A Scary Graphic For Android Users

android fragmentation opensignal

OpenSignal

The striking above is a frightful one for Android users.

Each rectangle represents a singular Android device, and there are 18,796 of them as of this month. The information comes from a association called OpenSignal, that creates program for mobile inclination that can lane cellphone building and WiFi signals. 

So, because is it a problem that there are during slightest 18,000 opposite inclination using Android?

That fragmentation is tough on developers, a folks who make apps we love. When you’re creation program for so many devices, it’s formidable to make certain your app works good for any singular square of hardware. It’s partial of a reason because Android still tends to get new apps and updates after than a iPhone does.

Screen distance is formidable too, and Android inclination come in a furious accumulation of sizes. An app using on 4-inch shade will substantially need some work to adjust to a 5.5-inch screen, for example. And many developers simply don’t have a bandwidth or resources to tweak their apps for each Android device shade size.

Here’s OpenSignal’s striking display a several Android device shade sizes:

android shade distance graphic

OpenSignal

And here’s a demeanour during iPhone and iPad shade sizes. It’s generally many easier for developers to work with these:

ios device shade size

OpenSignal

The emanate gets thornier when we demeanour during a versions of Android those 18,000+ inclination are running. Most Android inclination currently are using old-fashioned software. Many are still using Gingerbread (2.3), a chronicle that launched scarcely 4 years ago.

Here’s a demeanour during a Android versions in use over time:

android chronicle fragmentation

OpenSignal

Meanwhile, many iOS inclination (91%) are using a latest version, that creates things really easy for developers:

ios android chronicle comparison

OpenSignal

But!

There’s some good news for Android users and developers. Recently, Google has tweaked a developer collection to make it easier to make apps for a several versions of Google. It also ensured that many of a users have a latest chronicle of Google Play Services, that embody a Google Play store for apps, movies, music, and other digital content, and services like Google Maps, Search, and Gmail. In June, Google pronounced 97% of Android inclination have a latest chronicle of Google Play.

Still, it’s too early to tell if Google’s efforts to tamp down fragmentation will compensate off. Plus, with so many opposite form factors out there, it’s scarcely an unfit charge for developers to make certain their apps demeanour as good as they can on each device. 

Some consider that Google’s large 80%+ marketplace share will concede it to kick Apple in a prolonged run. Technology is a height game, these folks argue, and a association with a largest height will eventually win.

Google has a biggest height by a mile, though it’s still an afterthought for many developers. The fragmentation in both hardware and program shown above is mostly to blame.

Read some-more stories on Business Insider, Malaysian book of a world’s fastest-growing business and record news website.

The state of Android updates: Who’s fast, who’s slow, and why


Android 4.4, KitKat was expelled on Oct 31, 2013, or during least, that’s what we can contend about one device: the Nexus 5. For a rest of a ecosystem, the date we got KitKat—if we got KitKat—varied extravagantly depending on your device, OEM, and carrier.

For any Android update, Google’s release of formula to OEMs starts an industry-wide competition to get a new enhancements out to customers. So how did everybody do this year? Who was a initial with KitKat, and who was a last? What outcome does your conduit have on updates? How has the speed of Android updates altered compared to progressing years?

Given all those variables, we wanted to check in on a specifics of Android in 2014. There are lots of somewhat opposite ways to go about measuring something like this, so first, a word about a methodology. All of these charts magnitude KitKat’s refurbish loiter time in months. For a start date, we’re picking October 31, 2013, a day KitKat was expelled on a Nexus 5. For a finish time for any device, we’re going with a US recover of an refurbish around possibly OTA or downloadable complement image. OTAs are finished on a staggered recover schedule, so it’s tough to tell exactly when they start and finish—we only went with a beginning news of an update.

The device manufacturers


The above draft shows a clarification of “flagship” we’ll be regulating for many of this article. We picked a newest high-profile devices that didn’t boat with KitKat from any vital OEM. That subset ends adult being inclination that mostly launched in 2013. We singular out flagships given those are a many sparkling phones and a many applicable examples of a company’s refurbish policy—it’s good to see how good an OEM can do when it is perplexing a hardest to refurbish something quickly. (Don’t worry, we’ll tackle older inclination and non-flagships after on.)

The leader for refurbish times is, of course, a Nexus line. Stock module and a conduct start from being Google got KitKat out a doorway in just 14 days.

As for everybody else, how fast they update seems to depend on how difficult their skin is and how many they take advantage of a refurbish mechanisms Google has created.

Motorola—A guide of light in a darkness

In a far-reaching universe of non-Nexus devices, the then-Google-owned Motorola did great, too, entrance in during an almost-Nexus-like time of 19 days. Like a Nexus program, Motorola was helped out by a close-to-stock module loadout and a concentration on a tiny series of devices. Motorola keeps many of a changes to bundled apps, and it tries to stay divided from modifying a Android framework. When it comes time to refurbish to a new chronicle of Android, this means many reduction porting is needed. Google works really tough to not mangle app compatibility, so many of Motorola’s work gets finished for it.

