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April Platform Distribution Numbers Updated—Marshmallow Doubles Again To 4.6%, Lollipop Holds Steady

Google has shared this month's look at how many users are accessing the Play Store using which versions of Android. The numbers probably won't surprise you. Marshmallow still sits at a low 4.6%. Lollipop's numbers have barely budged in either direction.

Except, as small a slice as Marshmallow may have, it's twice as large as it was last month. This is also the largest jump since Android 6.0 first launched.

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[Android N Feature Spotlight] Direct Boot Will Keep Your Encrypted Phone Functional After An Unexpected Reboot

Sometimes phones spontaneously reboot. The problem isn't too big a deal, unless your phone is encrypted. Then the phone sits, not taking calls, not pulling down email, and wasting battery life as it waits to decrypt.

In Android N, Google is making the experience less painful. When a device reboots on its own, you will retain the ability to receive phone calls. Email clients, instant messengers, and other apps will deliver notifications. Alarms will go off in the morning. In short, your phone will continue to do its job.

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[Update: 65" Now $50 Less] Deal Alert: Sony's 55" & 65" 2015 4K XBR-850C TVs With Android TV, TRILUMINOS Displays, Active 3D, & HDR On Sale For $999 & $1599 (Up To $400 Off)

A couple of weeks ago, we posted a deal alert for Sony's entry-level 65" 4K Android TV, the XBR-65X810C. Today, the 55" and 65" models of the mid-range XBR-850C line are on sale at their lowest prices ever on eBay. The 55" TV is $999 ($1200 on Amazon), while the 65" panel is $1599 ($2,000 on Amazon). Yeah, that's still a pretty penny for a TV, but these are great prices for some of the best panels on the market.

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Blackberry Announces Priv Marshmallow Open Beta

The Blackberry Priv launched last November. While it undeniably has an interesting form factor and shipped with some compelling enterprise-oriented security features, it has remained on Android Lollipop as its flagship competitors received their Marshmallow updates left and right.

But now Blackberry is testing a beta of its hardened version of Android 6.0, and owners of the phone can sign up via the Blackberry Beta Zone.

There are limits to who can join the beta program. The first wave of invitations will be sent to those who bought their devices through the Blackberry Store, Amazon, and British phone retailer Carphone Warehouse.

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[Deal Alert] eBay Has A Sharp 70-inch 4K Android TV For $1599.99 ($200 Off Retail Price)

While it's hardly taking the world by storm, it looks like Android TV is gaining enough of a footing that there are now high-end televisions equipped with Google's entertainment OS being discounted on a regular basis. (Of course, that might simply indicate that no one is buying them. Either way, it means low prices for us.) Today's television deal comes from Sharp, and it's a big-un: the LC-70UE30U, a 70-inch, 4K smart TV. Buydig's eBay outlet has a new model on sale for $1599.99, a solid $200 off of the price for most remaining new stock.

The LC-70UE30U includes Android TV running on a quad-core processor of unknown origin (though I'm betting it's one of Qualcomm's inexpensive SoC systems).

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CyanogenMod 13 Nightlies Arrive For The Moto E LTE 2015, Moto G 2015, Moto X Play, And... Photon Q

CyanogenMod 13 comes with Android 6.0, and it has been around since the fall. But bringing each device up to date takes time. Many have spent the past few months on 12.1. My Moto G 2015 (the one I showed off last week) is one of those devices.

Well, let's just say this is a post I'm happy to write.

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Nextbit Announces Upcoming Robin Android 6.0.1 Update With Camera And Sound Improvements, Small Bug Fix Rolling Out Today

The Nextbit Robin isn't a perfect phone, but it's surprisingly good for a Kickstarter project. Also, it actually exists. So there's that. Nextbit has announced a big update is coming next month that will address some of my issues with the phone, and there's a small bug fix rolling out this very day.

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OnePlus Releases OxygenOS 3.0 (Marshmallow) Beta For The OnePlus 2

OnePlus launched the OnePlus 2 last year with Lollipop, and there it has stayed all through the launch of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. Some of the more established OEMs have already gotten 6.0 updates out the door (even those that have to go through carriers). Now it's almost OP's turn to update devices to Marshmallow. There's a beta for OxygenOS 3.0, which is based on Marshmallow. You can install it right now, if you like.

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Messenger v1.8 Fixes A Major Crashing Bug On Android N And Adds Manual Override For Incorrectly Detected Countries [APK Download]

An update to Google's Messenger application rolled out yesterday afternoon. Like a lot of other updates lately, this one appears to be centered around clearing up bugs and issues rather than adding new features. For regular travelers or those that have some compatibility issues with their local carriers, there is now an option to override the automatic country detection the app currently performs. Those users on Android N can also look forward to a fix for a pretty critical bug that could cause Messenger to crash with a simple YouTube link.

What's New

Bug Fix: YouTube Links No Longer Crash Android N

2016-03-30 09.48.382016-03-30 09.51.50

For those people living on the edge with the Android N Developer Preview running on their primary (or only) phone, there can be some pretty critical bugs that tend to break things in really unexpected ways.

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It's Nearly Two Years Later And Android Wear Still Has Connectivity Issues—What's The Deal, Google? [Poll]

It's time for some real talk about Android Wear. If I'm being completely honest, I wasn't sold on the idea of a smart watch when Wear was announced. Even after using the original G Watch I wasn't sure I'd find value in having Android on my wrist. It took a few updates for Wear to find a place in my life, but through it all there have been bugs. Some of that is to be expected, but here we are nearly two years after Android Wear launched and connectivity is still bad for a lot of users. While I quite like Wear now, you have to wonder why this is still a problem.

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