Here we are again, checking out the latest distribution charts for Android— we certainly have some interesting developments for this month’s numbers. First, you’ll notice that the prehistoric versions of Android OS (Donut and Eclair) are no longer on the chart! Why is this? Not because nobody has them running on their devices anymore, but because data for the chart is now gathered from the Google Play Store app, which only runs on devices with Android 2.2 or greater. Either way, devices running the older versions of Android only account for around 1%.
Now, for this month’s improvements in Android fragmentation— combined, Jelly Bean is currently loaded up on 45.1% of all Android-powered devices, up from 40.5% from last month. For the first time ever, Ice Cream Sandwich actually showed a decrease, going from 22.5% to 21.7%. Sure, it’s not a lot, but the decrease certainly shows that OEMs are doing a better job upgrading their devices to Jelly Bean.
Gingerbread shrunk a bit as well, going from 33.1% to 30.7%, and Froyo followed suit, coming down to 2.4% from 2.5%. We’ll be back next month with the latest Android distribution numbers. Hopefully we’ll get to see a new KitKat section on the chart!
Source: Android Developers
In an effort to distinguish its own product from those that will be unveiled at IFA this week, LG officially announced their G Pad 8.3 yesterday. The 8-incher will feature a 1920 x 1200 WUXGA full HD screen, a whopping 4,600mAh battery, a quad-core Snapdragon 600 processor clocked at 1.7 GHz, 16 GB internal storage, and 2 GB RAM. It packs a lot, but it’s still just 8.33mm thick and weighs 338 grams.
The tablet will run Jelly Bean 4.2.2 out of the box, and features a lot of the same software enhancements loaded up on the LG G2 inlcuding QPair, QSlide, KnockOn, etc.
The device will be available globally in Q4 in two color options: black or white. Expect to hear more once we see it in full at IFA. Hit the break for the full press release.
Aside from the occasional legal quirks and roadblocks, owning a Nexus device is great because you’ll always have access to factory images of your device in case you ever need to completely undo any customization or just want to start from scratch. If you happen to own a Nexus 4, 7, 10, or a GSM Galaxy Nexus, you’ll now have access to those factory images for the latest version of Google’s Android 4.3.
The Nexus 4, all older versions of the Nexus 7, the Nexus 10 and the Galaxy Nexus all have images with the build number JWR66Y. The new 2013 Nexus 7 has a different build number, build JSS15Q, but still serves the same purpose. If you’re looking for any CDMA variants of any Nexus devices, you’re unfortunately still out of luck.
source: Google Developers
LG has released a surprisingly solid device in the Enact, considering that its mid-range specs are complemented by a very nice design. It’s almost as if they took their (once highly successful) LG enV and turned it into a smartphone.
The device is now available online through Verizon for only $19.99 with a new 2 year contract and features 4G LTE connectivity, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a 5 MP rear-shooter, a VGA front camera, Bluetooth 4.0, Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, a 400 x 800 resolution display, a Snapdragon 400 dual-core processor clocked at 1.2 GHz, a 2,460 mAh battery, 8 GB internal memory, and up to 64 GB of expandable memory via microSD.
Certainly nothing to sneeze at considering the price. If you don’t feel like breaking the bank on any of the new flagships that are coming out, the LG Enact definitely serves as a viable option to be your next device.
Security wasn’t really a big part of Google’s Android 4.3 announcement, which might sound odd considering how big of a deal device security has been in these past few weeks. However, that doesn’t mean Google hasn’t done anything to target malicious apps; instead of loading up Android 4.3 with beefy security features, they took those security features and implemented them into Google’s Play services application that’s updated separately from Android versions.
Android users are familiar with the idea of app permissions since installing or updating apps triggers a notice about what permissions an app requires. However, just knowing what permissions an app requires can be limiting since users have to accept all or none of the permissions. Android 4.3 appears to have changed that as users have found a “hidden through obscurity” setting that gives users the ability to turn individual permissions on and off for an app.
The best part about owning a Nexus device is the almost immediate ability to upgrade to a new version of Android when it’s announced. Shortly after announcing Android 4.3, Google has put up factory images of the software for Nexus users to download and install. The factory images are available for the Nexus 4, 7, 10, and GSM variants of the Galaxy Nexus, (sorry Verizon Nexus owners!) on Google’s developer site and can be flashed with ADB. If you’re interested, hit the source to check them out.
It’s that time of the month when we get to see how well different versions of Android are doing, and the numbers look pretty good for Jelly Bean. Last month, Jelly Bean devices accounted for 33% of Android devices, which has improved about 5% to 38%. Ice Cream Sandwich devices slipped a bit over 2% to account for 23.3%, and Gingerbread devices are holding strong at 34.1%, although it’s worth mentioning that Gingerbread devices on API level 9 have disappeared completely.
Overall, Google holding out on Android 4.3 is definitely helping Android manufactures slowly catch up their devices to current software, which I’m sure has been the intended effect. Hopefully we’ll see this trend continue next month, too.
source: Android Developers
Unfortunate news for HTC One S owners: your device will no longer be receiving OTA Android updates. That means that the phone will forever remain on Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean unless owners look elsewhere for custom ROMs to grab the latest version of Android, 4.2.2 and above. It certainly isn’t the best news, but it’s a sign of good things to come with the Google Play Edition HTC One, which will most likely receive updates very soon after a new OS release by Google. Hit the break for the press release by HTC.
“We can confirm that the HTC One S will not receive further Android OS updates and will remain on the current version of Android and HTC Sense. We realize this news will be met with disappointment by some, but our customers should feel confident that we have designed the HTC One S to be optimized with our amazing camera and audio experiences.”
Android 4.3 doesn’t appear to be anything drastic, but it is just full of under-the-hood changes. The latest change deals with Android’s powerful notification system, and, believe it or not, actually makes the notification shade even more robust. The biggest problem with many third-party apps in the Play Store today is that the only thing that can directly clear or touch notifications created by Android or other apps is the Android system itself. Many apps like DashClock have hit this roadblock, and things like smartwatches have definitely struggled to use workarounds to keeping notifications synced and cleared up.
A recent change discovered in Android 4.3 is new code dealing with Android’s notification system, complete with a settings shortcut to notifications history. This change would allow things like DashClock or Google Glass to manage your device’s notifications without having to clear them on the notification itself. This would be a gigantic asset to the swarm of impending smartwatches on the market, as well as many other kinds of wearable technology that pairs with your Android device.
Hopefully we won’t have to wait too much longer for Android 4.3 to become official so we can see this in action.
source: Android Police