Unsurprisingly, Jelly Bean continues to increase its dominance in the green droid distribution charts, with the latest sweet in the family running on more than 45 percent of all Android devices visiting Google Play during the seven days ending September 4.
In the latest distribution charts, the first two Jelly Bean iterations -- Android 4.1 (36.6 percent) and Android 4.2 (8.5 percent) -- have a combined share of 45.1 percent, a number that is 4.7 percentage points higher compared to the previous data set that was released in early-August. A month ago, Jelly Bean had a 40.5 percent distribution level (34 percent for Android 4.1 and 6.5 percent for Android 4.2).
In something of a surprise move, Google announces that the successor to Jelly Bean will not be Key Lime Pie as everyone was expecting but… KitKat. There are no details of just what Android 4.4 will have to offer, or when we can expect to see it, but the new KitKat website promises to "make an amazing Android experience available for everybody".
The name might seem like something you would expect to hear announced on April 1, but this is no joke. The Nestlé website confirms that the next version of Google's operating system will be named after the "popular chocolate and wafer confectionery".
US mobile maker Motorola just announced that AT&T subscribers can now customize and purchase their Moto X handset online, through the company's Moto X "design studio". The program is aimed at just AT&T subscribers (and not Verizon ones, for instance), as the mobile operator is the only partner which allows buyers to create their own interpretation of the new smartphone.
The Moto X configurator lets you choose front, rear and accent colors, the internal storage capacity (16 GB or 32 GB), matching accessories, and link your Google account (you will only have to type in your password during the initial setup process, according to the Moto X design studio). Prices range between $199.99 for the base model, when purchased alongside a two-year plan with AT&T, and $629.99, for the off-contract, still AT&T-branded 32 GB version (various accessories will increase the overall cost).
Jelly Bean continues its dominance streak in the green droid distribution charts, with Android 4.1 alone surpassing the former ruler, Gingerbread, based on the number of devices visiting Google Play during the 14 days ending August 1.
In the latest charts, combined, the first two Jelly Bean iterations, Android 4.1 (34 percent) and Android 4.2 (6.5 percent), reached a 40.5 percent distribution level, which represents a 2.6 percentage points increase (from 37.9 percent) over the previous data set from early-July. By contrast, Gingerbread (versions 2.3 to 2.3.7), accounted for a lesser 33.1 percent share, which is one percent lower compared to the numbers -- 34.1 percent -- released a month ago.
Rest in peace, iPad mini. Google killed you. The question then: Is it murder or manslaughter -- or justified homicide, putting the Apple tablet out of our misery?
Three days using the new Nexus 7, I can't imagine why Apple let Google, and partner ASUS, seize back-to-school buying with the tablet. I don't refer just to the instrument of destruction but the means. The 2013 edition is widely available through major US retailers, including Amazon and Best Buy. By all indications there is inventory to meet demand, not the typical supply shortages, although the 32GB WiFi model is unavailable this weekend from many retailers -- but Google Play is stocked.
Just a day after Google officially announced Android 4.3, Japanese maker Sony revealed, on Thursday, that a number of its upscale Xperia devices will receive a software upgrade to the third Jelly Bean iteration.
Sony did not provide an exact date as to when users can expect the upcoming update, but said that Android 4.3 Jelly Bean will be rolled out to the Xperia Z, Xperia ZL, Xperia ZR, Xperia Tablet Z, Xperia SP and Xperia Z Ultra, and likely other devices judging by the added ellipsis, following the list.
Android users have been patiently waiting for a new version of their favorite mobile operating system for some time. Many were disappointed that a new update was not unveiled at the Google I/O conference. But finally the wait is over as today Google announces Android 4.3, which the company calls "a sweeter version of Jelly Bean". Diabetics need not worry; it will not increase glucose levels, only new features!
Unfortunately, those of you who watched today’s Google Event, will already know that the announcement was slightly lackluster. Many of the new features are developer focused -- actual users don't gain very much to be excited about.
The next-generation Google Nexus 7 surfaced at Best Buy, with complete specifications, price and photos. Interested buyers can pre-order the new tablet, which is available in both 16 GB and 32 GB storage trims, and, presumably, receive it after the search giant officially unveils its latest slate (which should not be too far away).
According to the details revealed by the US retailer, the new Nexus 7 arrives with some pretty impressive hardware under its dark-colored shell, and runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (which, like the slate, has yet to be officially announced by Google). The price? Well, the 16 GB version runs for $229.99, while its 32 GB counterpart goes for $269.99.
