Category: Android Marshmallow

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%.

Today’s Deal – BLU Life One X2 with 4GB Ram and 64GB Storage for $199

Today’s Deal is on the powerful BLU Life One X2, a solid 5.2″ Android phone with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage built in.  Right now you can pick one up either in Grey or in Rose Gold for $199 on Amazon.  The phone is very well equipped for one in this price range, featuring a 5.2″ curved glass Full HD display and is powered by the octa-core Snapdragon 430 processor running at 1.4GHz.  As mentioned, it has 4GB of RAM which is almost unheard of in the sub-$200 range as is the 64GB of built-in storage.  That storage can be expanded an additional 64GB thanks to the MicroSD slot.

Camera wise, the BLU Life One X2 has a 16MP Phase Detection Auto Focus shooter while the front camera is an 8MP unit that has a front facing flash for improved selfie quality.

As with other deals I post on, the Life One X2 is sold unlocked and works with GSM carriers.  If you are on Sprint or Verizon, sadly it won’t work for you.  Here are the GSM frequencies and LTE bands in this phone:

  • 4G HSPA+ (850/1700/1900/2100)
  • LTE (2/4/7/12/17)

Finally, the Life One X2 is running Android Marshmallow so you are getting a solid and secure Android build on the phone.  One thing to note is that BLU is no clear on when or if there will be a Nougat update for this phone so if that is a big deal to you, be aware.

To get all the details or to order your BLU Life One X2 in Grey or Rose Gold, head over to Amazon.

Today’s Deal – BLU VIVO 5R in Gold Down to $197

Today’s Deal over at Amazon is on the solid performing BLU VIVO 5R phone from BLU.  This 5.5″ phone with 3GB of RM and 32GB of storage is down to $197 if you pick it up in white and gold trim.  While BLU has always been known for their budget friendly phones, over the past year the company has made great strides in the quality and performance that you get for that budget price.  The VIVO 5R is a great example of this fact.

The phone comes with a 5.5″ Full HD curved glass display that gives you an eye appealing ~401ppi.  It is powered by the MediaTek 6753 octa-core processor running at 1.3GHz and is coupled with 32GB of internal storage and 3GB of RAM.  That storage can be expanded up to an additional 64GB thanks to the MicroSD slot.  Powering all of this is a 3150mAh battery which should keep you going all day.  The phone ships with Android Marshmallow but it is expected that BLU will update it to Nougat at some point – but when or if is unclear.

As the BLU VIVO 5R is sold unlocked on Amazon, cellular frequencies become part of the equation.  For those of you on GSM networks like AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket and others, you should be good-to-go.  Here are the supported bands on the phone:

  • 4G LTE 2/4/7/12/17
  • 4G HSPA+ – 850/1700/1900/2100)

Unfortunately the phone does not support CDMA carriers like Sprint or Verizon.

The Mid-Range Honor 6X Announced at CES 2017

AT CES 2017, Huawei has announced the new mid-range Honor 6X phone.  Starting at $249, the phone will have 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage but, like many other phones in this price range, has compromises to keep the price down.  The 5.5″ device renders at 1080p (1920 x 1080) which is the bare minimum in phones these days.  It is powered by the Huawei Kirin 655 Octa-Core processor running at 2.1GHz.  While it comes with 32GB of storage here in the United States (there is a 64GB version for other countries), you an expanded it up to an additional 128GB thanks to the MicroSD slot.

Camera wise, the Honor 6X isn’t bad.  It has a dual-camera rear shooter comprised of a 12MP main camera and a 2MP secondary.  It is capable of shooting 1080p video.  The front camera is an 8MP shooter.  The phone is sold unlocked and works with LTE Bands 2/4/5/12/20 and GSM 850/900/1800/1900.  You’ll also find a fingerprint scanner on the Honor 6X but, disappointingly, it is equipped with a Micro-USB charging port for the 3340mAh battery.

Today’s Deal – BLU R1 HD Amazon Prime Exclusive for $60

Today’s Deal over at Amazon is on the BLU R1 HD.  This 5″ HD curved display phone has been out of stock for a while but has returned at a great price of $59.99 for the 16GB storage model.  Like other Amazon Prime exclusive phones, the R1 HD comes with adverts on the lockscreen.  If you can live with that and are looking for a solid performing phone for yourself or a gift, take a look at it.  Normally it is $99 and if you order it you can get it in a couple of days thanks to free Amazon Prime shipping.

The BLU R1 HD is powered by a quad-core MdeiaTek 6725 processor running at 1.3GHz and has 2GB of RAM.  The 16GB of built in storage can be expanded up to an additional 64GB thansk to the MicroSD support.  The R1 HD is also a dual SIM phone for those who travel abroad.  The cameras on the phone include an 8MP primary camera and a 5MP front facing selfie camera that includes an LED flash for your selfies.

