Android version history Stories May 2, 2013

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Jelly Bean (Android 4.1 on) has overtaken Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.x) for the first time, with 28.4 percent of active Android devices now using it against 27.5 percent for ICS … expand full story

Android version history Stories February 20, 2013

Google Drive for Android updated with streaming video, pinch to zoom in presentations, more

Google has released a decent update to Google Drive that brings a few new and welcomed features alongside a number of bug fixes and performance enhancements. First, Google will now allow users to stream video files on devices running Honeycomb and higher. The updated app also now features the ability to pinch and zoom inside of the presentation viewer.

While Google didn’t detail all the bug fixes and performance enhancements individually, it said to expect improvements “across the whole app.” The updated Google Drive Android app is available on Google Play now.

What’s in this version:

– Performance improvements across the whole app – Support for streaming video files on Honeycomb+ – Pinch to Zoom support in presentation viewer – Bug fixes and other improvements

Android version history Stories January 3, 2013

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The latest numbers from Android’s Current Distribution page reveal somewhat exciting results for the folks in Mountain View. Android 4.1 – 4.2 Jelly Bean has now crossed the 10 percent threshold for all Android devices on the market. It now sits at 10.2-percent. Additionally, Gingerbread has dropped below the 50 percent mark for the first time in over a year, as Ice Cream Sandwich made gains to get close to 29.1-percent total share. Maybe this is how things should have always been. But, at any rate, sales from the Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X, and more seem to be paying off.

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Android version history Stories October 4, 2012

Hands-on with AT&T’s quad-core LG Optimus G (Gallery)

LG just revealed yesterday that its “PC-like” LG Optimus G is coming to the United States on AT&T and Sprint networks, but I got to take this powerful smartphone for a brief spin earlier tonight while at a media event in New York City.

So, what’s special about this particular LTE Android device? Five words: 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor. Yeah, you read that right—quad-core. It also features a 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus display, 2GB of RAM, 32GB built-in storage, NFC, and a 2,100mAh battery. Unfortunately, it only has Ice Cream Sandwich. The folks at AT&T are also mum about a potential Jelly Bean update.

Beyond the spec sheet, the LG Optimus G certainly lives up to all the performance boasting. The somewhat hefty smartphone runs fast, and the 8-megapixel camera snaps away without hesitation too. The camera even provides built-in effects to make photo-capturing fun. Look at the gallery below to see the “Big Mouth” and “Small Eyes” filters in action.

If I had to pick something to gripe about, I would probably say ‘Boo!’ to its skin. But, then again, skins and overlays are never a good thing. When all is said and done, this smartphone will likely give the HTC One X+ a run for its money. Maybe.

AT&T announces ICS update for Pantech Burst and Element

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is now available to AT&T’s Pantech Burst and Pantech Element.

AT&T revealed the announcement this morning for the lower-end LTE-powered smartphone and tablet on its consumer blog, where the carrier further explained the mobile OS would add a bevy of new features to the dual-core processor devices.

A few of the software features include:

With this update, Pantech Element customers will have resizable widgets and an updated Setup Wizard with additional training information. Android 4.0 will provide support for Burst users with Native Sync for AT&T Address Book, as well as expanded camera options such as Self-Mode and Panorama Capture. Also featured is the new Recent Apps button, which lets users move directly from one task to another using the list in the System Bar.

Download the ICS update:

Android version history Stories August 13, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi gets official ICS update in US

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi just received an update to Android 4.0.4 in the United States.

According to SamMobile:

  • Some details about this firmware
  • This firmware is specially for USA (Android 4.0.4)
  • Build date August
  • Changelist: 818980
  • PDA: P7510UELPL
  • CSC: p7510XABLPL

Many U.S.-based Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi owners allegedly woke up to Ice Cream Sandwich this morning, as seen in AndroidCentral’s Forums (below). Rumors circulated heavily that the tablet would get the push sometime this summer, and it now seems like those reports are panning out. Some users have noted the flavor is missing for them, however, so the rollout appears to be gradual.

The update is available via Samsung KIES or OTA.

Android version history Stories August 5, 2012

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Sometimes it is fun to take a break from reviewing the newest high-end Android phones out there to see what the other end of the spectrum has to offer. Virgin announced its new low-end phone, the PCD Chaser, which is just $79.99 without signing up for a plan.

Virgin offers unlimited data 3G plans starting at $35 a month. So, you are looking at just under $500 for a year of this phone with unlimited data. That is an incredible deal for an Android 2.3 device that does not totally suck. The Chaser comes with many of the same specs as the previous Virgin-base model, the Optimus V, including a 3-megapixel camera, 800MHz processor, 3.2-inch display, and hardware buttons. The Chaser adds the new, lower $80 price tag and Android 2.3, which the low-cost folks will welcome. However, those who want to see Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean on their devices will lament (Virgin never updated the Optimus V, so do not expect this one to get an upgrade either).

