Latest Android distribution numbers suggest Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean are on the rise

It’s a brand new month, which means it’s time for a fresh look at the distribution of current and past Android versions. As we had anticipated, Jelly Bean has grown ever so slightly, reaching just 2.7 percent of Android users, up from 1.8 percent in October. Ice Cream Sandwich has seen a significant surgance, measuring in at 25.8 percent, a minor increase from the 23.7 percent that was reported last month. Unsurprisingly, Gingerbread still dominates the platform with a massive 54.2 percent piece of the pie.

As Jelly Bean begins rolling out to more devices (we’re looking at you One X and Galaxy S III), this number is sure to increase. And, with a full-scale Nexus assault on the horizon, things are bound to get interesting.

Source: Android

Android celebrates its fourth birthday with 75% of the world’s smartphone market

Android celebrated its fourth birthday since the launch of the T-Mobile G1 last month, but it seems as though the company may be receiving a belated gift in commemoration. A new market research report suggests that Google’s Android OS currently holds 75 percent of the entire world’s smartphone market, up from 57.5 percent the previous year.

This number is astronomical in relation to the relatively short period of time the OS has been around. Of course a large percentage of this figure can be attributed to budget phones running outdated versions of the OS, but in reality isn’t that an integral part of the Android platform? IDC, the company behind the Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, notes that these numbers are preliminary, but are expected to be irritably close to the actual number.

Android 4.2 Camera app with Photo Sphere now available for Galaxy Nexus

Introduced on Monday, Android 4.2 brings a slew of new enhancements and features that rectify the minor jump in the version number. One of the most–if not the most–heavily touted features is Google’s entirely redesigned Camera and Gallery interface. The new build brings with it an intuitive options ring that pops up wherever you place your finger, allowing you to easily control the focus and various user settings. Also new is Photo Sphere, which has the ability to capture 360-degree images, similar to Google Maps Street View.

You may be thinking, “all this is great, except I don’t have a Nexus 4.” This may be true, but if you have a Galaxy Nexus, the entire new app has been ripped from Android 4.2, and  packaged into a nice .apk for easy installation. Hit the break for download links.

Downloads
Download Link 1
Download Link 2

Source: Android Police

 

 

Enter Nvidia’s Get Tegra-Fied sweepstakes to win new Tegra-powered deices

In celebration of the launch of Microsoft’s new Surface RT tablet, NVIDIA is holding a sweepstakes in which it intends to give away several Tegra-powered devices each week. Among the prizes is a new Jambox portable speaker, a Micrsoft Surface with Windows RT tablet and the ASUS-manufactured Vivo Tab RT. Entering the contest isn’t complicated. Just like the company’s Facebook page and you’ll be automatically entered.

Source: NVIDIA (Facebook)

WikiPad faces delay as team tries to refine the experience

Originally set to make its debut this morning, the WikiPad gaming tablet has officially been put on hiatus in order to ensure the “first product is the best tablet and entertainment experience at launch.” The tablet, originally available for pre-order since September, is a 10-inch tablet running Android that intends to change the scope of mobile gaming.

The company has said that customers who pre-ordered the device up until today, October 21st, will receive “refined and upgraded bundles” when the device is eventually released. The delay is attributed to the company choosing to take advantage of a “last minute opportunity” which will allow them to “perfect the WikiPad bundle.” Of course there’s no word on when the device will hit stores, so stay tuned for the latest updates. Moreover, you can read the official statement after the break.

US Cellular announces new 4G LTE markets, expands existing ones

Multi-regional carrier US Cellular has announced an additional slew of new 4G LTE markets today, expanding its previous road map in several states. According to the company’s official PR; Wisconsin, North Carolina, Illinois,  Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Oklahoma are all set to receive additional, new 4G LTE markets beginning November 5th. In addition to these expansions, US Cellular has also listed four new markets that are to receive expansions at some point before the end of 2012. In total, the carrier hopes to cover 58 percent of customers by year’s end. Hit the break for today’s press release.

Samsung Korea promo reveals 64GB Nexus 10

While there was no initial indication of a Nexus 10 with more than 32GB of storage, it appears as though Samsung Korea may be gearing up to double the current max storage tier. A promotional spec sheet from the company shows off a third 64GB storage option. Of course, there’s no word on when, or even if, the leaked model will make its way to the US considering all of this is still unofficial. However, it looks like at least some lucky consumers outside of the US will be able to get their hands on the new beefier Nexus 10.

Source: Samsung
Via: AndroidPolice 

Google Shows off Nexus 10, Nexus 7 and Nexus 4 in new commercial

In celebration of launching the Nexus 4, Nexus 10 and Nexus 7 with mobile, Google has released the first commercial touting its versatile product line. The new 1-minute ad illustrates the company’s updated Google Now interface, ultimately showing the limitless use cases for the new software. Google’s Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 are slated to launch on November 13th for $299 and $399, respectively. These new additions will make their debut alongside a refreshed version of the Nexus 7 with 3G and 32GB of storage for $299.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHuoDqcIyqk

Google introduces open-source Voter Information Tool in preparation for 2012 presidential election

Google has announced the introduction of its online Voter Information Tool, a resource that will provide in-depth and up to date information on the upcoming 2012 presidential election. Located on the site, users will find access to various helpful scripts and guides, including the ability to find nearby polling places and early voting venues. There’s also an exhaustive guide which covers the information regarding voting requirements, as well as links and details to provide you with the skinny on each of the presidential candidates.

