Phandroid » OTA Updates Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:08:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Surprise: OnePlus One’s Lollipop updates are delayed Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:27:34 +0000 oneplus one lollipop

OnePlus made a commitment to get CyanogenMod 12S and OxygenOS out to OnePlus One users by the end of this month. They promised that a failure to do so would result in a phone giveaway to show how serious they were to that commitment.

Aaaaannd it looks like they’re giving away phones. OnePlus One held another Ask Me Anything session on the Android subreddit, and when asked about the Lollipop-based upgrades promised they had some unfortunate news to share: they aren’t positive they’ll be ready in time.

OnePlus says they have stable firmware ready to go and things are running as smoothly as they ought to be, but unforeseen delays in the certification process might extend the timeline a bit further than they originally anticipated. As such, they confirmed they will be giving away at least 5 OnePlus One units. That doesn’t sound like a whole lot to part ways with for a manufacturer, but when you have profit margins as slim as OnePlus’s it’s a pretty big deal.

Perhaps more troubling is that they aren’t willing to give us another estimated release date, but perhaps they’ve learned a valuable lesson in all this and have adopted Cyanogen’s old way of thinking: no ETAs on OTAs, and it’ll be ready when it’s ready. OnePlus One says to stay on the lookout for more information in the days to come.

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Download: Android 5.1 build LMY47I factory images now available for Nexus 6 and Nexus 5 Thu, 26 Mar 2015 12:05:49 +0000 nexus 6 tips (3)

Another minor firmware upgrade for those on Android 5.1 has been released by Google, and it’s headed to both the Nexus 5 and Nexus 6. It’s build LMY47I, and there doesn’t appear to be much new compared to the base release of Android 5.1. It’s our understanding that this release deals with a couple of bugs pertaining to dual-SIM support, but that’s about it.

If you’re in a rush to get it and don’t want to wait for the OTA you’ll be happy to know that the factory images for both are now available for download directly from Google.

As always, you’ll need fastboot (available in the SDK tools) to flash the system image to your Nexus device. Google has instructions laid out at the aforementioned link so be sure to reference it if your flashing skills are a bit rusty. Let us know how it’s treating your device once you’ve gotten it loaded up!

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AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is now getting Android 5.0 Lollipop Tue, 24 Mar 2015 16:32:25 +0000 note 4 lollipop

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 owners on AT&T are waking up to a very nice treat today. The company has announced that the upgrade to Android 5.0 Lollipop has started rolling out. It’s 1.2GB in size, and WiFi is a requirement to download it over-the-air. You’ll be looking for build LRX22C.N910AUCU1COC2, and this changelog doesn’t make it sound like much is changing:

  • Android 5.0 (Lollipop)
  • Service additions:
    • Find My Mobile
    • Reactivation lock
  • Stability improvements

That said, you already know about all the goodness Android 5.0 Lollipop brings on its own so just get excited. Head to Settings > About Device > Software Updates to check for it right away.

[via AT&T]

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Amazon Fire TV is getting support for Bluetooth headsets, expandable USB storage and more Tue, 24 Mar 2015 15:52:07 +0000 amazon fire tv and remote

Amazon’s announced a great new update for their TV products, which include the Amazon Fire TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick. The two biggest features users will care about is support for expandable storage via the device’s USB port, as well as the ability to listen to your content using Bluetooth wireless headphones.

There’s also a neat feature that’ll easily allow you to bypass web authentication processes when you connect the Fire TV and TV Stick to certain public WiFi hotspots (such as those found in hotels, universities and coffee shops). Here’s the full list of what’s coming:

  • Expandable USB storage on Amazon Fire TV—You can now use a connected USB mass storage device to expand your Fire TV storage for downloaded apps and games—this enables you to have more games downloaded for easy access.
  • Connect to your hotel or dorm room Wi-Fi with captive portal support out of the box—Take your favorite movies, TV shows, games, and more with you away from home—Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick are the first streaming media devices to enable you to connect to Wi-Fi that requires web authentication—this includes Wi-Fi at most major hotels, as well as some universities.
  • Private listening on Fire TV—Enjoy favorite movies and TV shows after the kids go to sleep, without worrying about waking them up. Support for wireless Bluetooth headphones to Fire TV lets you listen to your movie, TV show, or music without bothering others in your household.
  • Browse and search Prime Playlists—Prime members can now take advantage of hand-crafted Prime Music playlists directly from Fire TV and Fire TV Stick—there are hundreds of expertly curated Prime Playlists to choose from based on your mood, activity or even artist or decade of choice.
  • Hidden PIN entry—With the new PIN entry screen that hides the numbers selected, you can now make sure your kids (or freeloading friends) can’t see your device PIN as you enter it on-screen to confirm a purchase on Fire TV or Fire TV Stick.
  • New shortcuts—Quickly put your Fire TV or Fire TV Stick to sleep or enable display mirroring by pressing and holding the Home button on your remote.

