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Teleread poll: Your chance to respond on Android 5.0 Lollipop issues
December 6, 2014 | 12:19 pm

As many readers will be aware, my previous piece "Android latest: Lollipop does not suck" produced a fusillade of comment from those who had the opposite experience of the new Android 5.0 Lollipop iteration of the world's favorite mobile OS. And although at the time of writing I am still not having anything like the issues they reported, we decided to open a poll so that readers could report their own experience and problems. Please feel free, then, to fill in your responses below, and we'll report the results. Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire...

Latest Android Developer Dashboards show no Lollipop yet
December 2, 2014 | 12:25 pm

Google has just issued the latest update to its Android Developer Dashboards, detailing "data collected during a 7-day period ending on December 1, 2014." And as the pie chart makes clear, the latest OS iteration, Android 5.0 Lollipop, hasn't cracked the 0.1 percent threshold of users needed for inclusion in the Dashboards, despite all the hoopla surrounding its release. The immediately prior release of the OS, Android 4.4 KitKat, is now past the one third of the Android user base, at just under 34 percent of all users. The various versions of 4.x Jelly Bean are just under 50 percent, a...

AndroidPIT App Center shutting down. Leaves Fire users in a bind
November 25, 2014 | 12:25 pm

androidpit app centerDavid Rothman, former owner of this site, tipped me over the weekend to the fact that the AndroidPIT App Center is being shut down as of the end of next month. Their reason involved the EU and their revised VAT guidelines. This is trouble for users of the Kindle Fire who may have been counting on the App Center as a way to purchase apps, such as Moon+ Reader Pro, which are listed in the Amazon App Store as being incompatible with the Kindle Fire. Leaving aside how much it stinks that Amazon is forcing such incompatibilities on their users, what...

Android latest: Lollipop does not suck
November 22, 2014 | 10:32 am

My first-generation Nexus 7 tablet recently updated itself to the latest version of the Android OS, Android 5.0 Lollipop, thanks to Google's commitment to keep the entire Nexus system abreast of the latest developments in its platform. And so far at least, despite some other reports to the contrary, the experience has been almost entirely favorable. Lollipop is supposed to be all about a change and improvement in the user experience, with faster and smoother operation thanks to the new Android Runtime (ART) environment that replaces the old Dalvik virtual machine with its just-in-time compilation method. On that score, it does seem...

Motorola’s ‘Duet’ tells a story as only a smartphone can
November 20, 2014 | 7:41 pm

Screenshot_2014-11-20-18-35-16I was just answering a message on Google Hangouts in my Moto X when I saw a blue stylized figure of a ballet dancer dance across the bottom of the screen. It left a glowing blue circle that I tapped on, and I was presented with a screen that said “Duet”. This puzzled me, as I certainly hadn’t installed anything by that name lately. A quick Google revealed that this was a new animated short from Motorola’s Moto X Spotlight Player. Directed by veteran ex-Disney animator Glen Keane, “Duet” tells the story of a boy and a girl who...

Latest comScore rankings show Android has U.S. smartphone market in its pocket
November 7, 2014 | 2:30 pm

comScore_IncThe latest U.S. smartphone market rankings report from mobile comms metrics outfit comScore, Inc., covering September 2014, shows Android in the lead as the dominant smartphone platform "with 52.1 percent platform market share." Apple, meanwhile, remained "the top smartphone manufacturer with 41.7 percent OEM market share." This is off a base of 174 million people in the U.S. owning smartphones, or 72 percent total mobile market penetration, over the July-September 2014 period. Android's market share has if anything very slightly increased since comScore's last set of numbers, from June 2014, rising 0.2 percent from 51.9 percent. it. Apple's OEM market share meanwhile, is...

Latest Android version numbers show 4+ iterations nudging 90 percent
November 6, 2014 | 12:25 pm

The most recent OS version usage totals from the Android Developers Dashboards, up to November 3rd, show adoption of KitKat, the latest fully available version of the OS, pushing fast into the overall Android ecosystem, up to just over 30 percent of total Android devices, versus the August figure of just under 21 percent. Add the total of 50.9 percent for the previous versions of Android Jelly Bean, and the 8.5 percent still using Ice Cream Sandwich, and we are looking at 89.6 percent, or almost 90 percent of Android devices still able to access the Google Play Store. Not only does...

Cast Receiver turns Android devices into Chromecast clients
October 27, 2014 | 10:25 am

An Android app created by Swedish developer HomerSp, Cast Receiver, can turn any Android device into a receiver for Chromecast feeds, so long as the receiving device can connect to an HDTV. Although not at present available on the Google Play Store, Cast Receiver can be downloaded from the XDA Developers forum in a variety of flavors of apk for rooted and unrooted devices. With Cast Receiver, your older Android devices can get a new lease of life as clients for feeds from most Chromecast-enabled programs. Not every Chromecast-capable app can cast via Cast Receiver, but the range that currently can is...

Android One strengthens Google’s emerging markets armlock
September 22, 2014 | 12:25 pm

androidone5-600x400Announced at the the Google I/O 2014 development conference in June 2014, Android One is Google's new reference platform for emerging markets, with a sub-$100 price tag and solid hardware specs, including a 4.5″ screen, dual SIM slots, SD card port, FM radio, etc. Wasting no time, Google has already brought the new platform to market, via initial product releases in India from Karbonn, Micromax and Spice Smart Phones. The new handsets are already attracting some good reviews, with strong marks for the critical areas of screens, performance, and above all, the solid qualities of the stock Android OS iteration basic to Android One. "Always the latest...

Android accelerates away from Apple
September 22, 2014 | 10:25 am

switch from ios to androidA recent article on Android Central entitled "The Insane Pace of Android" encapsulates a lot of what's going on in the Android ecosystem - and why that should be a first concern among anyone looking to buy or upgrade a mobile device. Apple is basically eating Android's dust. Especially in dusty Third World countries outside the U.S., which may not be the first concern among Wall Street money guys - either in their stock picks or their buying choices - but which add up to a user base that is dwarfing iOS, and outdistancing it more every day. "There's an entirely...

Amazon releases Prime Instant Video app for non-Fire Android devices
September 9, 2014 | 8:54 pm

prime instantWe and Nate at The Digital Reader have previously written about a workaround for watching Android Prime Instant Video on non-Fire Android devices. Until now, it required installing the Dolphin web browser and a deprecated Flash app, then setting Amazon Streaming Video to use Flash instead of Silverlight so that it would think you were watching video from a desktop. However, now Android Authority reports that, at least for people in the US, Amazon has finally released an Amazon Prime Instant Video app for non-Fire Android devices. Of course, Amazon being Amazon, the process is still more complicated than...

Staples offers 2013 Nexus 7 for $99 with clearance coupon
August 25, 2014 | 5:22 pm

If you’re in the USA, you have a Staples in your area, and they still have 2013 Nexuses in stock, you might be able to get a really good deal. Android Authority has the details on a coupon good for $100 off the 16 GB and 32 GB Nexus 7 tablets. This would cut their price down to $99 and $159, respectively. For a tablet as good as the N7 ‘13, that’s a steal. They’re already out of stock online, so you’d have to go into a store to get the deal. On a related note, Nate at The...