Tags Honeycomb

Nexus 10 is no iPad-killer, says strategy analyst

nexus10Strategy analyst Benedict Evans (via Daring Fireball) has done some admittedly rough-and-ready number-crunching on Nexus sales based on Google development data to come up with a figure of just 680,000 Nexus 10 tablets in use.

Given that Apple sold 36.9m iPads sold in the second half of 2012 alone, we’re guessing they’re not too concerned about the competition. Even the Microsoft Surface tablet is believed to have beaten the Nexus 10 numbers, with a rumored 1.5m sales.


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Ben Lovejoy

April 18th

Apple

Mac

Mobile

Sprint And Motorola Party Like It’s 2010: Motorola XPRT Finally Gets A Taste Of Gingerbread

Image (1) gingerbread-android-300x300.jpg for post 47047

Now that Motorola is owned by Google, you may think that past and present Motorola devices should get the latest and best version of Android. Even though the Motorola XPRT is a niche device, Google and Motorola should take pride in their older models and foster customer satisfaction. With Sprint quietly announcing on its forum that the Motorola XPRT will be updated to Android Gingerbread (2.3), it shows once again that the update rollout process for Android is broken — Android 2.3 was released two years ago.

In the current Android model, updated versions have to go through a long and painful process. First, manufacturers make sure that everything works as expected with their devices. Most of the time they need to update their custom user interfaces, such as TouchWiz for Samsung or Sense for HTC. Then carriers test and certify the update, and can choose to roll out the new version over the air.

Those companies sell services, not devices, and they often don’t understand the benefits of updating a device. Their cell towers handle the release over 3G/LTE. They may want to limit those updates as well so that users will be enticed to buy a new device and sign a new contract.

Even though the Motorola XPRT does not have a big installed base, it was released recently, in May 2011. When it comes to supporting existing devices, some manufacturers and carriers have been better than others. For example, the Motorola XPRT is in fact a renamed version of the Droid Pro that was released on Verizon — the brand name Droid is a trademark of Lucasfilm licensed to Verizon Wireless and it can’t be used by other carriers.

Verizon updated the phone to Gingerbread in May 2011, a few months after the operating system was released. Sprint shipped the device at the same period with an old version of Android and seemed stuck with it. With today’s news, Motorola XPRT users will be glad to hear that they have not been totally left behind.

Gingerbread is still the dominant Andoid OS, which causes many problems for developers because they can’t take advantage of newer sets of API. Even Google’s latest smartphones, such as the Motorola Droid Razr M, come with Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) months after the release of Jelly Bean (4.1).

Comparatively, it took nine days to get iOS 6 installed on 60 percent of iPhones. If it takes a year and a half for Sprint to release a new version of Android after they roll out an update, Motorola XPRT users can expect to receive Ice Cream Sandwich in 2014 and Jelly Bean in 2015. Google needs to find a better way to release Android updates.


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Romain Dillet

September 28th

Gadgets

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

nexus one

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

Uncategorized

How To Use Android [How To]

Android is awesome and powerful, but it has, shall we say, a learning curve. That scares some people away. After all, iOS is so intuitive that babies can use it. Literally. But you're not a baby. More »


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brent rose

May 11th

Uncategorized

Google had hoped partners would sell 10 million Android tablets in 2011

Even before the release of the first Android tablet and the Honeycomb operating system, Google predicted its partners would sell more than 10 million tablets a year beginning in 2011 and capture up to one-third of the market by 2012, The Verge reported. The information comes from Google’s testimony in an ongoing trial with Oracle. Android Senior Vice President Andy Rubin made the prediction based on tablet market data from Morgan Stanley, which estimated a total of 46 million tablets would be sold by 2012. The Mountain View-based company’s expectations have fallen short, however, and Apple has dominated the tablet market with more than 67 million iPads sold thus far. The Internet giant also expected Android tablets to generate up to $110 million in search revenue in 2011 and $220 million in 2012.

Read

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Dan Graziano

April 25th

Uncategorized

Is the iPhone fragmented? iOS adoption measured against Android

The iPhone’s unprecedented success stems from the combination of multiple factors, not the least of which are Apple’s industry-leading design prowess and its ability to make software that appeals to enthusiasts and mass-market users alike. The culture and hype surrounding Apple products doesn’t hurt either, of course. Where the overall experience is concerned, Apple wisely created a scenario that gives it control of both hardware and software, removing carriers from the equation to an extent and ensuring the end user enjoys the experience Apple envisions without any substantial impediments. Despite this ideal scenario, some industry watchers maintain that fragmentation is unavoidable to some degree, and this issue exists in the iOS ecosystem just as it does with Android.

In the case of Google’s mobile operating system, a number of factors cause fragmentation. For one thing, Android is open source and key partners such as Samsung, HTC and LG modify the OS in a number of ways. While proprietary OS enhancements do not necessarily have a direct impact where fragmentation is concerned, they do slow the development process at the vendor level, thus increasing the amount of time users must wait to receive updates.