There’s no exact date for the update’s release just yet, though Amazon promises it’ll be along within the coming weeks. Oh, and folks in the UK and Germany who prefer the stick-shaped variant will be happy to know that you can now order one, but it won’t be shipping until April 15th.

[via Amazon]


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Lollipop for the LG G3 and G2 on T-Mobile enters carrier testing phase, rollout imminent Mon, 23 Mar 2015 22:17:31 +0000 lg g3 lollipop coming soon

If you’ve been keeping up with T-Mobile’s recently launched Software Updates page, you may have noticed some new activity. According to T-Mobile, the LG G3 and LG G2 should expect Android 5.0 Lollipop hitting their devices relatively soon. Both of the devices have officially left the “Manufacturer Development” stage and into the “T-Mobile Testing” phase for the major software update.

T-Mobile LG G3 Lollipop

T-Mobile’s Software Updates page is a handy tool for keeping up to date with software updates for a variety of recently launched Android flagships, with the carrier defining their testing phase as the following:

“During this stage, the device will go through T-Mobile certification process testing to make sure you get the best quality software possible.”

While this will no doubt come as welcomed news to LG G3 (and G2) owners, we should note that the AT&T’s LG G3 received Lollipop nearly 6 weeks ago (Sprint’s a few days later), where the Korean model saw it all the way back in November. Needless to say, it’s been a long time coming. We’ve seen reports of the update actually lagging up the LG G3 more than usual, so you may want to consider factory resetting after updating to start fresh.

That being said, keep an eye for any incoming updates and feel free to drop us a line at if you see anything pop up. Cheers.

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Android Lollipop is getting an “on-body detection” feature that keeps your phone unlocked in your pocket Mon, 23 Mar 2015 15:51:16 +0000 on-body-detection-android

If you’re the type of person who hates having to unlock their smartphone each time they take it out of their pocket, Google is working on a feature just for you. It’s called on-body detection, and through the use of the accelerometer it predicts when the phone is in your pocket or hand and will keep it unlocked for easy use the next time you reach for it. Once you set it down on a desk or flat surface, it’ll revert to its normal locked state until the next time you unlock it.

There are several red flags that will immediately come to mind. The biggest question: how can the device tell the difference between you carrying it and someone else carrying it? It can’t, so if the device was unlocked while you were moving and the phone somehow exchanges hands while you’re still moving, it will remain unlocked and any no-gooders will have full access.

As such, this feature actually sacrifices a fair bit of security to give the user a bit more convenience. Whether that convenience is worth the sacrifice is up to you to decide based on your needs, usage pattern and environment (for instance, this wouldn’t be a feature necessary for a work-at-home guy like myself).

You can turn the feature on or off just as easily as anything else, of course, so whether you want to use it is entirely up to you. The feature is said to be headed to Lollipop devices in a very limited manner right now, and it will be distributed through an update to Google Play Services so you won’t have to wait for a firmware update or download anything from Google Play to get it. Any of you going to be using this?

[via The Verge]

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Download: Android 5.1 factory image for the Nexus Player Fri, 20 Mar 2015 18:30:15 +0000 nexus-player-artsy-2

We talk a lot about Android 5.1 for phones and tablets, but what about Google’s first Android TV product? Looks like the Nexus Player is finally set to get it as the company has posted the factory image over at their website.

We aren’t sure if there are any big changes specific to TV, but we’ll certainly be looking to load this up onto our unit and check. In the meantime you can grab the factory image and flash the file through fastboot if you aren’t interested in waiting for a network OTA process.

You’ll be on version LMY47D and it figures to cost you little more than 442MB of bandwidth. Grab it from Google’s site right here to load it up and give it a go.

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Nexus 6 on T-Mobile now receiving Android 5.1 (build LMY47M) Thu, 19 Mar 2015 21:25:25 +0000 Nexus_6_Dbrand_Skin

Nexus 6 owners on T-Mobile are now receiving their update to Android 5.1 Lollipop. The build number for the update — LMY47M — is actually different from builds we’ve seen rolling out previously, so hopefully nobody flashed those in an effort to get a jump on 5.1. The update weighs in at about 409MB and should hit your Nexus 6 any minute/day now.

