android 4.4 Stories January 6, 2015

Dell announced today at CES 2015 that its Venue 8 7000 Android-powered tablet is now available. The device—originally announced back in September at an Intel event—costs $400 and is available now in the US from Dell.com and Best Buy stores. It will launch in Canada later this week and in Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, India, Germany and the UK during early 2015.

The Dell Venue 8 7000 is “the world’s thinnest tablet,” according to the company, coming in at just 6mm. Dell also touts that the device features an “infinity display” with very little side bezel, making the display nearly edge-to-edge. The 8.4-inch display comes with a QHD 2560 x 1600 resolution, as well. expand full story

android 4.4 Stories September 9, 2014

Android 4.4.4 rolling out for Xperia Z-series devices and Sprint model of Galaxy Note 3

Sony has confirmed in a tweet that it is rolling out the Android 4.4.4 update its older Z-series devices.

[tweet https://twitter.com/SonyMobileNews/status/509297533328584704]

Sony says there are “many improvements” in the upgrade, with better battery performance in background applications and improved email stability & performance singled out for particular note. The company recently unveiled the newest incarnations in the line, the Z3 and Z3 Compact.

SamMobile also notes that Galaxy Note 3 owners on the Sprint network should also receive a 4.4.4 update today.

The Android 4.4.4 update will bring international Wi-Fi calling, version 2.0 of KNOX, and the Kids Mode feature that debuted on the Galaxy S5, along with bug fixes and security patches from Google.

Samsung of course recently launched the Quad HD Galaxy Note 4.

android 4.4 Stories August 18, 2014

Sony rolls out Android 4.4 KitKat update for Xperia M2 & M2 Dual

Following an update to Android 4.4 for the Xperia E1 and E1 Dual, Sony today announced the same update is now rolling out for the Xperia M2 and M2 Dual. Like the update has done for other Sony devices, Android 4.4 also brings Sony specific features including a new Status Bar and Quick Settings features, animations and live wallpapers similar to the PlayStation 4, and much more:

android 4.4 Stories August 12, 2014

Android 4.4 now available for ASUS’ Padfone Infinity and Fonepad Note 6

Sure, Android L is on its way, but that doesn’t mean that people still aren’t waiting for software version 4.4. Perhaps better late than never, the ASUS Padfone Infinity and Fonepad Note 6 have made the jump to KitKat. If you haven’t received an over-the-air notification, the software can be manually installed by visiting the Padfone’s or Fonepad’s support pages.

android 4.4 Stories August 8, 2014

Sony rolling out Android 4.4 update for Xperia E1 & E1 Dual

Sony just announced that users of its Xperia E1 and Xperia E1 Dual smartphones will soon get access to Android 4.4 KitKat as the update begins rolling out today. As it has already done with some of its other devices, the update to KitKat also comes with other Sony specific features including new Status Bar and Quick Settings features, animations and live wallpapers similar to the PlayStation 4, and much more:

  • Google’s Android 4.4; KitKat as standard – bringing performance & UI optimisation…
  • We’ve added our tweaked Status Bar and Quick Settings… now more intuitive and customisable (and pretty easy on the eye)… cleaned up to ensure you only get the notifications you really need
  • If you’ve got a Sony PlayStation 4, you might recognize our new user interface – we’ve added the same sleek launch animation and livewallpaper across the lock and home screens
  • Better storage choice – you now have the option to easily move applications from internal memory to SD card – we recognised the need to have more control over your content… as something particularly useful for devices with slightly less space
  • We’re also uplifting Sony’s entire native app portfolio to the latest versions – bringing tweaked / improved / current experiences for (to name but a few): Messaging, Smart Connect, TrackID, Sony Select, and Battery STAMINA Mode, Sony’s Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies
  • And proving pretty popular, now totaling over 2 million downloads (!) – our unique custom interface experience: “Xperia Themes”, with downloadable UI packs from Sony Select – skin up to 280 assets across your Xperia smartphone with a variety of styles…

Sony notes that its next device to get the update will be the Xperia M2 & M2 Dual. As always, the update will hit users at different times depending on your carrier and market.

android 4.4 Stories July 16, 2014

Sony rolls out Android 4.4 KitKat for Xperia T2 Ultra alongside new features

Sony today announced it’s rolling out a new software update for the Xperia T2 Ultra & Xperia T2 Ultra Dual that brings Android 4.4 KitKat alongside other features to the devices.