The common justification for skinning Android is “differentiation,” and Motorola even manages to do that improved than a competitors. The Moto X’s always-on voice approval and Active Display are some of a many useful differentiators in a industry, and the glorious Motorola Spotlight Player adds a bit of disdainful fun to a equation, too.

Motorola takes full advantage of a Play Store, allowing for out-of-cycle updates for Motorola’s bundled apps. The association even mirrors Google’s Play Services strategy by offloading core libraries and services to a Play Store. There’s Motorola Contextual Services, that handles showing for a involuntary do not disturb, driving, and home modes, and Motorola Modality Services, that helps out accelerometer-driven apps.

Motorola is a resplendent instance of “doing it right” when it comes to skinning Android; any other OEM should be holding notes.

Now, there is some difficulty here—no one is utterly certain of how many of Motorola’s refurbish success is from Google’s ownership. With a pending sale to Lenovo, Motorola’s destiny hangs in a balance. Will Motorola be means to continue its stellar lane record of updates in a future, or will Lenovo hurt a good thing?

HTC—Transparency that should be applauded

HTC did surprisingly good removing KitKat to a unbarred One M7 in about a month. The company has come a prolonged approach given a disastrous days of a HTC Thunderbolt, and it has put a big concentration on a refurbish speed.

HTC hosts a software refurbish dashboard that shows what developmental theatre an refurbish is in. The association has committed to ancillary a North American flagships with updates for dual years, earnest to ship Android L to all variants of a One M7 and M8 within 90 days of a release. (HTC betrothed a same of KitKat and later apologized when it didn’t utterly make a 90 day cut, but still, we conclude a effort.)

HTC has a tighter concentration on products lately, relaxing from a raging gait of over two-dozen models in 2011 to only a handful of products this year. The association has also worked to make a Android skin, HTC Sense, some-more modular, offloading many apps to the Play Store a same approach Google and Motorola do. The association even has a Google Play Services-style app called “HTC Service Pack,” that allows it to refurbish tools of Sense though carrying to pull out an OTA.

Samsung—A monolithic skin that takes a while to update

Samsung simply sells a many Android devices, creation a refurbish speed a many critical for a health of a altogether OS ecosystem. It’s a contrition afterwards that a association does really small to speed adult a refurbish process. Samsung uses a complicated monolithic skin with nothing of a update-friendly design that is employed by its competitors. TouchWiz extensively modifies a Android horizon to make things like split shade apps, coop input, and floating windows possible. It skins any area of a OS and maintains a engorgement of apps that transcribe Google functionality while providing clearly small advantage to a user.

The misfortune partial is that all of this is delivered to a user in a hulk brick. Samsung doesn’t take advantage of a Play Store to refurbish apps and services outward of an OTA, given all is so integrated with a core OS.

Samsung also has a widest lineup of all a Android OEMs. Its strategy seems to be to inundate a marketplace with as many opposite models as possible—GSM Arena’s phone database lists 41 different Android phones (not including tablets) expelled by Samsung in 2013. It’s flattering many unfit to update that many inclination in a timely manner.

It should come as no warn that a Note 3 took twice as prolonged as a HTC One to get KitKat, and a Galaxy S4 was almost 4 times slower than HTC’s effort. That’s not even counting Samsung’s 26 other lower-profile Android phones or a piles and piles of tablets.

LG—A minimal effort

LG came in passed final with a whopping 4.6-month wait for KitKat on a unbarred G2. You would consider a builder of a final dual Nexus phones would have picked adult a thing or dual from Google, though like Samsung, LG has an old-school monolithic skin and takes a honeyed time updating it.

For a draft above, we picked unbarred phones so we would have a baseline that was unaffected by carrier red tape. Interestingly, a unbarred G2 wasn’t a initial G2 to get KitKat. That respect goes to a ATT G2, that took 3.8 months. That’s still last, though it’s not as heartless of a detriment for LG as it is with a unbarred model.

LG skins mostly feel like a copy of Samsung’s TouchWiz, and LG has hereditary TouchWiz’s heft as well. Every app on a G2 has been skinned, and complicated changes are done to a horizon to enable split shade apps and floating windows. The association clearly didn’t put many bid into updating a G2 quickly.

With LG shipping a personal-best 14.5 million smartphones in Q2 of 2014 (Samsung shipped 74.3 million in a same period), we’ll have to see if LG ups a refurbish diversion in response to flourishing popularity.

Android Security Is Under Fire—Again

NEWS ANALYSIS: A span of new reports take aim during Android security, though there are stairs users can take and a sky isn’t falling.

