Android Distribution Updated for August 2014 – Kit Kat Jumps to 20%

Google updated its Android distribution numbers this afternoon, showing a jump for Kit Kat from 17.9% in July to over 20% (20.9%) in August. While Kit Kat has climbed, the numbers show devices running Jelly Bean (54.2%) and Ice Cream Sandwich (10.6%) on the decline. Those running Gingerbread and Froyo haven’t moved much. Actually Android 2.3 saw a slight jump to 13.6% from 13.5%, which is odd.

You can see last month’s numbers here(more…)

OnePlus One Receiving Update to Android 4.4.4 Starting Today

The lucky few who have been able to snatch a OnePlus One will be happy to hear that an update to Android 4.4.4 is scheduled to roll out within hours.

The list of changes in firmware 30O is rather long, but it includes a new camera feature which was announced this morning. Clear Image uses the same principles of HDR to stitch together 10 individual photos, while improving clarity and reducing a photo’s noise. The OnePlus One team says that unlike other image-stitching solutions, Clear Image uses intelligent compression to minimize file size while maximizing quality. (more…)

Verizon LG G Pad 8.3 Now Receiving Android 4.4.2, Here is the Full Changelog

Verizon’s LG G Pad 8.3 LTE model is joining the Galaxy S5 in today’s update party. This update is quite significant though, unlike the bug fixer that was issued to the GS5. The G Pad 8.3 LTE on Big Red is receiving a big jump to Android 4.4.2 from Android 4.2.2. That’s right, Kit Kat is finally here.

The update brings Kit Kat goodies like new white icons in the notification area, immersive mode for viewing images and reading books, cloud print services, multi-user login, and more. In terms of other features, the update includes LG’s Knock Code lock screen security enhancement.  (more…)

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…)