You’ll also notice a few other goodies in the update aside from KitKat, including: Sony’s newly tweaked Status Bar and customizable Quick Settings, a new UI and animations similar to those on the PS4, Xperia Themes, and a number of improvements to some of the company’s stock apps:

We’re also uplifting Sony’s entire native app portfolio to the latest versions – bringing tweaked / improved / current experiences for (to name but a few): Messaging, MyXperia, Smart Connect, Small apps, TrackID, TrackID TV, Sony Select, Smart Social Camera and…Sony’s Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies, with Sony Entertainment Network cloud service integration* – a more converged and full Sony entertainment experience – Sony Entertainment Network & PlayMemories integration with a more intuitive UI, better download speeds, and more!

The update also brings support for Sony’s “SmartWear Experience” with the SmartBand SWR10 and Lifelog app.

A full list of what’s new in today’s update is below:

  • Google’s Android 4.4; KitKat as standard – bringing performance & UI optimisation…
  • We’ve added our tweaked Status Bar and Quick Settings… now more intuitive and customisable (and pretty easy on the eye)… cleaned up to ensure you only get the notifications you really need
  • If you’ve got a Sony PlayStation 4, you might recognize our new user interface – we’ve added the same sleek launch animation and livewallpaper across the lock and home screens
  • We’re also uplifting Sony’s entire native app portfolio to the latest versions – bringing tweaked / improved / current experiences for (to name but a few): Messaging, MyXperia, Smart Connect, Small apps, TrackID, TrackID TV, Sony Select, Smart Social Camera and…
  • Sony’s Media apps: WALKMAN, Album and Movies, with Sony Entertainment Network cloud service integration* – a more converged and full Sony entertainment experience – Sony Entertainment Network & PlayMemories integration with a more intuitive UI, better download speeds, and more!
  • And proving pretty popular, now totaling over 2 million downloads (!) – our unique custom interface experience: “Xperia Themes”, with downloadable UI packs from Sony Select – skin up to 280 assets across your Xperia smartphone with a variety of styles…
  • Compatibility with our SmartWear Experience; SmartBand SWR10 and Lifelog app – enabling you to record social, physical and entertainment activities and have them all visualised in a beautiful interface… reminisce at that past, make the best of the present and plan for the future

Sony says you can expect the update to arrive for other devices, including Xperia E1 and Xperia M2 (& M2 dual variants), in the near future. 

android 4.4 Stories March 19, 2014

Sony-Xperia-Z-Ultra

Sony announced today on its mobile blog that the rollout of Android 4.4 KitKat for a few of its new devices has officially kicked off. That means that Xperia Z Ultra, Xperia Z1, and Xperia Z1 Compact owners can expect the upgrade soon, although we’ve yet to get reports that the update is available. As always, the timeframe for the update hitting your device will vary by market and carrier.  expand full story

android 4.4 Stories December 27, 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.

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android 4.4 Stories December 19, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 10.10.33 AM

You get KitKat, you get KitKat, you get KitKat! Well, Verizon isn’t the Oprah sure but with Verizon’s announcement via Twitter this morning that Android 4.4 is on its way to the DROID Ultra, Maxx and Mini it sure feels like a Oprah giveaway episode.

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android 4.4 Stories December 11, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 3.00.52 PM

Just in time for the holidays and peak travel season, Google is adding some awesome features to Gmail on Android. Just announced via Google+, Gmail on Android now includes a vacation responder, attachment support for any file type and print capability for hard copies of emails for users on Android 4.4 KitKat.

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android 4.4 Stories December 3, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 10.47.30 AM

As Google releases its newest platform version numbers for December we’re giving a warm welcome to Android 4.4 KitKat and its first appearance. Arriving on the board at 1.1%, it’s an impressive feat for Android’s newest software considering it’s still only on a handful of the devices it’s actually available for outside of the Nexus 5. When Ice Cream Sandwich debuted back in December of 2011, it was only at 0.6% at the end of January. Jelly Bean saw a similar result as it released in August of 2012 and made its debut at 0.8%.

