Android is notorious in the developer community for its rampant fragmentation. Developing an app for Google’s platform means wrestling to make the app work optimally on the ecosystem of thousands of devices in different shapes and sizes. And according to a new report out today giving us a look at the state of Android fragmentation as of this month, August 2015, there’s both some bad and good news: There are more devices than ever before, but fewer users that are spread out across different operating system versions.
kit kat Stories August 5, 2015
kit kat Stories September 10, 2014
As it does at the beginning of every month, Google this evening updated its Android distribution data to reflect a 7-day period ending on September 9th. The data shows Android 4.4 KitKat reach an all-time usage high of 24.5 percent, up from 20.6 percent last month. Jelly Bean continued its consistent decline, falling from 56.5 percent to 53.8 percent.
kit kat Stories August 21, 2014
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 …
kit kat Stories August 12, 2014
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.
kit kat Stories July 28, 2014
Verizon Moto X updated to Android 4.4.4
Last Friday, Verizon began soak testing the Android 4.4.4 update on the Moto X. Today, Verizon officially began rolling out the update to all users. The update, which focuses primarily on camera enchantments lists “improved camera picture quality” and “improved photos in fluorescent lighting” as the two main changes. Other changes include a “new graphical layout” to the phone dialer and overall “consistency and usability” improvements.
kit kat Stories July 14, 2014
Android 4.4.4 now rolling out to Verizon’s Droid Maxx, Ultra and Mini
Android 4.4.4 has slowly found its way to several off-contract devices and it looks like its time for the latest version of KitKat to make its way to some carrier-connected handsets. If you’re the proud owner of a Verizon Droid Maxx, Ultra or Mini, you’ll want to check your device for an over-the-air update or manually initiate the software push by tapping Settings>About phone>System updates>Download.
kit kat Stories July 7, 2014
Like it does at the beginning of every month, Google this afternoon updated its Android distribution numbers to reflect a 7 day period ending today, July 7th. The most recent version of Android, 4.4 KitKat, saw a modest increase from 13.6 percent to 17.9 percent. Jelly Bean, for the first time ever, saw a decline as a whole in usage by 1.9 percent.
kit kat Stories June 30, 2014
Android 4.4.4 update rolling out to Google Play edition Moto G
Android 4.4.4 is on the move and the latest handset to be blessed with an over-the-air push of Mountain View’s newest version of KitKat is the Google Play edition of the Moto G. Released to tackle a few bugs and potential security exploits missed by its predecessor, this fairly lean update doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of aesthetics.
kit kat Stories March 18, 2014
Skype has today had updated its Android app with a handful of new features and bug fixes. In a blog post, Skype explains that it was been working diligently over the last year to greatly improve the battery with the app, and that today’s update finally does so. The update introduces “aggressive battery savings” that will make the app have little to no effect on your device’s battery life.
The company says that it in order to improve battery life, it had to completely transform the way the Skype technology works and that this transformation is not entirely complete yet. One instance of this is that for time being, Skype has turned off instant notifications of messages in group chats. The company hopes to release another update soon that re-enable them with little battery impact. For now, however, you can enable them by going to Settings > Notifications > and choosing the “Sync group messages in the background” box. Although, this will impact your battery life.
The update also improves stability on KitKat, in addition to fixing audio and video calling on tablets without BlueTooth.
- Workaround for the KitKat bug which caused a runaway process when the camera was synced in the background.
- Fix for audio and video calling on tablets that do not have Bluetooth.
- Now lists your Windows Live Messenger contacts in the Skype (default) view, not just the All contacts view.
The update is available on the Play Store now and bumps the app to version 4.7.
kit kat Stories February 4, 2014
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.
kit kat Stories January 6, 2014
Samsung has put up banners at CES for a new Galaxy Note PRO and Tab PRO, which it is expected to unveil tonight (photo courtesy of Engadget) – and thanks to leaked specs from the generally dependable @evleaks, we think we have a good idea what to expect.
The leak suggests that four new models will be launched, with 3G and LTE variants, in 8.4-, 10.1- and 12.2-inch sizes.
The 12.2-inch NotePRO and TabPRO devices appear to be identical bar the S-Pen of the former. Specs are said to be a quad-core Snapdragon 800 2.3GHz processor for the LTE version, and Samsung’s own quad-core Exynos 5 Octa chip running at 1.9GHz in the Wifi/3G variant. Other specs are said to be identical for both versions … expand full story
kit kat Stories December 26, 2013
kit kat Stories December 19, 2013
kit kat Stories November 24, 2013
Future Moto X buyers take note as Amazon just dropped the price on both AT&T and Sprint variants to match the existing $0.01 price on Verizon. The deal lacks Moto Maker customization, but that’s a small “price” to pay for the opportunity to be among the first non-Nexus Android owners to have KitKat.
kit kat Stories November 20, 2013
HTC’s trend of Android update transparency continued yesterday with hints that Android 4.4 KitKat will arrive stateside on the HTC One before the end of January. In response to a customer inquiry, HTC’s @htcusa account responded “In North America, we plan to deliver Kit Kat (including Sense 5.5) to HTC One customers by the end of January.”
kit kat Stories November 19, 2013
Fresh from the Motorola Blog, it appears that Motorola will launch its first Android 4.4 KitKat update on Verizon first, with rollouts starting today. The KitKat update brings:
- An improved phone dialer. Now you can search for contacts directly from the dial-pad and easily see and tap on those you contact frequently.
