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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.

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Nielsen: Android Data Usage Only Averages 0.6GB A Month - Do Tiered Data Plans Make Sense?

Nielsenwire released new smartphone figures this morning, with a focus on data consumption. Topping the list of the data consumers amongst the smartphone OS's was, of course, Android.

data-usage-by-OS

The average Android user utilizes 582MB (or roughly .6GB) of data per month - far less than what is allocated by any of the major carrier's plans. We often hear about consumers becoming feisty over data plan tier-ification or throttling, but how many people do these caps and throttles actually affect?

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[Updated: Some Apps Will Be Cut] HTC: We're Bringing Gingerbread To The Desire (But Only Because You Asked Nicely)

Update: In a new Facebook update, HTC explained that some apps would be cut to allow enough space for the Gingerbread update. Looks like it was all about internal storage after all, rather than RAM.

That was quick. HTC, via its UK Facebook page, has announced that Gingerbread will be coming to the Desire after all. Despite the all but scientific conclusion of HTC's engineers, after rigorous testing, that "there isn’t enough memory to ...

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[Updated] EVO Shift 4G Gingerbread OTA Update Dropping June 17th

Update: The EVO Shift 4G will be getting this OTA on the 17th if you initiate the update check manually, and by June 20th, it should start rolling out to all devices automatically! So be on the lookout for it on Friday.

You thought we couldn't pack any more EVO exclusives in today? Well, you thought wrong! We've learned from our intrepid tipster, Captain Anonymous, another interesting tidbit this afternoon: EVO Shift 4G Gingerbread update (version 2.76.651.4) - June 20th.

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[Rumor] The Next Nexus Phone: The Nexus 4G - LTE, 720p Display, Dual Core, No Function Buttons?

Take this with a massive grain of salt, but BGR has just let loose an article detailing what they claim will be either the next Nexus phone or, if not a Nexus, simply the new Android reference handset. Far more exciting than that is what BGR's source has told them what kind of features the phone will be packing:

  • A 720p "monster-sized" display - exact size unknown (also, goodbye qHD - nice knowing you)
  • Dual-core processor @1.2 or 1.5GHz (either a TI OMAP 4460 or a ULP Qualcomm 28nm Krait Snapdragon)
  • Android Ice Cream Sandwich (possibly dubbed Android 4.0)
  • Software function buttons (ala Honeycomb - no more capacitive touch)
  • 4G LTE (yes, yes, yes!)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 5MP rear camera w/1080p video, 1MP front camera
  • Release around Thanksgiving

Unfortunately, several big questions remain unanswered.

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Virgin Mobile Doesn't Approve Of Rooting Or Custom ROMs, Even If It Does Like Vanilla Android

Remember how we ran that story last week about Virgin Mobile laying the smackdown on manufacturer UI overlays? We liked that. But Virgin Mobile wants the Android community to know that they shouldn't consider the prepaid carrier a safe haven for illicit activities like rooting or custom ROMs - not that that's any different from all the other carriers. Here's what Virgin had to say:

"We do not endorse in any way end users using a non-officially tested operating system nor do we approve of 'rooting' devices.  This constitutes a violation of our terms of service and puts our network in jeopardy," a spokesperson said.

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So You Want To Know About Bootloaders, Encryption, Signing, And Locking? Let Me Explain

If you were ever wondering what bootloader encryption, signing, and locking actually meant, this post is for you.

My name is Ivo, and recently I posted this write-up on Reddit (check out the Android subreddit while you’re there!). The post gained quite a bit of traction, and to spread the word further, I'm now posting it here at Android Police. I hope it helps out those of you who are confused.

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[Not As Good As It Sounds] Judge Forces Oracle To Throw Out 129 Of Its Patent Claims Against Google

File this under "things that look good on paper." On Tuesday, a federal judge for the Northern District of California issued an order forcing Oracle and Google, in their fight over various Java patents allegedly infringed by Android, to reduce the number of patent claims and defenses thereto to a "triable" number. That number? Three. And Google will be allowed eight "prior art references" to defend against those claims. (Note: A "prior art reference" is a way of showing that a patent was trying to patent something someone else had already invented prior to the filing, a complete defense against patent infringement, invalidating the patent in question)

Oracle's complaint ended up amounting to 132 patent claims against Google's Android mobile operating system - a staggering number for any court.

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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.
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Google Bids Almost $1 Billion On Patent Portfolio To Protect Android, Chrome

Well, not solely for Android and Chrome - but presumably those products are the headliners affected by this patent bid. Google is currently bidding on a collection of over 6,000 patents held by Nortel Networks, which is selling the portfolio as part of bankruptcy proceedings. Google tossed its name in the hat with an initial offering of $900,000,000 - not exactly chump change.

Many of the patents relate to wireless technology (such as LTE) and data networking, but undoubtedly Google found some of them to be in the particular interest of protecting Android and Chrome, as Google's General Counsel indicted on the company's blog.

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