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Fidlee-iOS-vs-Android-Adoption-Support

We hear a lot about adoption of iOS updates vs the fragmentation that Android users are forced to deal with, but just how far behind are the top Android devices compared to iPhone when it comes to getting support? To answer that question, Fidlee.com has updated a chart that it first put together a couple years back in order to see if things have become any better for Android in recent years. It hasn’t.

In the chart above we see that many once flagship Android devices— the Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S3, LG G2 etc— have still not received the latest Android 4.4 KitKat update and in some cases are even further behind. Most of the devices on the list have been an upgrade or two behind since launch or not long after. In comparison, only the iPhone 3GS fives years after its release doesn’t support iOS 7. We also get a look at how much longer Apple devices generally stay available for sale and continue receiving support, nearly twice as long as Android in most cases.

Not only did Apple claim iOS 7 was “the fastest software upgrade in history” with more than 200 million devices installing the OS less than a week after launch, but analytics firms tracking adoption also noticed adoption was much higher than previous releases. Currently iOS 7 sits at about 77% of users, according to the latest data from Fiksu’s iOS Usage Monitor. While the chart above is only for devices released last year, things aren’t much better for newer Android devices. In comparison to iOS 7 adoption, Google reports that its latest release, Android 4.4 KitKat, is at just 1.1% weeks into launch. The previous release, Android 4.3, is at just 4.2%, while the majority of users remain on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean first released in July 2012. Currently KitKat is only available for Nexus devices and slowly trickling out to Moto X and Google Play Edition devices.

A couple more charts below from Fidlee showing just how bad things are on Android compared to iOS: expand full story

android 4.4 Stories November 27, 2013

IMG_0027

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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android 4.4 Stories November 25, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 10.18.12 PM

Oh Google, you’re so good sometimes when you let the world know that the HTC One Google Play edition isn’t the only device receiving KitKat today. According to the +Android page on Google+, the Samsung Galaxy S 4 Google Play edition is also beginning its Android 4.4 KitKat rollout.

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android 4.4 Stories November 20, 2013

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 Stories November 15, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 11.06.46 AM

With the US being a part of the second wave of Moto G launches, we’ve now learned being in the later group has an intrinsic benefit. According to Motorola SVP Mark Randall speaking to Omio, “Wave 2, products that we ship after Christmas will start with KitKat…Wave 2 is in the US, there’s South East Asia, and other countries.”

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android 4.4 Stories November 13, 2013

MotoMaker

Motorola’s live-stream announcement of the Moto G is taking place as I type these very words, but a special announcement for Moto X users was just announced. Dennis Woodside, CEO of Motorola since its acquisition by Google in May of 2012 just told the world his company will be updating all Moto X devices to Android 4.4 KitKat in a “matter of weeks.”

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android 4.4 Stories November 7, 2013

verizon

If you have a Nexus 7 you’re waiting to activate on Verizon’s LTE network, there’s good news and bad news …

The good news is Verizon has acknowledged the issue that has been preventing the device registering on its network, and says that a solution is in hand. The bad new is that solution is to wait for KitKat to be installed on the tablet, and there’s as yet no word on when this may be. Google has said only that it will be “in the coming weeks” and that is for the Wifi versions …  expand full story

android 4.4 Stories November 6, 2013

Impatient to get KitKat on your Moto X? Firmware leaks for T-Mobile model

If you own a T-Mobile Moto X and are impatient to upgrade to KitKat (aka Android 4.4), the firmware has been leaked on xdaDevelopers.

As ever with unofficial ROM flashes, caution is your watchword. Make sure you have a good backup, and read the thread (a continuation of an earlier 4.3 leak) carefully before deciding whether or not to proceed.

android 4.4 Stories November 2, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-11-02 at 7.30.34 PM

Here we go again It seems Google has slipped yet another as-of-yet-announced device into its KitKat promotional materials. You’ll likely recall that the Nexus 5, which was released earlier this week, was accidentally included in a video promoting Android 4.4 earlier this year.

Now Google has featured what appears to be an 8-inch Nexus tablet on the Android website. The image appears on the “apps and entertainment” page, which shows off some of the first- and third-party applications available for KitKat. The header image for the section about the Google Play media store shows a woman using a tablet that looks a little too big to be a Nexus 7, but too small to be the aging Nexus 10. The body design (specifically the bezel size) doesn’t match up with existing Nexus tablets either, so it’s pretty clear this is not one a tablet we’ve seen before.