Another day and nonetheless another set of reports alleging distrust in a Android mobile handling system. This week, not one, though dual reports came out detailing confidence risks in Android.
One of a reports, released by confidence businessman FireEye on Aug. 20, deals with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) security, or miss thereof, in Android apps.
The FireEye researchers found that approximately 68 percent of a 1,000 many downloaded giveaway applications accessible in a Google Play store have some form of SSL-related confidence risk.
Among a issues that FireEye unclosed is a fact that opposite apps that explain to be regulating SSL, approximately 73 percent did not indeed check a SSL certificates for authenticity. FireEye also found that 8 percent of apps did not indeed check a hostname on a certificate. The approach that SSL works, a certificate should be released for a specific hostname to be valid.


The emanate of bad SSL in mobile apps and privately Android is not a new topic. In fact, it was recently discussed in good fact during a Defcon discussion progressing this month, where a span of confidence researchers from LinkedIn detailed mixed SSL-related mobile flaws. As is a box in a FireEye research, a LinkedIn researchers also found certificate and hostname checking to be lacking.

While a SSL issues minute by a FireEye and LinkedIn researchers understanding with how third-party apps use SSL, there are other flaws in Android itself that have been discussed this past week.
In a paper released on Aug. 22, University of California during Riverside and University of Michigan researchers minute how they could conflict Gmail on Android with a 92 percent success rate.
“The confidence of smartphone GUI frameworks stays an critical nonetheless under-scrutinized topic,” a investigate paper epitome states. “In this paper, we news that on a Android complement (and expected other OSes), a weaker form of GUI confidentiality can be breached in a form of UI state (not a pixels) by a credentials app but requiring any permissions.”

So to recap, many renouned apps don’t scrupulously exercise SSL, that could capacitate user information to be compromised. Adding serve insult to injury, it’s probable that a antagonistic app could take information from an Android user interface.
How to Reduce a Risk
These are critical concerns and should not be discharged lightly. That said, there are ways that users can revoke a risk.
In a box of apps not regulating SSL securely, a approach an assailant would feat that smirch is by approach of some form of man-in-the-middle (MiTM) attack. In those attacks, a information is intercepted during some indicate in a network path, potentially during a WiFi entrance point. Using a practical private network (VPN) during different entrance points or in open places is always a good thought and a best use that competence revoke a risk.
UI-related attacks need that a user somehow download or is putrescent by a antagonistic app first. Again, customary best use Internet hygiene is a good thought here. Reduce such risk by not downloading apps from outward of a Google Play store. While it is probable that apps in Google Play could be during risk, Google has a possess scanning bid to assistance brand antagonistic apps that should revoke a intensity exposure.
Certainly Android is a height with really active confidence investigate activity, and there are legitimate concerns to be dealt with. The sky, however, is not falling; with confidence investigate comes recognition of issues, that hopefully leads to improved confidence outcomes.
Sean Michael Kerner is a comparison editor during eWEEK and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Graphic: Android’s separate personality, 2014 edition

Android inclination come in all shapes and sizes and might run any one of some-more than a half-dozen active versions of Google’s


GOOG



handling system.

This farrago is both a blessing and a curse, as OpenSignal reports in a 2014 Android fragmentation report.

On one hand, fragmentation gives app developers a far-reaching assembly to build for — distant wider than Apple’s iOS. On a other, building an app that will run on a whole operation of Android inclination can be a nightmare.

How fragmented has Android become? From OpenSignal’s findings:

  • 18,796 graphic Android configurations seen in 2014
  • 11,868 seen in 2013
  • 3,997 seen in 2012

.

Things are easier for iOS developers. The same consult found 91% of Apple inclination using iOS 7, a stream handling complement version, and 99% using possibly iOS 7 or iOS 6. Moreover, iOS inclination come in usually 4 sizes. (See graphics below.)

Despite a hurdles acted by fragmentation, OpenSignal argues that a advantages transcend a drawbacks.

“Android is now a widespread mobile handling system,” he news concludes, “and this is since of fragmentation, not in annoy of it.”

Screen Shot 2014-08-23 during 7.37.46 AM


Source: OpenSignal

.

LINK: Android Fragmentation Visualized (with cold interactive graphics)

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter during @philiped. Read his Apple


AAPL



coverage during fortune.com/ped or allow around his RSS feed.

Android L refurbish for Google Nexus 4, 5, 7 and 10 to recover in late October

The Android L Operating System refurbish for a Nexus 4, 5, 7 and 10 is rumored to arrive in late October.

The latest chronicle of a Android handling complement is rumored to launch alongside a arriving Google Nexus 6. Based on prior releases, Google customarily releases dual versions of Android OS: one in a summer during a Google I/O eventuality and another in a fall, customarily in Oct alongside a new device from Google.

Android L is reportedly a biggest Android chronicle in story packaged with some-more than 5,000 new Application Programming Interfaces (API). However, this is not finalized and some-more could be suggested in a final build. Earlier predictions state that a Android L will be expelled with a Nexus 6 and/or Nexus 8. Last year, Google expelled a Android 4.4 KitKat  in late November. This year, a new OS is approaching to hurl out Over-The-Air in a Oct to Nov time frame.

