[slides through the door] I'm here! Apologies for posting this not yesterday, I meant to but I had my hours cut and now I leave work by 1 PM and as of yesterday pre-5 PM I still had no working DSL (thank you very much, AT&T) or computer in my room. I can post this today though and now I have working DSL again (no thanks to you, AT&T) and a computer to setup when I get home. I have a sweet desktop with a kickass processor (compared to my previous one), a ridiculous amount of RAM (24 gigs of really good memory) and a hard drive that I'll be replacing today with a spare Western Digital Black one I've had waiting for my new setup (and which will be replaced with an SSD one once I've got some spare cash and time). The "Yeah! Fuck Yeah!" GIF comes to mind thinking of all this.
So news by the time I left yesterday wasn't very much. It was after I split that quite a few things dropped.
Google App Updates
First off, rather than list every single Google app that got updates I'm just gonna list them with the links to the apk files. Grab what you want, but know the following: The Chromecast app got a seriously big update. Material Design and a new Guest Mode! Also the Android Wear app got about the same, Material Design and some serious updating for the 5.0.1 Android Wear update that should be hitting your wrists before the end of the week (and it is a big update on that front!).
That's everything that dropped as of yesterday and I would and did personally update them all.
Lollipop 5.0.1 OTA Update
Lollipop has been updated and that is slowly rolling out to devices, the new update brings it to 5.0.1 and I'm not sure what's new just yet. I'm assuming bug fixes and minor thingsl ike that. There are a handful of devices that have already begun to receive the OTA update and I shall include links below that you can sideload at your convenience.
Moto G Google Play Edition: The OTA update can be found here. Your device does need to be on Kit Kat 4.4.4 (Build KTU84P) to sideload the update.
I cannot stress enough that the Moto G Google Play Edition device is NOT the same as the regular Moto G. DO NOT SIDELOAD THE UPDATE IF YOU HAVE A REGULAR MOTO G (2013). YOU WILL FUCK THINGS UP! (You can sideload the update though if you've converted your Moto G to the Moto G GPe setup.)
Nexus 4: It is scary how quickly this one got the 5.0.1 update, which you can grab from here. This will take you from 5.0 (Build LRX21T) to 5.0.1 (Build LRX22C).
Nexus 6: Grab the OTA update from here. This will take you from 5.0 (Build LRX21O) to 5.0.1 (Build LRX22C).
If you've got any of those three devices please see the link "Lollipop OTA Update/Factory Image Links!" to learn how to sideload the update if you don't want to wait for it to hit your phone.
Android Wear 5.0.1
This is the big one, folks.
So first off, this will be rolling out over the next few days. So if you haven't received the update on your Android Wear device then just relax, have patience because it will hit it soon enough.
The first big difference that comes with this update is that we now have a custom watch face API available for developers to use, instead of the workaround that was previously being used. This is very much a good thing and watch faces will now be available in their own section in the Play Store! There are dozens of them! Dozens!
Now, since I mentioned that there was a workaround already for watch faces to be loaded onto watches what does this mean for those? I honestly can't say but Google had the following to say on the matter, "Once the rollout is complete, please transition your existing watch faces to the new API by January 31, 2015, at which point we plan to remove support for watch faces that don't use the official API."
That doesn't exactly make things crystal clear, but let's just assume that it would be in your best interest to reach out to any developers whose watch faces you're using already or planning to use and ask that they update their apps/watch faces to work with the new API. Definitely can't hurt in the long run.
Speaking of apps updating to use the new API, both Muzei and Facer have been updated. Material Design has hit both apps, with Muzei now having its Muzei-awesomeness now being available as a watch face and Facer breaking compatibility for use with any devices not updated to 5.0.1 (which basically means most people's devices at present). Both of these are must have apps on their own and these updates make two amazing apps even better. If you've got an Android Wear device and aren't using them already (and you can use Muzei by itself as is for your smartphone or tablet) then I highly suggest installing them in advance of the update because why the heck not, amirite?
As for what the update brings to Android Wear devices themselves, it's a number of useful things that some of us have been clamoring for since the inception of Android Wear.
First and foremost among them is the ability to bring back cards that were accidentally dismissed. This is something that is beyond easy to do, accidentally dismiss a card, and previously there was no way to bring them back short of resetting the device completely. I don't think I need to tell any of you how annoying and tedious a "fix" that is for such a simple mistake and oversight.
Additionally, tapping on a watch face will bring up a list of recently used actions. Kinda neat, especially for those of us who don't have the Wear Mini Launcher app installed on our device(s) for one reason or another.
You'll also now be able to access various settings by swiping down from the top of the screen, previously this led only to being able to "mute" any incoming notifications. A welcome change yet again for those of us who do without Wear Mini Launcher.
On top of that there are two new modes for the display. One is Theater Mode, which as the name implies is perfect for dark rooms, and this one lets you keep the screen off while muting vibrations. The other is Sunlight Mode and this one temporarily boosts the screen to maximum brightness when outdoors. I assume that one is going to be reliant on sensors knowing when it is outdoors, but don't quote me on that.
Although I personally have mine set to a brightness level of 2 and have never had issues on either my LG G Watch or Moto 360 seeing the display when outside. It should also be noted I live in South Texas where it is sunny and fucking hot all year round and if I can see the display in the sunlight, and I'm blind as a bat, I think it's safe to say anyone else should be able to as well.
(Approximate view of what it is like living in South Texas. You don't know hell until you experience our summers, which basically last the entire year.)
Hey, Bender, gonna make some noise with your hard drive scratched by the Beastie Boys! Sorry, couldn't help myself. I absolutely love that line and will throw it in there every chance I can anytime I can.
The ability to block notifications from any app on your watch itself has also been introduced. Previously the way to accomplish that action was through the Android Wear app on your phone or tablet itself and frankly while it worked it was also a bit silly to not be able to do that on, you know, your freaking watch. So right on!
You'll also now be able to see battery and storage usage (via the Android Wear app). So yet another thing we've long wanted and wondered why it wasn't something we could do already.
As far as I know that's it as far as new things it brings, although there's likely more that I just don't know about yet. You can rest assured as soon as the update hits my Moto 360 I'll dive in and start figuring it all out and then do a review on the update.
Cerberus 3.0 is live!
I know they recently did a beta for some of this for people who signed up via the Google+ community and at least one of the things being beta tested didn't make it to this version that is now live, but in all fairness it was sort of buggy and I personally experienced some serious issues with the app while beta testing it.
That said, the one thing that I noticed that did survive beta testing is the disabling of the ability to power off the device from the lockscreen. That's a big one and one most thieves do immediately after swiping a device. You can't locate what isn't powered on. Thankfully you can disable that now and avoid the basic loss of your device entirely.
As for everything else, well, it's mostly the same except now it's in a Material Design friendly and lovely package.
Th-th-that's all, folks!
And that is all I've got for you today. Going forward, as of today that is, I'll likely be putting these posts up on Wednesday afternoons from home. Working DSL and shorter work day and all, which means if there's any questions or comments or anything like that I'll be able to respond. You have no idea how hard it is just replying from your phone when Kinja is being Kinja and making even simple replies difficult. (Hey, whoever messes with Kinja and makes it retarded, it's doing that thing again where using the Google Keyboard and Chrome on Lollipop 5.0 it jumps the cursor around. That is annoying as hell and if no one else has said anything about it or is just living with it then I for one won't. Fix that nonsense! Or you'll rue the day... [mutters vague threats under his breath])