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android 4.4 Stories November 1, 2013

kitkat

Google’s low-key press announcement yesterday focused on the launch of KitKat and the Nexus 5, but didn’t offer much detail or highlight some of the hidden gems. Google has added more and more features to the Google Now assistant over the last year and with the introduction of Android 4.4, they are going even deeper with more integration. As Android head Sundar Pichai noted, Google is “bring apps and the web together.” Everyone knows what Google is best known for: search and the company is now leveraging that by beginning to look inside your apps on your Android device.

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Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 11.22.19 AM

When it comes to Google, we’ve come to expect the literally insane for new product launches with skydivers and Google Glass or very low key events for Google+/Chromebooks. Someone tell me then why Google launched the Nexus 5 and their next piece of software with Android 4.4 KitKat with almost no fanfare? It feels as if the KitKat announcement some months back saw more press and activity than the actual launch itself.

Yes, one could argue that Nexus device sales are limited to the geeks and die-hard Android fans. Yes, one could say that KitKat is more of an evolution than a revolution and that Google didn’t need to go all-out yesterday as the ridiculous set of device leaks created all the buzz they needed. Still, this is Google and this is a Nexus and at the very least, Google could have at least done a small event to boost awareness.

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android 4.4 Stories October 31, 2013

Android-kitkat-updates

With Android 4.4 KitKat finally officially announced, many users now begin the agonizing process of waiting for their device to receive the update. As we are all well aware off, it can take a long time for Android updates to make their way to the majority of users. Things have started to improve recently, however, and with the release of Android 4.4, several manufacturers have already announced their upgrade plans. Here’s a running list of devices already confirmed to get the udpate along with release dates: expand full story

Google releases Google Play Services 4.0 w/ Google Mobile Ads SDK and new APIs for devs

Google has decided to launch the new Nexus 5 and Android 4.4 KitKat today at a quiet press event and alongside those announcements is also releasing Google Play Services 4.0. The update to the developer services platform includes the integration of Google Mobile Ads SDK, and also offers new features for Google+, Google Wallet Instant Buy APIs, and geofencing.

Google says the new Google Mobile Ads SDK lets those using AdMob to monetize their apps provide “seamless improvements” to users. For example, pushing bug fixes automatically. The new Play Services also include new Maps and Location features:

You can save power by requesting larger latency values for notifications alerting your app to users entering or exiting geofences, or request that entry alerts are sent only after a user stays within a geofence for a specified period of time. Setting generous dwell times helps to eliminate unwanted notifications when a user passes near a geofence or their location is seen to move across a boundary. The Maps API enhances map customization features, letting you specify marker opacity, fade-in effects, and visibility of 3D buildings. It’s also now possible to change ground overlay images.

WIth Google Play Services 4.0, Google is offering Google Wallet Instant Buy APIs to everyone with a simplified API. New Wallet Objects means “you can award loyalty points to a user’s saved rewards program ID for each applicable Google Wallet Instant Buy purchase.”

The the new Google Play services SDK is available to download now for developers to start developing with the new Android 4.4 APIs. You can learn more in Google’s blog post here.

Google also noted that it’s dropping support for Froyo in this release now that “over 97% of devices now running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or newer platform versions.”

Update: Google has released a full list of what’s new in Android 4.4 KitKat. We’re digging in and we’ll bring you more details as we discover them.

Alongside the official release of its new flagship Nexus 5 on Google Play today, Google is also of course officially taking the wraps of 4.4 KitKat, the latest version of Android that will ship on the new Nexus 5. When will you be able to get your hands on the new OS? Google said KitKat 4.4 updates will arrive for the Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and the Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play Editions in the coming weeks.

Google confirmed that the update will not be coming to the Galaxy Nexus. Since it’s two years old, it now “falls outside of the 18-month update window when Google and others traditionally update devices.”

