One of the biggest problems Google faces with Android is avoiding a situation where one manufacturer controls so much of the market that everything else falls by the wayside. As study after study shows, though, this is becoming an increasing risk as Samsung gobbles up more customers. To wit, this survey from Localytics—a company that provides analytics for mobile apps— showed that of the top ten Android devices its customers used, eight were made by Samsung, and seven had the Galaxy brand attached.
Update: We've heard from US Cellular that the rollout will begin on February 12th - apparently someone jumped the gun on the update page.
After promising to do so in Q1 2013 back in December, Motorola has officially begun rolling out Android 4.1.2 to the Electrify M on US Cellular. The Electrify M is basically a de-Verizoned RAZR M, so it makes sense that the Electrify's update follows after its DROID kin's.
You can find a link to the standard Motorola Jelly Bean upgrade overview on US Cellular's website. The build number is 9.8.2Q-50_SLS-7. The OTA update will probably be rolling out in stages, so keep hitting that 'System Updates' button over the next week or two.
After an initial debut in France, Motorola has begun distributing the Android 4.1 update to RAZR i handsets in the UK today. Just hit that 'Check for update' button as often as possible over the next week or two, and you should be able to get it. Here's Motorola's statement on the rollout.
We’re excited to announce that MOTOROLA RAZR™ i with Intel Inside is getting upgraded to Android™ 4.1 Jelly Bean. Starting today, the upgrade will be rolled out to users in phases. Jelly Bean includes a number of fantastic new and improved features, including Google Now, Voice Search, and improved notifications.
A few weeks ago, Motorola started pushing a soak test update for the Atrix 4G to members of its "feedback network." Naturally, everyone ran wild with speculation – could this be Ice Cream Sandwich? Never mind that Motorola had already made it pretty clear that the first dual-core handset would be officially be stuck on Gingerbread until its dying day. We were all hoping that the company had a change of heart. And it made sense – after all, why would they send out a soak test for an incremental update?
I guess it's just in our nature to root for the underdog.
This is the app roundup. The game roundup from this week can be found here.
Today's roundup is sponsored by the WhatsApp Suite by CremaGames. If you've ever thought that your chat conversations could be enlightened by a little Philosoraptor or Success Kid, then you need this app.
Don't forget - the Android Police Podcast's live broadcast is every Thursday at 5PM PST (www.androidpolice.com/podcast). The unedited video version of the podcast can be found here - and will likely include various verbal expletives, technical snafus, tangents, and probably a good 5-10 minutes of pre-podcast banter as we prepare. Watch at your own risk!
Earlier this month, we took a look at famed Android developer Koushik "Koush" Dutta's newest app: Carbon. Having absolutely nothing to do with the heavily belated Twitter app of the same name, this Carbon is a backup tool for apps and app data. So, how's it different than Titanium Backup? It doesn't require root. To put it mildly, this is something that Android users have longed for since, well, always.
Now, the application has left its beta stages behind and is available in the Play Store in both free and pro variants. The free version will get you full backup/restore to/from SD card and PC (requires your phone's drivers), for both rooted and non-rooted users.
If there's one product from the last year that's managed to capture the attention of just about everyone in the tech arena, it's Pebble. Between the somewhat tenuous underdog status of all Kickstarter projects, a general swell in "wearable tech" interest, and months and months of frustrating delays, it's proven to be even better fodder for bloggers than speculative hardware backers. Finally, 8 months after being successfully funded (and four months after the initial ship date) I've got one sitting on my wrist.
So, is Pebble worth the wait? Putting aside the fact that the wait isn't over yet (most Kickstarter backers are still waiting, and it'll be a couple of months at least before you can buy one outright) the answer is a resounding "maybe." While there are some serious deficiencies in the design of both the hardware and software, the idea and the execution of Pebble are solid.
If you own a French RAZR i, time to start hitting that 'check update' button. The update to Android 4.1.2 is officially beginning to roll out, and in Q1 2013 - as promised.
If you want the update right now, but are afraid of losing root, there's good news on that front, too: you can. The new root instructions and files are located here. An updated, pre-rooted fastboot file can be found here, which should put your unlocked RAZR i on French firmware. Instructions on how to do this are located in the same thread.