Well, someone else did. Tindog is like Tindr, but for dogs to make new friends. You can chat with other dog owners and set up play dates. It's a little bit insane, but also kinda cool. [Download] TOUCHLESS CHAT Touchless Chat will allow you to send hands-free messages in many messaging apps including SMS, Hangouts, Whatsapp, Facebook Messager and more. It extends the functionality of the built-in Google Now voice actions. [Download] VESSEL Vessel is a subscription service that aims to compete with YouTube. For $3 a month you get access to the entire library of content, which includes many YouTubers and celebrities. You can watch the content before it appears on YouTube. [Download] ------------------------- What was your favorite app from June? Did we miss any great apps from the last 30 days? Let us know in the comments below!
Yesterday, Motorola teased the Android 5.1 update for the Motorola DROID Turbo yet again, letting us know once more than it was coming. The tweet more or less signaled the soak test which officially kicked off yesterday, according to Motorola Software Product Manager David Schuster. While soak tests usually mean that a full rollout is right around the corner (providing no serious bugs are found during this time), they're limited to a select few of users from Motorola's product forum. The real question on everyone's mind is when we -- as in us regular folk -- will see that sweet update hitting _our_ DROID Turbos. We still don't have an exact date, but Schuster did mention that if all goes well, we can expect a full roll out as soon as _this week_. Remember, it took barely 3 days for the Moto X's Android 5.1 update went from soak to full deployment. With all that DROID Turbos have had to suffer through (the Turbo is still on KitKat, mind you), we can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel. For a look at all that's new, check out Motorola's official changelog for the Motorola DROID Turbo right HERE.
UPDATE: Looks it's officially going live (in phases) starting tomorrow![Google+]
Typically Android updates take some time before carriers can approve of software for use on their networks. In what can only be described as a refreshing move, Android 5.1 adoption seems to be in full swing. A few weeks ago, we saw T-Mobile push out the update to the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, with US Cellular following suit shortly thereafter. Today, Sprint is getting on the ball, pushing out updates to both these handsets on their network. This comes in the form of software build G920PVPU2B0F7 for the flat S6, and G925PVPU2B0F7 for the S6 Edge. Sprint reminds us that the rollout can take a few days before you see it on your device, so don't freak out if you haven't been prompted. If you don't feel like waiting around for your device to notify you of the update, you can always manually check by jumping into your Settings app and selecting About device followed by Check for updates. Good luck! [Sprint: Galaxy S6 | Galaxy S6 Edge]
Pushbullet is getting a huge new update today, and it makes this one of the most pleasant file sharing apps out there. The main change you will see is a new user interface that breaks shared files up into 3 different categories: * Friends: stuff you've shared to friends, or stuff they've shared with you. You can even tap a friend's name to see your share history with that person. * Me: stuff you've shared to your various devices. * Following: stuff being shared to certain "channels" that you can follow. Makes a lot of sense, no? They've also improved messaging and replying to make it easy to respond to a friend's file without having to jump through hoops. We're also getting revamped browser extensions that'll give you access to all these features and new info, as well as a brand new Windows app that introduces a very awesome feature: chat heads. The Windows app can be minimized to your tray, and if a friend pushes something to you you'll see a bubble with their face pop up. Opening the bubble shows a concise user interface for viewing and replying to that friend, and it's just as easy to whisk them back away until the next time they have a cat picture to throw your way. Oh, and those same changes are headed to the web version of Pushbullet, as well. This is a very big step for the team, and it essentially makes Pushbullet a chat platform with a really robust file sharing element Can't say we're not totally excited for where this thing is headed. You can find download links here to get Pushbullet for whichever devices you want it on. [via Pushbullet]
