If you've used Android 4.1 or later on a phone or tablet with 1GB of RAM, you know things can get a little tight in the memory department. That's what makes newer and slightly underpowered devices like the Lenovo Yoga a little disappointing. Google has decided to trim the fat with Android 4.4 in an initiative they've christened "Project Svelte." This isn't a single change, it's a wide range of additions to the Android API and optional hardware configurations designed to make KitKat run smoothly on devices with as little as 512MB of system memory.
According to the new 4.4 developer page, Project Svelte starts with recommendations and options targeted at device manufacturers.
It's that time of the month: get your paycheck, pay your bills, and gather round the Android Developers page for a new look at the distributed versions of the world's most-used mobile operating system. For the two-week period ending on August 1st, Jelly Bean 4.1 rose 1.7% to 34% of the total Android population, becoming the most popular single version of Android for the first time.
The rest of the platform changed very little since July.
Google has just published the platform distribution numbers collected over the past two weeks, and things are finally looking up for the 4.1+ crowd. It's been a long, tedious, tiring trek, but Android 4.1.x/4.2.x, collectively known as Jelly Bean, has finally become the dominate OS – surpassing Gingerbread by 3.8 percent. It may not be a huge amount, but Jelly Bean is currently running on 37.9 percent of all devices – a full 4.9% more than last month's numbers.
Have you ever wondered what the AOSP source tree would look like if someone stitched together a video of every commit, update, and release? Ponder no more, friends, because YouTube user xcco3x has made that a reality. A visually amazing 21 minute reality, to be exact.
A little background info, per the description on YouTube:
The graph represents the source tree. Non-leaf nodes are directories and leaf nodes are files where their color represents the type of file.
Adding to the list of awesome Android-related gadgetry, Tomer Weller and Yossi Sorin have created Paradroid, a self-navigating skydiving robot powered by an attached Android handset.
Beginning as a project for Google Developer's day ADK challenge, Paradroid is still a work in progress. That being said, it already seems to have some impressive capabilities, functioning from heights of over 1000ft., parachuting safely to the ground, and navigating to a predetermined location, all while sending back handy status reports.
Soon after HP started their TouchPad fire sale, a version of the device running Android 2.2 appeared on eBay and went on to sell for almost $700. Hopes for an Android port were high and the developer community swung into action offering a $2300 bounty for anyone who could load Android on the TouchPad. The CyanogenMod team, Android developers extraordinaire, did not disappoint and soon the news broke that they had managed to successfully get Android running on the TouchPad.
At Google I/O this year, the newest version of Android was officially announced. Codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich, it aims to bring Honeycomb features to phones, Gingerbread features to tablets, and everything in between. The official announcement left us without a firm release date -- only that it would be released in Q4 of this year.
At the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco today, though, Eric Schmidt let a bit more info slip:
We have a new operating system, internally known as Ice Cream Sandwich for some reason, which is being released in October/November, which everyone’s really excited about.
Analytics firm Canalys is reporting that global smartphone market share for Google’s Android OS platform is at a colossal 48%, with an overall lead in 35 out of the 56 countries tracked by Canalys. According to the report, the total global smartphone market has grown by 73% year-on-year with a total of 107.7 million devices shipped in Q2 2011. Android-based devices are the main culprit behind this astounding growth with an increase in shipments of 379% from over a year ago totalling 51.9 million units shipped in Q2 2011.
Last week we got our hands on the Sprint Playbook which indicated that the Kyocera Echo would be receiving a firmware update to Android 2.3. Accordingly, a page has now gone live on the official Kyocera Echo webpage confirming that an update to Android 2.3.4 is imminent. By the looks of the Echo webpage this update will bring some major features and enhancements to this unique device.
As indicated in the Playbook the update will include Swype 3.0 with "Tap Correction and Horizontal Word Choice List" (i.e.
In a recent patent suit between HTC and Apple, the US International Trade Commission found the Taiwanese manufacturer liable on two counts of patent infringement in its Android-based devices (see our earlier post for a detailed analysis of the case and its effects).
Although this suit only involves Apple and HTC, its legal ramifications could affect Android as a whole - since the alleged infringements are core parts of the Android OS developed by Google.