Remember last night, when we were excited about the Galaxy S5 getting its Android 5.0 update already, at least in Poland? That was nice. Let's try to hang on to that warm, comforting feeling while we face this cold fact: a combination of lowered expectations for non-flagship devices and good old US carrier apathy means many Android owners won't be so lucky. For example, the Galaxy S4 Zoom on AT&T is just now getting its update to Android 4.4, more than a year after the release of both KitKat and the phone itself.
No, it's not Android 5.0. There, we've got that over with. And while I'm sure at least some owners of the Verizon version of Samsung's penultimate Note are disappointed at the lack of Lollipop, others will be happy to see it updated to the latest version of KitKat. A new software update is rolling out to Verizon's Samsung Galaxy Note 3 right now (PDF link), with Android 4.4.4 in tow. The last time the phone got an Android version bump was the KitKat (4.4.2) update back in May.
Some HTC One M7 variants appear to be getting a new OTA update. As for what's new, apparently not much. All we know is that it contains "important enhancements and bug fixes related to improving phone call experience," and that it isn't Lollipop.
The update is version 6.09.401.11, and weighs in at a fairly hefty 193.01 MB, so whatever was changed must involve some somewhat substantial code modifications. The update also keeps the M7 on Android 4.4.3/KitKat.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
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.