Graphic: The iPhone 6 should be embarrassed compared to the Nexus 4

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The above photo has been making the rounds on the internet, especially on Google+ where the vast majority of users are definitely on the Android side of the pond. Put together by Ron Amadeo of ArsTechnica, the little graphic compares the specifications of the iPhone 6, which was only announced yesterday, to Google and LG’s Nexus 4, which was released in November of 2012.

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Want to get Android updates quickly? These are the brands & carriers to buy and avoid …

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arsTechnica has put together a handy look at which manufacturers & carriers are quickest and slowest to roll out an Android update on their older devices. Using the KitKat launch date of 31st October 2013, arsTechnica measured how long it took for the earliest available OTA update for devices originally sold with an earlier version of Android, starting with the previous-generation flagship devices.

The winner for update times is, of course, the Nexus line. Stock software and a head start from being Google got KitKat out the door in just 14 days.

As for everyone else, how quickly they update seems to depend on how complicated their skin is and how much they take advantage of the update mechanisms Google has created …

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Android L preview source code now available in AOSP for Nexus 4, 5, 7, and 10

As it usually does with new releases of Android, Google has just posted the source code for the “L” release of Android. The code is viewable on Google’s Android Git repo page for all of the current a previous generation Nexus devices. This includes both the 2012 and 2013 Nexus 7s (WiFi and LTE models), the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, and Nexus 10.

Google has left a few things out of this release of source code, including binary packages and kernel source. This means that developers will not yet be able to build totally stock builds of Android “L” for those devices. This is to be expected, though, as “L” is still a developer preview at this point.

You can view the source code on Google’s Git repo here. If you’re still curious about Android “L,” read our first look here.

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Android 4.4.4 over-the-air update now live for Nexus devices

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Almost immediately following the pandemonium that was the release of Android 4.4.3, Google is now rolling out software version 4.4.4 of its mobile operating system to Nexus devices via an over-the-air update. Yesterday, the company released factory images of its newest version of Android, so device updates were pretty much inevitable. The new release only weighs in at 2.5MB and is believed to squash a few bugs that were missed by its predecessor.

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The 9to5Google top Android stories of 2013

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As the clock continues to click away to January 1st, we’re taking a look at our last top 9to5Google subject post of 2013. This time around we’ve saved the best for last as we look back at the last year in Android and the top 5 most read stories as determined by you, the 9to5Google reader. Perhaps the inevitable news is that 3 out of 5 or 60% of the top stories surround KitKat and its release. There were quite a few happenings in Android this year, but none more notable than the launch of the latest version of Android which has long been known as Key Lime Pie. Ultimately, Google decided on KitKat and announced the release with a partnership with the KitKat candy bar…which is exactly our kind of partnership. Facebook took its own stab at Android this year with Facebook Home and the HTC First, a story we’ll get to a little later on. I think it’s safe to call 2013 more of an evolutionary year in Android more so than revolutionary, but still another year where the platform surged in growth and adoption.

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How Google reconfigured the Nexus 4 to optimize KitKat for the world

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A new report courtesy of the folks at ReadWrite is shining light on the steps and process Google’s engineers undertook to optimize Android 4.4 KitKat before its introduction to the world.

As Google’s engineers believed they reached a “feature parity” point, they turned their attention to performance and optimization, something that began with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and “Project Butter.” The hope was that Android would be faster, more reliable and devoid of the crashes that plagued many Android users.

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Nexus 4 owners look alive, Android 4.4 KitKat now rolling out

Thanks to a tipster tweet, the boys at Android Central are reporting Android 4.4 KitKat is now en route to Nexus 4 smartphones. The update weighs in at a manageable 238MB and will of course add all the candy-tasting goodness Android 4.4 brings to the Android world.

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Android 4.4 KitKat rolling out today to old and new Nexus 7, Nexus 10 (Nexus 4, 3G Nexus 7 soon)

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Google has announced that the new Android KitKat operating system will begin rolling out to Google’s own tablets starting today. The rollout process will likely be completed over a period of time. Android 4.4 will be reaching the Nexus 7 (both last year’s model and this year’s new model) and the Nexus 10. KitKat brings several improvements to Android, including changes to Google Now, SMS integration with Hangouts, and general performance enhancements. Google says KitKat for the Nexus 4 and cellular-enabled Nexus 7 is coming soon.

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The LG Nexus 5 review: Are the downgraded G2 specs offset by pure Kit Kat? (Spoiler: Yes!)


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As I come up on a week of use with the LG Nexus 5, a few things become clear:

  1. Tradeoffs were made to get this phone to $349. After some thought, I probably would have made the same decisions if $349 was my target price.
  2. I hate carrier and manufacturer ‘improvements’ more than ever. Having a ‘pure Google‘ phone is liberating.
  3. This will likely be my main Android phone for the next the year.
  4. This won’t be a best seller, even if it should be because it is the best value phone we’ll see all year.

How did I draw these conclusions? Start the week ago flashback sequence…

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Results on Nexus 5 camera poll: Perhaps not as bad as (over 20,000) people thought

The results from our Nexus 5 vs. iPhone 5s photo quality survey are in.  The winner is probably not a surprise (the iPhone 5s) but the margin may have been a bit of a surprise after so many people rated the Nexus 5 camera so poorly (and Google subsequently offered promises of fixes).

At the time we turned on the answers, the iPhone won about 55% of the votes overall from over 200,000 votes placed.

Nexus 5 − 89724  (45%)

iPhone 5S – 110828 (55%)

After testing the Nexus 5 camera for a few days, it is pretty clear that it isn’t the best shooter out there, and even the best Android shooter.  But it also isn’t that bad. In fact, I think it might be a bit better than other high profile phones like the MotoX.  The weaknesses in the survey and in my own testing is in speed (it is slow, especially in low light), Low light images in general weren’t great and paradoxically over-exposure outside in well lit situations (though people in the survey seemed to appreciate that bias) seemed to happen frequently with the Nexus 5.

The bottom line however is that the Nexus 5 camera isn’t the best but it really isn’t that bad – especially for a $350 phone.   Full results before we turned on the labels below: Read more