The new Android L is reported to have an softened ubiquitous user interface. Google’s Android group presented a new pattern denunciation during a company’s I/O Developers’ Conference final month. The pattern denunciation is called
“Material Design,” that boasts a prosaic interface.

Material Design has seemed in a Chrome Beta chronicle of Android, that is now accessible for download in a Play Store. Aside from a “Material Design” update, a change record includes simplified sign-in as good as bug fixes and opening improvements.

Google reliable that a arriving central chronicle of a Android L will incorporate a multi-user support feature. The underline initial seemed in tablets as partial of a Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS, though a multi-user mode is not configurable and has an impact on a device’s performance. However, a underline was reportedly softened on a recover of 4.3 chronicle of Jelly Bean OS.


How Microsoft will float Android hardware to save Windows Phone

htc-one-m8-for-windows-presser-042.jpg
Microsoft clamp boss of engineering Darren Laybourn shows off a new HTC One M8 for Windows Phone during an eventuality in New York City in Aug 2014,
CNET/Sarah Tew

Rival Android could be a cavalry entrance to a rescue of Windows Phone, in Microsoft’s latest scheme to allege a smartphone doing system.

The underlying idea is this: Microsoft wants to make it easier to deliver inclination that use a Windows Phone software. That was a summary delivered this week’s proclamation of a HTC One M8 for Windows Phone.

Specifically, Microsoft has tweaked a Windows Phone 8.1 module so that hardware makers can gaunt on a hardware and anxiety designs they’re already regulating to build inclination for Android-based phones in sequence to build a Windows Phone device.

“We wanted handset makers like HTC to be means to precedence their engineering investment and yield them with a genuine choice,” pronounced Darren Laybourn, clamp boss of engineering for Microsoft in an speak following a launch of a HTC One M8 for Windows. “We feel a module should be a differentiator and not a hardware.”

For 4 years Microsoft’s Windows Phone smartphone doing complement has limped along, perplexing to advantage traction opposite a many some-more renouned Apple iOS and Google Android devices. But Windows Phone handsets sojourn niche products. In fact, they usually garnered about 2.5 percent of a worldwide smartphone marketplace in a second entertain of 2014, according to IDC.

Microsoft has struggled to remonstrate hardware partners to make phones regulating a Windows Phone doing complement in what has incited into a chicken-and-egg scenario. Device makers don’t wish to dedicate resources to building a Windows Phone given there are so few customers. But though a inclination — generally iconic ones that offer slicing corner components and record — a doing complement will never advantage approval among customers.

Management knows that Microsoft’s mobile ambitions are cursed if it can’t mangle that pattern. The resolution depends on anticipating a proceed to get device makers other than Nokia, whose handset operations Microsoft acquired progressing this year for some-more than $7 billion, to build high-end smartphones regulating Windows Phone.

With a release of a latest software, Windows Phone 8.1, and now a launch of a HTC One M8 for Windows, Microsoft has come adult with a new proceed that could indicate a proceed past this dilemma.

“Ideally, I’m certain that Microsoft wants HTC, Samsung and others to furnish disdainful designs for their software,” pronounced Ross Rubin, principal researcher during Reticle Research. “But we consider they commend a marketplace existence now. And they’re peaceful to let dedicated hardware go to get some-more high-end Windows Phone smartphones on a market.”

HTC One M8 for Windows product photos
See full gallery

htc-one-m8-for-windows-product-photos-presser001.jpg

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htc-one-m8-for-windows-product-photos-presser001.jpg

htc-one-m8-for-windows-product-photos26.jpg

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htc-one-m8-for-windows-product-photos-presser009.jpg

htc-one-m8-for-windows-product-photos-presser007.jpg

Switching strategies

Microsoft’s Laybourn pronounced a association had begun tweaking a Windows Software to adjust to opposite hardware designs even before starting work with HTC. For instance, Windows Phone 8.1, launched in a spring, offers redesigned module keys that frame divided a aged tough buttons on a bottom of a device, replacing them with “soft keys” that cocktail adult during a bottom of screen.

He pronounced there are now 14 inclination in Microsoft’s anxiety pattern module approaching to breeze adult as genuine products in a subsequent 6 months. Some will use Android hardware designs reconfigured somewhat to work with a Windows Phone software.

This plan creates clarity for handset makers. Previous versions of Windows Phone forced them to build hardware from scratch. In further to ancillary dual anxiety designs, that means doing dual apart member supply chains, it also meant building apart selling budgets for any device.

For a association like HTC, that is already struggling to keep adult with a large selling budgets of Apple and Samsung, this is a outrageous barrier. Being means to precedence a existent code approval of a HTC One array of inclination and being means to marketplace both an Android and a Windows Phone chronicle of a latest flagship device in that family can save a association millions in selling dollars.

