Category: Android Lollipop

Android Install Base Report Shows Nougat at Over 1%

Google has released the latest Android Platform version report which sees Android Nougat finally break through the 1% install base level.  The report is based on devices that visited the Play Store for a 7-day period ending February 6, 2017.  While it is not the ultimate report of which versions of Android are in use, it is nevertheless a good resource to get a picture of what is out in the wild.  For Nougat, across versions 7.0 and 7.1, the devices coming to the Play Store topped out at 1.2%, nearly double that of the .7% from the January report.  This number should continue to increase as new devices hit the market as well as updates to Nougat from HTC, Sony, Moto and others that have been happening over the course of the past few weeks.  It’s still a low number but it is heading in the right direction.

Android Marshmallow was the only version of those in the report besides Nougat to see an increase in usage.  Marshmallow jumped 1.1% to 30.7% of the total while Lollipop, KitKat and Jelly Bean all saw drops.  Lollipop fell .5% to 32.9 while KitKat saw a .7% decrease and Jelly Bean was down .3%.  Android Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich just made the report with a 1% total each.

Android Install Base Report Sees Froyo Disappear

Let’s all have a moment of silence for a dearly departed friend, Android Froyo.

(silence)

Google has just released the latest Android Platform Report and the nearly 6 year old Froyo is no longer on the report.  The report is based on devices that came to the Google Play Store for the week ending January 9, 2017.  While certainly not a definitive resource when it comes to the Android install base, it is a solid resource that gives some great insights to just what versions of Android are out there and in use.  The news for Nougat is that installs still remain low.  The latest version of Android only accounted for .7% of the devices hitting the store, miles behind Marshmallow at 29.6% and even further behind leader Lollipop, which sits at 33.4% of visitors.  Still, that Nougat number is a .3% increase over last month but equally, Marshmallow jumped up 3.3% for the report.  For the rest of the versions, numbers declined.

Android Lollipop dropped .6% to 33.4% while KitKat had the biggest drop of 1.4% to 22.6%.  Jelly Bean dropped to 11.6%, down from 12.8%, Ice Cream Sandwich dropped .1% to 1.1% and finally, the now quite crusty Gingerbread release dropped to 1%.

How To Enable Event Based Do Not Disturb in Android

One of the more powerful features of Android is the Do Not Disturb function.  It is a feature that has grown in functionality over the life of Android Lollipop and Marshmallow (spoiler alert:  It gets further tweaks in N) for keeping your phone quite while you sleep, at the theater or in a meeting.  Did you know though that you can set up a DND for events from your calendar?  It is a feature that is handy by not requiring you to manually turn on Do Not Disturb before a meeting begins.  In this How To I’ll show you how to set it up.

Android Marshmallow Breaks 1% Install Base Barrier

It has taken 4 months but Android Marshmallow has finally broken through the 1% barrier on installed devices.  The news comes from the monthly Platform Version report from the company and while the news is good that the latest version of Android is starting to hit more device, it still has a mountain to climb to reach the Lollipop install based.

According to the report, Marshmallow is now on 1.2 of all devices that hit the Google Play Store in the past week.  This is up from .7% in January, a sizable 58% increase, but still a whopping 32.9% behind Android Lollipop.  The previous version of Android sits at 34.1% overall which is up from last month.  Android KitKat remains the leader at 35.5% but it fell by .6% from the previous report.

How To Encrypt You Android Phone or Tablet

Securing your personal information on mobile devices is paramount in today’s world.  With our phones and tablets containing banking information, credit information, work information and other sensitive content, having that information get into a thief’s hands is a borderline nightmare.  While a security PIN or swipe pattern helps, there is one thing you can do that adds another layer of security:  Encrypt your device.

Encryption is pretty straight forward to do in Android Lollipop and Android Marshmallow if your device isn’t already encrypted.  On phones that have Android Marshmallow on them, chances are that it has already been encrypted as that is part of the requirements for manufactures to enable it to deploy Marshmallow.  This is one reason why I think that adoption has continued to creep along – but that’s another story.  If you have a tablet however, it hasn’t been encrypted and on Lollipop it wasn’t required.

How the encrypt process works in Android is pretty straight forward.  It encrypts your entire device – apps, data, accounts, media and basically any other user files – so that a PIN or pattern is required to unlock it.  But here is the added juice:  If someone got your phone or tablet and connected it to a PC via a USB cable, they could hack the device and get to your sensitive content.  If the device is encrypted, they can’t unless they can break a 128-bit AES key.  Is it possible?  Sure.  But we are talking about determent.  If a hacker gets your phone and they see it is encrypted, chances are they will simply reset the device (which erases everything) and use it or sell it.

In this How To I’ll outline how to encrypt your device for this added level of security.

Asus Releases ZenFone 2 Stability Update

If you are rolling with the Asus ZenFone 2, there is a new update out for your phone.  Now before you get all excited, no, this is not the Android Marshmallow update that is slated to come to it (along with several other Asus devices) but rather a stability update to Android Lollipop.

