The long, hard road towards the future of Android slogs on. While Gingerbread still remains the largest major version of the platform, its dominance is decreasing steadily. As of January 3rd, Gingerbread only represented 47.4% (down from 50.6% in December)of all Android devices. The second runner-up was Ice Cream Sandwich with 29.1% (up from 27.5% in December). The two versions of Jelly Bean totaled up to 10.2%, though if you subdivide by the Summer and Winter releases, they get much farther apart: 4.1 accounts for 9%, while 4.2 is on a measly 1.2% of devices.
Hey guys, have you heard that 2012 is almost over? Yep! The new millennium is about to be a teenager. It's exciting. (No, the year 2000 is not included, you mathematically remedial cur.) The past twelve months have been fantastic and we'll be hearing more about that later, but one of the things we felt the need to talk a bit more in-depth about is the Play Store. You know the one.
If you use Google Voice, or simply make the occasional outgoing call via Gmail, Google's got some great news for you. The service is going to continue to be free throughout 2013 for users in the U.S. and Canada! International callers will still have the same rates applied. In short, nothing is really changing, and that's a good thing.
When Google first introduced the ability to make phone calls in Gmail, it said the service would be free through at least the end of 2010.
Man, Google. You just can't stop screwing with Christmas, can you? First you cancel December, and now this? In a very real and totally serious bug report over on Google Code, one user is reporting a serious flaw in Android: If you use the Emoji keyboard to enter a Santa face, he looks decidedly unhappy. Emotionless at best. But, as everyone knows, "Santa should be jolly."
Okay, yes, so Google did fix that Calendar problem, and even went out of its way to build a special Santa Tracker, after Norad hired that other search engine.
If you aren't quite feeling the holiday spirit yet, Google has decided to lend a hand with a few holiday-oriented offerings focused on our favorite green robot.
The official Nexus page on Google+ shared a few "Happy Holiday Cards" this evening, depicting Bugdroid hanging out with some arctic pals sitting by a fire, having a party, ice skating, and – of course – playing with Android-powered phones and tablets. To download the full-resolution cards or share with friends, just click through to the original post, linked below.
Update: Turns out the app is only compatible with LG Google TV's for the time being (meaning no Google TV set top boxes are compatible at this time). That's lame.
Remember Google TV? You know, the Google-developed set top box running an Android variant that never managed to catch on? Well, if you're one of the small but dedicated users of the most neglected streaming device around, there's reason to celebrate: Amazon's Instant Video app, previously "exclusive" to the Kindle Fire, iPad, Roku, TiVo, Blu-ray players, various connected TVs, and just about everything except standard Android devices, is available on Google Play from your Google TV.
In a pair of new thirty-second ad spots, Google is showing off what it does best – search. The spots both feature Google's Search app for Android, using the same cozy, refined aesthetic as Google's other ads in recent memory, even showing off Search's new "search with camera" functionality.
The first spot follows the story of a nervous job candidate, gaining some insight into his prospective employer's interests with a last-minute Google search, while the second spot shows us a "smart Dad" who uses Google Search as a cheat sheet to answer his inquisitive son's astronomical questions.
While Google's been working feverishly to build out its Play Store, bringing it to other countries and expanding its offerings, the company's music store has been lacking one crucial feature that its competitors have: library matching. Where Amazon and iTunes can scan your current collection and add the songs to your online storage, Google has, until recently, required users to upload every individual track manually. A long and tedious process. In mid-November, the scan and match feature came out for Europe, and today it arrives for US residents.