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On-Screen Navigation Buttons And Failed Expectations: A Visual Analysis

Honeycomb, the first Android version designed specifically with tablets in mind, was released way back in February 2011. It was built exclusively for large screens and was never meant to reach phones, but it paved the way for Ice Cream Sandwich, arguably one of the most significant updates to ever hit Android. Taking several cues from Honeycomb, Android 4.0 brought about some of the biggest changes to the OS, not the least of which was the advent of virtual or on-screen navigation buttons.

At the time, the use of virtual buttons on phones polarized opinions: some hated the idea while others were quick to sing its praises.

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Android Audio Latency In-Depth: It's Getting Better, Especially With The Nexus 5X And 6P

Audio latency is defined as the time delay that a signal experiences as it passes through a system. On a mobile device, this is deeply related to how long it takes between tapping on a screen and receiving audio feedback. Low audio latency can be the difference between an immersive gaming experience and an unpleasant, disconnected one. Too long a latency and a device can begin to feel strangely laggy, even if every visual animation is snappy and responsive. It is especially important — essential, even — for recording and composing music, since slow audio feedback can easily throw off even the best artists and destroy their creative process.

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Software Updates: A Visual Comparison Of Support Lifetimes For iOS vs. Nexus Devices

Software updates are a big deal. They deliver bug fixes, new features, refreshed interfaces, and a lot more. Sure, there might be that feature or two that gets discarded and breaks someone's workflow (relevant xkcd), but for the most part, newer means better. And if software updates are important for apps, that's especially true for operating systems.

Largely due to the proliferation of smartphones, we have come to take free and consistent OS updates for granted. Users assume that a new phone bought this year will still be running the latest OS in the next, and no one expects to have to pay for that software update.

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Google Updates Platform Distribution Stats - KitKat Still Growing, Jelly Bean Still Shrinking, Gingerbread Gets Surprise 0.1% Bump

It's that time again! Google has updated the developer dashboard with new platform distribution numbers, showing the current state of Android version distribution among devices that have recently checked in to the Play Store.

As expected, KitKat has grown a bit more, up to 20.9% now (vs 17.9% last month), while Jelly Bean is down from 56.5 to 54.2%. Still hanging above the 50% mark and encompassing 3 API levels, Jelly Bean is the new Gingerbread.

Froyo is hanging tight at 0.7%, while - confusingly - Gingerbread has grown 0.1% to 13.6%. Ice Cream Sandwich is continuing its own decline, dropping to 10.6% from 11.4% last month.

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Android Platform Distribution Numbers Updated - KitKat At 1.8%, Jelly Bean 60.7%, Gingerbread Slips To 20%

It's that time again - each month, Google updates the developer dashboard to reflect Android's latest platform distribution numbers, determined according to devices that have accessed the Play Store in a seven-day period.

Last month, we saw KitKat make a small leap to 1.4% - it's made another tiny gain, rising to 1.8% of devices, while Jelly Bean has gone from 59.1% up to 60.7%. Gingerbread meanwhile continues its death march, letting 1.2% slip through its icy grasp, falling to an even 20% of devices.

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Ice Cream Sandwich has lost another 0.8%, while Honeycomb and Froyo remain unchanged, the latter somehow keeping grasp of 1.3% of devices that accessed the Play Store during the week ending on February 4th.

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Google Updates Android Platform Distribution Numbers - KitKat Makes Tiny Jump To 1.4%, Gingerbread Continues Decline

Each month, Google updates Android's platform distribution numbers according to devices that have accessed the Play Store in a seven-day period. January's updated pie chart has just hit, and things seem to be following a fairly predictable pattern.

KitKat, which was positioned at 1.1% last month, has eked out an additional 0.3% to reach 1.4%. Gingerbread, meanwhile, fell from 24.1% to 21.2%, continuing its gradual decline. Jelly Bean (including API levels 16-18) has actually grown to 59.1%, up from 54.5%, as manufacturers work to catch up to Android's latest and greatest.

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As you may expect, older versions of Android continue to decline - Froyo is down 0.3% to 1.3% from last month, while Honeycomb hangs tight at 0.1%, and Ice Cream Sandwich struggles to maintain its foothold, falling from 18.6% to 16.9%.

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December's Platform Distribution Numbers: KitKat Carves Out 1.1%, Gingerbread's Grip Continues To Slip

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.

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Honeycomb meanwhile is sticking at a negligible 0.1%, while ICS has dropped 1.2% to 18.6% from last month.

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Gingerbread Finally On Less Than Half Of All Android Handsets At 47.4%, ICS Shoots Up To 29.1%, JB On 10%

The long, hard road towards the future of Android slogs on. While Gingerbread still remains the largest major version of the platform, its dominance is decreasing steadily. As of January 3rd, Gingerbread only represented 47.4% (down from 50.6% in December)of all Android devices. The second runner-up was Ice Cream Sandwich with 29.1% (up from 27.5% in December). The two versions of Jelly Bean totaled up to 10.2%, though if you subdivide by the Summer and Winter releases, they get much farther apart: 4.1 accounts for 9%, while 4.2 is on a measly 1.2% of devices.

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The decrease in Gingerbread and increase in Ice Cream Sandwich is good enough news, especially since 4.0 saw the advent of the much more modern UI that has remained fairly consistent throughout subsequent platform releases.

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HTC Announces One SV, A 4.3" Dual-Core Mid-Range Device That Completely Confuses The HTC One Brand

Back when HTC announced that it wouldn't be making any more "cheap, cheap phones," a lot of us hoped that this would lead to a much more simplified handset lineup from the company. Especially after the reveal of the One Series, it looked like figuring out which device was better than the others would finally become simple. Now, to utterly ruin that hope, here is the HTC One SV! It's better than the One V, but not quite as good as the One VX in some ways, but also doesn't measure up to the One S in others, and frankly my head is spinning at this point.

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Google Releases November's Platform Distribution Numbers – Gingerbread At 50.8%, Jelly Bean Up To 6.7%

With the end of another month comes a fresh batch of Android platform distribution numbers. Like clockwork, Google has once again updated their numbers, showing Gingerbread's cold, withered hand still holding almost 51% of the pie (though it's down from 54.2% in October), with Jelly Bean making gains to 6.7%, up 4% from last month.

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Predictably, Ice Cream Sandwich is still making some gains, rising about 2% to 27.5% from October, Honeycomb is holding tight at 1.6% with a mere 0.2% change for API level 13, and pre-2.3 releases are still dropping off (though Cupcake and Donut are still holding on for dear life).

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