Every so often, something shows up in the Android Police tip box that seems just a little too wild to be true. Such was the case with the information that led us to publish this story. After all, if someone simply claimed that Google was forcing device OEMs to use up-to-date software in order to get access to Google Mobile Services, you'd probably find such an allegation dubious at best. Even if they included moderately convincing evidence that this was the case.
It's that time again - each month, Google updates the developer dashboard to reflect Android's latest platform distribution numbers, determined according to devices that have accessed the Play Store in a seven-day period.
Last month, we saw KitKat make a small leap to 1.4% - it's made another tiny gain, rising to 1.8% of devices, while Jelly Bean has gone from 59.1% up to 60.7%. Gingerbread meanwhile continues its death march, letting 1.2% slip through its icy grasp, falling to an even 20% of devices.
Here's a refreshing change of pace for Android users eager to get their over-the-air updates. According to this Sprint support page, the Android 4.4 update for the HTC One is available for customers right now. But strangely, it's not going out in the usual method - users will need to initiate a manual update request in order to pull it down. If you're an Android regular, you know how this goes: check the About Phone section of the Settings menu to see if there's an update available.
Wi-Fi is a staple among most smartphone users. While we tend to talk more about cellular data, it's really just there to sustain us as we travel from one access point to another. We aren't just demanding more data at higher speeds, we're connecting more devices than ever before. The inevitable overcrowding of the 2.4 GHz brought about the expansion into the 5 GHz range. Unfortunately, many Nexus devices (and at least a few others) are having trouble making and maintaining connections to this higher frequency band.
It was only 3 months ago when we first met the brand new Android Runtime, dubbed ART. In that time it has gained a substantial following by enthusiasts throughout the Android community. Given its "preview" status and warnings from the Android team that ART wasn't ready for the general population, it appeared unlikely that it would officially take the place of Dalvik anytime soon. However, a new commit to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) is strong evidence that ART may become the default runtime in the next version of Android.
Sony bumped the Xperia Z1 and Z Ultra to Android 4.3 in December, but a new software build is starting to make its way to users starting today. This one has build number 14.2.A.1.136, but it's still Android 4.3 – Sony is just doing a little housekeeping.
— Sony Xperia News (@SonyMobileNews) January 30, 2014
That hotly anticipated Android 4.2.2 update for the AT&T HTC One was approved for distribution yesterday, but now it's reportedly hitting devices. Users on XDA report that a small 16MB update is showing up first, then sometime later, the big 537MB update to Android 4.2.2 appears.
AllThingsD spinoff Re/code is reporting this morning that Google and Samsung have reached a series of "broad agreements" regarding the latter's modifications to the Android OS, and it may be music to the ears of Android enthusiasts everywhere.
According to an unnamed source (of course!), Google wasn't exactly happy with the direction the Korean OEM had been moving with the OS, particularly in the way it had been promoting its own content services on devices.
Last month the upgraded Butterfly S got the last version of Jelly Bean and the shiny new Sense 5.5 UI, and it looks like HTC's software team has worked their way to the original Butterfly model. Noted HTC leaker @LlabTooFer posted the over-the-air update screen this morning, and at least one blog showed the same software update going out in Malaysia yesterday. According to a Twitter reply, the Taiwanese variant is being updated as well.