September's platform distribution numbers for Android are now available, and... they're dully predictable. Marshmallow's growth returned to the levels we saw in July, gaining 3.5 points versus its position a month ago. Lollipop has returned to a net decline, with v5.0 losing a full point of the pie and 5.1's half-point increase not being able to make up for it. That means Lollipop, combined, is on 35% of all Android devices Google counted versus Marshmallow's 18.7%.
KitKat dropped 1.5 points, Jelly Bean (all versions) collectively dipped a meager 1.1 points, and Ice Cream Sandwich and Gingerbread barely budged from their previous positions. Read More
Android's Platform Distribution chart has been updated for August, and this month brings little in the way of interesting change. Marshmallow has risen around 1.9 points, to 15.2% of installs, with Lollipop 5.0 and 5.1 actually netting a 0.4 point gain this time around. Last month, total Lollipop installs actually dropped around 0.3 points, meaning this month's increased numbers have actually reversed that change and then some. Given that 5.0 installs didn't actually grow - gains were made solely by v5.1 - it's not exactly clear what happened there. Perhaps a large number of devices have gone straight from KitKat to Android 5.1, though that's an awful strange time for a jump. Read More
Fragmentation is the flaming torch we have to face each time a discussion about Android updates or development is started. Google releases monthly distribution numbers of its operating system, which detail the percentages of devices running a certain version of the OS that have visited the Play Store in the past 7 days. They're usually met with collective groans as Froyo and Gingerbread cling on to dear life month after month.
But as Apteligent's monthly data report points out, Google doesn't take into consideration two important factors: devices that don't have the Play Store installed (ie Chinese handsets mostly) and device usage. A phone may access the Play Store, but it may not be actively used. Read More
If you've been waiting for a more stable version of the CyanogenMod ROM to become available before upgrading to Android 5.0, now's your chance. Snapshot builds of CM 12 are now rolling off of the build server and onto the CyanogenMod download page, going in their usual alphabetical order by codename. These are the first snapshot versions of CyanogenMod 12, and according to members of the CM 12 team, they'll also be the last.
Snapshots are among the more stable releases of the community ROM, more so than the monthly "M" builds (which are pretty reliable themselves, at least compared to one-off efforts you might see on standard user forums). Read More
It's only been a month since Lollipop made its debut on the platform distribution chart, and it's making decent headway. Android 5.0 more than doubled its standing, bringing the total from 1.6% to 3.3%. Most of this bump can be attributed to firmware updates that have been rolling out to 2014's flagship phones and tablets. Surprisingly, KitKat also increased its hold by 1.2%, totaling 40.9% of all Android devices.
Since Lollipop and KitKat only account for a combined 2.9% shift, most of the remaining versions of Android lost ground pretty evenly. Jelly Bean 4.1 took the largest hit, losing a full 1.1%. Read More
The Verizon Ellipsis 7 is probably not the first choice for tablets among Android Police readers. It's a low-end, whitebox tablet from some no-name OEM that Verizon has rebranded in order to create a product that could sit at the very bottom of its tablet lineup. Even so, those people who did buy an Ellipsis 7 (or got one for free in various packaged promotions) were probably quite happy to see the KitKat update come in a couple of weeks ago... assuming they actually got to use it.
On this Verizon support forum, a handful of Ellipsis 7 owners are complaining of "boot loops" after upgrading to Android 4.4 via the OTA. Read More
The Verizon Ellipsis 7 launched in November of 2013, a time shortly after Google released the Nexus 5 and manufacturers were thinking about pushing KitKat to their devices. Given the timing, it made sense that Verizon didn't ship Android 4.4 on its tablet.
But man, the carrier sure took its time. Three months after the world has had time to become acquainted with Lollipop, Verizon has decided to push KitKat out to its 7-inch tablet. As part of the over-the-air update, users get screen casting, wireless printing, and other features they've had more than enough time to get to know on other devices. Read More
Opening statement giving a broad overview of device updates. Introduction of specific manufacturer, carrier, and model. Expression of dissatisfaction at the state of Android updates. Date comparison of release of specific Android version and the latest version. Specific call to action for carrier and/or manufacturer. Lamentation on behalf of affected users. Grudging link to documentation of software update. In case you couldn't tell yet, we do a lot of these overdue carrier update posts on Android Police, and they aren't any more fun for us to write than they are for you to read.
Today's object of ire is US Cellular. Read More
Look, Fuhu's products aren't for you. They're for your kids, or possibly your extended family if you're a really cool uncle or grandma or something. So the company doesn't have the same kind of demanding scrutiny for timely software updates as, say, the latest Galaxy Tab. Even so, the Nabi 2's update to Android 4.4 is being sent out almost a year and a half after the software was first available, and it's not like Fuhu has a ton of other products waiting in line.
Alright, alright, I'll stop my whining. The 3.0 update to the kid-friendly version of Android adds a grab-bag of new features and Fuhu software. Read More