September's platform distribution numbers for Android are now available, and... they're dully predictable. Marshmallow's growth returned to the levels we saw in July, gaining 3.5 points versus its position a month ago. Lollipop has returned to a net decline, with v5.0 losing a full point of the pie and 5.1's half-point increase not being able to make up for it. That means Lollipop, combined, is on 35% of all Android devices Google counted versus Marshmallow's 18.7%.
KitKat dropped 1.5 points, Jelly Bean (all versions) collectively dipped a meager 1.1 points, and Ice Cream Sandwich and Gingerbread barely budged from their previous positions. Read More
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. Read More
Fragmentation is the flaming torch we have to face each time a discussion about Android updates or development is started. Google releases monthly distribution numbers of its operating system, which detail the percentages of devices running a certain version of the OS that have visited the Play Store in the past 7 days. They're usually met with collective groans as Froyo and Gingerbread cling on to dear life month after month.
But as Apteligent's monthly data report points out, Google doesn't take into consideration two important factors: devices that don't have the Play Store installed (ie Chinese handsets mostly) and device usage. A phone may access the Play Store, but it may not be actively used. Read More
You might have noticed a number of recent stories (like this one) claiming Google was abandoning some huge portion of Android users rather than fixing WebView security holes. It's exactly the kind of thing that makes good clickbait. Google has now issued a statement on the security issues in Android 4.3 and earlier, basically pointing out it's not feasible to update old code forever and offering tips for avoiding potential exploits. Read More
Huawei took a lot of heat when it told North American customers a few weeks ago that the Ascend Mate2 would not be getting the promised KitKat update. The original post was removed after the comments got ugly, and now Huawei is backtracking. After "reassessing" the decision to cancel KitKat on the Mate2, Huawei will go all the way to Lollipop, but not until some time in the first half of 2015.
Owners of the Xperia T, TX, and V had a little hope before today that their beloved devices would see some of that KitKat goodness, but now their hopes lay dashed to bits at the feet of Sony's heartless engineers. These devices won't be making the jump to Android 4.4 KitKat, but will continue to live on with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean.
Plenty of US smartphone users have owned a ZTE device, but they might not know it. The Chinese OEM has been providing phones for carriers to re-brand for years, but its US presence has grown considerably. The unlocked Nubia 5S Mini will be a test of how positively the brand is viewed when it launches on August 27th for $279 on Amazon.
The convergence of multiple devices can be a good thing. After all, who wants to carry a bunch of different stuff around when a single thing will do? This is, presumably, the rationale behind the Sprint LivePro, but maybe it's gone a little far. This is a mobile hotspot with a built-in projector and a battery that can charge your phone. The whole thing is, of course, powered by Android.
The last time that the Padfone 2 got a major version update was way back in December 2012, for Jelly Bean 4.1. Yeah, you read that right. Today ASUS is updating its second phone-tablet-combo-thingy all the way to KitKat, a move that will surely please at least some of the users who haven't upgraded to one of the newer models. Are you ready for some sketchy ASUS English translations? Of course you are.
Screenshots via Rob Mey on Google+.
The 4.4 builds for Padfone 2 models sold in Japan, Russia, Taiwan, China, Singapore (StarHub), and the worldwide edition have all been released - you can download them at the source hub. Read More
It's no secret that Bluetooth has been a problem child for Android, plagued with poor audio quality and connectivity issues. I've already covered a handful of common problems in a previous post, but another issue has been emerging in the last few months that threatens to virtually kill all Bluetooth operation on a device in the right conditions. The culprit is a nasty little oversight in the Bluetooth Low-Energy code added with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Once a device has been within range of enough BLE devices, the entire Bluetooth service will begin crashing.
There is only one truly obvious symptom, but it's incredibly unhelpful for diagnosing the issue. Read More