December's Android platform distribution numbers are up and... not much exciting has changed in the last month, to be honest. The only real milestone we're seeing is that Android 4.4 KitKat is finally no longer the most common API level of the platform, having been usurped by Android 6.0 Marshmallow. KitKat's dominant streak was around two years - let's hope Marshmallow doesn't sit on the throne that long.
This does mean that the most common version of the platform is now only two API versions behind the most recent version (Android 7.1, API level 25). The reason KitKat was so long dominant is that Android 5.0 and 5.1 were split into two platform versions because of their differing API levels. Read More
The first DROID Turbo is over two years old at this point, and since it's a Motorola phone on Verizon, you might think that its software update days are numbered. Perhaps they are, but nevertheless users are starting to see an over-the-air update to Android 6.0.1 for the former flagship phone. Reports started popping up on the dedicated XDA-Developers forum this weekend following a soak test from last month, and it seems the update is going out en masse now. Read More
CyanogenMod is virtually the best-known custom ROM out there, and for good reason: it brings the newest version of Android to devices that would otherwise have to wait much longer to receive it, or would never receive it at all. This week, quite a few popular devices have received CyanogenMod 14.1, which is based on Android 7.1 Nougat. Read More
Google's monthly Android patches are live, and it's a momentous occasion this time. This is the first cycle that the Pixel and Pixel XL are included in the lineup. In addition to the security patches, which can be read about in the security bulletin, this update should enable Daydream VR support on the Pixel phones. You can either wait for the update, or do it manually. Read More
Android platform distributions for the first week of November are up, and Nougat has appeared... with 0.3% of the pie. But it's there! The only other really noteworthy change came from Marshmallow, which surged 5.3 points to 24% of total devices. As such, it seems likely that Marshmallow will unseat KitKat as the most common version of the Android platform next month, at least if we're counting by API level. If you're counting by whole-digit version, Lollipop is in the lead, and has been for some time.
But KitKat has held this position of dominance for, well, a really long time (probably around two years). Read More
The first-generation Galaxy Tab S hails from a time when Samsung was still using swipe-based fingerprint scanners - yeah, it's that old. Just look at that stock wallpaper; Galaxy S5 flashbacks, anyone? Around three weeks ago, Verizon updated its 10.5" Tab S to Marshmallow, and now AT&T is doing the same. The Death Star is also throwing in support for NumberSync. Read More
Bless you, Xposed Framework. Thou art the last refuge of power users whose hardware has been forsaken by manufacturer and ROM developer alike. The root-enabled tool has a new module that back-ports a bunch of Android Nougat features to earlier versions of the OS. It's called AndroidN-ify, and the latest update includes a tweak that exposes Google's fancy new voice-controlled Assistant search tool to users on Android 6.0. An earlier build.prop tweak allowed Android 7.0 users to try Assistant on non-Pixel phones, which won't be officially supported when the new hardware launches. Read More
It's that time of the month—the new Android security patches are heading out to Nexus and Pixel devices. The OTA will show up on its own soon enough, but if that's not actually soon enough, the OTAs or images can be downloaded from Google's developer page right now. Read More
It may have taken an extraordinarily long time, but OnePlus is finally sending out stable Marshmallow OTAs to the OnePlus X, the company's budget phone, in the form of OxygenOS 3.1.2 (and now 3.1.3). Although OnePlus did begin offering Marshmallow in the form of the OxygenOS 3.1.0 Community Build over a month ago, it had a few bugs that needed to be weeded out. At last, 6.0.1 is ready for prime time on the X. Read More
Owners of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge on T-Mobile aren't getting Nougat yet, but at least they aren't being left completely out of the update fun. An OTA is rolling out to both phones that includes newer security patches, Samsung's own online backup system, and a myriad of little tweaks. Read More