One of the quirks that makes Google great is its fun-loving culture. Not only does it name its Android versions after desserts, but it also creates a unique statue for each. Lately, the designs have been getting on the staler side, but we thought Android's 10-year anniversary warranted a look back at our favorites.
The year was 2010, and Apple made good on the rumor mill's predictions when it unveiled the iPad. This device was, essentially, a bigger iPhone without the phone part. It turns out that consumers were into that sort of thing, and the first modern tablet sold in huge numbers. Not to be outdone, Android OEMs began launching Android-powered slates. For a time, it seemed like Android tablets would be a thing, but sales slumped, and most current Android tablets are ultra-low-cost junk. With the benefit of hindsight, it's easy to see how we got here.
Android's Platform Distribution chart has been updated for August, and this month brings little in the way of interesting change. Marshmallow has risen around 1.9 points, to 15.2% of installs, with Lollipop 5.0 and 5.1 actually netting a 0.4 point gain this time around. Last month, total Lollipop installs actually dropped around 0.3 points, meaning this month's increased numbers have actually reversed that change and then some. Given that 5.0 installs didn't actually grow - gains were made solely by v5.1 - it's not exactly clear what happened there. Perhaps a large number of devices have gone straight from KitKat to Android 5.1, though that's an awful strange time for a jump.
Pop quiz: How long does it take for a new version of Android to be widely adopted? A new version of Android comes out, AOSP updates, OEMs adapt it to a myriad of devices, and carriers test the updates. That process. How long does it take?
It's a tough question to answer, mostly because Google doesn't provide data like that. The official site shows a 6 month version history, and that's it. Anyone looking for a decent amount of data is out of luck. There’s no way to view the long journey older Android versions have taken, and no way to see the bigger picture of how the update process eventually works out.
We got a look at the Excite 10 LE's at CES when it was called the Excite X10. Now, Toshiba is bringing the thinnest and lightest tablet* to the US market. The Excite 10 LE is identical to the Excite X10 aside from a couple of letters being rearranged. The slate still packs a "multicore" OMAP processor under a 10.1" LED screen. Unfortunately, the device will be launching with Honeycomb (3.2), but is "upgradeable to Android 4.0."
Here's the spec sheet:
Android 3.2, Honeycomb (upgradeable to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich)
10.1-inch diagonal LED Backlit widescreen Corning Gorilla Glass display with IPS technology and 10-finger multi-touch support
A new tablet is coming to the Sprint network next month, though it's definitely on the budget-minded side of things. The ZTE Optik will be available to Sprint customers starting February 5th through Sprint's online store, with a brick and mortar appearance to follow on March 11th. Here's a quick breakdown on the need-to-know specs for the Optik:
1.2GHz dual-core processor (we'd expect TI OMAP 4430, but that's a guess - yours is as good as ours)
Well, it's official - the "project" Xoom owners have been waiting for is an update to Ice Cream Sandwich, meant as a soak test, expected to last through the weekend. Moto has begun pushing the new software as of 9pm PST. An anonymous tipster has provided us with shots of a private section of Motorola's official XOOM support forum, which confirm that the update is going live to those lucky enough to join the test group.
As you can see, Moto has indicated that they do in fact plan on releasing this software very soon, unless "there is some extremely serious issue."
Sprint's variant of the HTC Flyer - the HTC EVO View 4G - is finally getting a taste of Honeycomb, bringing it up to par with competing Android tablets.
Originally launched with a heavily customized version of Android 2.3, the View 4G is now receiving an over-the-air update to Android 3.2.1. As you'd expect, the update brings Honeycomb to Sprint's version of the Flyer, featuring HTC's Sense overlay, and on-screen buttons which replace the View 4G's capacitive keys – here's the full changelog for this 217MB update:
This update adds Android 3.2.1 (Honeycomb) and a new virtual and holographic user interface.
Google has released the latest of its monthly Android version distribution charts, and for the first time Android 2.3 Gingerbread is present on over half of all Android devices. A milestone, to be sure.
We also get a look at the end success rate of Honeycomb (a tablet-only version of Android), which achieved a mere 2.5% piece of the Android pie since the first Honeycomb device release back in February. Android 1.5 and 1.6 (Cupcake and Donut) have continued their march toward extinction, commanding only 2.1% of the Android population total. Android 2.2 has remained relatively steady at 35%, but is clearly on the downtrend.
Looking to replace one more of your belongings with your Android device, Time Warner Cable has released an official app, aptly named TWC TV, which allows your Android tablet to become a remote control, and manage your DVR.
Besides controlling your television from anywhere in the house, TWC's app can show you an interactive programming guide (including listings for up to 7 days), view a filtered program guide (which can display favorite channels or HD channels), search for programming, or schedule upcoming DVR recordings.
If you're a TWC customer with a Honeycomb 3.0+ tablet, head to the market, grab the free app, and toss your remote control in the trash.