Once again and right on time, Google has released Platform Distribution numbers for Android, this time for the month of October. The numbers still show Gingerbread holding on at just over 54%, but Jelly Bean is gaining a little more ground at 2.7%, up 0.9% over the previous month.
Again, the Gingerbread/Jelly Bean numbers are a bit disappointing considering the extremely small change from the previous cycle (a change of less than 1% for each), but it's worth noting that these numbers will (hopefully) be helped along by updates rumored to be coming soon (or those that just arrived).
Taking a new approach to firmware upgrades, Panasonic has decided to update its Eluga handset to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich via a downloadable Play Store app appropriately named 'ELUGA ICS Update.'
For those who don't remember, the Eluga is a little-talked-about handset that debuted in Spring 2012 in Europe and Japan, touting a waterproof and dustproof chassis.
According to its description, Panasonic's update app "connects to Panasonic download server [sic] and downloads the Ice Cream Sandwich software update." Of course, many of us are familiar with what improvements Ice Cream Sandwich brings over Gingerbread 2.3.x, but Panasonic emphasizes the new "powerful new features" of its custom skin as well, listing the lock screen, status bar, home screen, and app drawer as areas of improvement with the update.
We just had a bomb dropped on us by an anonymous tipster, courtesy of a leaked version of the Google Wallet app - and it was hiding some pretty amazing secrets. Let's cut to the chase: physical Google Wallet card. That's happening, and you'll be able to get one, probably soon.
The physical Google Wallet card will work just like a regular credit card. Whatever your currently selected default card on the Wallet app is, the Wallet card will charge to.
Finally. Since Hurricane Sandy flooded out New York and canceled Google's press event, we've been trying everything we can think of to get a review unit. Late yesterday we got an email back from an awesome Googler (thanks!), and I immediately flew out the door to go rescue a Nexus 4 from New York. We got one! Mission accomplished!
I have a million things to work on now: a full review, a bunch of GTKAs, and teardowns of everything.
UPDATE: We've updated the links below with an install package that lets you capture and view Photo Spheres right on your handset.
One of the most popular features introduced Monday with Android 4.2 was a revamped camera/gallery app (that we got a peek at early). The camera introduces a new focus/settings UI (popping up with an "options ring" only when you need it), a refreshed gallery interface, and of course – Photo Sphere.
Pictures. If there is one thing we love to share on the internet, it's images.
And I think that's because it's kind of difficult to communicate what we see in life without them - you need that visual aid. Printing or developing photos is time-consuming and inconvenient, and so when digital cameras began to catch on in a big way, right around the same time as broadband internet, people went absolutely mad sharing photos on the web.
If you thought Google's official Ask Me Anythingvideo was a good promo for the new Nexus family, wait till you see this. A design studio called Autofuss (based in San Francisco) has created their own promo video for the Nexus 4, 7, and 10, that does a great job of showing off the new line. Take a look:
Not only is the thirty-second spot a pixel-perfect promo in terms of style, polish, and overall concept, but it stays true to Google's own Nexus branding, art style, and features copy that feels right at home in a promo made for Google.
OK, everybody, it's patent time. Get your coffee. And preferably, keep sharp objects out of arm's reach.
As you may have heard by now, Apple now has a patent on touchscreen maps that was granted just a few days ago. The patent in question (which we'll call the '033 patent) can be found here. It's a real page-turner. I'm kidding, no it's not - it's a patent. It's about as exciting as a treatise on the effects of the 18th century transatlantic textile trade on horse carriage upholstery.
We know a lot of you out there are collectors of Andrew Bell's line of plastic Android figures - they've released dozens since the original "Bugdroid" version. With the holidays coming soon, the special editions for 2012 are now rolling out, starting with the Halloween werewolf version.
I'm sure it's just a coincidence that this little guy sports the same blue-on-yellow jersey as Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf.
At ARM TechCon today, the titular purveyor of semiconductors announced its Cortex-A50 series, dubbed "the world's most energy-efficient 64-bit processors." Based on the ARMv8 architecture, the line will launch with the Cortex-A53 and A57 processors, allowing not only for significantly more energy-efficient processing, but SoC scalability that makes the line applicable to devices from smartphones to high-performance servers. The A57 is geared toward high-performance, while the A53 is lauded by ARM as its most power-efficient.