Top Android news of the week: Lollipop delayed, Google Wallet, Facebook killing batteries
This week the factory image of Android 5.0, aka Lollipop, was released but the general update was delayed due to a problem. The hype surrounding the Apple Pay launch was a boost for Google Wallet. The top 10 battery draining apps on Android are listed.
A factory image for Google’s latest Android tablet, the Nexus 9, was released this week. This Lollipop image is the mechanism that allows resetting a Nexus 9 back to factory conditions in the event some catastrophic event renders the device useless.
Enthusiasts are discovering that Google is handling images differently for Lollipop, as hardware drivers are not part of the factory image. The company says those are provided by the vendor, in this case HTC, and separate from the binary images.
While the new Nexus 9 and Nexus 6 ship with Lollipop, owners of older devices have been waiting for the availability of the update for the new OS. That was supposed to happen on Nov. 3, but a serious bug that caused rapid battery drain required the release of Lollipop to be delayed.
The update to Lollipop will now be available on Nov. 12.
The hype surrounding Apple Pay led to a surge in use of Google Wallet. Both are methods of using NFC technology to make payments by waving a phone at the checkout counter. Google’s method has been available for a good while but has not achieved notable usage.
A report claims that changed when the ballyhoo about Apple Pay hit the airwaves. Google Wallet usage has reportedly surged after the Apple Pay launch.
One of the major strengths of Android is the good multi-tasking, but that’s not without issue. Apps running in the background can drain device batteries quickly. CNET tested popular apps and came up with a top 10 list of apps that hit the battery the hardest.
The top culprit that drains batteries is Facebook. This is significant since it’s an app that is used by many Android device owners.
Microsoft is working on a touch-friendly version of Office for Android. The Android version is expected to rival the nice Office apps currently available on the iPhone and iPad.
The Android release is getting closer to reality, as this week Microsoft released a preview version for Android device owners to try. The final release is expected in early 2015. Those wanting to get an early look can sign up as a tester to get the preview version.