The Tech News Blog

January 12, 2014

60 Percent of Android Devices Now Running Jelly Bean

Android 4.4 KitKat Revealed: What

Get ready, get excited, it's ... time for the monthly Android distribution numbers.

As you're no doubt aware by now, Google releases monthly statistics related to the fragmentation of its Android operating system, and these provide a helpful look at just how the various iterations of the OS are coming and going in the present-day Android ecosystem.

It should come as little surprise that Google's Jelly Bean iteration of the OS (versions 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3) is currently enjoying the greatest distribution on measured Android devices. As for what defines a measured Android device, Google's version-tracking dashboard takes into account the operating system of all Android devices that visited the Google Play store for the seven-day period ending Jan. 8.

Obviously, that only works for devices running Android 2.2 or greater — the latest iteration of the Google Play Store app, which Google uses to track Android OS counts, doesn't work on anything older than Android 2.2.

Google's latest version of Android, KitKat, currently only finds a home on approximately 1.4 percent of all Android devices Google's measured. That's just a smidge up from last month's 1.1 percent. With KitKat basically running on only Nexus or Motorola phones at this point, it's clear that manufacturers have yet to unleash the Android 4.4 floodgates.

October 3, 2013

Jelly Bean on Nearly Half of All Android Devices

Android KitKat

Nearly half of all Android devices are now running some version of Jelly Bean, according to stats released by Google this week.

The current version of Android, Jelly Bean, is available on 48.6 percent of Android devices. The older Gingerbread is running on 28.5 percent while Ice Cream Sandwich can be found on 20.6 percent.

At this point, very few Android devices are still running the earliest versions of the mobile OS. Around 2.2 percent are on Froyo, while 0.1 percent are running the tablet-centric Honeycomb.

Google collected its data from the new Google Play store app during a 7-day period ending on Oct. 2. Because the app supports Android 2.2 and above, devices running older versions like Éclair and Donut are not included.

"However, in August, 2013, versions older than Android 2.2 accounted for about 1 percent of devices that checked in to Google servers (not those that actually visited Google Play Store)," Google wrote.

August 2, 2013

Android Jelly Bean Adoption on the Rise

Google Jelly Beans Android

Android Jelly Bean adoption continues to grow after recently surpassing Gingerbread for the first time.

According to stats published Friday, Jelly Bean (versions 4.1.x and 4.2.x) was running on 40.5 percent of Android devices as of Aug. 1. Gingerbread landed at 33.1 percent, followed by Ice Cream Sandwich at 22.5 percent.

Jelly Bean first topped Gingerbread in June, according to last month's stats. At that time, approximately 37.9 percent of Android users were on Jelly Bean, while 34.1 percent were on Gingerbread, and 23.3 percent were still running Ice Cream Sandwich.

At this point, very few Android devices are still running the earliest versions of the mobile OS. Around 2.5 percent are on Froyo, while 1.2 percent have Éclair, and just 0.1 percent are running Donut (as well as the tablet-centric Honeycomb).

Google just yesterday unveiled the much-anticipated Moto X phone, which will run Android 4.2.2 at launch. Spokespeople did not have any timetables on a possible bump to Android 4.3, which launched last month on the new Nexus 7. 

December 4, 2012

Jelly Bean Update Now Available for AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung Galaxy S III (AT&T) AT&T today confirmed that the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean update is now available for the Samsung Galaxy S III.

The update is available via the Samsung Kies update software; it will not be offered as an over-the-air (OTA) download, Samsung said.

Those who do not have Kies can get it via Samsung's website. Once installed, Galaxy S III users should visit Samsung's support site, connect the device to the PC, and follow the steps at the bottom of the page.

For Windows users, the update will work on XP, Vista, Windows 7 and 8, but not Windows 8 RT. Macs must be running OS X 10.5 to 10.7. Samsung recommended that devices be fully charged before starting the upgrade process because "the upgrade process may not complete if the charge level is less than 50 percent."

"Android 4.1 makes your phone easier to use and more powerful than ever," AT&T product manager Ryan Lee wrote in a blog post. "The many new features include Google Now, enhanced notifications and several camera updates such as the ability to pause and resume while recording and the low light photo mode, which offers improved picture quality for low light and indoor photos."

Lee also talked up the Pop Up Play update, which "allows users to resize or pause the picture-in-picture video window," and the new Blocking Mode, which lets customers disable incoming calls, notifications, and alarms for a designated period of time.

October 30, 2012

Android 4.2 Still ‘Jelly Bean’ Gets Miracast, Photo Spheres

Nexus Devices

Google unveiled two completely new devices yesterday—the Nexus 4 smartphone and Nexus 10 tablet—and upgraded the existing Nexus 7's storage capacity and wireless connectivity. But lost somewhere in the churning waves of Hurricane Sandy news coverage, not to mention Google's own canceled press event for these devices, was Android 4.2, a new version of the company's mobile operating system.

Unfortunately, few people will get to experience Android 4.2's awesomeness for quite some time, if history is any indication.

First, let's look at the OS itself. Android 4.2 is an evolutionary update, as the point designation implies. In an unusual move given the OS's development history, Google is still referring to the OS as "Jelly Bean," just like Android 4.1. That's in contrast to prior point upgrades like Android 2.1 "Eclair," Android 2.2 "Froyo," Android 2.3 "Gingerbread," and Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich."

June 27, 2012

Google Unveils Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Google today unveiled the next version of its Android operating system, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

The update will roll out over-the-air to the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus S, and Motorola Xoom in mid-July. Google released the SDK to developers today via

Google also announced plans for a platform development kit (PDK), which will let Android hardware developers port Android to their gadgets. Going forward, it will be available to Android device partners two to three months before a new Android platform release date.

"We want things to be simple, beautiful, and really smart," Android product management Hugo Barra said today at the Google I/O developer conference.

Barra showed off a number of new features in Jelly Bean, including offline voice typing, auto arranging of icons, and a predictive keyboard.

Icon arranging will allow users to move apps around the screen, much like on Apple's iOS. If you want to get rid of an app, just swipe up and it'll disappear. Similarly, an update to the Camera app allows for easy scrolling and dismissing of photos via pinching.

With offline voice typing, meanwhile, you can talk to your Android Jelly Bean device even if you don't have an Internet connection, and the text will appear on the screen. Initially, it will only work with English, but support for other languages is coming soon.

March 5, 2012

Is Android Key Lime Pie In the Works?

Full of ice cream sandwiches? Not too fond of jelly beans? How about a little key lime pie?

According to The Verge, the next iteration of Google's Android operating system after Jelly Bean will be codenamed Key Lime Pie. The blog said its source is the same person who tipped the Jelly Bean name last year.

"We don't have any guidance on when we might see Key Lime Pie officially unveiled or what the version number may be — we haven't even seen Jelly Bean yet, after all — but it's reasonable to think that it could be a 2013 deliverable," according to The Verge's Chris Ziegler.

At Mobile World Congress last week, PCMag's mobile analyst, Sascha Segan, checked out Google's booth and found a few clues that seemingly confirmed the Jelly Bean moniker.

"Deep within the meeting rooms at the Google booth, there is this delightful bowl of candy. Look at it. Android. Jelly beans," Segan wrote.