Android 5.0 Update: Which Smartphones will get Lollipop and When?

The Android 5.0 update release: which smartphones will get Lollipop and when
The launch of a major software update is an exciting event for any smartphone geek. Updates patch bugs and bring goodies of all sorts, including visual and functional improvements. But an update’s release can be annoying in that it always takes time for the software to arrive. And sometimes, the wait is a lengthy one – it has been six months since Google previewed Android L, which subsequently became Android 5.0 Lollipop, and the update has yet to land on most popular smartphones out there.
Still, it should be easier to cope with the wait when you know how long you’ll be waiting for. That’s why we combed the web in search of official and trustworthy information on the matter. Here’s when the popular Android smartphones are going to get their Lollipop updates. Keep in mind that we’ll be updating the post if/when new information becomes available.

Samsung 

The Android 5.0 update release: which smartphones will get Lollipop and when

Samsung Galaxy S5 – Android 5.0 Lollipop for the smartphone is already available in a number of markets worldwide, including South Korea, Russia, Malaysia, as well as parts of central and Western Europe. Galaxy S5 owners in the U.S., however, still have Android 4.4.x KitKat running on their handsets. The AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile variants of the smartphone are probably going to get the new software in the coming weeks, although that’s just an assumption.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – While official information on the Android 5.0 update for the Galaxy Note 4 is scarce, rumor has it that the new software should start rolling out before January is out. U.S. carriers are also expected to launch Lollipop on the Galaxy Note 4 within this time frame. Interestingly, Samsung is said to be skipping the 5.0 version of the OS and will update the Galaxy Note 4 straight to Android 5.0.1, which brings along a number of bug fixes.
Samsung Galaxy S4 – Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S4 will get its Lollipop treat, and we’ve already had the chance to see what the new software should look like. However, we’re not exactly sure when the update is going to land on the non-GPe versions of the handset.
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 – Unofficial Lollipop ROMs for the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 have been floating around, but an official update is still nowhere to be found at this point. At least we know that an update to Android 5.0 is definitely in the works and will come sooner or later, most likely after the company’s newer phones have been updated.
Furthermore, Samsung is planning on pushing out Android 5.0 Lollipop updates to the Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy Alpha, Galaxy S5 Active, Galaxy S5 Mini, and the Galaxy Note 2. We’ll update this post once we learn more details as to when the updated software might launch.

LG 

The Android 5.0 update release: which smartphones will get Lollipop and when

LG G3 – LG was quick to bring the Android 5.0 Lollipop update to its flagship smartphone; the software has been out since November. Its availability, however, is still limited. So far, we have reports of the update launching in South Korea and select parts of Europe, including Poland and the Nordic countries. Vodafone subscribers in the U.K. have been reached by the update as well, reportedly.

LG G2 – The good news is that LG’s former flagship, the LG G2, will surely be updated to Android 5.0. Unfortunately, we don’t have any specifics as to when the software might launch. What we know is that the Lollipop update will reach the G2 soon after it rolls out to the G3 globally. The new software is expected to update the G2’s UI by bringing the skin currently present on the G3, along with some or all of its perks.
Another smartphone we’re expecting to get Android 5.0 is the LG G Pro 2, but its maker has not announced any update plans yet. Likewise, there’s no word on whether any recent mid-range Android smartphone by LG will get the Lollipop treat.

HTC

The Android 5.0 update release: which smartphones will get Lollipop and when

HTC One (M8) – Android 5.0 Lollipop was expected to arrive on the One (M8) by January 3, but that didn’t quite happen, obviously. Word on the street has it that the software is actually bound to roll out within 1 to 2 weeks, although we’re assuming that U.S. carriers may take longer to push the update to their subscribers.

Lollipop will not bring a new version of HTC Sense, as thought at first. Or at least that’s what the latest leaks indicate. Of course, this doesn’t rule out the possibility of seeing a Sense 7.0 interface update launched in the future.
HTC One (M7) –  HTC’s former flagship is also in line for an update, but your guess as to when the software might start rolling out is as good as ours. It seems safe to assume that the HTC One will be updated soon after the One (M8) gets the Lollipop update.
In addition, the Android 5.0 Lollipop update is likely to be released for smartphones covered by the HTC Advantage program. These include theHTC One (E8), One Mini 2 (also known as the HTC Remix on Verizon), One Max, and the One Mini. Older devices will take longer to update, we assume.