- More gallery goodies. KitKat packs in some cool, new gallery effects—such as Posterize, Highlights, and Edges. You can even use the Draw feature to annotate your photos freehand with your finger.
- New Hangouts app. All of your conversations now in one place—texts, video calls, and other chats all together in one app. Plus, you can now send animated gifs and share your location.
- Color emojis. For when words aren’t enough, the Google Keyboard now includes colorful characters to send in text messages and other communications.
- Drag to focus and expose. An updated camera app lets you control both the focus and exposure of your photos. Simply drag your finger to set just the right exposure and focus point.
- And more… Restyled status and navigation bars, new full-screen mode, and enhancements to Motorola features like Touchless Control.
I say ‘unusual’ because Verizon is usually the last of the four US carriers to roll out Android updates, usually owing the increased wait to Verizon’s lengthier testing process.
Motorola and Verizon have an unusually close bond however with the Google-owned manufacturer now making all of the carrier’s Droid products as well as pioneering the Droid brand. I anticipate that other carrier versions will follow close behind.
Note that I’m still waiting on the 4.4 update to hit the Google Play edition HTC ONE, and even my Nexus 4 and 10!
I guess Google and Motorola are finally tearing down the firewall. expand full story
kit kat Stories November 7, 2013
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
kit kat Stories November 6, 2013
Impatient to get KitKat on your Moto X? Firmware leaks for T-Mobile model
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.
kit kat Stories October 27, 2013
After leaking a clear image of the black model yesterday, prolific leaker @evleaks has posted a render of the upcoming Nexus 5 in a white color option. As can be seen in the image above, the white model is actually a two-tone device: a black front, a white back, and black accents around the sides and rear-camera system…
kit kat Stories October 26, 2013
First we got an official look at the Nexus 5 when Google itself leaked images of the device prematurely on Google Play earlier this month. Those images were quickly followed with a high-quality press shot for Canadian carrier Telus. In case you needed more proof that Google’s Nexus 5 announcement is right around the corner, today often reliable leaker @Evleaks posted the press shot above that seems to lineup with the previous leaks. Google has been rumored to announce the device sometime towards the end of the month, so we’d expect it to send out invites for a Nexus related event any day now. expand full story
kit kat Stories October 16, 2013
Over the past few weeks, everyone has been heavily focused on the forthcoming KitKat update and Nexus 5, but Android Police has obtained screenshots of something that should be rolling out to everyone soon. According to the site, Google is currently in the process of redesigning the Play Store, yet again. The changes will keep up with what Google has been doing to its other apps.
The biggest user-interface change comes with the new slide-out navigation panel, which is commonly referred to as “hamburger-style” navigation. In the current version of the Play Store, all of the options are put into a single menu in the upper right corner. With this Play Store update, the menu options will be reduced to just settings and help, while everything will move to the navigation panel.
- Store home
- My apps, My movies & TV, etc., (varies depending on what section of the Play Store you are in)
- Shop (only appears at certain times)
- My wishlist
As far as release timeframe goes, Android Police expects the update to go live with Android 4.4 at the very minimum, but notes that it may go out earlier. It will compatible with all versions of Android back to Froyo. The blog also notes that the design is a work in progress and may very well change several times before release. expand full story
kit kat Stories October 14, 2013
I recently heard word that Google was putting the finishing touches on a Watch product. Details are slim but the person seemed to think that Google Now functionality would be at the center of the product.
Thinking about this, Google could put a lot of the functionality of Google Glass in the watch product. Push a button, ask a question, get a response as the watch talks to the Now-enabled smartphone. Also, the ‘serendipitous’ information that Google Now shows you on your phone could come up in the watch. Time to get home, Calendar alarms, emails, SMSes, etc. all could get pushed to the watch’s display
Google is focusing on longer battery life and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. There was no word on the type of sensors and health monitoring functionality that Apple is rumored to be working on.
We’d heard earlier some details from Artem Russakovskii, which I can’t confirm, but considering my info now bears repeating:
Google will announce a Nexus watch, codenamed Gem, likely together with the KitKat announcement. The date I have, which, once again, is about a month old, is also October 31st.
My source also seemed to think “sooner rather than later.”
Google acquired WIMM Labs, an Android based Smartwatch SDK developer last year for an undisclosed sum. The company’s Smartwatch App store is still live here and contains some notable apps including Facebook. expand full story
kit kat Stories October 8, 2013
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
kit kat Stories September 9, 2013
Developer Jack Underwood took the dimensions from the recent FCC approval of the LG D820 that has been pretty much confirmed as the Nexus 5 and compared them to the Nexus 4. The result? Despite a larger screen size with higher resolution, the Nexus 5 is actually smaller in every dimension.
kit kat Stories September 6, 2013
The mystery over whether the Nexus 5 is made by LG or Motorola appears to have been solved by FCC approval documents. The documents refer to the handset as the LG ZNFD820, but all the signs point to this being the replacement for the Nexus 4, expected to be launched in the next month or so. Google recently slashed the price of the existing handset, with the 8GB model going out of stock for good.
It appears to match the video grab we caught earlier this week.
Engadget points out that the casing images appear to be an excellent match for the phone which Google apparently inadvertently included in the KitKat promo video that it swiftly withdrew. The specs also look likely for what we expect to be a significant upgrade to the Nexus 4 … expand full story
kit kat 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.