Android 5.1 brings lots of smaller tweaks to Lollipop, with new “anti-theft” security features that prevent unauthorized use after a factory reset, new quick toggles, animations, a heap ton of bug fixes and VoLTE (WiFi calling is expected in a later update). If you haven’t received a prompt yet, you can manually check for the update by heading to Settings > About phone > System Updates > Check now. Good luck!


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HTC One M7 will not go past Android 5.0, Mo Versi confirms Thu, 19 Mar 2015 17:23:36 +0000 HTC One camera

Owners of the phone that kicked off the HTC One craze will be sad to hear this news: the update train is over. Product manager Mo Versi confirmed on Twitter that the HTC One M7 would no longer get upgraded to major new versions of Android, and yes — that includes Android 5.1.

It’s worth noting that the device is currently on Android 5.0.1 Lollipop, so it’s at least ended its cycle on a very contemporary version of Android. Android 5.1 didn’t add many notable new features at all (in fact, HTC Sense already did a fine enough job providing the handful of changes it did bring). The update does fix a lot of bugs, but HTC addressed many of Lollipop’s pain points through fixes of their own.

And this doesn’t mean HTC wouldn’t still service the phone in the event that critical issues pop up. Security patches and fixes for experience-breaking issues will likely be addressed should they surface.

As such, there’s likely nothing to get up-in-arms about here. It’s been two years since the device has launched, and HTC has held up their end of the two-years of updates promise well enough. It’s time to upgrade, or turn to the aftermarket development community who we’re sure will keep the device’s clock ticking a lot longer than even you might need it to.

PS: This only applies to versions of the HTC One M7 which run HTC’s Sense firmware. Google Play Edition devices will continue to see updates for the foreseeable future.

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Motorola Droid Turbo will skip Android 5.0 and jump directly to Android 5.1 for its VoLTE support Wed, 18 Mar 2015 20:00:46 +0000 droid-turbo-sim-volume-rocker

There’s no question Android 5.0 Lollipop was one of the biggest — and buggiest — firmware updates Google’s mobile OS has ever seen. Even though Motorola didn’t have such a tough time with it (the Verizon Moto X 2014 received Lollipop back in November), getting things approved by Verizon is typically a much longer process. This is especially true when talking about a Verizon exclusive DROID device like the Motorola DROID Turbo.

Meanwhile, while Android fans the world over were complaining about not receiving a buggy Android 5.0.2 update, Android 5.1 happened. It’s the absolute latest version of Lollipop which just so happens to squash most major bugs, and introduces some smaller user experience improvements but more importantly, VoLTE support. For devices like the Motorola DROID Turbo — which is currently stuck in KitKat limbo — this is the exact Android version Verizon was waiting for before updating their premier Android handset to Lollipop (despite the GSM variant receiving Android 5.0 last month).

Motorola engineer Luciano Carvalho confirmed this in a Google+ post, mentioning that the DROID Turbo for Verizon would leap frog over 5.0.x completely, updating straight to 5.1. Not because of bugs mind you, but because of its baked in support for VoLTE, something Verizon takes very seriously.

While it’s true Motorola’s “Moto” devices are running a damn near stock Android experience, Motorola’s “DROID” devices like Verizon’s top-of-the-line Android flagship powerhouse have a little more Verizon in them. Exactly how much longer we’ll have to wait before we see Android 5.1 begin rolling out to the DROID Turbo is still anyone’s guess. But it’s definitely nice knowing we wont have to wait for Android 5.0, only to wait even longer for 5.1. We only wish other OEMs who have yet to update to Lollipop would follow suit.

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OnePlus One’s Lollipop updates will be out by the end of March Wed, 18 Mar 2015 15:47:18 +0000 OnePlus One DSC06079

OnePlus has always sad the Lollipop upgrade for their OnePlus One was right around the corner, but we haven’t gotten an official release date… until now. The company promising that both the Lollipop-based Oxygen OS and Cyanogen OS 12 will be out by the end of March.