“HTC has never been means to contest on selling spend,” Rubin said. “So optimizing a eventuality to build on a selling it has already finished with a Android chronicle of a One M8 creates a lot of sense.”

What’s more, a designs and specifications used to build Android inclination are mostly a era forward of what’s used in Windows Phone devices, Rubin added. This allows a association like HTC to build a truly high-end smartphone with a latest specifications.

Jason Mackenzie, boss of HTC Americas, pronounced during a display of a new device on Tuesday that a HTC One M8 for Windows noted “the initial time a smartphone manufacturer has launched an iconic device on mixed doing systems though creation any compromises.”

htc-one-m8-for-windows-jason-mackenzie-033.jpg
HTC President of Americas Jason Mackenzie introduces a HTC One M8 for Windows in New York City in Aug 2014.
CNET/Sarah Tew

In an interview, McKenzie concurred that it was formidable to build a flagship phone around a prior versions of Windows Phone. And he pronounced that when it came to a altogether Windows Phone line-up, he saw a gap.

“When we demeanour during all of a accessible Windows Phones, there isn’t a genuine reward smartphone that matches what’s offering on Android,” he said. “When we’re announcing a flagship device, it’s on Android.”

But he pronounced that HTC feels it’s critical to give consumers some-more choices. And even yet Microsoft’s Windows Phone marketplace share is usually that tiny, 2.5 percent sliver, Mackenzie pronounced that it’s correct to keep it as an choice to Google Android.

Still, in annoy of a attribute with Microsoft that dates behind to a aged PocketPC and a strange Windows Mobile smartphones, HTC had not introduced a new Windows Phone given a tumble of 2012. Part of a reason for a loiter was Microsoft’s attribute with Finnish device-maker Nokia, Mackenzie said. A year ago, Microsoft announced a skeleton to buy Nokia for €5.44 billion, or $7.2 billion.

“We were watchful to see how a attribute would take shape,” he said. “Then there was a merger and a regime change during Microsoft. We weren’t certain what their plan was going to be.”

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer left his post in Feb and was transposed by Satya Nadella. After months of conjecture about Microsoft’s intent, Nadella’s skeleton for a former Nokia section and for Windows Phone some-more generally are entrance into focus. Last month, a company announced it will be laying off 18,000 employees, many from Nokia. The preference suggests that Microsoft won’t rest on usually Nokia hardware to expostulate a mobile strategy. The association still needs partners, like HTC.

“Microsoft needs someone else to build a hardware other than relying on a in-house Nokia,” pronounced Roger Entner, lead researcher during Recon Analytics.

Maribel Lopez, conduct of Lopez Research, agrees. She pronounced that Nokia creates pleasing phones though it will take many some-more to enlarge “ecosystem support” for Windows Phone.

“And that’s what Microsoft needs to make Windows Phone a success,” she said. “It needs to get a advantage of scale with tools and processors to reduce a cost to make these phones.”

The theatre is set

Microsoft and HTC executives met in Jan during a Consumer Electronics Show to plead a dual companies’ relationship. It fast became transparent that a dual sides could work together to move a new Windows Phone 8.1 to existent Android hardware being used on HTC’s flagship device.

Laybourn pronounced that Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive clamp boss of doing systems, met with HTC CEO Peter Chou. But a discourse fast enclosed a rest of a care teams from both companies — including executives from Verizon Wireless. Laybourn pronounced that Microsoft didn’t see a opening per se during a high finish of a Windows Phone market. But it was also transparent that Microsoft indispensable to attract some-more handset makers and make it easier for them to muster a doing system.

Meanwhile, Verizon saw a same opening in hardware that HTC saw.

“We satisfied during a finish of 2013 that when we were selecting inclination for a 2014 lineup that there were gaps in a marketplace for Windows Phone, quite during a high end,” Jeff, Dietel, clamp boss of selling operations during Verizon Wireless pronounced in an interview.

htc-one-m8-for-windows-presser-038.jpg
Jeff Dietel, a Verizon executive, during HTC’s eventuality in Aug 2014 to launch a HTC One M8 for Windows.
Sarah Tew/CNET

Verizon now sells a Nokia Lumia Icon and a Nokia Lumia 928. Dietel concurred these are good devices, though he pronounced a HTC One authorization is in a opposite difficulty among Verizon subscribers.

“HTC has been some-more synonymous with element fit and finish, as good as usually unequivocally good design,” he said. “Nokia offers superb hardware, though HTC is usually some-more determined in a US in terms of momentum.”

He total that Verizon business unequivocally wanted some-more choices when it came to smartphones. Not usually did they wish some-more hardware choices among Android devices, though he pronounced business wish some-more module choices, too.

While HTC and Verizon have harped on this idea that consumers are clamoring for some-more choices, one could disagree that they are indeed being served good adequate by Google Android and Apple iOS, that total comment for 96.4 percent of a market, according to IDC. What is some-more approaching is that handset makers and a carriers themselves like carrying some-more choices.