Motorola

The Android 5.0 update release: which smartphones will get Lollipop and when

Motorola Moto G (2014) – The Moto G (2014) was one of the first non-Nexus devices to receive an update to Android 5.0 Lollipop. That happened back in mid-November, when the software launched for both the US and global versions of the device. However, there’s still a number of markets where the update has not been given the green light yet. Motorola isn’t giving any specific times and dates regarding the software’s further release.

Motorola Moto G (2013) – Yup, last year’s Moto G is getting updated to Lollipop as well. In fact, there have been reports of Android 5.0 already reaching some Moto G owners, although there appear to be many who are still waiting for their update to arrive.
Motorola Moto X (2014) – Android 5.0 launched for the handset back in November, when the Pure Edition of the device was served some Lollipop goodness. The Verizon model followed suit several days later.
In addition to these smartphones, Motorola will update the following handsets to Android 5.0 Lollipop: Motorola Droid Ultra, Droid Maxx, Droid Mini, Moto E, and the 2013-edition Motorola Moto X.

Sony

The Android 5.0 update release: which smartphones will get Lollipop and when

Sony Xperia Z3 – First, the good news: the Xperia Z3 will most likely be the first non-GPe Sony smartphone to get the Android 5.0 update. As for the not-so-good news, the new software is going to take about a month more to arrive; Sony is aiming for an early February roll-out.

Sony Xperia Z2 – The Xperia Z2 should get its Lollipop dose soon after the software hits the Xperia Z3. This means we’re probably going to see the update launching in February.

Sony Xperia Z1 – There’s definitely an Xperia Z1 Android 5.0 update in the works, but, to no surprise, the Z2 and Z3 are being prioritized over the former flagship. If you’re an Xperia Z1 owner, you might want to brace yourself with patience.

As for the rest of the Xperia lineup, Sony has confirmed that all of its premium Z-series smartphones and tablets will be updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop. These include the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia Z1S, Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1 Compact, Xperia Z2 Tablet, Xperia Z3v, Xperia Z3 Compact, and Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact.

Google announces New Stock Android Galaxy S4, Google Play Games Services, Android Studio, new APis and more!

Samsung Galaxy S4 with stock Android is real: Nexus experience coming on June 26

The Samsung Galaxy S4 ‘developer edition’ is real, folks! Google has just announced the Galaxy S4 with stock Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and none of that TouchWiz wizardry. Pure Android, just as so many people like it.

The Galaxy S4 with stock Android will land on the Google Play store on June 26th for an off contract price of $649.

The S4 with stock Android will support 4G LTE and you’d be able to use it on the U.S. GSM carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile. It will have 16GB of internal storage, come with a fully unlocked bootloader and you won’t need to wait for system updates from carriers. Freedom, a lot of us wished for it, and now we have it!

Google announces new APIs for improved user location tracking

Google announces new APIs for improved user location tracking

The Google I/O conference has just kicked off, and one of the first announcements made at the event was that of three new APIs – three great tools to help developers make better apps. In particular, the APIs aid in determining the location of the user in a number of clever ways.

The first of these tools is a location provider that takes advantage of all of the device’s sensors. The result is a more precise location obtained in a shorter time. At the same time, the software has been optimized to suck as little battery as possible – down to less than 1% per hour of usage.

The second API is called Geofencing and lets developers implement “borders” within their software. Actions then can be triggered within the software whenever the user physically crosses one of these borders.

Last but not least we have an API for activity recognition. Simply put, the software is capable of determining whether the user is walking, driving, or riding a bike.

Google unveils Android Studio: new smart IntelliJ-based IDE

Google said its I/O conference will be hugely focused on developers and one of the best news for coders is a brand new Android Studio, an integrated development environment (IDE) by Google that is based on the IntelliJ platform.

It comes with a deep semantic understanding of Android, and with internationalization (i18n) built in the IDE so you don’t have to hardcode i18n options but instead just refer to pre-built objects. It also comes with an absolutely brilliant layout editor showing you how your code looks on different form factors and screen sizes.

Images courtesy of TheVerge - Google unveils Android Studio: new smart IntelliJ-based IDE
Android Studio comes with live code updates and even font changes are visible immediately. This – Google teases – is just scratching the surface.

“We have big plans for Android Studio — we plan to integrate more and more services.” Android Studio is definitely a big step forward for Google developers and shows that Google is not content with having that talk about Apple developers making more money than Android devs. That’s one smart step toward changing that.

