Android Distribution Updated for July 2014 – Kit Kat Now at 18%

Google updated its Android distribution numbers this afternoon, showing yet another steady increase to 18% of the Android user base being Kit Kat users. Last month, Kit Kat – the most recent version of Android available to the public – was listed at about 14%, still way behind Jelly Bean with 58%.

This month, not too much has changed, as Jelly Bean still commands the field at 56.5%. While a minor decrease is taking place in Jelly Bean’s numbers, it’s basically at a snail’s pace.  (more…)

Is This the First “L” Android Version Appearance and a New Chrome App UI?

The crew over at reddit found an interesting set of screenshots in an Android related issue over at the Chromium bug tracker. Are you seeing the goodies in the image above? There are a couple of things that should immediately stand out. If not, there are more below.

Note:  Before I could even get this posted, Google removed the issue thread for this bug.

First, is that an “L” in the notification bar showing that the phone is plugged in with USB debugging enabled? If it is, then this would be the first time we are seeing a device running the “L” version of Android, which has not yet been announced by Google. If you’ll remember, Kit Kat devices showed a “K” or a key lime pie for USB debugging up until Android 4.4 was officially announced, which then caused the switch over to the Kit Kat bar icon.  (more…)

Dalvik Virtual Machine to be Replaced By ART in Next Version of Android

It’s (almost) official: Google will eschew the Dalvik virtual machine for ART in the next release of Android. Commits in the AOSP master branch point to the removal of Dalvik entirely.

What does that mean, exactly? Dalvik was a useful stop-gap for Google in the early days of Android, when the team had to formulate a solution for running apps on a myriad of hardware. The virtual machine essentially acted as a translator of sorts, interpreting code to run on different architectures. (more…)

DROID MAXX, ULTRA, and Mini Updates Another 3-5 Weeks Out Now That 4.4.4 is Available

Shortly after Google released Android 4.4.3 to the world, Motorola updated the Moto X through various carriers to the new build quicker than Google could to some of its own Nexus devices. The same couldn’t be said for the DROID line, though, which includes the MAXX, ULTRA, and Mini. Thankfully, Motorola’s David Schuster gave us an update on the situation, stating that all of those devices would be upgraded to Android 4.4.3 shortly, bypassing the 4.4.2 update they had yet to receive.

And then Google released Android 4.4.4 yesterday with an important security fix.  (more…)

Download: Android 4.4.4 KTU84P OTA Update for Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, and Nexus 4

Google surprised us yesterday with an update to Android 4.4.4 for almost all current Nexus devices, including the Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (2013) WiFi, Nexus 4, Nexus 10, and both Nexus 7 (2012) models. The update is a security fix, so don’t expect it to change the game or the way you use your phone. We didn’t get a new dialer app, that’s for sure. But hey, updates are updates.

So as has become customary around these parts whenever a new update arrives for Nexus devices, we have created a 1-stop shop to get you updated. Since the over-the-air (OTA) process takes time to hit all devices, we go ahead and list all of the links as they come in, so that you can update as early as possible. All you have do is download the correct .zip for your specific Nexus device and then flash the file with a quick adb command to get officially updated.

Below, the list has already begun for Android 4.4.4 files. (more…)