Typing is just so passé; swiping is very much where it's at these days. SwiftKey's latest Android beta adds interesting new cloud features that can be tested for free during the beta phase. What’s new? Backup and sync options mean that dictionaries can be synchronized between multiple devices, and upgrading your phone need not result in having to start from scratch.
But perhaps the most interesting feature is the introduction of trending phrases. Whether you're writing in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese or Brazilian Portuguese, SwiftKey analyzes trending topics on the likes of Twitter to help bolster its dictionary and provide better suggestions.
Following rival maker Samsung, HTC continues the smartphone flagship miniaturizing trend by unveiling a smaller iteration of the company's popular One. The new handset, simply called One mini, offers appealing hardware specifications in a package that targets a wider market audience.
The One mini packs a 4.3-inch Super LCD 3 panel with a resolution of 720 by 1280 (341 pixels per inch density). The device is powered by a 1.4 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, backed by an Adreno 305 graphics card, 1 GB of RAM and a non-removable 1,800 mAh battery. The smartphone ships with 16 GB of internal storage and no microSD card slot (therefore, users will be limited to the out-of-the-box capacity).
Jelly Bean is currently the most popular Android distribution, finally surpassing long-time ruler Gingerbread, based on the number of devices visiting Google Play during the 14 days ending July 8.
Jelly Bean (the first and second iteration) accounts for 37.9 percent (32.3 percent and 5.6 percent, respectively) of all Android devices, besting Gingerbread's 34.1 percent distribution level. The latest sweet in the family also outpaced its predecessor, Ice Cream Sandwich, which currently ranks as the third most popular version with 23.3 percent share.
The Galaxy S4 LTE-A is the flagship Samsung should have launched instead of the Galaxy S4. The handset, which was unveiled earlier today, is the least compromising and most powerful entry in the maker's high-end Android lineup.
Samsung touts the Galaxy S4 LTE-A as "the world’s first commercially available LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) smartphone". That's a rather bold claim, considering the pretty vague release date -- "this summer". The South Korean maker does not provide exact numbers, but says that the cellular technology offers "double today's LTE speeds" (which, on the Galaxy S4, are 100 Mbps for download and 50 Mbps for upload).
Following Samsung, LG and other makers, today, Sony officially enters the phablet market with the new Xperia Z Ultra. The handset, which is designed to compete with devices like the Galaxy Note II and Optimus G Pro, packs a whopping 6.44-inch display and runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean.
The Xperia Z Ultra features a TFT "Triluminos" screen with a resolution of 1080 by 1920, which can be used with "any pencil and selected stylus or pen" with a tip diameter larger than one mm. Power comes from a 2.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor backed by 2 GB of RAM and a non-removable 3,000 mAh battery. Like the older Xperia Z, the Xperia Z Ultra complies with the IPX5/8 and IP5X standards for dust and water-proofing.
Modders rejoice! CyanogenMod 10.1 is now available as a final release, nearly two months after the popular custom green droid distribution reached release candidate status. The latest iteration, which is based on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, carries over existing features from previous (monthly and nightly) builds.
"The list of devices will be in line with the devices that have received release candidates to-date", says the team of developers behind the project. CyanogenMod 10.1 builds are available for a significant number of smartphones and tablets, including the Google Galaxy Nexus (in all of its trims), Nexus 7, ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity and Samsung Galaxy S III (US and international variants) among others.
Owning a tablet is a given nowadays; it seems like almost everyone either has one or wants one. However, deciding which tablet to buy is problematic -- how can a consumer choose which tablet operating system is best? Between iOS, Android and Windows 8 you really can’t go wrong -- all three tablet-friendly operating systems are mature and stable. However, Samsung is aiming to make your decision much easier. The electronics giant announces the ATIV Q which combines Android and true Windows 8 (not RT) on the same device. To quote R. Kelly and Jay-Z, "welcome to the best of both worlds".
According to Samsung, it is "addressing consumers' desire to access Android apps on a Windows-based PC, the ATIV Q allows users to experience both Windows 8 and Android (Jelly Bean 4.2.2) on the same device. Users will not only get access to Android apps via Google Play but also be able to transfer files, to share folders and files from Windows 8 to Android, truly marrying the mobile and PC experiences".