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Android this week: Galaxy S5 with Android L; Tile tracker; Project Ara progress

While we wait for Google to release Android L, handset makers are already working on integrating the software with their own skins and apps. Samsung has already made good progress based on this video created by SamMobile, which got an early build of the software for the Galaxy S5.

Samsung has used Google’s Material Design influence in the software combining it with its own TouchWiz software and its own apps, such as the phone dialer and Messages. Samsung can’t release the software update until Google does — which could be later this month — but its a good sign that the company has made strong progress with Android L: That could mean that Galaxy S5 owners get the update sooner rather than later.

That phone, as well as others that run Android will soon be able use Tile trackers. The company raised $13 million and is expanding support for its Bluetooth tracking devices to Android. The small tag pairs with a phone which can sound alerts when the Tile tag moves out of Bluetooth range. It can even alert the phones of other Tile users to help you find a lost object. Tile says the first Android it will support is the Galaxy S5.

Tile tag

Google’s Project Ara phones will have Bluetooth modules too; unless you want to swap those out for something else, that is. The modular phone made news this week as the project team announced phone modules can be hot-swapped without shutting the phone off.

Project Ara shell

 

The exceptions are the display and CPU; other than that, any other components can be removed and replaced while using the phone; handy for using a better camera sensor in different situations. Project Ara will use a modified version of Android L to support the hot-swap feature when the phones are launched. Google is still aiming for an early 2015 preview release of the modular phones.

 

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