I would hope that I am not in the minority when I say that pre-Lollipop, the Android setup and restore process was terrible. In fact, I don’t know if we can even consider the previous process to be much of a restore process. In the past, you input your Google account credentials and then told it to restore, though you had no idea where it was restoring from, which apps would be downloaded automatically, and if you were going to spend more time after the restore uninstalling stuff than you would have freshly installing only the things you need. But with Android 5.0, you have two new options that have been so greatly improved, I can’t even think of an adjective to describe them other than, awesome.
In Android 5.0 “Lollipop,” Google is introducing two new options for restoring your devices – Tap & Go, and specific device restores. The first, actually works just like it sounds; you tap your old device to your new device and go! With specific device restores, this is Google’s way of letting you decide which specific device you want to restore from, a method that is incredibly handy should you deal with or have owned multiple Android devices. Both are equally great, so we wanted to make sure you understood each. (more…)
I get that the timing of this post seems super silly, especially after the conversations we had yesterday, including one where I said I don’t buy Nexus phones to flash all the things, but you know what? Many of you did buy a Nexus 6 or Nexus 9 to do just that, flash and tinker, so we want to make sure you know how to get started. Also, the process for unlocking the Nexus 6 or Nexus 9’s bootloader that we are about to walk through is something I do with all Nexus devices I own, because there is always a chance I may want to tinker later on down the road. Why not be prepared? (more…)
When Android 5.0 “Lollipop” went into a final preview build shortly after being announced by Google, we ran through a series of features to make sure you knew all about the awesomeness that was about to grace your phone or tablet. One of those features was Smart Lock, which is Google’s take on Trusted Devices, a feature that uses Bluetooth or NFC (or your face in Lollipop) to allow you to bypass secure lock screens when you are near, but securely lock the device when you need it most. We are happy to report today that Google has added a new and incredibly useful feature to Smart Lock, thanks to the latest Google Play Services 6.5 update that began rolling out yesterday. That’s right, Smart Lock just got better without a system update. (more…)
So you received your brand new Nexus 6 today, straight from a factory in China, and you walk into a Verizon or AT&T or Sprint store to have it activated for use. As you and a sales rep get the process going, you get to the point where they need to scan the nano SIM for the phone and then your phone’s IMEI. You can almost taste the Lollipop. You will soon know how many licks it takes. You are this close. The sweat needed to give you extra grip on the 6-inch whale in front of you is starting to build in the palm of your hand. Your fresh pair of JNCOs is crisp from the dryer. The fresh Free Willy tattoo under your tribal band still has a bandage protecting its scab. You are a Nexus 6 owner. No, even better – you are an unlocked Nexus 6 owner on the verge of becoming one with a marine mammal. “I tell you what to do, carrier,” you say under your breath as you reach for your newly activated phone.
And then the sales rep gives you that look. You have seen this look before, typically when the 7-11 clerk scans your lottery ticket. You sir, do not have a winner. “Sorry, the phone won’t activate because the IMEI is not in our system. There is nothing I can do,” the sales rep says. (more…)
If you buy one of the new Nexus devices – the Nexus 9 or Nexus 6 – and plan to unlock its bootloader upon first boot, so that you can get to tinkering, understand that you may have to enable the “OEM unlock” command that would typically be used to accomplish that task. In Android 5.0 “Lollipop,” Google has added a check box under Developer Options that enables the OEM unlock command to work. If that box isn’t checked, then I would imagine you will see an error during the bootloader unlock process. (more…)
If you asked me to tell you what my favorite feature is from the Moto X line, I wouldn’t hesitate to say that Moto Display is it, without a doubt. To have your phone’s display light up with useful information as you pick it up, pull it out of a bag or pocket, or as it receives a notification is game-changing. Forget the LED light, we all need Moto Display in our lives.
So what happens to Moto Display when Google and Motorola partner up to deliver the next Nexus phone, the Nexus 6? You get Ambient Display, which is Google’s take on our favorite phone feature in years. (more…)
With an update to Android 4.4W.2, Android Wear now supports music playback while offline, which is a fancy way of saying that it is not connected to your phone. This is a pretty useful new feature, as you can pair your watch with a Bluetooth headset, leave your phone behind, and enjoy music on the go (it’s great for workouts where you don’t want to lug your massive phone around).
Since many of you are now receiving this new 4.4W.2 update, we thought it was time to walk you through the steps on how to setup this new functionality. The entire process can be a bit tricky, and is also insanely slow, so let’s talk it out together. (more…)
When you first boot a device running Android 5.0 “Lollipop” and open Chrome Beta, a pop-up will introduce you to the idea that your Chrome Beta tabs will now be a part of the app switcher UI. That might sound cool on the surface, but unfortunately, the implementation isn’t great yet. Thankfully, you can easily turn this feature on or off until Google (hopefully) adds back some of the functionality that goes missing with this option turned on. Let’s talk about how this all works. (more…)