Earlier today, Google released updated factory images for all of its supported Nexus devices to patch up some reasonably serious vulnerabilities in a core Android library called Stagefright. While we await the stream of OTAs that are sure to follow, there's a fresh code drop to the Android Open Source Project containing security-related patches. Don't expect to see any new features or user-facing changes, this one is all about closing loopholes. Nevertheless, there are some interesting things to peek at.
A quick look at the changelog shows the highest concentration of fixes were made to frameworks/av (audio/visual), which is used extensively in the Stagefright library. Read More
"The Beeb on your wrist" might be mistaken for Cockney slang by some poorly-travelled American blogger, but in this case it's the latest feature to hit the official BBC Worldwide news app. The update to 3.2 for BBC News UK and BBC News Worldwide will send short snippets of stories to your Android Wear device. The only other changes are bug fixes and some layout adjustments for the primary, non-wearable app.
BBC News on a watch is surprisingly usable. A title, header image, and short paragraph for each story are displayed in a sort of mini-RSS style. The layout lets you swipe horizontally and vertically: go up or down to move between the "Top Stories," "My News" (selected on the smartphone app), and "Most Read" categories, and swipe left or right to move between individual stories. Read More
While European owners of HTC's One M9 got its most critical update bringing camera and battery life fixes in June, they've been waiting for the jump from Android 5.0 to 5.1 as unlocked and American carrier versions (except Verizon) have received it. The wait appears to be over, though, as users have begun reporting a fairly large OTA that promises a version increase to 5.1 along with quicker charging times.
The ROM version for the update is 2.10.401.1 and the download is a mighty 831.88 MB, so make sure to be connected to Wi-Fi before pulling the trigger. There are certainly a variety of other refinements beyond those mentioned in the OTA notification, not to mention important security fixes. Read More
Google has announced the expansion of Android One into yet another country. Now residents of Thailand will be able to pick up the i-mobile iQ II for 4,444 TBH (that's about $127). The specs are somewhat modest, but you get the latest and greatest version of Android and updates from Google. Read More
The new Android platform version distribution numbers are up on Google's developer site, and given no data was published during the month of July, that means we've got two months of change. Lollipop continues to climb - it's up from 12.4% a full 5.7 points, now at 18.1% of all devices. KitKat actually hasn't lost much traction because of that, and actually grew a tenth of a point, now at 39.3% of all devices versus 39.2% two months ago.
Android version stats, August 2015
|Android version||Previous data (%)||Current data (%)||Change (pp)
The real loser is Jelly Bean, down 3.8 points, with Ice Cream Sandwich down 1, Gingerbread down 1, and Froyo hanging steady at 0.3% (diediedie). Read More
Back in January at CES 2015, French tech company Parrot announced an Android Auto head unit to end all Android Auto head units. At least, that's what it looked like. Parrot never announced pricing or availability for the RNB6 (catchy name!), and all news about it pretty much fell to the wayside post-show. To be fair, this happens frequently with Parrot products - the company uses trade shows to gauge interest in what are, essentially, working prototypes, and then decides whether or not they're worth making.
The RNB6, Parrot has concluded, is not the sort of thing they want to sell to consumers. Read More
The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is getting an OTA update today, and it takes the device from 5.0 up to 5.1.1. That means a few small tweaks to the system, but there are also some important bug fixes, including one for the Stagefright vulnerability. Read More
It's not often the case, but T-Mobile is playing catch-up with some other carriers when it comes to getting OS updates to a flagship phone. Sprint M9 owners got it on the first of July and AT&T versions were updated two weeks ago, but at not-so-long last T-Mobile HTC One M9 owners will be upgraded to Android 5.1 as well.
Of course, the T-Mobile M9 got the oft-mentioned camera improvement update way back in April, so they were first to get what was arguably the most important OTA for the M9.
The update, to version number 2.7.531.6, should start rolling out today. Read More
Toyota is at this point already known as something of an opponent to Android Auto, and a new press release today seems to confirm that the company's commitment to not using Google or Apple's connected car systems is ongoing. Additionally, multiple websites have confirmed with Telenav and Toyota that this is essentially seen as an "alternative" to the Auto/CarPlay approach.
A partnership with a company called Telenav will allow Toyota owners to connect their smartphones to their vehicle in order to project a third-party navigation app onto their... I'm sorry, what were we talking about? I've never felt myself losing interest in something so quickly. Read More