Google updates Android Distribution numbers for August, Jelly Bean continues decline as KitKat usage hits 21%

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Like it always does during the first half of a new month, Google this evening updated its Android Distribution data to reflect a 7 day period ending on August 12th. The data shows the most recent version of Android, KitKat, reach an all-time usage high at 20.9 percent, up from 17.9 percent this time last month. Jelly Bean continued its steady decline, falling from 56.5 percent to 54.2 percent.

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Android distribution data updated for April, KitKat usage doubles to 5 percent

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As it does at the beginning of every month, Google has just updated the Android Distribution data to reflect data collected during a 7-day period ending on April 1, 2014. Notable this time around is that Android 4.4 KitKat usage more than doubled, rising from 2.5 percent last month to 5.3 percent. Of course, that’s still a very small percentage of the total user base, but growing by double in a month signals that KitKat updates are finally starting to make their way to the masses. 

With the rise in KitKat usage came a slight decline in Jelly Bean numbers from an even 62 percent to 61.4 percent . Ice Cream Sandwich declined to 14.3 percent from 15.2 percent last month, while Gingerbread continued to slow demise, going from 19 percent to 17.8 percent.

With this new data, 81 percent of all devices are now running a version of Android 4.0 or greater. This seems respectable, but it’s important to note that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was originally unveiled all the way back in 2011. So it’s apparent that Google can still do even more to improve the Android update progress. But things are improving and that’s what matters.

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Google updates Android distribution data for February, 80% of devices now on Android 4.x

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Google has just updated its Android Distribution numbers to reflect data during a one-week period ending on February 4th. This data is collected by recording what version of Android every device that accesses Google Play is running. Most notably, Jelly Bean has surpassed the 60 percent milestone, going from 59.1 percent to 60.7 percent. KitKat saw very minor growth, increasing from 1.4 percent to 1.8 percent.

No other version of Android saw an increase this time around, with Ice Cream Sandwich falling from 16.9 percent to 16.1 percent and Gingerbread dropping from 20 percent from 21.2 percent.

Also noteworthy is the fact that 80 percent of all Android devices are rocking Android 4.0 or higher, meaning that most have the latest design interface and features from Google.

Google has had problems in the past rolling out updates in a prompt manner to devices, but things have definitely improved over the last year or so. It is, however, disappointing to see the latest version, KitKat, only running on 1.8 percent of devices.

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Jelly Bean likely to be on majority of Android devices within a week or so

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The latest Android stats from Google show that Jelly Bean is now installed on 48.6 percent of Android devices, and given current growth rates is likely to break the magic 50 percent barrier within a week or two. Jelly Bean became the most-used version of Android back in July.

The rather less impressive stat is that more than a quarter of devices – 28.5 percent – are still running Gingerbread, which dates back as far as 2010. It’s also worth pointing out that there are couple of fudge-factors in Google’s stats …  Read more

Android distribution numbers updated for July, Jelly Bean now the most used version

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As it does every month, Google has just updated the Android distribution data to reflect the month of July. Jelly Bean is now running on 37.9 percent of devices, with 32.3 percent of those running Android 4.1.x. That’s up from 33 percent this time last month. Gingerbread fell from 36.5 percent to 34.1 percent, which makes Jelly Bean the most used Android operating system. Ice Cream Sandwich is now at 23.3 percent, down from 25.6 percent last month.

Froyo is now at 3.1 percent (was at 3.2 percent), Eclair has fallen to 1.4 percent (was at 1.5 percent), Honeycomb and Donut are both now at just 0.1 percent.

Google collects this data during the first week of each month by logging the devices that access the Play Store. It use to be that the data was collected when the device simply checked-in to Google servers. Read more

HTC One S users petition HTC to continue updating the phone

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Earlier this week HTC announced that it would not be updating the One S to Android 4.2.2, despite promising the update to users earlier this year. As you can imagine, this news did not go over well with One S owners. We all know that the Android community is a vocal one and won’t take this kind of stuff lightly, and that’s exactly why there is now a petition to get HTC to update the One S to Android 4.2.2 and Sense 5.

The petition, hosted on Change.org, pleads with HTC to rethink its decision to shun the One S from any future updates. More than anything, it seems like the users want an answer. They note that the device is just as powerful as the Galaxy S3, which is getting an Android 4.2.2 update, and that the One S was a great phone and a “highlight of 2012.”

Once again, I strongly urge you to have a rethink about the HTC One S. It is definitely a great phone; a highlight of 2012. It even managed higher benchmarks than your HTC One X and Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Now that’s impressive. It truly is a remarkable device, but your lack of software updates are seriously hampering that.

