Most people familiar with the Nexus program know that each new Android update usually brings with it a new set of driver "blobs" for each supported phone and tablet in the product line. Even though these proprietary binaries are usually the latest versions when they come out, Google still occasionally receives updates to the drivers even when it's not a good time to issue an OTA. As we've just witnessed from the long lead time on the 4.4.3 release, it can take quite a while before an update is rolled out.
Any Nexus or Google Play Edition device owner has seen it at least once. You get an OTA update to a new version of Android, and you notice that it says "Via Wi-Fi only until" and some arbitrary date. There seems to be a lot of confusion with people regarding what this is and more importantly what it is not. We feel like it's time to shed some light.
A lot of times, when there's a new Android OTA update available, this date becomes annoying to people because it means they can't download their OTA over a mobile network.
When Microsoft initiated a purchase of Nokia back in September, a lot of Android fans let out a defeated sigh: there was no way the company would ever release Android-powered hardware. Well hold on to your dreams, true believers, because multiple leaks indicate that a new Nokia phone will indeed run Google's open-source OS.
The phone is codenamed "Normandy," though that is almost certain to change to "Lumia Four-Digit Number" if it's released.
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.