The numbers are in - the Android version distribution numbers, that is. This month's update shows no surprising change in trends, with KitKat adoption growing 3.7% over last month. Jelly Bean continues its net decline, this month losing 2.2% of the pie.
Ice Cream Sandwich fell 0.7%, as did Gingerbread, and Froyo is down another 0.1%. Lollipop isn't featured in the chart, as it does not yet have the requisite 0.1% to be shown. Read More
Android has gone through quite a few changes during its short 6 years of life. The Android that drives most of the world's smartphones of today would be almost unrecognizable to what was launched in late 2008. We've seen massive visual changes, expansion to almost every conceivable form factor, and a completely fleshed-out content ecosystem for multimedia and apps. As the operating system matured, some elements have successfully grown with it, and others have become dead weight. Read More
While owners of Nexus devices have been getting Android 5.0 updates all over the place for the last few weeks, Google Play Edition owners have had to wait a little longer. The first GPE device to get an over-the-air Lollipop update seems to be the LG G Pad 8.3 - or as it's affectionately known around here, the LGGP83GPE. Users on Twitter and XDA are reporting at least some OTA updates, and you can grab the ZIP file for a manual flash here (direct link). Read More
Update, 8 AM Pacific: Predictably, both the Nexus 6 and the discounted G Watch are out of stock. You can still grab $50 of Play Store credit with the purchases of any other Android Wear device or the Nexus 9.
Update: It looks like the Nexus 6 (which is actually in stock right now, at approximately 12:45 AM Pacific) and the Nexus 9 are also eligible for the $50 Play Store credit. Read More
Lollipop users, you can now download the popular SuperSU tool from the Play Store. Not that you couldn't before, but version 2.35 is particularly notable: it works with a lot more of the usual root apps, after both SuperSU and the apps that use it were having trouble on Android 5.0. You can flash 2.35 via the usual ZIP in TWRP (and probably other custom recoveries), with updates coming via the Play Store after that. Read More
People regularly rely on Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to hide their activities from nosy governments, circumvent geographically restricted and region-locked services, and increase security on untrusted Wi-Fi networks. But the big problem with piping your communications through a secure digital tunnel is that it's an all-or-nothing deal – web browsing, IM chats, and email are all going over the wire to the same place. That can become a really serious issue for people that use an employer's VPN for work. Read More
If you're willing to throw caution to the wind and void your warranty, you can have Android 5.0 on your Sprint Galaxy S5 right now. An early build of Lollipop for this device has leaked on XDA, and it's flashable with Odin. Expect bugs, but hey, it's Lollipop.
Since Google I/O we've been waiting anxiously to see which apps would be among the first to gain compatibility with Chrome OS. As Sundar Pichai explained at this summer's conference, Google plans to get Android apps running natively on the company's desktop OS, using App Runtime for Chrome.
Google is carefully curating the experience, however, working with select developers to make apps available through Chrome's web store. In September, Duolingo, Evernote, Vine, and Sight Words came to Chrome, and today Google announced a lineup of seven new apps, including Cookpad, Couchsurfing, Overdrive, and four others. Read More
Being on the bleeding edge is great and all, but there are drawbacks. For example, many users of Android 5.0 devices are reporting that apps seem to be restarting an awful lot in the background. There are also performance issues that seem to crop up more the longer a device runs without being restarted.