Today’s Deal – ASUS ZenFone 3 Laser Down to $179

Today’s Deal is on the well appointed mid-range Android phone, the ASUS ZenFone 3 Laser.  This 5.5″ phone has 2GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage and supports dual-SIMs and is down to $179 at Amazon today.  The phone is unlocked and works with GSM carriers here in the United States like AT&T and T-Mobile.  The 5.5″ display provides full HD resolution and the 32GB of onboard storage can be expanded up to an additional 128GB thanks to the MicroSD slot.

As the name suggests, the ZenFone 3 Laser uses laser technology to focus the main 13MP camera which ASUS claims will focus in .03 seconds.  The camera also supports optical and electronic image stabilization.

Today’s Deal – BLU VIVO 5R Down to $179 on Amazon

Today’s Deal is on the solid performing BLU VIVO 5R.  This 5.5″ phone as a 13MP Sony-built camera, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage and today, is on sale at Amazon for $179 for the gold version of the phone.  That’s a great price for a phone with the specs of this phone.  The phone is for GSM carriers here in the United States so it will work with the likes of AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket, MetroPCS and Straight Talk.  It has multiple bands for LTE (2/4/7/12/17) and for HSPA+ (850/1700/1900/2100).  Unfortunately for readers on Sprint, Verizon or U.S. Cellular, this phone isn’t for you as it won’t work on those CDMA networks.

The VIVO 5R is a beautiful device with a curved glass display, a slim 8.1mm design constructed of aluminum and it has a Fingerprint Scanner.

Android Nougat Makes its Debut In This Months Install Base Report

Today the Android team released their distribution report meets install base report and Android Nougat has made its debut in the report.  While the number is small – .3% – it is a positive sign that it has hit this report after a month on essentially only Nexus devices.  Given that other manufactures and Google themselves have rolled out the new Pixel lineup with Nougat, this number is only going to go up and likely at a faster clip than that of Marshmallow.  Speaking of Marshmallow, that build had a healthy bump in usage this month, up to 24% of the install base.  That’s up several percentage points over the October report.

Interesting, king of the hill remains to be Android Lollipop.  That now 2+ year old version of Android is on 34.1% of all devices that hit the Play Store for the week ending November 7, 2016.  Given the huge number of devices that are out there running Lollipop and that will never see an update to Marshmallow, it is likely that KitKat’s install base will continue to be high for quite some time.

Initial Impressions – The Sony Xperia X Compact

If you equate the power and performance of an Android phone based on the screen size and device size, you need to stop.  Now.  The reason is that the recently announced Sony Xperia X Compact destroys your paradigm.  This 4.6″ device is a powerhouse with a phenomenal display and dare I say unbelievable camera.  Seriously, it rivals a digital SLR in image quality and color correctness.  I’ve been using the X Compact the last few days as my main phone and while getting use to the smaller size compared to my Nexus 6P was a bit tricky at first, the performance and design of this phone is exceptional.  I’ll be doing a full review of the phone over the course of the next few weeks but here are my initial thoughts on the Xperia X Compact.

October Android Security Updates Released

The Android team has released the Android security update patches for October today.  The patches, two this month instead of three, have been released for all supported Nexus devices as well as the Pixel C.  As is the norm, the updates have been released as Factory Images and OTA images for those who want to flash their devices immediately.  If you don’t, the OTA update should be coming to your devices over the course of the next week or so.  For those who have Nexus 6 phones, the news is really great for you as Android Nougat has finally been released for your phone and includes this October update.

Google has been splitting up their patches the last few months and October is no exception.  Unlike the last couple of months however, there are only two this month.  The first patch is the 2016-10–1 patch and it is the one for all devices and manufactures.  It contains 12 high priority security patches, mostly around elevation of privileges and denial of service threats.  The second patch, 2016-10-05, is primarily aimed at Nexus devices and contains 5 critical patches focused on remote code execution.  If you have a Nexus device, you will see the October 5th update which is inclusive of the fixes in the October 1st update.

Android Marshmallow Released for the OnePlus X

OnePlus has finally released its Android Marshmallow build for the OnePlus X.  The update comes in the form of OnePlus’ homebrew Android, OxygenOS, and you are looking for build 3.1.2 if you have the 5″ phone.  The update is rolling out now but it could take several days for everyone to get it.  The update includes, interestingly, the October security update (yes, we are still in September) along with Marshmallow 6.0.1.  Jump on it now X owners, this is likely the last major update for the phone.