It is still a remarkable little device that once retailed for $149 (but lately it is often on-sale for much less). The Optimus included a 2GB Micro-USB card, but the Chaser does not, which frankly is pretty petty. Although the phone has a low-end camera, you cannot take videos or still images until you buy a Micro-SD card. Lame. I was able to take some borderline decent pictures and movies once I popped in an SD Card. Therefore, this might actually be a step down from the Optimus V.

Otherwise, this fine Android device will be a good step up for feature phone users. Some notes:

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Android version history Stories July 20, 2012

HTC plans to push Android 4.1 Jelly Bean to its popular line of One smartphones. HTC Global Online Communications Manager Jeff Gordon issued the following statement to The Verge:

“We know HTC fans are excited to get their hands on Google’s latest version of Android. At this point in time, we can confirm that we have plans to upgrade our HTC One X, HTC One XL and HTC One S to Jelly Bean. Please stay tuned for more updates regarding device upgrades, timing and other details about HTC and Jelly Bean.”

It is worth noting the One V is missing from the company’s update list.

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Android version history Stories July 3, 2012

With the rollout of Jelly Bean to a number of new devices just around the corner, Google updated its platform statistics today on the Android Developers website. After having been released for nine months, Ice Cream Sandwich was able to post an increase. However, it remains at just under 11 percent of total Android devices. That is an increase of approximately 3.8-percent for ICS 4.0 and 4.0.4, and it definitely highlights the fragmentation issues Android continues to face. Jelly Bean is not included in the platform stats, because it has not launched on any devices available to consumers.

Google also released updated information about the number of devices currently utilizing a particular screen configuration. The graph below shows the majority of Android devices are still running what Google classified as “Normal/hdpi,” which is a configuration that includes devices roughly 3.5-inches to 4.5-inches with at least 470dp-by-320dp:

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Android version history Stories June 2, 2012

In its bi-monthly report, Google posted some impressive numbers on Ice Cream Sandwich and bragged its latest mobile operating system was installed on 7.1-percent of all Android handsets. Ice Cream Sandwich was released on the Galaxy Nexus last fall, and the Roboto-filled OS now seems to be making some headway on the charts. Google’s second oldest version of Android, Gingerbread, still leads the way, however, with 65 percent of Android’s user base. It is worth noting that Gingerbread also saw a bit of growth during the last few weeks. We cannot wait to see where Ice Cream Sandwich heads before the release of Jelly Bean. Hopefully, we will hear more information on Jelly Bean at this year’s Google I/O happening from June 27 to June 29. In the mean time, you can check out the graphs after the break for the full breakdown.

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Android version history Stories May 25, 2012

The Verge’s Vlad Savov just completed an extensive breakdown of the Samsung Galaxy S III that unveiled in London earlier this month. The review is fully-equipped with video, imagery, and hordes of information. One such video is above, while a snippet of its wrap-up and a grading chart are below:

[…] the Galaxy S III is a technological triumph. Not at first sight, perhaps, but Samsung has done the overwhelming majority of things right. The camera is easily the best I’ve used on an Android device, the processor claims the title of benchmarking champion, and the customizations layered on top of Ice Cream Sandwich are mostly unobtrusive and sometimes even helpful. They never really gel into one coherent user experience, meaning you’ll have to learn what each new feature does individually rather than intuiting it from the phone’s general behavior, however that’s a trifling complaint when compared to our usual disappointments with Android OEM skins. TouchWiz may still have its illogicalities, but it’s been cleaned up and streamlined sufficiently to make it an adequate alternative to Google’s stock experience. While neither the display nor the construction materials on the Galaxy S III are the best possible, both represent acceptable compromises that help Samsung balance out the rest of its class-leading spec sheet.

The extra-large size of this phone, even with its great ergonomics, may prove to be a stumbling block for those who can’t comfortably fit a 4.8-inch handset into their daily routine. Still, the popularity of the Galaxy Note has shown that phone buyers are willing to look to more exotic form factors in their pursuit of novelty and extra functionality — and the Galaxy S III suffers no shortage of either.

Links to 9to5Google’s coverage of the S III launch event are after the break. expand full story

Android version history Stories May 18, 2012

Motorola just tweaked its Android Software Upgrade timetable for Ice Cream Sandwich updates, and it looks like both the United States-based Droid Razr and Razr Maxx are getting Android 4.0 in the second quarter.