Sprint today had a couple of new plans to announce. The first is All-In, which is the company's new pricing structure that makes it easy to understand and buy new smartphones and service. Sprint's fuel against competing carriers is that those fancy "$80 all you can eat" plans are often advertised without mentioning the other monthly charges tacked on, such as Verizon's infamous access fee, or the cost of paying for your smartphone. The idea is that you get one easy-to-understand monthly rate for the cost of service + buying your smartphone, no matter which smartphone you buy. The starting rate is $60 for unlimited talk, text and data + $20 per month for covering the cost of your device off-contract, which amounts to a smooth $80 per month. That's the idea. The reality is as follows (as noted in the fine print that they never want you to read): * You can only choose between the 32GB Samsung Galaxy S6, HTC One M9, LG G4 or iPhone 6, with no further options hinted to be on the horizon. * There is a $36 one-time activation fee, but there are no other upfront costs. * The $20 per month smartphone payment is considered a "lease." * If you can't go the full 24 months, you have to give the phone back and pay the remainder of the lease period. * Sprint notes you have the option to "purchase" the phone at the end of the 24 month leasing period or at time of termination, but we're not yet sure if any previous payments made through leasing will go toward that. We'll reach out to confirm. * Note that you also have the option of simply continuing to pay the $20 per month lease beyond 24 months. * Sprint says the "offer" for the plan ends August 6th, so this pricing may not even be a permanent option. That's just what we know from the fine print, but it doesn't sound all that amazing on paper (sure does make for a sweet way to advertise, though). We'll be looking to clarify every nook and cranny of this new plan and we'll be sure to update you on anything we hear. Regardless, Sprint is excited about it -- so much so, in fact, that they've teamed up with David Beckham to advertise it. Nothing like having one of the most famous men in sports talking up your new plans. Also on tap is a new plan in conjunction with Best Buy. It's the Best Buy One Family Plan, which gives you and another soul unlimited everything for a cool $100 per month. That doesn't include any possible smartphone payments, and adding more people will add an additional $40 per month per line. Not amazing, but not bad. Both the All-In and Best Buy One Family plans (only available when upgrading or buying new service at Best Buy Mobile) are available starting today. Be sure to consider your options carefully before jumping in!
It was a mere month ago that a reputable Redditor with inside knowledge dropped news of a few forthcoming Motorola handsets. Those handsets included what we believed to be the 3rd generation Moto X, as well as a phone being made specifically for Verizon (likely a DROID). That phone was the Motorola XT1585 Kinzie, and now word of its existence seems to be backed up by a solid benchmark. GFXBench shows a phone that sports a 5.5-inch Quad HD display, Qualcomm's Octa-Core Snapdragon 810, 3GB of RAM, "21GB" of internal storage (likely 32GB with a lot chopped off for the system), a 20 megapixel camera with 4K video and a 5 megapixel front camera. It's also running Android 5.1, though that's not too surprising. So, par for the course for a 2015 flagship. That's still about as much as we know about the phone to this point, though it's nice to get a solid sheet of specs to look forward to ahead of announcement. Is this sounding like a DROID that you wouldn't mind owning?
Moto X 2nd Gen users on Verizon are being treated to Android 5.1, with Verizon announcing that a rollout has commenced. It brings the software version up to 23.16.3.VICTARA_VERIZON.VERIZON.EN.USVZW. If you don't remember, Android 5.1 was mostly a bug fixing update, but it did introduce a couple of key quality-of-life improvements. Namely, volume controls are now more easily accessible from the notification shade thanks to a new bell icon, and WiFi and Bluetooth connections are easily managed with new drop down mechanics. The update also brings interruption / downtime controls to let you manage which notifications can get through when you set your phone to do not disturb, as well as factory reset protection that prevents unauthorized access to your phone even after it has been wiped clean. The goods are going out over the air in waves, so be sure to check for the update (probably best to be on WiFi and have a good charge) in the settings menu. Otherwise, wait for your phone to let you know that the update is ready for the taking. [via Verizon]
Good news for HTC One M9 owners on Sprint: starting this Wednesday, July 1st, you can expect an update to Android 5.1 Lollipop. It's the current latest version of Android (well, until Android M launches later this year) and brings small improvements to the UI, as well as other nifty features and bug fixes. We actually took a look at some of these improvements last week when an early version of the software leaked out. The coolest part was the ability to change the temperature of your phone's display. Whether or not this makes its way to all models remains to be seen. We'll be sure to find out more once the update officially commences on Wednesday, but don't freak out if you don't receive it right away. Over-the-air updates often roll out in stages on Sprint, so it could be a day or 2 before you see it hit your device. [Twitter]
If Motorola Mobility's recent tweet is any indication, you can expect Android 5.1 Lollipop to be hitting your Motorola DROID Turbo any minute/day/week now. What's throwing us off is the strange wording of their tweet, which says "coming" -- not that it's actually here. Yeah, it's always been coming soon. Ever since they initially announced the device would be skipping 5.0 and jumping straight to 5.1. And the re-announcement several weeks later. And now this. In any case, you should probably check for the update on your phone and let us know if you find anything. This is such a tease.
