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Google reportedly planning stable of Nexus devices with Android 5.0, will sell ’em direct

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Hand firmly grasping hat? Good. The Wall Street Journal is reporting on quite the bombshell today, noting that Google is about to cause its carrier partners in the States all sorts of grief -- indirectly, of course. Just weeks after placing its heralded Galaxy Nexus on sale for $399 unlocked, the report states that said move is only the beginning of a new initiative. Likely to be formally revealed at Google I/O, the mega-corp is planning to partner with a variety of OEMs (rather than just one at a time) in order to have up to five Pure Google (read: Nexus) devices available at once. Better still, the whole stable will ship with Android 5.0 (Jelly Bean) and will be sold directly from Google in unlocked form to consumers in America, Europe and Asia.

The move is significant in a myriad ways. For one, more unlocked Nexus devices means more choice when it comes to carrier selection. Furthermore, the move is likely to quell fears that certain partners may have about Google making Motorola Mobility its favorite after a $12 billion acquisition. Not surprisingly, Google's not commenting on the matter, but sources "close" to the situation say that the company's hoping to have the 5.0 cadre on sale by Thanksgiving -- you know, just in time for Black Friday and the looming holiday shopping season. We're all guessing that this will address the growing "app situation" head-on; by making a push to eliminate carrier-infused bloatware (while also providing early Android OS access to more partners), we're hoping that the whole "skinning" dilemma is addressed, too.

Google reportedly planning stable of Nexus devices with Android 5.0, will sell 'em direct originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 15 May 2012 17:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceThe Wall Street Journal  | Email this | Comments

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Darren Murph

May 15th

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Android fragmentation rears its ugly head once again

Google updated its Android version tracker on Monday, revealing that the latest version of its mobile operating system — Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich — has more than doubled its installed base over the past month. Unfortunately, that only carries Google’s current Android build to a 2.9% share of all devices. Combined with Honeycomb, this means that as of March 2nd, just 6.2% of Android devices are now running a modern version of Android. Meanwhile, the bulk of Android devices run the 15-month-old Gingerbread operating system (63.7%) and the second most popular version of the platform is the 23-month-old Froyo OS (23.1%). First unveiled in October 2009 and currently at 6%, Android 2.1 Eclair is still found on nearly as many devices as Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich combined. Read on for more.

Whether or not fragmentation is a serious issue in the Android ecosystem remains a topic of debate. While many industry watchers continue to argue over how much fragmentation impacts developers, the direct impact on end users is clear. Despite being unveiled more than five months ago, just 2.9% of Android devices currently offer the numerous enhancements and new features introduced with Ice Cream Sandwich, such as improved speed and performance, a redesigned user interface, a simplified application switcher, hardware acceleration, Android Beam and much more.

To compound matters, Google may unveil its next major Android build some time this summer or in the third quarter, just as Ice Cream Sandwich finally begins to proliferate. Vendors are currently working feverishly to prepare Android 4.0 updates for their recent smartphones, and a new crop of flagship devices from HTC and Samsung is about to hit the market. While these new Ice Cream Sandwich-powered smartphones gain momentum, a new version of Android will hit the market with exciting new features.

If history repeats itself, owners of the HTC One X, the HTC One S and the Samsung Galaxy S III likely won’t be able to enjoy the new features introduced alongside Android 5.0 Jelly Bean until some time in the first or second quarter of 2013.

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Zach Epstein

April 3rd

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Gingerbread found on majority of Android devices; ICS penetration approaches 1%

Google on Wednesday released the latest numbers for the software versions that are powering Android smartphones and tablets. Ice Cream Sandwich appears on the list for the first time, with Android 4.0 through Android 4.0.3 now found on a combined 0.6% of devices. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus S is in the process of receiving Android 4.0.3, sort of, while the Galaxy Nexus already has 4.0.2. Google’s tablet-centric Honeycomb operating system is found on just 3.3% of Android devices and Gingerbread currently installed on 55.5% of devices — a clear majority. Froyo (Android 2.2) and Eclair (Android 2.1) have dropped to 30.4% and 8.5% respectively, with Donut (Android 1.6) and Cupcake (Android 1.5) hitting lows of 1.1% and 0.6%. Google collected its latest Android version data during the 14-day period that ended January 3rd.

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Dan Graziano

January 4th

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Google’s Andy Rubin defines ‘Android activation,’ trumpets 700,000 per day clip

Looking for growth? You've found it. If you'll recall, Google's own Senior Vice President of Mobile Andy Rubin confirmed that over 500,000 Android devices were being activated back in June, and during last month's Galaxy Nexus reveal, we learned that said figure had increased to 550,000 per day. In just over a month, the tally has now climbed to 700,000 per 24 hour period. That's according to a post by Andy himself on Google+, which he followed with this:

"For those wondering, we count each device only once (i.e., we don't count re-sold devices), and "activations" means you go into a store, buy a device [and] put it on the network by subscribing to a wireless service."

In other words, there are many, many more Android devices being ushered into use every single day that don't connect to any monitored wireless service, but naturally, keeping track of those is something even Google isn't about to attempt. Any guesses as to what this figure jumps to after the holiday season concludes?

Google's Andy Rubin defines 'Android activation,' trumpets 700,000 per day clip originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 20 Dec 2011 23:37:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceAndy Rubin (Google+)  | Email this | Comments

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Darren Murph

December 21st

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