Tech News

Google Reveals Android Lollipop, HBO Battles Netflix, And More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 16-10-2014

Also, Google Glass is addictive, Facebook Safety Check, webOS begone, finds his Puls, and a working iPhone is created in Minecraft.


Google Reveals Lollipop, New Nexus Devices

Google has revealed Android L, which is Android 5.0, with the L standing for Lollipop. Android Lollipop features a newly redesigned user interface called Material Design, as well as improved battery life (up to 90 minutes extra), multiple user accounts and more besides. Lollipop is designed to “work on all your devices and to be customized for you the way you see fit.

Android Lollipop Exploring Android L: What Exactly Is Material Design? You may have heard about Android L and Material Design, but what exactly is this new design philosophy and how will it affect Android and other Google products? Read More will make its first public appearance on the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, the former being a 6-inch phablet from Motorola, the latter being a 9-inch tablet from HTC. Older Nexus devices will be upgraded to Android Lollipop in “the coming weeks,” while other devices will receive the update when the individual manufacturers see fit to push it out.

Google has also unveiled Nexus Player, a streaming media player running Android TV. This Asus-made device will not only play movies and TV content as you would expect, it will also play Android games and support Google Cast, enabling content to be sent from other devices.

HBO Launching Standalone Service In 2015

HBO has announced plans to offer a standalone subscription service starting sometime in 2015. HBO is currently only available to U.S. residents who also pay for a raft of other channels. But HBO CEO Richard Plepler has promised to go “beyond the wall” and launch a “stand-alone, over the top” version next year.

Details are thin on the ground, so it isn’t yet known how HBO will deliver such a service to customers, or what it’ll charge for the privilege. Regardless, this puts HBO on a collision course with streaming services, and Netflix The Ultimate Netflix Guide: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Netflix This guide offers everything you need to know about using Netflix. Whether you're a new subscriber or an established fan of the best streaming service out there. Read More in particular. But with an increasing number of people How Traditional TV Is Dying, Dropbox Was Not Hacked, And More... [Tech News Digest] Also, Double Irish, annoying Facebook Stickers, Bono's megalomania, and how to write a song using autocomplete. Read More refusing to pay a small fortune for channels they don’t want to watch, HBO had to act, and fast.


Doctors Warn Google Glass Is Addictive

Doctors in San Diego are warning that Google Glass Google Glass Review and Giveaway We were lucky enough to get a pair of Google Glass to review, and we're giving it away! Read More can be addictive. This is based on the case of one Glass Explorer, a 31-year-old navy serviceman who became addicted to Google Glass after wearing the device for up to 18 hours a day.

The addicted party is now recovering after 35 days of treatment, but his condition should stand as a warning to people not to become so attached to wearable technology 6 Upcoming Wearable Devices Compared: What's Hot and What's Not I present to you six of the more interesting and useful wearable tech devices either on the market, or soon to enter it. Read More , both literally and figuratively.

Facebook Introduces Safety Check

Facebook has introduced what it calls Safety Check. This is a way of checking in, either yourself or with others, when a major disaster strikes. Essentially, any Facebook user in close proximity to a natural disaster will be asked if they’re safe. Selecting ‘I’m Safe‘ will post an update to their wall instantly informing friends and family they don’t need to worry about them. Which, credit where credit is due, is actually a rather good idea.

HP Shutting Down webOS Services

HP is shutting down the last remaining aspects of webOS, with the HP App Catalog and cloud services support for webOS devices closing on January 15, 2015. HP has published an FAQ stating that this “is part of an orderly end of life program [as] the user count has dwindled to the point where it is no longer viable to keep the services running.


This shouldn’t come as a great surprise seeing as the company ended support for webOS hardware more than three years ago (one of our biggest tech disappointments of all time). Still, it means the handful of people who are still using webOS devices will have little choice but to move on to something else in the new year.’s Weird Wearable has unveiled his wearable wrist device at the 2014 Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. The Black Eyed Peas frontman’s latest attempt to become a force in the technology industry is called Puls, a smartcuff that apparently took 35 engineers more than two years to develop.

Puls is a standalone smartwatch with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. It boasts a Siri clone called Aneeda, a built-in speaker, GPS, a pedometer, and an accelerometer. Unfortunately, it’s also big and bulky, with a strap that makes it look like it belongs in the 1980s.

There is no word yet on pricing or a release date, but we suspect most of you will have already decided you don’t want one of these monstrosities anyway.


Working iPhone Created In Minecraft

And finally, some clever dick has created a working iPhone in Minecraft The (Latecomer) Beginner's Guide To Minecraft If you're late to the party though, don't worry - this extensive beginner's guide has you covered. Read More . While you cannot ring out on it, you can turn it on or off, explore default apps, and generally marvel at the level of creativity on display here. The video is in German, but English speakers should be able to pick out enough words to make some sense of what is being said. [H/T TUAW]

Your Views On Today’s Tech News

Are you excited at the prospect of Android Lollipop? Are you likely to subscribe to a standalone version of HBO? What do you think about’s wearable?

Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

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  1. Damian
    October 16, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    HBO now will stream online. Soon, others will follow. Hey. I have a revolutionary idea. Let's bundle all premium movie packages into one subscription. OH WAIT.

  2. R A Myers
    October 16, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Ref: Lollipop We'll use Lollipop only if it's backwards compatible with the one Android phone we already have. Them only if it offers features we consider necessary and doesn't slow down the phone. Even if we get a second Android phone, we'll keep the Moto V551's we use now for international travel and backup.

    Ref: HBO We already have more programs than we use on our cable TV subscription. We also have YouTube and Roku. Any HBO movies will be out on other, no cost, venues... sometime.