Two years ago, I drew up a little comparison between the duration of software support for iOS and Nexus devices, and the differences were stark. Whereas Google only committed to 24 months of OS updates on its flagship phones, Apple typically updates their iPhones for up to 5 years after release. At the time, I was somewhat hopeful that things would improve gradually over time: Google had just formalized the 24-month update policy a few weeks prior, and we were already seeing a few devices like the Nexus 4 and the 2012 Nexus 7 that were being kept up-to-date for 34 or 38 months. Read More
It's time for another update to Google Maps. Like so many other version bumps, this one includes a couple of great gifts to get users where they want to go. The focus of this release appears to be directed at parking. There are now indicators to show if there is on-site parking and whether it's free or paid. The theme continues into the teardown with a feature that will help drivers plan to find parking near their destination before getting there. Read More
Audio latency is defined as the time delay that a signal experiences as it passes through a system. On a mobile device, this is deeply related to how long it takes between tapping on a screen and receiving audio feedback. Low audio latency can be the difference between an immersive gaming experience and an unpleasant, disconnected one. Too long a latency and a device can begin to feel strangely laggy, even if every visual animation is snappy and responsive. It is especially important — essential, even — for recording and composing music, since slow audio feedback can easily throw off even the best artists and destroy their creative process. Read More
Software updates are a big deal. They deliver bug fixes, new features, refreshed interfaces, and a lot more. Sure, there might be that feature or two that gets discarded and breaks someone's workflow (relevant xkcd), but for the most part, newer means better. And if software updates are important for apps, that's especially true for operating systems.
Largely due to the proliferation of smartphones, we have come to take free and consistent OS updates for granted. Users assume that a new phone bought this year will still be running the latest OS in the next, and no one expects to have to pay for that software update. Read More
It's that time again! Google has updated the developer dashboard with new platform distribution numbers, showing the current state of Android version distribution among devices that have recently checked in to the Play Store.
As expected, KitKat has grown a bit more, up to 20.9% now (vs 17.9% last month), while Jelly Bean is down from 56.5 to 54.2%. Still hanging above the 50% mark and encompassing 3 API levels, Jelly Bean is the new Gingerbread.
Froyo is hanging tight at 0.7%, while - confusingly - Gingerbread has grown 0.1% to 13.6%. Ice Cream Sandwich is continuing its own decline, dropping to 10.6% from 11.4% last month. Read More
It's that time again - each month, Google updates the developer dashboard to reflect Android's latest platform distribution numbers, determined according to devices that have accessed the Play Store in a seven-day period.
Last month, we saw KitKat make a small leap to 1.4% - it's made another tiny gain, rising to 1.8% of devices, while Jelly Bean has gone from 59.1% up to 60.7%. Gingerbread meanwhile continues its death march, letting 1.2% slip through its icy grasp, falling to an even 20% of devices.
Ice Cream Sandwich has lost another 0.8%, while Honeycomb and Froyo remain unchanged, the latter somehow keeping grasp of 1.3% of devices that accessed the Play Store during the week ending on February 4th. Read More
Each month, Google updates Android's platform distribution numbers according to devices that have accessed the Play Store in a seven-day period. January's updated pie chart has just hit, and things seem to be following a fairly predictable pattern.
KitKat, which was positioned at 1.1% last month, has eked out an additional 0.3% to reach 1.4%. Gingerbread, meanwhile, fell from 24.1% to 21.2%, continuing its gradual decline. Jelly Bean (including API levels 16-18) has actually grown to 59.1%, up from 54.5%, as manufacturers work to catch up to Android's latest and greatest.
As you may expect, older versions of Android continue to decline - Froyo is down 0.3% to 1.3% from last month, while Honeycomb hangs tight at 0.1%, and Ice Cream Sandwich struggles to maintain its foothold, falling from 18.6% to 16.9%. Read More
It's that time again - Google has updated the developer dashboard with new platform distribution numbers. Following a predictable trend, KitKat has eked out its own 1.1% niche, Jelly Bean (API version 16-18) is going strong at 54.5%, putting it further over the mark it reached last month, running on over half of all devices that have checked in to the Google Play Store in the past two weeks, while Gingerbread's grip continues to slip, decreasing to 24.1% from 26.3% last month.
Honeycomb meanwhile is sticking at a negligible 0.1%, while ICS has dropped 1.2% to 18.6% from last month. Read More
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.
The decrease in Gingerbread and increase in Ice Cream Sandwich is good enough news, especially since 4.0 saw the advent of the much more modern UI that has remained fairly consistent throughout subsequent platform releases. Read More