Industrial and graphic designer Chris Sauve recently published an in-depth analysis of Android fragmentation, and he determined that while Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was unveiled in late 2011 and Android 5.0 Jelly Bean is coming later this year, 2012 is actually the year of Gingerbread, which was unveiled 15 months ago in late 2010.

Conversations surrounding whether or not iOS is fragmented date back several years and persist to this day, and Sauve revisited the issue of fragmentation in March. This time, however, he looked at the issue as it may or may not apply to Apple’s mobile platform.

Using data points obtained from 50 different mobile software developers, Sauve analyzed iOS version adoption over the past 21 months since iOS 3.0 was introduced.

He also looked at iOS adoption relative to each version’s launch to see how quickly each build was adopted by end users.

Finally, this data was plotted against Sauve’s earlier Android adoption data.

Complaints of fragmentation in Apple’s mobile ecosystem were most prominent in early- and mid-2010, and iOS 3.0′s adoption rate shows us why. Since then, however, the adoption rate of Apple’s major new OS builds has been remarkable.

“iOS 5 captured approximately 75% of all iOS users in the same amount of time it took Gingerbread to get 4% of all Android users,” Sauve wrote in his analysis on pxldot. “Even more astounding is that 15 weeks after launch iOS 4 was at 70% and iOS 5 was at 60% while Ice Cream Sandwich got to just 1% share at the same age. If there were any question as to whether iOS had a less fragmented ecosystem than Android, the past two charts provide a fairly definitive answer.”

Sauve continued, “iOS devices have, on average, reached 10% version share 300 times faster than Android versions, 30% share 19 times faster, and 50% share 7 times faster.”

The adoption rate of future major iOS builds will likely be even more impressive thanks to the introduction of an over-the-air update mechanism Apple added in iOS 5. With iCloud backing up data, on-device notifications when updates become available, and the requirement of connecting to a PC to update no longer a factor, the major barriers standing between mass-market users and software updates have been eliminated.

This ensures that users have access to the most current iOS features as quickly as possible, and it also means developers don’t need to worry about old iOS versions as much while they shift focus to new builds.

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Zach Epstein

April 5th

Apple

Gmail app update brings ICS experience to Honeycomb tablets, performance tweaks elsewhere

gmail app android
Fiddling with updates this evening? If so, you may notice your Gmail app begging for a refresh, as Google has revised its famed email program to bring the Ice Cream Sandwich experience to Android 3.2 (Honeycomb) users. Specifically, it'll allow you to swipe to move between newer and older conversations, tap to access Recent labels, set custom notifications for individual labels and sync the last 30 days of messages so you can read and search messages faster both online and offline. As for Android 2.2 and 2.3 users, they'll see a new labels API for third-party app developers as well as nondescript "performance improvements." If you needed any help, the download link is waiting there in the source.

Gmail app update brings ICS experience to Honeycomb tablets, performance tweaks elsewhere originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 04 Apr 2012 15:31:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Android Police  |  sourceGoogle Play  | Email this | Comments

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Darren Murph

April 4th

Uncategorized

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

Uncategorized

Android fragmentation gets measured; 2012 is the year of Gingerbread

Fragmentation is a recurring issue that haunts the Android ecosystem in many ways. While Google’s latest version of the Android platform was intended in large part to address the issue — which many believe to have peaked when the software giant launched Android 3.0 Honeycomb and maintained two entirely separate versions of Android for smartphones and tablets — Ice Cream Sandwich has not yet done its job. Four-and-a-half months since its debut, only 1% of Android devices currently run the unified Android 4.0 operating system according to Google’s own data. To compound matters, a recent report suggested Google may launch Android 5.0 Jelly Bean as soon as this summer. There is no question that fragmentation is a real issue for the Android platform, but is it really as big a deal as some make it out to be?

Fragmentation is an issue on two fronts. On one hand, developers have problems with Android fragmentation because it forces them to create and maintain different versions of the same application to work across various Android releases. This issue has theoretically been addressed by Ice Cream Sandwich, and developers will be able to build one app that works on both smartphones and tablets moving forward. Today, however, the problem remains. In fact, vendors are still launching new smartphones running Gingerbread at this year’s Mobile World Congress trade show.

One the second front, fragmentation is an issue that directly affects users. As we have seen time and time again, updating smartphones to new Android releases is a tall task that often takes vendors many months of hard work. In the meantime, users are left waiting for the great new features, security fixes and other enhancements Google introduces with each new release.

While we have established that the problem is real, the question of its severity remains a topic that is debated quite often. In an effort to make sense of the noise, industrial and graphic designer Chris Sauve compiled data from a number of sources and created a formula by which Android fragmentation can be measured.