The update is version 2.20.40.164_20160107_6983(MR9.13) and it was released yesterday into the wild.  The update is really focused on bringing fixes and improvements to the device although there is a new feature that adds the ability to change the screenshot sound settings.  The update is less than 100MB so it can easily be downloaded via Wi-Fi or cellular data.  In all there are 14 updates in the release which I’ve outlined after the break.

Nexus 6 32GB Only $249 at Amazon

Once again the Nexus 6, last year’s flagship Nexus device built by Motorola, is on sale at Amazon.  The 32GB model is available for only $249.99 while the 64GB model is $299.99. That is a savings of $400 from when the phone was first released last year and this phone is still got plenty of swagger when it is compared to phones that are being released today.

I personally use a Nexus 6 as my daily driver and love this phone.  It has outstanding specs and performance and with it being a Nexus device, it already has Android Marshmallow running on it and I can use Project Fi.

  • Display: 5.96″ AMOLED, 1440×2560, 16:9 aspect ratio, 493 ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass 3
  • Weight: 184 grams (6.49 ounces)
  • Battery: 3220 mAh Mixed usage up to 24 hours*
  • Processor: 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 with quad-core CPU (APQ 8084-AB), Adreno 420 GPU
  • Memory: 3GB
  • Camera: 13MP IMX 214 Image Sensor

Nexus 6 32GB – $249.99 – Amazon

Nexus 6 64GB – $299.99 – Amazon

Verizon Releases Lollipop Update for Galaxy Note 4

While many carriers and OEMs are starting to roll out Android Marshmallow, it doesn’t mean that updates to Lollipop aren’t happening.  Case in point: Verizon and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4.  Over the weekend the US carrier announced that the Lollipop 5.1.1 build was rolling out to the Note 4, months after it was released by Google and seeming after a vast majority of carriers had already rolled out the update to their devices.  Still, better late than never as Note 4 users will certainly have the advantages of this much improved build of Lollipop over the .0 build.

The updated build according to Verizon is LMY47X.N910VVRU2BOK3 for those keeping score at home and there are three major things highlighted in the release notes for the build.

  • Supports Android for Work. To learn more, go to https://www.google.com/work/android/
  • Upgrades to Samsung Knox Platform, a comprehensive suite of mobile enterprise security solutions
  • Removes pre-loaded Amazon Appstore and Amazon Widgets from the device

All of these changes are including along with the general performance and security updates of Lollipop 5.1.1.

Android Marshmallow Adoption Continues To Creep

Android Marshmallow continues to roll out to a wide range of devices with even more expected in this quarter but to suggest the adoption is setting the world alight would be an great overstatement.  In their latest report on Android versions that have hit the Google Play Store, Google has posted that devices running the latest version of the mobile OS accounts for 0.7%.  While that is up .2% from December, it is a far cry from rapid adoption.  Worse, Android Lollipop, the previous version, continues to hold steady with about 32% of the market.  While the information is not 100% accurate, it does give developers a good idea of users who are coming to the store which in turn gives us as users a good idea too.

By far the two most dominant version of Android remain Lollipop at 32.6% and KitKat at 36.1%.  KitKat has seen a slow drop in usage as more people move to newer devices with a newer version of Android but it gives you a good idea of the challenge Google faces in getting consumers and manufactures to move up to the latest version of their mobile OS.

Android December Security Update Released

Google has released the December update for Android Lollipop and Marshmallow, holding true to their monthly security updates to the mobile platform.  The new images for Nexus devices has been released for OTA updates as well as factory images and for Marshmallow, it will be known as 6.0.1.  If you have a Nexus device, you can expect to start seeing the update over the next couple of days unless you are locked to a carrier in which case it will be a bit longer.

The update contains no less than 16 vulnerability fixes, the most severe of which allowed for remote code execution.

The most severe of these issues is a Critical security vulnerability that could enable remote code execution on an affected device through multiple methods such as email, web browsing, and MMS when processing media files.

In all there were 4 critical issues addressed along with 10 high risk issues and 2 moderate risk issues.

Samsung Launches The Galaxy A3, A5 and A7

Samsung has announced the launch of the new Galaxy A3, Galaxy A5 and Galaxy A7, the 2016 lineup of their premium but less-than-flagship devices.  The three devices range in size from a 4.7″ screen on the A3 up to a 5.5″ display on the A7.  All three feature aluminum and glass designs to give you that premium feel.  On the A5 and the A7, you also can take advantage of Samsung Pay for contactless payments while all three devices have a 13MP rear facing camera (with OIS for the A5 and A7) for taking photos and a 5MP front facing camera for selfies.

While there was no price lineup provided by Samsung on these new devices, based on previous years, we can likely expect them to top out at $400.

AT&T FINALLY Rolls Out Lollipop 5.1.1 for the Galaxy 5S Active

Adding fuel to the “Android upgrades are broken” fire, AT&T has finally released the Android Lollipop 5.1.1 update for their exclusive device, the Samsung Galaxy S5 Active. The 640MB update is rolling out to AT&T customers with the device starting today and should hit yours over the course of the next few days. The update comes just a few weeks after the Galaxy S5 on AT&T receive the update while countless other devices are already receiving the Android Marshmallow 6.0 update.