So here's a new one: a carrier-branded device is going to get an Android version bump while its Wi-Fi only counterparts are stuck on an older version. This is against everything we've seen in the Android world since the dawn of time, where Wi-Fi devices normally surpass their cellular-connect brethren on a regular basis. To make the situation even more interesting, we're talking about Verizon devices here.
Here's the skinny: Motorola recently updated its upgrade page for the Verizon Xyboard twins, stating that they would each get updated to Android 4.1.
Now that the various sizes of the Galaxy Tab 3 are on the brink of release, it's time for Samsung to update a few of its older tablets... to Android 4.1.2. Commence grumbling about the sad state of the manufacturer/carrier update system. AT&T's LTE version of the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 (SGH-I497) is next on the list - since the tablet launched on AT&T's network back in November with a 4.0 operating system that was only a year out of date, it's almost fitting that the 4.1 update is coming almost exactly a year after Jelly Bean was introduced on the Nexus 7.
Sony has handed out Jelly Bean to a number of devices in the past month, but it has taken a while for the update to reach the Xperia Ion. That's now changing. Build number 6.2.B.0.211 has started to roll out to the device that, until now, was missing out on all the fun that its Xperia siblings were having.
Despite the wait, this is not an over-the-air update. Owners need access to a computer and the Sony PC Companion to update their device.
For a long time, the HTC One S was one of the most compelling phones on T-Mobile. That really tells you something about the lineup America's smallest national carrier was working with last year. There are plenty of these devices walking around, so today's update will be good news for many. That battery life problem introduced in Jelly Bean should be taken care of finally.
The update will come via an OTA, which begins rolling out today.
What's that? You've never heard of the Pantech Flex? Don't sweat it – it's just a little AT&T freebie sporting various mid-range specs. But today, it becomes something more. Something better. Something Jelly Bean-ier. The handset is currently receiving its version bump to Android 4.1.2, which of course brings all sorts of goodies to the table.
According to AT&T's blog post, Flex owners should get a text message when the update is available on their handset.
Sony Mobile is moving the Xperia ZL up to Android 4.2.2, making this the first non-Nexus handset to get updated to (instead of ship with) this particular version of Jelly Bean. The latest firmware build, version 10.3.A.0.423, also ushers in updates to Sony's Media apps, expands widget functionality on both the lock screen and the home screen, and introduces support for 64GB microSD cards. This is a big plus for users who shun cloud storage and prefer to carry their media the new-old fashioned way.
While Spotify has likely seen a fairly dramatic drop in subscribers since the launch of Play Music All Access, the all-you-can-eat streaming audio service hasn't quite given up on its Android users just yet. The last significant update finally brought landscape support (which, honestly, should've been baked in from the beginning), and today's version bump brings another feature long missed by Android users: notification controls for Jelly Bean devices (4.1+).
That's actually the icing on the cake for many users – as far as the app is concerned, it's essentially on par with Play Music at this point (some may even prefer it).
We know Blackberry isn't the most popular name around here, but it is a name that continues to pop up at some interesting times. Developers, in particular, may remember when the company - then known as RIM - launched Playbook OS 2.0 with the ability to run specially packaged apps developed for Android 2.3.3. Since that time, events and promotions have been run to encourage developers to bring their apps to the platform, but the aging requirement to target Gingerbread has become a burden.
The gold release for CyanogenMod 10.1 (Android 4.2) is very, very close, folks. The CyanogenMod team has already gone through four (count 'em, four) release candidates to date, and the fifth has just started popping up on the CyanogenMod download page. RC5 for the Sprint, MetroPCS, Cricket, and AT&T versions of the Galaxy S III are available at the time of writing, as well as the Nexus S, Nexus S 4G, Samsung Captivate, Acer Iconia Tab A700, and the Nook Tablet.
Google has updated the developer dashboard with new platform distribution numbers, and they show a nice uptick for Google's latest and greatest. Jelly Bean (versions 4.1 and 4.2) have reached 33% of active Android devices, or roughly one-third of the market. Gingerbread, however, continues its slow slide downward while remaining stubbornly high.
Last month Gingerbread was chugging along at 38.5%, so the last 30-days saw a 2% drop. That's actually a slight acceleration in the rate of decline.