It's that time again - Google has updated the developer dashboard with new platform distribution numbers. Following a predictable trend, KitKat has eked out its own 1.1% niche, Jelly Bean (API version 16-18) is going strong at 54.5%, putting it further over the mark it reached last month, running on over half of all devices that have checked in to the Google Play Store in the past two weeks, while Gingerbread's grip continues to slip, decreasing to 24.1% from 26.3% last month.
|Liam Spradlin||Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.|
Besides a bevy of new features, Android's update to 4.4 brought forth a ton of tweaks to the interface through GEL launcher and a fresh round of updated stock apps. There's little doubt Android's user experience and overall design paradigms are continuing to evolve, becoming more refined, usable, and useful. We covered most of the changes to the interface in Getting to Know Android but, as with any major update, new changes come with new opportunities for error.
DP Review, one of the go-to sources for reviews, guides, discussions, and even periodic photo challenges related to all types of photo gear, recently published their own exhaustive review of the Nexus 5 on DP Review Connect, the mobile-centric arm of the site.
The review covers everything you could possibly want to read about the Nexus 5's camera, digging deep into its features and flaws (there are many in both columns), why we don't exactly have the great photo experience many expected, and providing tons of sample images in all scenarios.
In a post to the Android Google+ account this evening, Google officially announced the Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition would be joining the HTC One Google Play Edition in the realm of timely updates, with KitKat upgrades rolling out "starting today."
Starting today, Samsung GS4 and HTC One Google Play edition devices are getting an update to Android 4.4! Learn more about Android 4.4, KitKat: http://www.android.com/versions/kit-kat-4-4
Official Nexus accessories are always exciting. Not just because we get to have cool new official toys for our phones, but because Google has such a bad reputation for releasing official accessories (remember that Nexus 10 dock from the holiday video last year?) that when one does become available, it's like a treat.
It is with this in mind that I approached the bright red version of the official Nexus 5 bumper case, and decided to give it a review.
After its update to 5.0 on iOS about a week ago, Pocket has been upgraded for Android as well. I'm a long-time user of Pocket, and while my use case is probably different from the typical user's (there are probably only about 10 items in my list at any given time), it's clear to me that Pocket is always trying to find new ways to make simple save-and-read functionality better and more convenient.
If you're noticing some fishy battery behavior today, and it looks like Google Play Services is the culprit, you aren't alone. Throughout the day, users have been reporting extraordinary battery use by the usually innocuous services app, accounting for up to 50% of battery usage. It would seem that, for reasons unknown, Play Services is keeping users' devices awake for incredible lengths of time. Some users report that location is disabled on their devices, ruling that out as a suspect for the increased battery drain.
In a series of tweets earlier, HTC offered some insight into the status of updates coming to the DNA and One, hopefully giving some comfort to owners of the respective devices, though updates can never come soon enough for many.
First, HTC addressed concerns over the update to 4.3 for One owners on Verizon, indicating that getting the update cleared with good old VZW would be "a two step process," involving an update for compatibility, and the actual 4.3 update in December.
Back in October, Google announced a rewards program that would give financial incentives for "down-to-earth, proactive improvements" to security across third-party open-source projects that Google deems "vital to the health of the entire Internet."
Starting with core infrastructure services, Chrome foundations and other "high impact libraries," Google vowed to expand the program soon. Today, in an entry to the official security blog, Google announced that the program has been expanded in scope to include open-source bits of Android, found in AOSP, and several other projects.
Now that the Android 4.4 KitKat fanfare is (finally) settling down, it's time to revisit our Getting To Know Android series, where we bring to light the new and awesome changes in Google's newest mobile OS - exposing the big stuff right along with some interface changes you may not have noticed yet.
There are plenty of new pixels in Android 4.4, changed UI elements, new design patterns, and a slightly more sophisticated language to decode, along with plenty of new features.