Sony officially announces 6.4-inch Xperia Z Ultra

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After several months of leaks and rumors, Sony has finally confirmed the Xperia Z Ultra at an event in Beijing. The device is packing a whopping 6.4-inch Full HD display with Sony’s Reality sensor, which the company says provides richer and wider colors. Sony says the device carries support for a stylus or any sort of pencil, which is an interesting feature. The company touts that it is the “world’s slimmest and largest full HD smartphone,” though coming in at 6.5mm and 212 grams, it’s not quite as thin as the 6.18mm Huawei Ascend P6  we saw last week.

Xperia Z Ultra features a 6.4” touchscreen Full HD display with Sony’s unique TRILUMINOS® Display for mobile, creating a wider palette of rich natural colours thanks to Sony’s BRAVIA TV expertise. The breakthrough technology includes X-Reality™ for mobile – Sony’s intelligent super resolution display technology which analyzes each image and reproduces lacking pixels to optimize quality for the sharpest videos. It analyses elements depending on the scene and adjusts them based on pattern, outline and colour composition. It also strengthens subtle patterns and accurately portrays their detailed feel, as well as reinforcing bold outlines. The large Full HD display has been optimised to experience at least 60%*** more of the screen than most other smartphones.

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Samsung unveils ATIV Q, a device dual-booting Windows 8 and Android

On stage at its Premiere event in London, Samsung just announced the ATIV Q, a hybrid tablet running both Windows 8 and Android. Samsung Executive Vice President DJ Lee said that the device is “versatile and adaptable” and can switch between four positions.

That’s really all that has been said about the ATIV Q so far, but seeing that 9 devices were just announced, we expect the company to get back to it soon.

The ATIV Q features a 13.3-inch qHD+ screen with a 3200×1800 resolution. Samsung says it is one of the “best displays you’ll ever see on a mobile device.” The company also says it will be very easy to use and see in bright sunshine. To switch between Android and Windows 8, you simply need to tap the hardware button under the display. You can also pin Android apps onto the Windows 8 start screen.

The device has a unique hinge that allows the screen to sink into the keyboard for tablet use, or rise up and bend several ways for usage with a keyboard. There is no trackpad, however, so you are stuck using a touchscreen for everything, even with a keyboard.

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New Nexus 7 to have 1920×1200 pixel display, 5 megapixel camera, 8mm thickness, same $199 price?

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Well-connected Analyst Mingchi Kuo from KGI securities is known for his often accurate predictions (timing notwithstanding) of upcoming Apple products.  He’s got a detailed report out today on the new Nexus 7 that he thinks will be announced at Google I/O and could ship as early as June or July in large numbers.

Perhaps the most interesting bit is that the entry level price will  remain at US$199, with Google likely to lose US$5-10 per unit sold according to the analyst. Why is keeping the same price interesting? Because this thing is getting supercharged according to Kuo:

We think the new Nexus 7 will come with the following major spec upgrades: Qualcomm APQ 8064 processor; narrow bezel LTPS 7-inch high-resolution panel (1,920×1,200); 5MP AF rear camera lens; and wireless charging. We also think it will be much lighter and thinner than the previous version.

How light and thin? He’s saying that a smaller bezel around the edges and 7.5-8.5mm thinness should put it near or below the size and weight of Apple’s iPad Mini. He expects the next  Mini 2 later this year.

Kuo expects Google/Asus to move 5M units in the second half of the year and continue with the same distribution strategies (selling at the Google Play Store and at retailers simultaneously).

We are positive on Nexus 7’s reception ahead of the iPad mini 2 launch given that the specs have been upgraded but the price has not been increased. However, tablet PC competition has become much fiercer this year, so we reckon new Nexus 7 year-on-year shipments growth will be limited.

It will be interesting to see how close to the current display size the new screen is. 1920×1200 is a 16:10 screen ratio just like the current 1280×800 but enlarging it a few points would go a long way in making it more competitive with Apple’s 7.9-inch iPad Mini, and with the shrunken bezel size, Asus could keep the same handheld form factor.

Gmail app for Android updated with reply/archive/delete from notifications, faster search & more

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Google announced today on its Official Gmail Blog that it has released an update to the Android app for Gmail that brings new features, faster search, and other enhancements for certain users. Perhaps the most notable new feature is the ability to reply, archive, and delete from notifications with one tap—rather than having to open the app to sort and reply to mail:

You can combine this with existing notification features like the ability to customize which messages you receive notifications for and set up different sounds for individual labels. So if you filter and label all the messages from your mom, you could set a ringtone to let you know you received a new mail from her and then quickly reply (because we know what can happen when you ignore your mother!).

The feature is available to users running Android 4.1 and up, but Google is also rolling out faster search, bug fixes, and performance enhancements for Android 4.0 and up. Users on Android 2.2 and up will now have access to a “New Labels API for 3rd-party app developers” and the usual performance improvements.

The updated Gmail app for Android is available from Google Play nowRead more