“Windows Phone has a niche audience,” Reticle Research’s Rubin said. “But what it comes down to is that handset makers like carrying a hedge. They are worried being gratified to Google or Apple. They wish to keep their options open.”

With this latest bid and interjection to efforts by Qualcomm, that has also worked closely with Microsoft to make certain a processors can run on both Windows phone and Android handsets, it could be easier and some-more cost effective to build inclination for any height regulating a same hardware.

“There’s been a lot of speak via a years of formulating a dual-boot phone, that is radically a singular device that can run Android or Windows,” Laybourn said. “So it’s not like we had an epiphany about all this. But we did see an opportunity, and we did a work to make it possible.”

Asked if he approaching some-more high-end inclination to come out that use a same hardware as Android phones, Laybourn chuckled.

“I certain wish so,” he said.

Android Wear choice no. 4? Asus teases smartwatch launch subsequent month


September is moulding adult to launch not one, though dual Android Wear smartwatches. We already know that Motorola is holding a press eventuality on Sep 4 where a rarely expected Moto 360 is expected and now it appears Asus will have a possess Android Wear entrance one day prior. The association tweeted out a revelation picture on Tuesday, suggesting a possess smartwatch will entrance during Berlin’s IFA eventuality on Sep 3.

Something #Incredible is going to occur during #IFA2014, see we there! http://t.co/1Dr2zAo06I
  (@ASUS) August 19, 2014

There’s small to be schooled from a image, save for what appears to be a square-shaped device. Asus was one of a strange Android Wear hardware partners when Google introduced a height for wearable inclination so it’s rarely expected this Asus watch will use a same program found on a other 3 Android Wear inclination announced or already available: The Samsung Gear Live and LG G Watch went on sale progressing this summer.

In a comparatively brief camber of time then, we’re going from no Google Android Wear smartwatches to during slightest 4 to select from. And there are still during slightest dual some-more Android Wear partners that haven’t nonetheless announced a product — HTC and Fossil — so it’s probable that consumers will have a half-dozen choices earlier rather than later.

What Asus and others who will follow have to do afterwards is find ways to compute their Android Wear products, that isn’t easy as Google controls a software; a association won’t even concede hardware partners to emanate “skins” or choice app launchers on a watches.

My theory is that Asus will try to contest on cost and keep a cost of a Android Wear watch underneath $199, or during slightest $30 reduction than LG’s wearable device. I’m not certain Asus has a economies of scale that Samsung does — that has repurposed and tweaked several watch designs given Oct — in sequence to undercut a $199 Gear Live, however.

Image copyright Janko Roettgers/Gigaom.

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opensignal report

A striking from OpenSignal visualizes a estimable accumulation of inclination regulating Android.

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console.log(“is not a left equivocate and no prev figures. ########## set placementIndex (“+leftPlacementIndex+”) and lookaheadStart (“+leftPlacementLookaheadStart+”) ##########”);
}
} else {
if (debug) {
console.log(“is a left equivocate or has prior figures. continue”);
}
}
} else {
if (debug) {
console.log(“#### leftPlacementIndex already set to “+leftPlacementIndex+”. looking ahead…”);
}
//not null; has been set
if ((cumulativeHeight – leftPlacementLookaheadStart) leftIntervalHeight) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“###### THRESHOLD REACHED. LOOKAHEAD COMPLETE. END ###### (cumulativeHeight – leftPlacementLookaheadStart) (“+(cumulativeHeight-leftPlacementLookaheadStart)+”) leftIntervalHeight (“+leftIntervalHeight+”).”);
}
return false;
} else {
if (debug) {
console.log(“threshold not reached: (cumulativeHeight – leftPlacementLookaheadStart) (“+(cumulativeHeight-leftPlacementLookaheadStart)+”) tags
if (!(isLeftAvoid($(this)) ($(this).hasClass(‘small’) || $(this).hasClass(‘inline-small’) || $(this).hasClass(‘medium’) || $(this).hasClass(‘inline-medium’) || $(this).hasClass(‘apart’) ))) {
cumulativeHeight += $(this).height() + grafHeight;
}
if (debug) {
console.log(“——————– set cumulativeHeight(“+cumulativeHeight+”) —————”);
console.log(“”);
}
}
});
}

if (leftPlacementIndex != nothing elementNotNearEnd($leftPlacementElement, leftPixelWindow)) {
if (debug) {
console.log(” insert into index “+leftPlacementIndex);
}
$(“#drr-container”).children().eq(leftPlacementIndex).before(“

“);
}

IDG.GPT.trackOmniture();

