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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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Chrome Beta For Android Updated To v28: Translate Bar, Fullscreen On Tablets, Bandwidth Savings Graph, And More

Following the release of beta features to Chrome stable yesterday, the beta channel of Chrome for Android was promoted to version 28 today.

The update brings a number of desired additions and improvements, all of which I will break down for you below. Here's the relatively incomplete list the Chrome team posted on its blog:


The Chrome team is excited to announce the promotion of Chrome 28 to the Beta channel. Chrome for Android 28.0.1500.21 contains a number of new improvements including:

  • Google Translate: When you come across a page written in a language that isn't in the same language as your phone or tablet, look for the translation bar
  • Fullscreen on tablets: Simply scroll the page to dismiss the toolbar
  • Support for fullscreen API 
  • New graph showing your estimated bandwidth savings when you use the experimental data compression feature
  • Mobile friendly error pages

Google Translate

Here's what Chrome's new mobile-friendly Translate bar looks like if you visit a site with a language different from your device's (for example,

wm_Screenshot_2013-05-23-14-50-20 wm_Screenshot_2013-05-23-14-50-47 wm_Screenshot_2013-05-23-14-51-18

I find built-in translation support to be one of Chrome's most useful features, so I applaud Google for finally bringing it to Android.

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Gingerbread Now Running On 50% Of Android Devices, Just In Time For Ice Cream Sandwich

Google has released the latest of its monthly Android version distribution charts, and for the first time Android 2.3 Gingerbread is present on over half of all Android devices. A milestone, to be sure.

We also get a look at the end success rate of Honeycomb (a tablet-only version of Android), which achieved a mere 2.5% piece of the Android pie since the first Honeycomb device release back in February. Android 1.5 and 1.6 (Cupcake and Donut) have continued their march toward extinction, commanding only 2.1% of the Android population total. Android 2.2 has remained relatively steady at 35%, but is clearly on the downtrend.

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Timeline Graphic: US Android Phone Releases - We're Definitely Moving Faster, But How Fast Is Too Fast?

There's been some discussion of late that, perhaps, Android phone manufacturers are iterating handsets at a pace which is detrimental to product polish and subsequent software support. In fact, a couple of days ago I took a look at the state of Android phones on US carriers with a few simple charts.

I also promised to write another post looking at how quickly, as opposed to how prolifically, Android handsets are moving in the US marketplace. I decided to look at two carriers - T-Mobile and Verizon. In the interest of cleaning up the timelines, I decided not to include budget handsets or QWERTY phones, because we all know the subtext of this whole conversation: the iPhone.

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Chart: Are There Really Too Many Android Phones? That Depends On How You Look At It

After reading a couple of great pieces on Droid-life about how Android manufacturers seem to be moving at breakneck pace to advance hardware and iterate handsets like crazy, I had an idea - let's visualize it in different ways. First, we'll start with a pretty basic comparison, showing the US's four major carriers and the number of Android devices they currently offer.


*includes upcoming DROID RAZR and Galaxy Nexus on Verizon. Based on respective carrier websites as of 10/28/11.

Next, we'll see how much each of the major handset manufacturers contributes to these numbers at the present moment.


*includes upcoming DROID RAZR and Galaxy Nexus.

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Android Platform Distributions Updated, Gingerbread Finally Making A Dent In Froyo's Lead

It's that time of the month once again, Google has updated the platform version distribution charts for Android, and Gingerbread is finally gaining steam:

chart (1) table

Gingerbread now makes up a whole 9.2% of the Android ecosystem, and the Gingerbread source has been publicly available for 6 months as of today. Froyo still dominates, at around 65%, with Éclair placing second. Pre-2.1 devices now account for less than 5% of the total, which really makes the whole 2-year device-life logic seem rather silly.


Honeycomb also has peaked its head above the grass, and represents a little over a half-percent of all Android devices presently (most thanks likely going to the XOOM and ASUS Transformer for that).

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Nielsen: Android Runs On 37% Of All US Smartphones And 50% Of All New Smartphones Sold

NielsenWire has released yet another one of their bar and pie chart-filled smartphone surveys for the US this morning, and it's just more good news for Android. Here's a quick breakdown of some of the key stats Nielsen compiled:

  • Android now represents 37% of all US smartphones
  • 50% of smartphones sold in the month of March were Android phones
  • 31% of consumers said their next purchase will be an Android phone, compared to 26% one year ago. Android now leads iOS here as well (iOS accounts for 30%, down from 33%)
  • 20% of consumers don't know which OS their next smartphone will run

Another interesting tidbit the survey revealed is that Blackberry has finally dropped to third place in all three of the comparisons Nielsen publishes (future purchases, March purchases, total market share).

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Nearly 90% Of Android Devices At Version 2.1 Or Above

Google released its monthly update of the Android version distribution charts today, and the battle against fragmentation is slowly being won.

Froyo now accounts for almost 60% of all Android devices, with Éclair hovering around 30%. Donut and Cupcake now make up only one tenth of all Android devices in the wild. Compare that to only 6 months ago, when they took up over 35% of the pie. Android's evolution is certainly impressive, and it doesn't seem like it'll be slowing down any time soon.

chart (1)


Gingerbread represents around 1% of the Android population right now according to Google, which makes sense, as the Nexus S remains the only Android handset being sold with Android 2.3.

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Nielsen Releases Smartphone Market Share Figures, Android Domination Imminent?

smartphone-os-nov2010America's most trusted name in bar graphs, Nielsen, released an updated look at smartphone market share distribution today. The results aren't terribly surprising: Android is growing, and quickly at that. Blackberry's free-fall into the abyss has slowed to a steady death march. But what about Apple's fare?

Since the release of the iPhone 4 in June, Apple's total share of the smartphone market has increased by a paltry 0.7%, while Android has gained 10.8% more of the smartphone pie to reach 25.8% of the total - a mere 2.8% behind Apple, as you can see below.
Meanwhile, Android is outright dominating smartphone purchases made in the last six months, representing over 40% of all smartphones purchased since June.

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Android Platform Version Stats Updated Again, Froyo Now Dominant

If you love devouring Android stats, Google's Android Platform Versions sub-site, which is updated about once a month, just got refreshed with the latest batch of data. Last month, Froyo ate up some 36% of the pie, while Éclair was found to be running on about 41% of devices, with the remaining 23% being taken up by Cupcake and Donut.


As you can see for yourself in the graph above, this month was quite a turn-around - Froyo (at 43.4%) finally stole the throne from Éclair, which was left with 39.6%. As for 1.5 (Cupcake) and 1.6 (Donut), they each gobbled up 6.3% and 10.6%, respectively.

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