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 battle against Android malware is ongoing, but it's a big world and Android is everywhere. It presents a tempting target for criminals, and the Gooligan malware is just the latest attempt to make a buck off the trusting nature of smartphone users. This attack has compromised more than a million phones in the last few months, and as many as 13,000 new infections are occurring each day. The goal is not to steal your data (although that can still happen), but to make you download apps in an advertising fraud scheme. 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
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
For those Barnes & Noble customers who thought the Galaxy Tab S2 NOOK 8" and the Galaxy Tab E NOOK 9.6" were too large or too expensive, there's now a smaller, cheaper Samsung NOOK tablet - the Galaxy Tab A NOOK 7". Read More
The odds are pretty good that if you're using a still-supported Nexus device, it's probably running August's security update by now. The factory images became available on Monday of last week and OTAs have been intermittently rolling out since then. The push to AOSP took a little longer and finally included a couple of other tags that were behind schedule. All of the changes have been compiled into their respective lists and the changelogs are ready for perusal.
Google's Android Security Bulletin details the potential vulnerabilities addressed by the August updates, but it's not too rare to see other small bug fixes and adjustments hidden among the changes. 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
We're a few days into a new month, which means it's time for a fresh set of security updates for the Nexus family and the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Factory images are available for most of the actively maintained devices, though it looks like the Pixel C is still waiting its turn. OTAs should also begin rolling out shortly, if they haven't already.
Google has already posted the associated security bulletin for April's update. Read More
The factory images are up–some of them–so it's time to take a peek under the covers to discover any changes made to the Android Open Source Project for April's security updates. To make this a bit easier, we've generated changelogs based on the commit history that was just posted to AOSP last night.
As you might expect, the majority of the changes are going to be related to the issues set forth in the April Security Bulletin. A few others appear to be relatively small bug fixes, but nothing jumps out at me as a change that will directly affect user experience or any particularly noticeable bugs. Read More