// Add Right rail procedure content
for (var i=0; i= 0) {
var a = document.createElement(‘a’);
a.href = document.referrer;
var uriParts = a.pathname.split(‘/’);
a = ”;
if (typeof uriParts[3] == ‘undefined’) {
epoParams += “typeId=” + defaultTypeId + “referrer=home”; // default is ‘home’ behavior
}
else {
var refCatSlug = uriParts[3];
epoParams += “catSlug=” + refCatSlug + “referrer=article”;
}
}
// From SEARCH: Show essay with catId same as stream article
else if (document.referrer.indexOf(“google”) = 0 || document.referrer.indexOf(“yahoo”) = 0 || document.referrer.indexOf(“bing”) = 0) {
var categories = [3145, 3042];
if (categories instanceof Array categories.length 0) {
var primaryCatId = categories[0];
epoParams += “catId=” + primaryCatId + “referrer=search”;
}
else {
epoParams += “typeId=” + defaultTypeId + “referrer=home”; // default is ‘home’ behavior
}
}
// Default is to uncover like entrance from homepage
else {

epoParams += “typeId=” + defaultTypeId + “referrer=home”;
// default is ‘home’ behavior
}
return epoParams;
}

/**
* @param jqo Original jquery intent target
* @param divString The div to be inserted.
* @return Difference in tallness between strange chain aim and final target.
* Checks initial 6 elements for an acceptable chain (600 pixel window).
* If none, check circuitously for elements that are not right avoids.
* If none, place component before stream target.
*/
function applyInsert(jqo, divString) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“applyInsert during tip and jqo index is: ” + jqo.index());
}

for (var i=0; i 0) {
children = $(“#drr-container”).children().slice(jqo.index(), allowElement.index() );
}
else {
children = $(“#drr-container”).children().slice(allowElement.index(), jqo.index());

}
if (children != null) {
children.each(function(i) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“About to supplement this element’s tallness to heigh diff offset”);
console.log($(this));
}
height += $(this).height() + grafHeight;
});
}
if (offset 300) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“isRightAvoid: found pre. lapse true”);
}
return true;
}
if (jqo.is(“figure”) jqo.hasClass(‘large’)) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“isRightAvoid: found figure.large lapse true”);
}
return true;
}
if (jqo.is(“figure”) jqo.hasClass(‘medium’) jqo.hasClass(‘inline’)) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“isRightAvoid: found figure has category middle and inline.”);
}
return true;
}

if (jqo.is(‘div’) jqo.hasClass(‘table-wrapper’)) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“isRightAvoid: found div with category table-wrapper”);
}
return true;
}
if (jqo.is(‘aside’)) {
if (jqo.hasClass(‘sidebar’) !jqo.hasClass(‘medium’)) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“isRightAvoid: found aside with category sidebar, but category medium”);
}
return true;
}
if (jqo.hasClass(‘statsTable’)) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“isRightAvoid: found aside with category statsTable”);
}
return true;
}
}
if (jqo.hasClass(‘download-asset’)) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“isRightAvoid: found category download-asset lapse true”);
}
return true;
}
if (jqo.hasClass(‘tableLarge’)) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“isRightAvoid: found category tableLarge lapse true”);
}
return true;
}
if (jqo.hasClass(‘reject’)) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“isRightAvoid: found category reject. lapse true”);
}
return true;
}
}
return false;
}

// Return loyal if component has category ‘reject’: will not place drr modules/ads subsequent to these elements
function isRightReject(jqo) {
console.log(“in isRightReject”);
if (jqo != null) {
if (jqo.hasClass(“reject”)) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“isRightReject: found ‘reject’ class”);
}
return true;
}
return false;
}
return false;
}

// Returns loyal if tallness of all elements after this one is some-more than 500; fake otherwise
function elementNotNearEnd(element, pixelWindow) {
if (pixelWindow == null) {
pixelWindow = 500;
}
if (element == null) {
return false;
}
var remainingHeight = 0;
var children = $(“#drr-container”).children().slice(element.index());
if (children == null) {
return false;
}
children.each(function(i){
remainingHeight += $(this).height();
});
if ( remainingHeight pixelWindow) {
return true;
}
else {
if (debug) {
console.log(“Element too tighten to end. Remaining tallness is: ” + remainingHeight + ” and window is ” + pixelWindow);
}
return false;
}
}

/**
* Return loyal if need to equivocate this component when fixation left module.
*/
function isLeftAvoid(jqo) {
if (jqo.is(“figure”)) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“isLeftAvoid: found figure. lapse true”);
}
return true;
}
if (jqo.is(“aside.pullquote”)) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“isLeftAvoid: found pullquote. lapse true”);
}
return true;
}
if (jqo.is(“pre”)) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“isLeftAvoid: found pre. lapse true”);
}
return true;
}
if (jqo.is(“div.gist”)) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“isLeftAvoid: found github formula block. lapse true”);
}
return true;
}

if (jqo.is(“aside”) jqo.hasClass(“sidebar”) jqo.hasClass(“medium”)) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“isLeftAvoid: found middle sidebar. lapse true”);
}
return true;
}

if (jqo.hasClass(“statsTable”)) {
if (debug) {
console.log(“isLeftAvoid: found category statsTable. lapse true”);
}
return true;
}
return false;
}

/**
* lapse loyal if there are no total before a aim chain that competence drain down into chain element
*/
function noPrevFigures($originalTarget) {
var targetIndex = $originalTarget.index();
var numElementsLookBack = 5;
var figureIndex = null;
var figureHeight = null;
var startIndex = targetIndex – numElementsLookBack

Android’s fragmentation is deliberate a platform’s Achilles’ heel. Apple executives ridicule it with rule while Google and a supporters downplay a significance.

