December Android Distribution Report – Oreo Continues Slow Adoption

December 2017 Android Distribution Report

As expected, Google has released the December 2017 Android Distribution Report this week.  The report reflects the version of Android on devices that visited the Google Play Store for the 7 day period ending December 11, 2017 and for those of you who keep track of this monthly report, you won’t find many surprises.

With the exception of Android Nougat and Android Oreo, the two latest version of the platform, all previous version saw a decline or no change in usage from the November report to this one.  Android Nougat grew some 2.7% in usage in that time, by far the biggest gainer.  It now has a 23.3% share of devices coming to the Play Store but it is still behind Android Lollipop and Android Marshmallow.  Marshmallow, version 6.x of Android, leads the pack overall with 29.7% of devices running that version.

As for the latest version of Android, Oreo, it continues a very slow adoption on devices.  It now is on .5% of devices, a jump of .2% over November.

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December Android Security Update Hitting The Unlocked Essential Phone

Essential Phone - Black

Good news this morning for those of you who have an unlocked Essential Phone.  The company has begun rolling out an update that brings the December Android Security Update to the device.  It will make Essential one of the first beyond Google themselves to get the December update out to end users.

The update is build NMJ51B for those keeping score at home and, based on Essential’s twitter post about the update, it appears that the update contains only this security patch.

It is possible (likely) that there are some other minor updates in the build but clearly the main focus is on the December security update.

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November Android Distribution Report Released – Nougat Biggest Gainer

Android Distribution Report - November 2017

The November Android Distribution Report has been released by the Android team at Google and it reflect improvement in adoption of the latest two major versions of the platform.  Only Android Nougat (7.x) and Android Oreo (8.x) showed gains in this months reports, with all previous versions showing declines.

For those who may be new to Android, each month Google releases an Android Distribution Report that reflects the versions of Android that hit the Play Store over the course of a 7-day period.  This month’s report was for the seven days ending November 9, 2017.

The biggest loser in this month’s report was Marshmallow (6.x).  It saw a 1.1% drop in usage, down to 30.9% over the October report.  Marshmallow remains the most widely used version of Android at that 30.9% with Android Lollipop (5.x) a close second at 27.2%.  Lollipop, like Marshmallow, saw a drop but only by .5%.

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Today’s Deal – BLU VIVO 8L for $149 on Amazon

BLU VIVO 8L

To say that BLU had a miserable summer would be an understatement.  The Miami based company was hit with several privacy concerns and malware issues on their phones which, at one point, was so bad that Amazon removed their products from their site.

Yeah, it was bad.

But BLU has rebounded with a vengeance.  They have patched up all of their issues, committed to more scrutiny of their firmware build and have even come out with a few new phones.  The latest, the BLU VIVO 8L, was released yesterday and it is Today’s Deal.

The 5.3″ VIVO 8L is on an introductory price of $149.99 on their Amazon storefront and will work with GSM carriers here in the US.  Here is what you get for that price.

The phone is powered by the MediaTek 6753 octa-core processor that is clocked at 1.2GHz.  It is coupled with the Mali-T720 GPU for graphics performance.  Onboard is a healthy 3GB of RAM and it comes with 32GB of Storage built in but that can be expanded up to an additional 64GB thanks the the MicroSD slot.   Powering all of this is a 4000mAh battery that supports Quick Charge technology.

As for cameras, the main camera is a 13MP shooter with Sony optics while the front facing selfie camera is a whooping 20MP shooter with screen flash.

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October 2017 Android Security Update Patches Released

Google Pixel XL

As expected with it being the first Monday of the month, Google has released the Android Security Update for October.  While there are still two patches that were released per the norm, they contain far fewer patches and fixes than normal.

The first updated, dated October 1st, is general Android fixes and contains a total of 8 patches and fixes, three of which are considered critical.  The second patch, dated October 5th, has 6 total fixes with 2 of them marked as critical.  As a reminder, the Google Pixel and Nexus devices will be getting the October 5th updates, which are cumulative to the 1st, and is aimed at hardware specific driver fixes for those devices.

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Today’s Deal – Lenovo Yoga Book for $299 on Amazon

Lenovo Yoga Book

Today’s Deal is on the powerful and ultra thin Lenovo Yoga Book Android tablet.  The 10″ 2-in-1 tablet is on sale right now at Amazon for $299.94 in Gunmetal Gray.  That’s a savings of $200.

The Yoga Book has a 10.1″ display that gives Full HD resolution of 1200 x 1920.  It is powered by the Intel Atom x5-Z8550 processor, a quad-core processor that is clocked at 2.4GHz.  That is coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.  That internal storage can be expanded up to an additional 256GB thanks to the MicroSD slot.  Also, the Lenovo Yoga Book can take advantage of Adaptive Storage in Android Nougat so once you have a MicroSD card installed, it can act as part of the main storage on the device.

What really makes the Yoga Book stand out is its size.  It measure just 6.72 x 10.1 x 0.38 in and weighs 1.52lbs.  That’s 256.00 x 170.80 x 9.60mm and 690 grams in new money.  When you open it up, it is 4mm thin.  It has a beautiful hinge that allows the keyboard to rotate completely around to the back of the tablet to use it in tablet mode.  Camera wise, there is an 8MP main camera and 2MP front camera for selfies and video calls.  All of this is powered by a whopping 8500mAh battery that gets you 15 hours of use between charges.  Charging is done via a MicroUSB connector and it supports Quick Charge 3.0 technology for fast charging.

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Lenovo Yoga Book Gets Android Nougat Update

Lenovo Yoga Book

Good news this afternoon for those of you who, like me, have the Lenovo Yoga Book.  The long awaited update to Android Nougat is now available.  The 1.39GB update is build YB1-X90F_17902 for those keeping score at home and brings a lot of updates and changes beyond the Nougat update.  The OTA is rolling out now and should be hitting devices over the course of the next few days.

The Nougat update for the Yoga Book was planned by Lenovo but it was not slated to hit until October.

First, Android Nougat.  The Yoga Book update takes it to Nougat 7.1.1 so you have all of the benefits that it brings.  It is also updated to the June 2017 Android Security Patch.  That’s not so great but hopefully it’ll get updated soon.

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