Slowly but surely, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is inching its way toward overtaking the two-and-a-half year old Gingerbread as the dominant platform version of Android. The latest numbers from the Android Developers website show that Jelly Bean now holds a 28.4% share of the Android device market, marking the first time it has had a larger share than Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which now has a sits at 27.5%. All that said, Jelly Bean still has a ways to go before it catches up with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the operating system that was released all the way back in December 2010, which still clings to a 38.5% share of the Android market. In other words, it looks like Gingerbread will still be the most widely used version of Android as Google announces yet another new version of the platform, Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, which may be coming at Google I/O later this month.
The latest version of Android, known as Jelly Bean, is now found on a quarter of all Android devices… sort of. In the first week of every month, Google (GOOG) publishes Android version distribution numbers that break down the market share of each individual software version. The numbers were traditionally based off devices that “checked-in” with Google’s servers, however the company has decided to update its calculation methods to better reflect active Android and Google Play users. The numbers are now based on devices that download apps or at least update apps from the Play store each month. More →
Motorola on Thursday began rolling out an update for the DROID RAZR and DROID RAZR MAXX that brings both devices up to Android 4.1.2. Along with standard Jelly Bean features such as Google Now and Project Butter, the company has also begun to remove some of the traditional Motoblur apps and replace them with stock Android ones. In what is most certainly Google’s (GOOG) doing, the move marks the beginning of the end for Motorola’s user interface. The company has removed the Social Location app, MotoCast, MotoActv, MotoPrint, Alarm and Timer, My Gallery, My Music and Verizon Video on Demand apps from both devices. The Gallery, Music and Alarm and Timer apps have all be replaced with stock Android alternatives, while the default Web browser has been changed to Chrome.
It’s the first week of the month and you know what that means: The latest Android distribution numbers are in. The most recent version of Google’s (GOOG) operating system, known as Jelly Bean, has continued to grow in the early part of this year and now accounts for 16.5% of the Android market, an increase of nearly 3 percentage points in the last month. Interestingly enough, devices running Ice Cream Sandwich actually decreased slightly from 29% in February to 28.6% in March. Manufacturers have finally begun to release devices with Jelly Bean and continue to update older devices to the latest version of Android. Google still has a major problem on its hands, however: More than half of all Android devices continue to run versions of the operating system that are more than two years old. While the numbers are decreasing, 44.2% of devices still run Gingerbread and 7.6% are still powered by Froyo.
Google (GOOG) published the latest Android distribution numbers on Tuesday and the results display Android‘s number one problem — fragmentation. The latest version of Google’s operating system, known as Jelly Bean, is still only found on 13.6% of all devices, a slight increase from 10.2% last month. The adoption rate of Ice Cream Sandwich remained flat at 29%, however, and nearly half of all Android devices are still powered by Gingerbread. The two-year-old operating system’s share of the market only dropped 1.2 percentage points from 46.6% to 45.4%. Fragmentation remains a major issue for Android and Google, and the latest numbers show that the company must continue to work with carriers and manufacturers to ensure older devices are being updated to newer and more secure versions of the operating system.
One of the unique features of the BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry 10 operating system is the ability to run Android apps. This is achieved through the company’s “Runtime for Android apps” program, however it isn’t perfect. For one, the runtime environment is based on the two-year old Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system and not a recent version, but BlackBerry (BBRY) on Monday announced that it plans to eventually update the Android runtime environment to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, CrackBerry reported. This will allow Android developers to port their Android 4.0+ apps to the BlackBerry 10 platform, however the company didn’t give a specific time frame as to when the update will be complete.
Owners of the Galaxy Note 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 2 will be happy to learn that Samsung (005930) has begun to update their tablets to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The company announced its plans earlier this week, revealing that the Note’s update includes “dramatic improvements to the multitasking and S Pen features,” while the Tab 2 will bring the company’s Premium Suite of features and productivity apps to the device. The addition of Jelly Bean will also give the tablets access to Google Now, Google’s (GOOG) personal assistant feature, and improved performance with Project Butter. The update is available now for Wi-Fi models of the Galaxy Note 10.1, Galaxy Tab 7 and Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Polaroid isn’t typically a name that comes to mind when people think of Android. While the company has released a few Android-powered cameras, it has never fully embrace the operating system. Times are changing, however, and the iconic company is doing its best to survive in a new world. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada this week, Polaroid announced two new Android tablets that look to compete with Google’s (GOOG) Nexus devices. More →
Acer on Monday unveiled the latest addition to its Android-powered tablet lineup, an entry-level device with a sleek design and affordable pricing. The Iconia B1 tablet features a 7-inch WSVGA (1,024 x 600) display, a 1.2GHz dual-core MediaTek processor, 8GB of internal storage, 512MB of RAM, a microSD expansion slot and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. While the device’s specs don’t look like much compared to more modern slates, the $150 price tag makes this tablet a contender. Launch timing has not yet been revealed, but Acer’s full press release follows below. More →
It’s taken a while, but it looks as though Android 2.3 Gingerbread’s days as the dominant version of Android are numbered. The latest numbers from Google’s (GOOG) Android Developers page show that Gingerbread’s share of all Android devices has finally dropped below the 50% threshold as Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and Android 4.1/4.2 Jelly Bean have at last started to catch on. According to Google, 29% of Android devices use Ice Cream Sandwich while 10% use some variation of Jelly Bean. Even so, the fact that Gingerbread is still the most widely used version of Android more than two years after its debut shows that fragmentation is still a significant issue for the world’s most popular mobile operating system.
The Galaxy S III isn’t the only device getting new software features. Samsung (005930) confirmed on its website that the original Galaxy Note will be updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which should mean it’ll run faster thanks to UI enhancements from “Project Butter.” Samsung-specific features including multi-window view for true multitasking, pop-up apps, photo frame mode, enhanced S Note and Google Now will also be available in the “Premium Suite” update. Essentially, the Galaxy Note will gain many of the features already available in the Galaxy Note II. The company didn’t provide any firm details on when the update will be released, but it should be any day now.
Sony (SNE) on Monday announced that a number of its Xperia smartphones will be upgraded to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean within the coming months. The company confirmed that the Xperia T, Xperia TX and Xperia V will see an update in February of 2013, while the Xperia P, Xperia J and Xperia Go will be updated by the end of March. These devices will be followed in “the subsequent weeks” by the Xperia S, Xperia SL, Xperia Ion and Xperia Acro S. Sony also revealed that it has decided not to update the Xperia U, Xperia Miro, Xperia Tipo and Xperia Sola beyond Ice Cream Sandwich. The company did note, however, that it is “particularly excited” about the “features and functionality” in its update, although no specific details were given.
Have an old Kindle Fire lying around? Don’t trade it in just yet because with a little bit of tinkering, you can turn it into what amounts to a Google (GOOG) Nexus 7. XDA-Developers user “Hashcode” has written up instructions on how to install Android 4.2.1 on an original Kindle Fire with almost every feature intact. If you can live without the microphone (sound still works), deep sleep mode, Swype keyboard, multi-user profiles and USB camera support, then you’re good to go. All of the major tablet features including hardware-accelerated HD video for YouTube and Netflix (NFLX) work smoothly, and Liliputing’s hands-on video suggests the transformation works really well for browsing and games. The only downside is the battery life is not very good. True, you won’t get the Nexus 7′s higher-resolution display or sleeker design either, but it’s still a handy way to repurpose an old tablet. More →