Here are the timelines they’re dishing out for each of the two Lollipop ROMs that will be available:

  • CM 12S: The official OTA update for the OnePlus One will be released on or before March 30, 2015
  • OxygenOS: available for download on or before March 27, 2015

In case you don’t remember, Oxygen OS is a new ROM built internally by the folks who once headed up the popular Paranoid Android ROM. Cyanogen Os will remain the standard software for the OnePlus One for now, so that’s the only one you’ll be able to get over-the-air. Those interested in using OxygenOS can manually download and flash the ROM at their own convenience.

oxygenos oneplus one

Oh, and if you don’t believe OnePlus is serious about meeting the deadlines stated above, they’ve promised to give away 5 64GB units of these things if either release window is missed. No skin off their back to give away 5 phones should they happen to miss it, of course, but that is still 5 phones they won’t be making profit on – that’s what we call ballsy. Be sure to keep an eye out on your phone and the OnePlus One forums in case they’re able to push the update out of the door sooner than expected.

[via OnePlus]

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How to install Android 5.1 on the Nexus 6, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 Mon, 16 Mar 2015 20:05:54 +0000 nexus 6 nexus 5 3

Android 5.1 is rolling out now for most Nexus devices, but as usual it’s taking a while to arrive on devices. If you’re not keen on waiting around for an update you can take things into your own hands with the official OTA files published by Google. Manually installing an OTA update is not as simply as when it arrives on your phone, but it’s also not terribly difficult to do. Follow along and in no time you’ll have Android 5.1 up and running.

Download OTA Update

First you’ll need the OTA files for your device. Click (or right-click “Save As”) on the corresponding link below to start downloading. To find your current build number go to Settings > About phone.

Nexus 5

Nexus 6

Nexus 7 2012 WiFi

Nexus 10

Enable USB Debugging

First thing you’ll need to do is download the latest Android SDK and follow the instructions.

*Phandroid is not responsible for any problems you may have. Proceed at your own risk.

  1. Enable USB debugging on your Nexus.
  2. Go to Settings > About phone, tap on Build number 7 times.
  3. Go back one screen and you should see Developer options. Tap it.
  4. Enable USB debugging
  5. If you’re upgrading from an existing Lollipop build you’ll also want to make sure to check the box for Enable OEM unlock.
  6. Plug your Nexus in to a Windows machine and press “Ok” when it asks to Allow USB debugging.

Get into Recovery

The easy part is over. Now it’s time to get down and dirty.

  1. Open a command prompt from inside Platform-Tools in the SDK and type the following:
    1. adb reboot bootloader
  2. Your Nexus should now reboot into the bootloader
  3. Press Volume Down until you see Recovery
  4. Select it by pressing the Power button
  5. Next you will see an Android robot with an exclamation point. Press Volume Up and Power at the same time.

Install the Update

It’s finally time to install Android 5.1. Your Nexus should now be in stock recovery.

  1. Highlight Apply update from ADB by pressing Volume Down.
  2. Press the Power button to select it.
  3. In the command prompt on your PC type the following command:
    1. adb sideload
  4. If everything is working correctly you will see a file transfer begin in ADB.
  5. Your Nexus will begin to update and reboot when finished. You’re done!

If you run into problems be sure to head on over to Android Forums and get help from fellow users.

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Sony officially begins rolling out Android 5.0 Lollipop to the Xperia Z3 and Z3 Compact Mon, 16 Mar 2015 14:35:13 +0000 Lollipop

Sony has announced that two of their best phones from 2014 is now receiving Android 5.0 Lollipop. We’re referring to the Sony Xperia Z3 and Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. The upgrade is headed out to Baltic and Nordic countries first, but Sony promises that expansions will reach more regions a couple of weeks after.

They also mention that other products in the extensive Z lineup will also be getting their upgrades some point after that. Remember that they’ve promised to bring the upgrade to every single device in the Xperia Z family, so you don’t have to wonder whether your older device is on the roadmap.

Here are the changes Sony decided to highlight for those of you eager to upgrade:

  • Fresh, streamlined looks – based on Google’s material design, but retaining our minimalistic approach to interface and application design
  • New look notifications and lock screen – with fully customizable settings, so you only get the information you really need
  • Multi user profiles and guest mode – making it easy for family and friends to use your device, or the creation of dual environments for work and play…
  • Android for Work – not only are business-ready Xperia smartphones and tablets unique devices for work – with waterproof form factors, great battery life and productivity features – they will now also be part of the Android for Work ecosystem
  • Better storage control and customisation – with the option to easily move applications from internal memory to SD card – giving you more control over your content, particularly useful for devices with slightly less space

Of course, it’s worth noting that specific rollout schedules depend on carrier and market, so if you’re not seeing the upgrade immediately you’ll have to wait for your wireless provider to put a bit more pep into their step. Let us know how things are if you are lucky enough to pull it down today!