Thanks for your patience. We hope you're as excited as we are about #Lollipop - coming to a #DROIDTurbo near you. pic.twitter.com/67FHl8WCRc — Motorola Mobility (@Motorola) June 29, 2015
We're not sure what the going rate is for copper wiring, but it must be high enough that someone would risk their freedom to try and steal it. That's the situation Verizon Wireless is facing down in Southern California where someone (or a group of individuals) has been making their way from city to city, stealing Verizon's copper communications cables along the way. Verizon says that over 16,000 feet of copper cable has been stolen over the past 6 months, with the most recent of 16 incidents taking place last week on June 22nd. The result has been outages in these areas, sometimes lasting as long as several days until service could be restored. Margaret Serjack, Verizon California's region president made the following statement:
_“These thefts not only disconnect our customers from the phone and online services they count on every day, they also endanger the communities where they reside by severing a communications link to emergency services we all depend on in times of crisis. We will not tolerate these deliberate and malicious acts against our customers and our communications network.”_The thefts have occurred around the cities of Hesperia and Victorville in San Bernardino County, as well as Baldwin Park in Los Angeles County, and the community of Thermal in Riverside County. Verizon is offering up to $10,000 to anyone with information leading to the arrest and prosecution of these copper bandits. You can contact Verizon Security at 1-800-997-3287; or Deputy R. Oakleaf with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department at 760-248-7655. [Verizon]
It's probably not the Hangouts update Android users have been expecting, but Hangouts 4.0 rolled out today for iOS users and brings a slick new user interface and a few other tricks along with it. Most notably, an all new attachment UI that looks similar to other popular messaging apps, with photos that replace the keyboard for easy sending. What's more is you can now send multiple photos at once, something anyone that's spent a lot of time with the app will appreciate. With Google Photos now backing up all your photos and videos for free (the Android version of the app pools these in with your on-device photos), this is something that should really come handy. While we have yet to hear a peep out of Google, we're crossing our fingers that an Android version isn't too far behind. With "Update Wednesday" soon approaching, it could be no more than a few days away although we wont get our hopes up. Maybe Google will finally allow Android users to send video clips -- like they already do on iOS -- as well? [iTunes]
You know we're getting close to the launch of the Motorola Moto G 2015 when press renders of the device are leaked online. This time, the good folks at _TechnoBuffalo_ are doing the honors, giving us our clearest look yet at the device before it's officially unveiled. The updated aesthetics look nice enough, with the Moto G Allegedly going by the codename “Osprey” and carrying model XT1540, the updated Moto G aesthetics look nice enough, with the came and "M" logo dimple accentuated by a piece of plastic reminiscent of an LG device or the ASUS ZenFone 2. Unfortunately, we didn't get any confirmation on the device's internal hardware, although we're hearing a higher res camera, Snapdragon 410 processor, and slightly beefier battery will round out improvements for the 2015 model. What do you guys think?