Jelly Bean now on just about 50% of Android devices, Gingerbread keeps on ticking

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It’s that time of the month where we find out how fragmented Android is. I guess the good news is that Jelly Bean has grown a lot faster than Ice Cream Sandwich did, which is a nice surprise. Jelly Bean is now on 48.6% of Android devices just 14 months after it was released. In contrast, Ice Cream Sandwich was only at 29.1% for the same timeframe. However, Gingerbread showed faster growth with a 58% share after the same 14 months. Granted, there wasn’t as many versions of Android at that time. Jelly Bean’s higher adoption rate is obviously due to the fact that a lot of newer phones came pre-loaded with it.

Gingerbread feels like Windows XP. It’s still on 28.6% of devices and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere soon. It only dropped about 2% from last month. The only way Gingerbread can shrink is when owners of those devices finally upgrade to newer hardware because the software will never get upgraded.

source: Android Developers

Sony unveils a duo of Jelly Bean powered Walkman music players

Sony Walkman players

Sony has announced a line of new Walkman music players that run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The first model is the NW-F880, which is powered by a TI OMAP dual-core processor and has 1 GB of RAM, WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth 3.0, an FM radio, and a nicely sized 4-inch screen. It’s available in either pink, blue, black, or white, and you can get it in either a 16, 32, or 64 GB model. Those storage options will set you back $274 on the low end and $406 on the high end.

The second model is the NW-ZX1, which comes with 128 GB of storage and most of the features of the F880 but drops the FM radio, and that’ll run about $751. Sony plans on dropping these devices in Japan come December, but if we’re lucky we might see them hit American shores sometime next year.

source: Unwired View

Android distribution numbers released once again, Jelly Bean shows steady growth, ICS decreases

Android_Distribution

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

LG announces G Pad 8.3 before IFA, set for a global Q4 release

 

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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.


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Android 4.3 factory images now available for Galaxy 4, 7, 10, and GSM Galaxy Nexus

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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 Enact now available on Verizon, buy it now for only $19.99 (with new 2 year contract)

LG Enact

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.

Source: Verizon

Google quietly added extra security features to all Android devices in Google Play services

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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.
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Android 4.3 users have hidden option for granular control over app permissions

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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.
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Android 4.3 factory images available for most modern Nexus devices

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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.

source: Google

Latest Android distribution shows Jelly Bean up to 37.9%, Ice Cream Sandwich slides to 23%

Android distribution

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