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.
Long-suffering AT&T (T) subscribers who have been waiting for months on end to get their Samsung (005930) Galaxy S IIIs upgraded can now rejoice. Engadget reports that Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean is now available for download to AT&T Galaxy S III owners through Kies, Samsung’s content sync and software update service. Users might want to make sure they have plenty of storage space on their phones before downloading, however, because Engadget says early reports show the update will be a fairly hefty 738MB. Sprint (S) became the first American carrier to offer Jelly Bean to the Galaxy S III this past October, while rival Verizon (VZ) still hasn’t announced plans to bring Jelly Bean to Samsung’s flagship smartphone.
The latest version of Google’s (GOOG) operating system brought a variety of goodies to Android users, however it also included a number of bugs and glitches. One such problem was in the People app, which removed December and only displayed 11 months in a year. Google is now reportedly pushing Android 4.2.1 to Nexus-branded devices. The small update is said to fix the December bug and it also addresses Bluetooth connectivity issues, although it is unclear if it fixes problems concerning poor battery life and random reboots. AndroidCentral reports that the update does not disable the tweak that allows the Nexus 4 to operate on LTE networks.
In September, Motorola announced it would issue a $100 rebate to any 2011 device that wouldn’t get upgraded to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and on Wednesday, it made good on its promise with the full roster of smartphones that qualify. Anyone with an Admiral, Atrix 4G, Atrix 2, Cliq2, Droid X2, Droid 3, Electrify, Photon 4G, XPRT, Titanium and Triumph can hit up Motorola’s Trade Up website and claim $100 to put towards a device that can run Jelly Bean after you send your old device back to the carrier. As AndroidPolice notes, you’re essentially trading in your old phone and getting a $100 gift card after you buy the new device in full. Each carrier has its own set of procedures on how to claim a qualifying rebate, so don’t hesitate to read the fine print if you’re planning to take advantage of the offer.
Waiting for the latest Android update is usually a hit or a miss if you don’t have the latest high-end smartphone. HTC (2498) says it’s prioritizing One X and One S devices to get Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Once the update gets pushed out for those devices, the company will work on getting Jelly Bean running on devices that it launched in 2012. As far as 2011 devices, HTC says it’ll see if it’s doable after the evaluation for all the 2012 devices wraps up. Anyone with a One V or Desire C are out of luck, as HTC says it won’t be updating any devices with 512MB of RAM. Lastly, as DroidLife notes, it’s not clear if the Thunderbolt and its 768MB of RAM qualifies for Jelly Bean or not, but seeing as it still hasn’t received its promised Ice Cream Sandwich update, Jelly Bean isn’t looking too likely.
Motorola’s Droid RAZR M, one of the best new smartphones you can buy for under $100, is getting its promised upgrade to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Verizon (VZ) on Friday announced that it has started rolling out Jelly Bean to the RAZR M through an over-the-air update. The carrier said that it was pushing Jelly Bean out “in phases” so it’s not clear yet which regions will get the upgrade first. Jelly Bean brings several key features to the Android operating system, including Project Butter, which improves the system frame rate to make it consistent at 60 frames per second, and Google Now, which uses search history and location history to figure out what information users might need at what times, such as being able to tell users how long their typical commutes will be given current traffic conditions.
It has been five years since Android exploded onto the scene and since then the world’s most popular mobile operating system has seen a variety of enhancements. The first iteration of Android was lackluster to say the least, although each software update has delivered much-needed improvements. Google (GOOG) completely revamped its mobile platform with the release of Ice Cream Sandwich, the operating system that finally integrated smartphones and tablets. Following the release of Android 4.0, the Internet giant added increased security features to its then Android Market, now known as the Play Store. The “Bouncer” feature worked by analyzing apps that were uploaded to the Play Store, although users who chose to install apps through sideloading were left unprotected. With the introduction of Android 4.2, Google has finally brought a new high-powered security feature to the Android platform. More →
Google (GOOG) released Android 2.3 Gingerbread in December 2010 and since then it has launched three major updates for the Android platform. And yet, the two-year old operating system continues to dominate Android devices as Google’s latest distribution numbers show that the software is still found on more than 54% of all Android devices. The numbers also show that Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich increased more than two percentage points from the previous month to total a 25.8% share, and that Jelly Bean’s share grew more than a percentage point to roughly 3% of all devices. Fragmentation is still a major issue for Android and Google’s latest numbers show that no matter how hard it has pushed for carriers and manufacturers to update their devices, most smartphones and tablets continue to run an old and less secure version of Android.
The greatest Kickstarter project ever launched is about to get even better. The team behind the $99 Ouya game console is showing once again how their ability to quickly implement changes may send a shockwave throughout the gaming world next March. Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman announced a few major milestones for the little console, such as the that it will now ship with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean instead of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Uhrman also revealed that its CAD models are finished and they’ve received their first wave of Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) and that the Ouya is now officially in the Engineering Verification Testing (EVT) phase. More →
Good news for everyone who recently bought an LG (06657011) Android smartphone: You won’t have to wait very long for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. LG on Monday released a rough timeline for when its recent Android devices will get updated to Jelly Bean, with the first upgrade slated to launch next month. The LG Optimus LTE II is set to get Jelly Bean in November, followed by the LG Optimus G in December. LG’s two Optimus Vu “phablets” are set to receive their own Jelly Bean upgrades in the first quarter of 2013. More →
How many times have we heard that Samsung’s (005930) popular Galaxy S III smartphone would be getting upgraded to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean any day now? Well, a lot of times. But now Android Guys has spotted some notifications on Samsung’s official support pages showing that Galaxy S III users on Sprint (S), AT&T (T), Verizon (VZ), T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular are all slated to get an upgrade to Jelly Bean that is “coming soon.” Whether “soon” means this week or the end of the month is impossible to tell, but American Galaxy S III owners can take solace that their long wait for Jelly Bean is nearly over. Probably. More →
ASUS (2357) has finally made good on its promise to update its Transformer Prime tablet to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The only downside, however, is that Jelly Bean needs to be side-loaded into the Transformer Prime. To update the Transformer Prime to Jelly Bean, users can visit ASUS’s download website and search for “TF201″ and select “Eee Pad Transformer Prime TF201.” On the “Download” tab, change the OS in the drop-down menu to “Android.” Select “Firmware”and download “Version V10.1.2.15″ to get Jelly Bean rolling. Jelly Bean is also rolling out to ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity tablets as well. To update, search for “TF700T” instead of “TF201.” Both ASUS tablets should run significantly faster thanks to Jelly Bean’s “Project Butter” speed enhancements. More →
The latest Android numbers from Google (GOOG) highlight continued growth for Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean. As of October 1st, Ice Cream Sandwich is now found on 23.7% of all Android devices, an increase from 20.8% last month, while Jelly Bean has increased slightly to 1.8%. Despite the recent growth, the nearly two-year old Gingerbread operating system is still powering a majority of Android devices. More →