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

Update-times.0012

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 …

Read more

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.

Read more

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

kitkat

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.

Read more

The 9to5Google top Android stories of 2013

android-key-lime-pie

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.

Read more