In the YouTub playlist above, Google walks through some of the new features of KitKat for developers and also highlights a number of user-facing features such as a new “immersive mode” that allows users to automatically hide onscreen controls for a truly full-screen experience. In a blog post, Google took sometime to explain the performance improvements it’s made in KitKat, noting that Android can now “run comfortably on the 512MB of RAM devices”: expand full story

As expected, the rumors indicated Google would be making a silent Nexus 5 announcement today and now the device is officially available on Google Play in the US. Lining up with previous rumors, the device will sell for $349 for the 16GB model and $399 for a 32GB model. Google is currently quoting an estimated shipping time of 1-2 business days.

Google says the Nexus 5 will officially go up for sale unlocked and without a contract in the following countries starting today through Google Play: U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and Korea. It also notes that the Sprint, T-Mobile, Amazon, Best Buy and RadioShack will get carry the device soon alongside retailers in India.

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 2.02.50 PM

Official specs for the device right from Google Play: 4.95″ 1920×1080 display (445 ppi), Full HD IPS and Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3, a 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 800 processor, an 8MP rear facing camera, and a 1.3MP front facing camera. There’s also a 2,300 mAH battery, Adreno 330, 450MHz GPU, and Wireless Charging.

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android 4.4 Stories October 16, 2013

(via KITKAT on Twitter)

Following leaked images allegedly showing off Android 4.4 and an eight-minute video hands-on with the Nexus 5 and the next version of Android, KitKat has done its part in hyping the chocolate-branded version of Android with a few notable tweets.

The candy bar maker dropped a couple of cryptic tweets yesterday and today, which Pocket-lint believes it has decrypted, hinting at Android 4.4 possibly launching on October 28th.

KitKat tweeted an image early Tuesday morning of an Android made out of the chocolate candy bar with a caption containing a magnifying glass (for Google Search or a sign that it’s meant to be a clue?), and the tweet itself read ‘Everybody dance now!’ This references the song “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” by C+C Music Factory, but their original name was The 28th Street Crew.

The original tweet alone would be quite a stretch for assuming Android 4.4 would debut on October 28th, but roughly 24 hours later KitKat tweeted, “Sometimes you have to look for the signs…”, which clearly explains the nature of the tweets. This time it included KitKat bars arranged to say “THIS IS IT”, the Michael Jackson concert-film released on October 28th as Pocket-lint notes.

Could we see more clues ahead of the anticipated launch of Android 4.4? We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, check out the tweets for yourself below the fold, and let us know what you think:

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android 4.4 Stories October 8, 2013

hangouts

Android Police has screenshots suggesting that both SMS and MMS messaging are being integrated into Google Hangouts, with the standalone Messaging app likely to be dropped from KitKat (Android 4.4) – first on Nexus devices and later on others.

The screenshots claim to be from Hangouts 1.3. It’s just speculation that this will ship with KitKat – it’s possible that it may be released before or after. We have recently seen claimed screenshots of KitKat that include the Messaging app, but that isn’t inconsistent with the idea that it would be dropped from the Nexus first …  expand full story

android 4.4 Stories September 12, 2013

After accidentally leaking the device in its video for the upcoming Android 4.4 KitKat software release, today we get a better look at the upcoming Nexus 5 thanks to FCC documents (via Phonescoop).

It’s clear the device in these FCC images is the same as the one we spotted in the promotional video earlier this month, and we also get a clearer look at the much larger camera lens on the back of the device. It’s also more solid proof that the device will indeed be manufactured by LG– and likely based of its new LG G2– after rumors that Google’s Motorola could potentially produce the Nexus 5 started circling last month.

Last week FCC documents surfaced online that also pointed to an LG-made device, as well as a Snapdragon 800 processor, a 5-inch display, and LTE support for AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. As with past Nexus launches, it will also be running the latest version of Android, which by the time the device launches will be Android 4.4. Kitkat.

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android 4.4 Stories September 3, 2013

KIT KAT posts Android KitKat 4.4 (parody?) video, “The future of confectionary”

“A beautifully immersive and multi-sensory experience”

“When we set out to create confectionary perfectionary by designing the perfect chocolate bar, we nailed it the first time.”

The above video was posted to KIT KAT’s YouTube channel and parodies the regular tech product videos by talking about the features of a KitKat® in very geeky ways. Nothing is revealed about the upcoming Android operating system Android 4.4 KitKat, but it seems the partnership / promotion platform between KIT KAT and Google is strong.

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