The Xoom 3G model is also eyeing an ICS rollout in the same quarter, while the 8.2-inch and 10.1-inch XyboardDroid Bionic, and the Droid 4 are upgrading to the latest and current Android OS in Q3 2012. These devices were once listed under “Evaluation & Planning” when Motorola last altered the timetable in February.

It is worth noting the rollout dates could change once Google’s buyout of Motorola completes. Check out the manufacturer’s Motorola Android Software Upgrade News website for a full chart of slated ICS promotions.

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Android version history Stories May 3, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S III specs

Samsung GALAXY S III Product Specifications 

Network

2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE): 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz3G (HSPA+ 21Mbps): 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz4G (Dependent on market)

Display

4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED (1280×720) display

OS

Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

Camera

Main(Rear): 8 Mega pixel Auto Focus camera with Flash & Zero Shutter Lag, BSISub (Front): 1.9 Mega pixel camera, HD recording @30fps with Zero Shutter Lag, BSI

Video

Codec: MPEG4, H.264, H.263, DivX, DivX3.11, VC-1, VP8, WMV7/8, Sorenson SparkRecording & Playback: Full HD (1080p)

Audio

Codec: MP3, AMR-NB/WB, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA, OGG, FLAC, AC-3, apt-X

Additional

Features

S Beam, Buddy photo share, Share shot
AllShare Play, AllShare Cast
Smart stay, Social tag, Group tag, Face zoom, Face slide show
Direct call, Smart alert, Tap to top, Camera quick access
Pop up play
S Voice
Burst shot & Best photo, Recording snapshot, HDR

Google Mobile Services

Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail, Google LatitudeGoogle Play Store, Google Play Books, Google Play MoviesGoogle Plus, YouTube, Google Talk,Google Places, Google Navigation, Google Downloads

Connectivity

WiFi a/b/g/n, WiFi HT40GPS/GLONASSNFCBluetooth® 4.0(LE)

Sensor

Accelerometer, RGB light, Digital compass, Proximity, Gyro, Barometer

Memory

16/ 32GB User memory (64GB available soon) + microSD slot (up to 64GB)

Dimension

136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm, 133g

Battery

2,100 mAh

* Specifications above may differ on the LTE version.

* All functionality, features, specifications and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation.

Android version history Stories April 20, 2012

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The Samsung Galaxy SIII is due to unveil May 3 in London, but the widely-anticipated smartphone just made an early appearance through Vietnamese blog Tinhte (original page is down).

The leaked device goes by model number GT-I9300. Pictures and video indicate the mysterious smartphone packs Ice Cream Sandwich OS, a 4.6-inch display at 720-by-1184-pixel resolution, a quad-core 1.4 GHz processor, 1GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage, an 8-megapixel camera, and a 2,050mAh battery.

More pictures and a video are below.

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Android version history Stories April 13, 2012

An HTC Golf press image surfaced this afternoon and reaffirms the smartphone-maker has yet to finish dabbling in the low-end spectrum. 

HTC has been struggling since the second-half of last year and disappointing Q4 2011 earnings (PDF) even inspired a new handset strategy. The manufacturer previously announced it would no longer clutter the smartphone market with a sea of generic Android devices and would instead focus on the One line of high-end Android smartphones.

PocketNow dug up today’s press leak, however, which seems to contradict HTC’s claims. The website also spilled the goods as to what the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich-powered device is packing, but keep in mind that it is currently codenamed and might end up as the “Wildfire C.”

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Android version history Stories April 5, 2012

[tweet https://twitter.com/sprint/status/188003634016030720]

It looks like Google and Sprint finally got around to updating the NExus S 4G to Ice Cream Sandwich.  The update, certainly expected for awhile, is detailled below.

4/5 – Nexus S Software Update – IMM76D (Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich)

Nexus S Software Update – IMM76D  (Android 4.0 –  Ice Cream Sandwich)

Enhancements/Fixes: expand full story

Android version history Stories April 4, 2012

Google just rolled out updates to a few of its Android apps, the biggest of which brings a ton of new features to “Gmail for Android” 3.2 (Honeycomb) users. Previously, only Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich users had access to features like swiping between conversations, custom notifications for labels, and the ability to sync messages for the last 30 days. All of those features and the rest of the Ice Cream Sandwich Gmail experience are now being implemented for Honeycomb users. The updated app is available on Google Play now, and a full list of the features is below:

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Android version history Stories April 2, 2012

The latest marketshare-ish numbers are in for Android and it seems that people continue to update their phones…to Gingerbread. Almost two-thirds of all Android phones hitting the market in the last two weeks are running Android 2.3.x with a significant share—23.1-percent still on Android 2.2 Froyo. Honeycomb, the Tablet-only fix OS, is at around 3.3-percent, while Ice Cream Sandwich is on a scant 2.9-percent of devices including Galaxy Nexus, Acer Transformer Prime, and newly updated HTC Vivid (along with some custom builds and some unlocked manufacturer phones).

