Making good on its promise at Mobile World Congress, Google has rolled out Hindi language support in Google Assistant. The announcement came from the Google Blog in India with support initially rolling out to Android devices running Marshmallow (6.0) or higher. Support for Lollipop (5.0) will be coming shortly.
The BBC estimates that some 425 million people speak Hindi as their first language with an addition 125 million as their second language. That is a significant number of people who will now be able to use Google Assistant to help them with tasks for gather information.
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Based on a new commit found in the LineageOS Gerrit, support for the Android Marshmallow based version of the platform has been deprecated. The news isn’t too shocking given that there are virtually no devices left running on what was known as LineageOS 13 and maintenance of most builds of that version have ceased. It means that version 14.1 is the minimum supported version of the open source Android variant. That build is based on Android Nougat 7.1.
Version 13 has been completely removed from the Lineage servers at this point, meaning there will be no further updates or support for it.
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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 January 8, 2018 and it shows that while Android Oreo was only one of two versions that saw growth for the reporting period, that growth is anemic. And that is putting it nicely.
Oreo gained just .2% in this month’s report, with both 8.0 and 8.1 accounting for a total of just .7% of device share. The only other gainer in the report, Android Nougat, gained 3% and now sits at 26.3% for device share. That moves Nougat into second behind Android Marshmallow as the most widely used version of the platform.
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As expected with it being the first Monday of the month, Google has released the Android Security Update patches for June today. Like the past few updates, this month’s patch consists of two patches, one dated June 1st and the other June 5th. The first patch deals with broader issues with Android in general while the second patch is more driver or component specific.
Perhaps the best news in this month’s update is the fix of a long standing Bluetooth vulnerability within Android. There are three specific fixes that are in this update which squelch the ability of malicious apps to elevate permissions. This issue has actually be in Android since the KitKat days. Yeah, a long time coming.
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Google has released their monthly Android Distribution Report for May and it shows that Android Nougat continues to grow. The latest version of Android accounted for 7.1% of devices that hit the Google Play Store in the week ending May 2, 2017. That is up 2.2% from the April report. While it is still not ideal to have the latest-and-greatest version at sub-10%, Nougat has continued to grow steadily over the past several months. This, of course, has been helped by the larger number of devices either getting updated to Nougat or new devices like the LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8 lineup shipping with it.
Interestingly, both Android Marshmallow and Lollipop remained steady to the April report. Marshmallow had a 31.2% install base while Lollipop kept its 32% base. Android KitKat continued to drop, losing 1.2% in this months report. That version is down to 18.8% now while Jelly Bean and Ice Cream Sandwich both lost 1%. Gingerbread continues to hold on and actually gained .1% this month. Go figure.
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While the ability to run Android apps on Chrome OS continues to roll out, the question for many is when or if it will be updated. The answer is yes and pretty soon. This week while attending Google Cloud Next in San Francisco, I posed the question to Chrome OS product management in a breakout session and it was confirmed that Android Nougat will be coming to the platform build 58 or 59. Given that it is already in the beta channel, I suspect that it is likely 58.
As readers may know, Android Framework in Chrome OS currently is based on Android Marshmallow. So, in theory, if an app will run in Marshmallow, it will run on Chrome. The tricky bit has been that some apps can’t go full screen in 6.0 and features like multi-window support for apps is not something that is supported at all in Marshmallow. All of that changes under 7.0 obviously as the framework allows for it.
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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.
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Let’s all have a moment of silence for a dearly departed friend, Android Froyo.
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%.
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