21
Nov
huawei_logo

Huawei took a lot of heat when it told North American customers a few weeks ago that the Ascend Mate2 would not be getting the promised KitKat update. The original post was removed after the comments got ugly, and now Huawei is backtracking. After "reassessing" the decision to cancel KitKat on the Mate2, Huawei will go all the way to Lollipop, but not until some time in the first half of 2015.

04
Nov
2014-11-04 14.45.09

Over the last few years, few topics have been more hotly contested by Android users and developers than how SD cards are handled by the OS. Back in February, I discussed some of Google's changes during the transition from Android 2.3 to 4.0, and then how more recent policy changes ultimately led to 3rd-party applications losing most of their access to removable storage. By the time I/O came around, Google acknowledged that KitKat's newly added Storage Access Framework still didn't offer enough range for apps to get their work done.

16
Oct
Note8-Thumb

Jelly Bean seemed to stick around longer than other versions of Android. While most previous iterations were content to move along with each point release, Jelly Bean stuck around for 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3. It took quite a while for KitKat to arrive, and for some people, that wait has been longer than others.

If you purchased an AT&T Galaxy Note 8 back when it launched in 2013, you probably didn't think you would be stuck with Jelly Bean for this long.

09
Oct
verizon-galaxy-nexus-630

Google announced last year that the venerable Galaxy Nexus would not be getting any of that sweet, sweet KitKat action. Well, not officially anyway. Owners were not pleased, but they couldn't properly flood the internet with complaints because their phones were already dead. There have been a few KitKat ROMs that work well enough, but now some developers have created a kernel and GPU driver combo that could keep this device chugging along through the L release.

18
Aug
1[5]

Sony's been on a slow roll lately, steadily pushing KitKat to various Xperia devices. Today marks the release of the 4.4.4 update for the Xperia M2 and M2 Dual, which also brings some additional functionality by way of Sony-specific tweaks.

1

  • We’ve added our tweaked Status Bar and Quick Settings… now more intuitive and customisable (and pretty easy on the eye)… cleaned up to ensure you only get the notifications you really need
  • If you’ve got a Sony PlayStation 4, you might recognize our new user interface – we’ve added the same sleek launch animation and live wallpaper across the lock and home screens
  • Better storage choice – you now have the option to easily move applications from internal memory to SD card – we recognised the need to have more control over your content… as something particularly useful for devices with slightly less space
  • We’re also uplifting Sony’s entire native app portfolio to the latest versions – bringing tweaked / improved / current experiences for (to name but a few): Messaging, Smart Connect, TrackID, What’s New, and Battery STAMINA Mode, Sony’s Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies
  • And proving pretty popular, now totalling over 2 million downloads (!) – our unique custom interface experience: “Xperia Themes”, with downloadable UI packs from Sony Select – skin up to 280 assets across your Xperia smartphone with a variety of styles…
  • Compatibility with our SmartWear Experience; SmartBand SWR10 and Lifelog app – enabling you to record social, physical and entertainment activities and have them all visualised in a beautiful interface… reminisce at that past, make the best of the present and plan for the future

See?

12
Aug
nexusae0_thumb_thumb1_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb

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.

12
Aug
2

Android L is on its way, but people still want KitKat. It's true. If I were sitting around with a device still running, say, Android 4.1, I'd want an update to something newer, and I'm sure you would (or do) too. Well, Asus Padfone Infinity and Fonepad Note 6 owners now have their chance to take a bite out of a sweeter, more recent version of Android. Asus has announced the immediate availability of fresh firmware for both devices.

08
Aug
xperia-E1

Sony has shared in a blog post the beginning of its KitKat rollout for the Xperia E1 and E1 Dual. The update will include the usual goodies that come with Android 4.4 along with some changes to Sony's exclusive software. The company has provided a changelog of what to expect, and it's identical to the one it posted for the Xperia T2 Ultra.

To briefly recap what may soon hit an Xperia device near you, this update contains a tweaked status bar, revisions to quick settings, a theme that matches that of the PlayStation 4, and an improved ability to move files from internal memory to a micro SD card.

06
Aug
xperia-z1s-group1240x840-0bdb77e3faec852f445dc6e89c36cdb1

Sony tends not to push its flagship phones on US carriers, for whatever reason. Sometimes a tweaked version will happen along at a later date, and that was the case with the Xperia Z1. T-Mobile got the Xperia Z1s in January of this year, but it was still on Android 4.3. Well, not anymore—KitKat is rolling out now.

a9aregu7 Screenshot_2014-08-06-08-32-45-315x560

31
Jul
gp83

I really like my LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition (or as we call it 'round the office, the LGGP83GPE), and it's a bit disheartening that the standard version isn't getting more traction. But at least Verizon's LTE model is now on Android 4.4, as confirmed by Google+ users. Verizon's standard upgrade page says that the KitKat 4.4.2 OTA update adds a few changes to LG's software skin as well.

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