The above graph, which Sauve included in a post on his pxldot blog earlier this week, displays Android version distribution between December 2009 and February 2012. This graph showcases the issue quite clearly — despite two new versions having been released since Android 2.3 was first introduced, Gingerbread’s installed base is currently at an all-time high.

The more interesting graph, however, might be this one:

Simply looking at Android installed base figures over time is not an accurate way to measure how “bad” fragmentation is, Sauve argued. Instead, a model that measures the distribution of one Android version against others is needed. Sauve did this using two key factors.

“The more handsets on the most recent version, and the less divided the remaining installed base (aside from those on the most recent version), the better,” Sauve wrote on pixldot. “Using these two factors I built a formula that provides us with a value of how ‘bad’ Android fragmentation is; it can theoretically go from 0–12.5, with higher numbers indicating ‘worse’ fragmentation.”

As can be seen in the graph above, Android fragmentation is not necessarily a problem that has grown worse over time as many have claimed. Using Sauve’s model, it actually appears to be a cyclical issue that was at its lowest level ever just two months ago in December, after Ice Cream Sandwich had been released.

Sauve goes on to take a deeper look at the issue of Android fragmentation, and he reaches some interesting conclusions. Among them an observation that may come as a surprise: despite the recent release of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and the upcoming launch of Android 5.0 Jelly Bean, Sauve believes 2012 will be “the year of Gingerbread” in terms of version distribution. ”Gingerbread appears to be on the verge of peaking as a percentage of the total devices in use, but it took Froyo over 6 months after reaching the peak of its relative distribution to be overtaken,” he noted. “Gingerbread is still adding devices 14 times faster than ICS.”

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Zach Epstein

February 29th

Uncategorized

Android fragmentation gets measured; 2012 is the year of Gingerbread

Fragmentation is a recurring issue that haunts the Android ecosystem in many ways. While Google’s latest version of the Android platform was intended in large part to address the issue — which many believe to have peaked when the software giant launched Android 3.0 Honeycomb and maintained two entirely separate versions of Android for smartphones and tablets — Ice Cream Sandwich has not yet done its job. Four-and-a-half months since its debut, only 1% of Android devices currently run the unified Android 4.0 operating system according to Google’s own data. To compound matters, a recent report suggested Google may launch Android 5.0 Jelly Bean as soon as this summer. There is no question that fragmentation is a real issue for the Android platform, but is it really as big a deal as some make it out to be?

Fragmentation is an issue on two fronts. On one hand, developers have problems with Android fragmentation because it forces them to create and maintain different versions of the same application to work across various Android releases. This issue has theoretically been addressed by Ice Cream Sandwich, and developers will be able to build one app that works on both smartphones and tablets moving forward. Today, however, the problem remains. In fact, vendors are still launching new smartphones running Gingerbread at this year’s Mobile World Congress trade show.

One the second front, fragmentation is an issue that directly affects users. As we have seen time and time again, updating smartphones to new Android releases is a tall task that often takes vendors many months of hard work. In the meantime, users are left waiting for the great new features, security fixes and other enhancements Google introduces with each new release.

While we have established that the problem is real, the question of its severity remains a topic that is debated quite often. In an effort to make sense of the noise, industrial and graphic designer Chris Sauve compiled data from a number of sources and created a formula by which Android fragmentation can be measured.

The above graph, which Sauve included in a post on his pxldot blog earlier this week, displays Android version distribution between December 2009 and February 2012. This graph showcases the issue quite clearly — despite two new versions having been released since Android 2.3 was first introduced, Gingerbread’s installed base is currently at an all-time high.

The more interesting graph, however, might be this one:

Simply looking at Android installed base figures over time is not an accurate way to measure how “bad” fragmentation is, Sauve argued. Instead, a model that measures the distribution of one Android version against others is needed. Sauve did this using two key factors.

“The more handsets on the most recent version, and the less divided the remaining installed base (aside from those on the most recent version), the better,” Sauve wrote on pixldot. “Using these two factors I built a formula that provides us with a value of how ‘bad’ Android fragmentation is; it can theoretically go from 0–12.5, with higher numbers indicating ‘worse’ fragmentation.”

As can be seen in the graph above, Android fragmentation is not necessarily a problem that has grown worse over time as many have claimed. Using Sauve’s model, it actually appears to be a cyclical issue that was at its lowest level ever just two months ago in December, after Ice Cream Sandwich had been released.

Sauve goes on to take a deeper look at the issue of Android fragmentation, and he reaches some interesting conclusions. Among them an observation that may come as a surprise: despite the recent release of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and the upcoming launch of Android 5.0 Jelly Bean, Sauve believes 2012 will be “the year of Gingerbread” in terms of version distribution. ”Gingerbread appears to be on the verge of peaking as a percentage of the total devices in use, but it took Froyo over 6 months after reaching the peak of its relative distribution to be overtaken,” he noted. “Gingerbread is still adding devices 14 times faster than ICS.”

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Zach Epstein

February 29th

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