Google announces Google Play Games Services with cross-platform gaming

Google announces Google Play Games Services with cross-platform gamingWe had heard that Google was working on a platform called Google Play Games, and the official announcement has been made. The platform comes in the form of a number of new APIs under the heading of Google Play Games Services, and it will offer all of the features that we came to expect based on various APK teardowns, but the real surprise is that Google is releasing the APIs for iOS and the web as well for true cross-platform gaming.

As we expected from the leaks and APK teardowns, Google Play Games Services will offer Cloud Save, which allows for syncing game saves across devices, public leaderboards, achievements, matchmaking, and multiplayer. As we expected, the leaderboards, and matchmaking for multiplayer will be managed by Google+, so you have one more reason to get into G+. The only feature that had been rumored that Google didn’t specifically mention was in-game chat, so we’ll have to keep our eyes out to see if that really will be made available.
We’ve compared this service to Xbox LIVE before, and that is mostly because, like LIVE, Google Play Games has Google servers doing the heavy lifting for the networking and multiplayer. As Hugo Barra put it: “We’re going to deal with all the hard networking problems and do all the work for you.”
There was an attempt at demoing multiplayer in Riptide 2, but the connection couldn’t be made. Barra blamed it on the overloaded network in the Moscone Center, and we’re hoping that really was the issue. Google has already pulled in a number of big name developers to Play Games Services, including Miniclip, Glu, Omni, Noodlecake, Gameloft, and more.
Google Play Services will begin rolling out today to all Android devices running Android 2.2 Froyo or higher. No word on when APIs would be available for iOS or the web.

Google unveils new unified ‘Hangouts’ messaging service for iOS, Android

google hangouts

Google’s I/O keynote is still ongoing, and the company just unveiled a major new service: Hangouts. Originally rumored to be called ‘Babel,’ Hangouts is a cross-platform messaging system that will take the place of Google Talk, Google+ Messenger, Google+ Hangout video chat, and pretty much everything else.

It’s basically a messaging app, in the same vein as WhatsApp or Kik, offering synchronized chat across virtually all of your devices. Google has mixed in a lot of its own personal flavor though, building in the ability for users to go back through their chat history, delete messages, and even grab files from past conversations…

hangouts promo

Continuing with the differences, the Hangout app presents users with a list of recent text conversations, rather than a contact list. Each conversation gets its own name, and is stored in the cloud, allowing users to message others even if they’re not connected. This also allows for seamless syncing between multiple devices.

TechCrunch has more on the service:

“Presence, or knowing when friends are available to chat, is a big focus. You can see when friends are on Hangouts, if they’re currently typing, and if they’ve seen your messages [also known as read receipts]. Using Google+ Circles, you can select specific friends or a whole group to start a chat with.

Hangouts takes care to deliver your messages to whichever web interface or mobile app your friends are using. If you’re offline, Hangouts will store your messages until you return. Unlike Google Talk, it won’t send you an email every time you get a message while offline.”

And all of this focus on ‘presence’ pays off, as Hangouts is constantly aware of what platform you’re using to chat. This way, you won’t have to worry about receiving duplicate notifications on different platforms. The idea here is that you can start and stop conversations smoothly regardless of if you’re on desktop, Android or iOS.

Watch Google I/O 2013 Live!

google io 2013

Another year, another chance to experience the awesome Google I/O conference! Of course, it’s safe to say that the most important moment of the whole conference is the keynote, which will take place in 3… 2… 1… nope, just kidding, it’ll start at:

Start Time: 12PM ET | 11AM CT | 10AM MT | 9AM PT | 4PM GMT | 6PM CET | 7PM Beirut Time

You can watch here the live webcast. All you need to do in order to enjoy the goodness of today’s streaming media is to hit the Play button of the player above..

What to Expect.. 

Google’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, begins Wednesday morning, and it has a tough act to follow.

The company set the bar high last year with a product- and event-dominated agenda, including the well-reviewed Nexus 7 tablet, a big step up for Android in version 4.1 “Jelly Bean” and an amazing skydiving stunt to hype Google Glass. Even the Nexus Q media console — a dud if there ever was one — was notable: It didn’t just fail, it failed spectacularly.