[via Sony]

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It’s not a placebo effect: this is why your Nexus 6 feels so fast after the Android 5.1 update Thu, 12 Mar 2015 19:20:15 +0000 nexus 6 overview

Android 5.0 Lollipop is great, but for those on the Nexus 6 there’s no secret there were some troubling performance issues that a phone of its stature shouldn’t experience. We thought much of the issues were due to the infancy of the ART runtime and possibly due to problematic device encryption. We expected much of that to be cleared up with Android 5.1’s arrival.

It was, at least according to some early impressions around the Phandroid office. But what changed to bring about that performance boost, exactly? Google wasn’t keen to go into detail, but renowned kernel developer Francisco Franco gave us a good bit of insight.

Alongside general improvements to the ART runtime as a whole, Google apparently unlocked the device’s CPU to run at full quad-core mode at all times in order to handle task scheduling more efficiently. What this means is that “Job B” no longer has to wait on “Job A” to finish on a certain core before carrying out its task. It can simply jump onto another of three other cores to allow everything else ample time and room to work. Think of it as a one-lane street merging into a multi-lane highway.

Taking things a step further, Google was able to reduce the lag and improve battery life at the same time thanks to disabling a Qualcomm driver that would needlessly boost individual CPU cores whenever tasks migrate from one core to another. Franco says he’d already made these tweaks in his version of the kernel, so kudos to Google for seeing things similarly and following suit.

So if you notice increased performance and improved battery life after upgrading to Android 5.1, it’s not a placebo effect — Google made some significant changes, and the great thing is we haven’t even scratched the surface of what we know to be different in this latest version. Be sure to try Android 5.1 on for size on your Nexus device of choice using one of the available OTA links.

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PSA: North American Nexus 6s have a tad bit of Verizon bloatware after Android 5.1 (even if you’re with a different carrier) Thu, 12 Mar 2015 14:24:08 +0000 Nexus_6_Midnight_Blue

You might have heard that the Nexus 6 (in America, at least) is now starting to receive Android 5.1 Lollipop. You can even grab the OTA file right now and begin flashing it if it hasn’t already hit your phone. Most users will immediately notice a nice performance boost thanks to a large heap of bugs squashed by Google and co.

But those who dig even deeper might find something a bit unsettling: there’s a Verizon Backup app pre-installed. It can’t be uninstalled. It can’t even be disabled. And it’s there no matter which carrier you bought your Nexus through or who you have it activated with. It wasn’t on any of the firmware versions prior to Android 5.1, which makes sense considering Verizon’s Nexus 6 has just gone up for sale and it comes with Android 5.1 out of the box.

nexus 6 verizon backup screenshot

“The horror,” you might exclaim. “Big Red is evil,” you’ll shout. Before you grab those pitchforks and torches, though, there are a few things to note:

  • As Google mentioned when the Nexus 6 was announced, every single North American unit is the exact same hardware and share the exact same firmware in order to allow people to use it on whichever carrier they wish.
  • Verizon is not the only carrier to have one of these system apps included with the Nexus 6’s firmware. Sprint has an app called SprintDM that facilitates device provisions and activations for anyone who wants to use the Nexus 6 on their network, and it’s been there since the launch of the Nexus 6.
  • The Verizon Backup app can’t be disabled or uninstalled, sure, but it’s a mere 32KB in size, doesn’t exist in your app drawer and — as far as we know — does nothing to adversely affect your user experience. You’ll find that you can now add a “Verizon Backup” account under the standard accounts menu in settings, but it’s just as easy to ignore as anything else in that menu.

So we know this behavior isn’t new, but what we’re still trying to figure out is why Verizon’s Backup has to be included as a system app in the first place. SprintDM’s presence makes sense because it’s a necessary component to get the Nexus 6 automatically activated on the company’s network (which, in turn, is necessary since it’s possible to use any Nexus 6 on any network).

The only plausible explanation that comes to mind is that Verizon Backup requires some sort of low-level system access to work properly for those who need to use it, and Verizon doesn’t want to chance someone either not having the proper background service or accidentally uninstalling/disabling the app.

That’s just a guess, though — we won’t truly know until we can hear it from the horse’s mouth. We’ve reached out to some of our contacts to see if we can get an answer to all this, but in the meantime be sure not to freak out if you notice the app taunting you in your list of installed apps. It’s harmless, and you’ll probably forget it’s even there by the time the day is over.

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