The latest update to the Google app is rolling out to beta channel members right now. There aren't any immediately obvious changes on the surface, but as the tradition often goes, there are some things under the hood worthy of discussion in a teardown. This version brings a pretty good indicator that 8.1 will be the next version of Android. There are also signs that user-defined actions are going to get some changes in the future. We're also going to hit an option to turn off the built-in screenshot handler and a little bit more about Google's upcoming "Bisto" headphones.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information.
One of the bummers about buying electronic devices is that you know there will be a point after which the manufacturer will no longer keep the software updated. We usually hope for at least two years when talking about smartphones, though some OEMs barely even reach half that time. One of the benefits to buying Google's phones nowadays is that the company now maintains a page where you can see the end-of-life for those devices. Read More
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
Shatter-proof screen? Check. Ginormous battery? Check. High-end rear camera? Check. Latest version of Android? [???fix later]. This is the story of the DROID Turbo 2 and Maxx 2, which were just announced today, October 27th, 2015, 22 days after Android 6.0 Marshmallow's source code was made publicly available, and multiple months since OHA members have had development source available to them for updates and new devices. Can we see why this is a problem? I hope we can see why it is a problem.
Here's the thing, Motorola. You're already in hot water with loyal customers because of software updates, and many more such customers are now worried that their devices, too, will end up abandoned before their time. Read More
As per usual, Google has updated their Android Platform Version Chart, which gives us a clear indication of how many devices are running each version of Android, based on Market usage. The results won't shock anybody, but they do say good things about the current state of fragmentation in Android. Froyo continues it dominance, taking over half of the chart, while Android 2.1 still remains strong with 35%, likely due in large part to the massive number of Galaxy S phones still running it. Our obsolete friends, Cupcake and Donut, continue to fall into obscurity, although devices running them are unlikely to be updated. Read More
This contest is now over. We have selected the winners - see if you are one of them towards the bottom of the page.
Ever wondered how much RAM is available on your phone? What about the internal storage space available? Or the precise signal strength? If you answered yes to any of these questions, System Info Widget may be the perfect widget for you and your inner geek.
What you're looking at above are the four widgets Jason Calhoun, the developer of the System Info Widget, gives you out of the gate. Of course, these can be customized in every which way, from the looks to the basic functions, so keep reading for a more in-depth look. Read More