So how can Google top itself for 2013? Answer: by not trying. Ahead of the conference, Google’s Android head Sundar Pichai sought to manage expectations in an interview with Wired. Don’t expect the same product carnival we saw in Google I/O 2012. This year, Google is amping up the geek factor (if that’s possible) and focusing on developers.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be any product announcements, just that the majority of them will probably be software rather than hardware. We also likely won’t see any new game-changers the way Google Glass stole headlines last year. In 2012, Google was planting seeds; now it’s watering them.

Here’s what we expect to see growing in that garden:

Glass Gets Clearer

Google Glass isn’t just a weird object sitting on a few Googlers’ faces anymore. Now, thousands of developers have the hardware, and most of them will be at I/O. Google is loading Day 2 of the conference with several sessions dedicated to developing for Glass, and there’s a good chance it will use the conference to reveal more official apps. Maybe we’ll finally see automatic picture-taking mode.

Might we see Sergey Brin interrupt another one of his executives on stage during Wednesday’s keynote to showcase another larger-than-life Glass stunt? Anything’s possible, but he’d have a hard time topping last year’s skydive — especially now that Glass is a real thing in developers’ hands and not some semi-mythical device.

Android Game Center

The most credible rumor about the coming conference is that Google will announce an official Android Game Center — a central hub for games on the platform where players can post scores, compete with each other and even engage in multiplayer gaming.

It’s an overdue feature, and would finally give Android the equivalent of Game Center on iOS. The introduction of Google Game Center for Android (as it’s rumored to be called) will make it easier for developers to create engaging, multiplayer games by standardizing the tools involved. Android phones, tablets and gaming devices such as Nvidia’s Project Shield will all benefit.

Might the introduction of an Android Game Center mean a return of the Nexus Q as a gateway to Android gaming on a TV? That’s doubtful, but if we don’t see some kind of rebirth for the Q at I/O 2013, we can consider it dead and buried.

Android Update

There will definitely be some kind of update to Android at Google I/O 2013, but it’s unclear how big of an update. Early rumors pegged the conference as the launchpad for version 5.0 “Key Lime Pie,” but now the buzz is pointing to a less momentous change in the ecosystem.

Yes, we may get another flavor of Jelly Bean before we can stuff ourselves with Pie. Android 4.3 supposedly upgrades the OS to Bluetooth Smart Ready, meaning phones will support low-energy devices such as heart-rate monitors. As for other features, we’ll have to wait and see, but they’re sure to be similarly minor.

Hardware

A new tablet? Yes, that’s probably on deck, but it looks like it’ll be an update to Google’s succesful Nexus 7 rather than something new. A Nexus 8 — something to compete more directly with the iPad mini — has occasionally been rumored, but reports about it petered out, suggesting it was never real, or may debut later.

What about the Motorola X phone, which has been talked about for months? That’s almost certainly in development, but if it makes an appearance at I/O, it’ll probably be in an early preview form rather than a launch. Given how most companies reveal phones these days, Google would be breaking sharply from the current pattern if it unveiled something that won’t be on store shelves for months.

Babel

One of the bigger software announcements that’s been rumored is Google Babel (or Babble), which will represent a unification of Google’s myriad chat services. With Babel, products such as Drive, Gmail and Google+ will all use the same communication tools.

Babel looks very likely because it’s something Google really needs. However, various sites are reporting that Babel is just a code name, and Google will instead adopt terminology from Google+, and just call the new tool Hangouts.

Google Maps Update

Last year was a big year for maps. Not only did Apple launch its own service, but both Google and Apple upgraded their maps to 3D. Is there still much to do?

There could be. An upgrade to Google Maps’ design on the web is rumored to be on the agenda(making better use of space by overlaying info rather than putting it in margins), as well as more effort behind indoor maps. I’m sure anyone who ever got lost in an airport terminal will be glad for that.

More Output

Although it’s seemingly killing services left and right, Google still manages a lot of services, and I/O will likely bring with it updates to Chrome (what’s up with Blink?), Wallet (is that credit card coming?), TV (it’s do or die), Music (where’s on-demand streaming at?) and Photos (doing anything with Nik?).

Then there are the ongoing X projects, including the self-driving car and Google Fiber. We’ll probably get some mentions, possibly even clever ones, but not a lot of news other than the progress we already know about.

A Gentler I/O

So Google won’t be outdoing itself with another product cavalcade this year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s slowing down. A quieter period was inevitable after Google launched high-profile products such as Glass and the Nexus tablets. But that gives developers more time to work with the tools Google has created, potentially leading to even greater benefits down the road.