A new news from OpenSignal sum how Android’s fragmentation is some-more nuanced than a tongue shouted by possibly side. 

The series of opposite inclination regulating Android now stands during roughly 19,000—up from 11,000 one year ago. Yet a smaller commission are regulating a ancient Gingerbread 2.3, down from 34 percent final year to a small 11 percent in this survey. Previously, it was a second most-popular version.

OpenSignal tracked a information by anyone who downloaded a Android app, collecting information about Android versions, shade sizes, and location.

brand fragmentationOpenSignal

The OpenSignal news sum a opposite models offering by Android handset makers.

About 21 percent of a inclination are regulating a latest version, Android 4.4. They tend to be clustered in precocious markets, however, with a infancy in a United States and Western Europe.

Samsung still dominates Android, yet a 43 percent of a marketplace is down somewhat from 47 percent. Competitors LG, Motorola, Sony, and Lenovo have large chunks to themselves and have expelled some renouned devices. More are on a approach this tumble during a IFA discussion and a Motorola eventuality in September. 

The OpenSignal news has a series of interactive graphics that make it value exploring for anyone meddlesome in a extended viewpoint of a Android platform. It serve sum device forms by segment and specifies fragmentation by sensor types.

While usually 20 percent of inclination regulating latest chronicle of Android might sound dire, in use it is distant reduction problematic. Google has unbundled Google Play Services and a core applications from a handling system, giving it a energy to pull updates directly instead of watchful on carriers and hardware makers. About 75 percent of inclination are regulating during slightest 4.1 Jelly Bean, and should have entrance to a latest in Play Services. So even if one is not on KitKat, they might still be means to run Google and third-party apps with minimal issues.

Android’s fragmentation has worked out agreeably in one respect: it has authorised an impossibly different series of manufacturers to offer devices. This, among other factors, has helped Google’s mobile handling system transcend iOS in web traffic for a initial time.

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There are scarcely 19,000 opposite inclination using Android out in a wild, according to new report


Android fragmentation appears to be on a decrease as a pain for app developers, though that doesn’t meant that there isn’t a duds of opposite inclination regulating Android out there. In fact, a series of opposite Android inclination continues to grow, according to a new news from OpenSignal, that collected information from nearly 19,000 opposite Android devices, a jump of roughly 7,000 some-more inclination than final year.

Compared with final year’s report, that are a lot fewer people regulating Android 2.3 Gingerbread, that was a second most common Android several final year. The suit of inclination regulating Gingerbread forsaken from 34.1 percent to 13.6 percent, that is many expected a outcome of comparison inclination removing replaced, rather than receiving updates. Out of 682,000 inclination surveyed globally, scarcely 21 percent are regulating Android 4.4 KitKat, that is now a many modernized chronicle of Android accessible to consumers.

OpenSignal draft describing a relapse of OS versions, 2014

But a news takes pains to indicate out that comparison versions of Android are most some-more common in poorer countries, as totalled by per capita GDP. Included on a OpenSignal site is a really nifty interactive draft that creates clear KitKat has most reduction invasion in countries in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America than in regions like Western Europe.

This is another reason because Google’s Android One module is so important: Android competence be open to any device manufacturer, though it is in Google’s seductiveness to make certain those inclination are regulating an present handling complement with full entrance to Google services, even if those phones are significantly reduction costly than models sole in Western Europe or a United States.

OpenSignal collected a information from a Android app, that marks a opening of several networks around a universe as good as operative as indicating users to a nearest conduit dungeon tower. You competence remember OpenSignal’s news on Android fragmentation from final year, that enclosed a striking on Android shade resolutions that went viral. Below is a updated chronicle for this year.

OpenSignal draft displaying celebrated Android shade resolutions, 2014

It’s critical to remember that Android fragmentation is much reduction of a problem than it used to be, thanks to Google’s efforts to pierce core Android elements out of a handling complement and into Google Play Services, that updates automatically and works even with comparison versions, such as Gingerbread. The shade distance problem, as shown by a striking above, isn’t even that bad: Designers now know how to use high-resolution graphics and adjust for teenager differences in breadth and tallness according to Google’s best design practices.

Still, a news is useful as a another sign of Android’s prevalence as a tip global mobile handling system. IDC points to Android carrying an 85 percent tellurian marketplace share, and a approach that Android got there is by a constant number of opposite inclination being used around a universe — 18,786, according to OpenSignal’s data. Bet on that series rising nonetheless again subsequent year.

Image copyright ericazeidenberg1.

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