Nougat overtakes KitKat in September 2017 Android distribution

Google released their updated monthly distribution numbers for the Android operating system for September 2017 showing Android Nougat growth continues. Although the measurement period occurred a few weeks after the release of Android 8.0 Oreo, the latest version of Android does not show up in this report, meaning the share is still quite small. More details after the break.

Google introduces new Play Protect certification for Android devices

Yesterday Google announced a new certification they are rolling out for the Android device market. Called Google Play Protect, Google says the new certification is available for Android device manufacturers. To obtain the certification, manufacturers will have to be willing to submit their devices to a battery of compatibility tests designed to ensure they adhere to Google’s Android security and permissions models. At least part of those tests involve checking the pre-installed apps to make sure they are authentic and will work as intended.

BlackBerry continues metamorphosis with BlackBerry Secure licensing

BlackBerry, out of necessity after a long, deep fall from their perch above the smartphone market, is working on a yet another move to help the company transition to their new reality. BlackBerry already moved production of their devices from in-house to being outsourced by Alcatel. In their latest move, they are working to license their customized version of the Android operating system dubbed BlackBerry Secure and according to reports, they have several parties already interested in entering into an agreement.

Google releasing new Emoji compatibility library

If you have ever traded messages with someone using your smartphone – which is basically everyone – you have probably run into a problem where someone sends you an emoji that just displays as a blank box or a box with an X through it. This happens due to incompatibilities with fonts supported by an operating system and can be quite frustrating. Google’s Android developers think they have figured out a way around this that will separate emoji display from the operating system and put more control in the hands of developers to open up the world of emojis to their users.

Oatmeal Cookie or Oreo? Android 8.0 name guessing heats up

With the official launch of Android 8.0 drawing closer, perhaps only a couple months away, there is not much not already known about where Google is going with the next version of their mobile operating system. Developer previews are already available for Android O with only one round left in July if all goes as planned. As in the past, one of the items that remains shrouded in mystery is what confectionary treat the new version will be named after. The next version should be named for something that starts with the letter O. A popular choice seems to be Oreo, but a new contender has emerged as the potential for Oatmeal Cookie gains some traction.

Android O Developer Preview 3, final APIs now available

Google’s developers for Android announced Android O Developer Preview 3 is now available for download and use by developers or those who want to start testing the new version of Android. Although there does not seem to be much on the surface that jumps out for potential consumer users that was not otherwise known, other important milestones have been reached and the new release reveals some other interesting information about Android O like the version number and potential release date.

Fuchsia remains a mystery despite mention at Fireside Chat

In the week prior to Google I/O 2017, new images and information leaked out about a new, third operating system and accompanying user interface that Google appears to have in the works somewhere deep in the inner workings of the company. The operating system is called Fuchsia and the leak triggered lots of social media chatter – enough that it came up on Google’s radar as a topic for a Fireside Chat session at Google I/O. Dave Burke with Google was given the task of responding and managed to do so without really giving a response.

Android O coming with picture-in-picture mode, app autofill, notification dots, among others

While many smartphones are still waiting for their Android 7.0 Nougat update, Google is charging full steam ahead with the developer preview for the platform’s next release: Android O. Today, during the Google I/O 2017 keynote, Google announced a host of new features coming with Android O, including picture-in-picture support, smart text selection, OS security enhancements, and more.

Nat and Lo reveal 5 Google games you should know about

Have you ever wondered why there’s a dinosaur shown on the page when you open the Chrome browser and you aren’t connected to the internet? Or perhaps you want to play an old Google Doodle game from months ago? Well, you can learn the mysteries and locations of these burning questions and more by watching Nat & Lo‘s video about “5 Things you should know about Google“.   

Gingerbread and Honeycomb to lose Google Play Services support in next update

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It may be hard to believe, but there are actually still some devices out there in the world running older versions of Android like Gingerbread and Honeycomb. The numbers are small at less that 1.5% and things may get a little bit more challenging for those users in early 2017. Google has announced they will be discontinuing support for those platforms with the next release of Google Play Services. The minimum version, or API level, will jump from 9 to 14, which corresponds to the Ice Cream Sandwich release.

Nougat debuts with 0.3% on November’s Android Platform Ditribution chart

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Over the course of Android’s history, nay-sayers have screamed that this most versatile of mobile operating systems would implode because of fragmentation. Yet, somehow, Android is still here and has evolved into the most popular mobile OS. About that fragmentation, though, just how many of us are running Android 7.0 Nougat on our devices? And is Froyo still a thing? Join us after the break to find out.

System images for Pixel and Pixel XL now available

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Twitter tipster and developer LlabTooFeR managed to get the device images for Google’s new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones and has made them available for download. This is not going to be useful for the general public or even folks who want to try to flash them onto their device as they will only work on the Pixel devices. However, this does mean developers can start to dig into the software included on the new phones, so we should have some interesting findings to surface while buyers wait for their new devices to arrive.

Google hires David Foster, Amazon’s former head of hardware, to run smartphone development

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When you decide to manufacture your own line of smartphones, it’s probably best to place someone with the relevant experience in charge of producing hardware. This is what Google would appear to have done by hiring David Foster, formerly of Amazon, as VP of product engineering ahead of the company’s launch event later today, according to The Information. Join us after the break to find out more about David Foster, and where he has come from.