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
We're a few days into a new month, which means it's time for a fresh set of security updates for the Nexus family and the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Factory images are available for most of the actively maintained devices, though it looks like the Pixel C is still waiting its turn. OTAs should also begin rolling out shortly, if they haven't already.
Google has already posted the associated security bulletin for April's update. Read More
The factory images are up–some of them–so it's time to take a peek under the covers to discover any changes made to the Android Open Source Project for April's security updates. To make this a bit easier, we've generated changelogs based on the commit history that was just posted to AOSP last night.
As you might expect, the majority of the changes are going to be related to the issues set forth in the April Security Bulletin. A few others appear to be relatively small bug fixes, but nothing jumps out at me as a change that will directly affect user experience or any particularly noticeable bugs. Read More
The latest factory images for the Nexus family have landed and people are getting their updates. What are they updating to? The changelogs built from developer comments can probably answer that, or at least give some pretty good hints.
Like most of the monthly updates, at least since Google started this practice, March's update focuses on security. Read More
As is the (new-ish) tradition, Google rolls out security updates on the first Monday of each month. The factory images for March's updates are right on schedule with all of the recent fixes to shore up potential vulnerabilities in the operating system. LMY49H is the build number for the Nexus 10 update, which will remain cut off at Lollipop. Most of the other devices on the list are moving up to MMB29V, though a few other build numbers are available for special variants. Read More
It looks like there may still be a couple of missing images, like the Nexus 6P. Just keep checking back and they'll probably turn up shortly.
OnePlus has been hounded pretty regularly in recent months by anxious OP2 owners wondering when Marshmallow is coming. Well, there's an OTA starting to roll out today and... it's not Marshmallow. Still Android 5.1, sorry. It does, however, bring RAW support to the camera, new security patches, and other little fixes. Read More
At this point, anyone who really cares about getting speedy Android updates knows to avoid using Verizon if possible, with a few exceptions for flagship devices. Those exceptions don't extend to tablets, even high-end ones. Case in point: the Verizon Sony Xperia Tablet Z2 is now getting its Android 5.1.1 update... a year after the software was released, and more than four months after the release of the latest version, Android 6.0. Such is life. Read More
The Asus Transformer line used to be a stalwart of Android tablets, and 2013's Transformer Pad TF701T was no slouch. The device had a beautiful 2560×1600 display that still holds up today, and like all previous Transformer devices, it had a detachable keyboard. It was intended as a productivity machine, but like all Android devices, the manufacturer only provided a couple years' worth of updates. The tablet went from Jelly Bean to KitKat, and there it stayed.
Fortunately custom ROMs have a way of breathing new life into old devices. Read More
February's batch of factory images started turning up earlier today and Google followed up with a push to AOSP a few hours later. As usual, we've got some changelogs to look over. The focus this month appears to be entirely on sealing any holes that could be used by bad people to do bad things.
Google posted a security bulletin with a list of fixes found in this release, and there are a few pretty big ones this month. Five items have been tagged Critical, including two that allowed for remote code execution without any user interaction, and the remaining three could have been used for privilege escalation. Read More