Google has striven to essentially roll out this new Voter Information Tool to serve as a newer, updated version of its long-used US Voter Info website, which was launched leading up to the presidential election in 2008. Additionally, the new software is open-source, embeddable and completely customizable, so you can tailor it to your liking.

Source: Google Voter Information Tool

Google Play Store reaches 700,000 applications

 With all the excitement surrounding the impending launch of Google’s new family of Nexus devices, it isn’t surprising to hear that the company has reached yet another promising milestone. The folks from Mountain View announced today that the Google Play Store had surpassed 700,000 total applications. Keep in mind this is the same number of applications Apple said it had in its App Store just last week.

There’s no doubt the portfolio of games and productivity apps will continue to increase, ultimately beating out Apple for the number of total applications available to users. However, with the introduction of the Nexus 10, Google will need to make a push for tablet-specific applications if it intends to successfully compete in the 10-inch tablet space.

Source: Bloomberg 

Amazon touts Kindle Fire HD over iPad mini, declares more bang for your buck

With the iPad mini announcement creating a surgance in Kindle Fire HD sales for Amazon, it’s not surprising that the company would take advantage of these record-setting figures by comparing its 7-inch tablet against Apple’s new 7.9-inch miniature iPad.

To show the various reasons why a consumer may want to purchase Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HD instead of Apple’s new iPad mini, the online retail giant has posted a side-by-side comparison of both devices. The list touts the Kindle Fire HD’s High-Definition display, dual stereo speakers and its faster MIMO Wi-Fi chip. Although, the most attractive detail is the fact that Amazon’s new tablet costs only $199, compared to the sizable $329 price tag on the iPad mini.

Source: Amazon
Via: DroidDog 

LG Nexus 4 spotted in Carphone Warehouse promotional materials

Carphone Warehouse just can’t seem to do anything right as it prepares for the highly anticipated launch of Google’s upcoming LG Nexus 4. A few days after prematurely listing the unannounced device on its official website, a slew of the company’s retail stores have begun displaying promotional materials for the handset, ultimately revealing some additional information.

Most of the details remain the same, including a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4, 8-megapixel camera and 12 hours of talk time. Although, the same listing shows the sim-free version of the Nexus 4 as being priced at £390 (about $504). Unfortunately, there’s no word on a release date, which isn’t at all surprising considering Google has postponed Monday’s Android event due to nasty weather conditions.

Nexus 4 support manual suggests 8GB and 16GB storage options, wireless charging

Support manuals for the LG E960 have emerged on the company’s Australian and UK websites, ultimately confirming the ubiquitous Nexus 4 moniker. The documentation suggests that the device will be available in both 8GB and 16GB versions. As we have come to expect with Nexus-branded devices, the handset will not support expandable storage via MicroSD. According to the manual, the device will also include an induction coil to enable wireless charging by default, something that users have been interested in for what seems like forever.

Unfortunately, it looks as though we’ll have to wait indefinitely for an official announcement, considering the cancellation of Google’s Nexus event on Monday. You know what they say–safety before fun, right?

Canonical’s installer easily loads Ubuntu onto your Nexus 7

Have you ever imagined having access to a full fledged desktop experience on your tablet? Well, today the geniuses at Canonical have released the first version of their Ubuntu installer for the Nexus 7, effectively bringing the Debian-derived Linux desktop to your fingertips.

The whole process has been stuffed into a one-click installation tool, so users can easily install the special build (based on version 12.04) on their devices. Keep in mind that in order to properly install the software, you’ll need to have fastboot already set up and functioning, enter a few commands and, of course, have an unlocked bootloader. None of these things should be a problem though, considering it’s a Nexus device after all. In fact, you can find our in-depth directions on how to root and unlock your Nexus 7 here.

Unfortunately, the tool is currently only available as a developer preview for users with machines running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or Later. However, it is expected that the service will expand with compatibility for other operating systems in the future. For full instructions and more information regarding the installation process, hit the source link below.

Source: Ubuntu (Instructions), Ubuntu (FAQ)
Via: Android Central

HTC documents ‘The Evolution of the Smartphone’, disses Apple in the process

Since the introduction of cell phones back in the 1970’s, mobile technology has progressed faster than many had ever anticipated. To better portray the broad history that has surrounded the mobile industry, HTC has composed a clever chart detailing the various milestones that have been reached over the years. From the world’s first fire hydrant-enabled mobile phone, to the infamous Apple Maps fiasco of late, HTC hasn’t missed a beat.

The infographic seems to be playing up the company’s latest line of Windows Phone devices, though it does provide some valuable insight into the Android world as well. Jump past the break to witness “The Evolution of the Smartphone.”