According to a Bloomberg article published this morning, Google has been actively tracking the time it takes Android device manufacturers to update their handsets to a new version of the Android OS. Better yet? There are supposedly discussions happening inside Google as to whether or not to make the stats public, as a sort of "name and shame" directive to encourage manufacturers and carriers alike to update their handsets more quickly. To which I respond: oh god yes please, do this, Google.
The report also mentions a few other tidbits that are interesting, and we'll get to those, but let's focus on what I will now call The Android Update Wall Of Shame, which should very much be what it is called if Google does, in fact, publish it. Read More
The latest version of Android is currently making the rounds. People with Samsung's two-year-old flagship are waiting, and they won't be left out. Carriers are gradually pushing Marshmallow to that device. Read More
Owners of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge on America's #2 carrier are in for a new sweet treat. It would appear that AT&T has begun rolling out a Marshmallow update for both devices. In addition to the host of goodies provided by Google and Samsung, there are also some welcome omissions from the Death Star in terms of bloatware. The update removes Keeper, Facebook Messenger, and AT&T Live, and moves AT&T Mail and YP Mobile from the permanent install to "virtual" preload, meaning you should now be able to uninstall the apps if you so desire. Read More
If you're an owner of a Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge on Verizon, you'll want to check for an update tomorrow. According to the carrier, an OTA is on the way and there looks to be more than just bug fixes and security patches. According to the support documents, here's a list of what we can expect:
- Security patches, though we aren't sure if it'll be May's or one from a previous month, but since the phones are currently on February's security update, anything will be a welcome addition.
- A pop-up reminder to close your SIM/SD card tray if you left it open.
Samsung may produce the top-selling Android flagships, but that doesn't mean buyers don't encounter a few bugs.
Some Galaxy S7 and S7 edge phones apparently suffer from malfunctioning volume down and power buttons. You press either one, whether to reduce noise or wake your device from sleep, and nothing happens. In either case, it's quite a big deal. You're either stuck with a blank screen or notifications coming in loudly as you're trying to silence your phone. Read More
Sprint's Galaxy S6 got Marshmallow in March. Verizon's did the same at the start of this month. Over a week later, T-Mobile had followed suit. But what about AT&T? Read More
Sometimes you have to wait a long time to get the announcement that the latest version of Android is coming to a device that you own. That period of time can be agonizing, especially when you have your eyes set on a particular feature.
The experience is only made worse when the announcement doesn't bring an update any closer. Read More
The LG G Vista 2 is a large phone for AT&T customers who don't quite want to spend flagship money. At $348.99, the price isn't quite low-end, and neither are the specs. You get a 5.7-inch 1080p screen, a 13MP camera, and a stylus.
And now, you also get Marshmallow. AT&T is pushing out the latest version of Android in an over-the-air update for the device. Read More
Google's approach to releasing preview firmware for upcoming versions of Android is evolving into a pretty cool system that allows developers to simply sign up a device and wait for the OTAs to come rolling in. However, no product launch is perfect, and this one is causing some real problems for some users. Complaints started rolling into the Nexus Help Form and AOSP Issue Tracker about devices that were left unable to boot after attempting to install the OTA. This problem is greatly compounded by the fact that many users are not able to unlock their bootloaders, which means they can't fix the issue with a factory image. Read More
I'm pretty sure something was lost in translation between the different reviews of ASUS' more recent generations of phones and the company's software development team. Everyone has lamented the high customization of ZenUI, the software layer that ASUS has slapped on top of Android, and its endless list of pre-installed and useless apps. On our own team, different writers unanimously pointed to the software as the major drawback for the Zenfone 2, Zenfone 2E, Zenpad S 8.0, Zenfone Selfie, and Zenfone 2 Laser. So what's ASUS to do to fix that?
Add more bloat. For realsies. That's what's happening with the latest update to the Zenfone Selfie, as if the phone wasn't full of preloaded crapware already. Read More