The distribution over time (below) is showing the long haul ICS has ahead of it (and do not forget we are likely going to hear about Jelly Bean at Google I/O in June).

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Verizon just knocked $150 from the HTC Rezound’s sticker price.

The carrier is now offering the Android-based smartphone for $49.99 with a two-year contract. That’s a great deal for a 4G device showcasing a 4.3-inch Super LCD screen, 720p HD display, dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera with a dual LED flash, and Beats by Dr. Dre.

According to Droid-Life, the HTC Rezound is also eyeing an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade in the next couple of weeks, which is just one more reason to take advantage of today’s sale.

Go to Verizon’s website to check out the details (a zip code prompt is required).

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Android version history Stories February 16, 2012

Your favorite custom keyboard for Android, Swype Beta, just updated with Ice Cream Sandwich compatibility (via Android Central). Sadly, this update still does not make Swype available on the Android Market, but you can download it from the Swype website. For those of you unfamiliar: Swype is a custom keyboard preloaded on a few phones that lets you drag a finger across the keyboard to type. It is very intuitive and definitely worth a try.

Besides seeing ICS compatibility, Swype Beta also saw an upgrade for improved word accuracy, new downloadable languages, and add-ons with DragonGo.

You can download the new Swype Beta from Swype’s website.

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Android version history Stories February 15, 2012

Just as you are getting content with Google’s latest Android offering Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, there are more rumors tonight on Google’s next version of Android. The sometimes-accurate Digitimes reported that Google might launch Android 5.0 Jelly Bean this summer.

This new version of Android will reportedly have a focus on tablet PCs, but hopefully not like the tablet exclusive Honeycomb. Ice Cream Sandwich hoped to pick up on Honeycomb’s mistakes by unifying both the handset and tablet platforms.

Digitimes said Android 5.0 would have a unique feature, because it will have a dual operating system approach. It will reportedly be able to boot into both Android and Chrome without having to shutdown. Perhaps Chrome will be part of the experience like it did with the launch of the browser as an app.

We will most likely hear more at Google I/O in June where Google does many of its big announcements.

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Attention Nexus S 4G users: The moment you have been waiting for is finally hitting tomorrow. Android Police reported that the Nexus S 4G would receive the long-awaited Ice Cream Sandwich update tomorrow, according to a screenshot of Sprint’s internal systems (seen after the break). The over-the-air update should hit any time now, so get ready. Let’s hope nothing goes wrong in the process.

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Android version history Stories February 7, 2012

The impressive Google Chrome for Android launched today in beta for Ice Cream Sandwich devices, and people began noticing quickly that the browser did not include Flash. It is a very interesting move by the Android team, considering Android’s default browser includes Flash. Moreover, it is something that some Android users have prided themselves on, especially since Apple’s iOS Safari does not include Flash. It is evident that the Android team hopes to move Chrome for Android to replace the stock browser and keep Android flash-less. Adobe confirmed that the new beta does not contain Flash in an effort to move to HTML 5 technologies.

As we announced last November, Adobe is no longer developing Flash Player for mobile browsers, and thus Chrome for Android Beta does not support Flash content. Flash Player continues to be supported within the current Android browser.

Do not think Chrome for Android is completely Adobe-less. The new browser features CSS Regions and a few other Adobe products that did make it into the new browser.

You may remember in November when Adobe announced it was official killing Flash on mobile devices and choosing to favor HTML 5 instead. This new beta continues that push.

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Android version history Stories February 2, 2012

Google is continuing its push on Google TV by rolling out Android 3.2 to Sony’s Google TV while the update to the Logitech Revue is on its way, GigaOm pointed out. The 3.2 update is not too major, but it does bring some nice updates, such as: Google TVs now boast hardware acceleration, HTTP live streaming that helps with HTML 5 live video, changes to the way Google TV identifies channels to make it easier for developers, and lastly a few user interface changes to Google Chrome.

That is all fine and dandy, of course, but what we really want is Ice Cream Sandwich to roll out to Google TVs soon. Android 3.2 will be the last major update before Ice Cream Sandwich operating system lands, but smaller updates will obviously ensue. We should be seeing ICS land by the end of the year, hopefully. Perhaps Google will give us a little more info at their Google I/O conference, so stay tuned!

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