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Google have been hiding Android 5.0 "Key Lime Pie" behind some very sealed doors, but it looks like the first sliver of information has leaked out on Google's next-gen mobile OS.
Members of the Chromium Project are used to seeing countless Android builds, but the latest one is from a Chromium user who spotted a posting of bug 267659, who reported an issue with Cloud Print by listing out his devices. The Nexus 7 and Nexus 4 were both listed, running Android built KRS36B. These few digits and letters are very significant, to those who know what to look for.
The most important part? The "K" in KRS36B, which stands for "Key" in Key Lime Pie. All previous releases for Jelly Bean start with "J", and it continues backwards with "I" for Ice Cream Sandwich, "G" for Gingerbread, and so on. The most recent build pushed out to the original Nexus devices was JWR66V, so we have "J" for Jelly Bean, obviously.
Samsung has been working on Tizen for a while now, but in case you didn't know what Tizen was, you might want to do some light reading. Tizen is Samsung's mobile OS, that will see a bright future for the South Korean giant in the years to come.
But now there's some new information on just how much faith Samsung have in Tizen, with co-CEO, J.K. Shin, who runs Samsung's IT and Mobile Communications Division saying that Tizen is more than a small project for the company, and it isn't just a "simple alternative for Android." Shin sees a future of Tizen powering more than smartphones, a future where the mobile OS would move into vehicles and other industries.
Shin continues: "There are many convergences not only among IT gadgets, including smartphones, tablets, PCs, and cameras, but also among different industries like cars, bio, or banks. Cross-convergence is the one [area] Samsung can do best since we do have various parts and finished products."
I've been using Android 4.x Jelly Bean since day one, and I'm in love with it. But, it has seen a slow adoption rate, but thanks great selling smartphones like the Galaxy S4, HTC One and Xperia Z, Jelly Bean has finally become the dominant version of Android.
The numbers speak for themselves, with the digits posted on the Android Developers website. As it stands right now, Android 4.1 and 4.1 are found on 40.5% of all Android devices, up from 38% of devices last month. This news means that Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" users are upgrading, with Android 2.3 numbers down to 33%, just 1% lower than June's numbers of 34%.
I haven't updated my Nexus 4 to Android 4.3 just yet, but it looks like those that have are finding issues with the latest update. Some users are reporting overheating, rapid battery drain, frequent crashing while in use and a perpetual loop during boot which renders their Nexus 4 unusable.
Other users are reporting that their Nexus 4 has become too slow to be usable. There are other reports from users that state passwords not being requested, which prevents their Nexus 4 from being unlocked. Whereas some users are reporting that there is no multitouch capability, reception issues, data disappearing, and applications that have gone missing.
The bad news for Android 4.3 on the Nexus 4 doesn't end there, with other users reporting that a device erase and factory reset fix the issues, but users shouldn't have to resort to formatting their phone to resolve an OS update problem.
One of Apple's last saving graces before they truly start experiencing more issues is iOS 7. The latest beta version of iOS 7, beta 4, began seeding out to developers yesterday.
iOS 7 beta 4 includes some aesthetic changes, which include a modified lock screen, and a new direction arrow that sits to the left of the "slide to unlock" text. There's also a solid bar up the top which is there to highlight the notification center. There are more visual refinements to be found throughout iOS 7 beta 4, too.
What does iTunes 11 do? Well, for starters the company have added support for iTunes Radio, which is set to compete against music streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora. Other than that, there's not much to talk about with the new version of iTunes just yet.
If you own a Nexus device, and more specifically, the first-generation Nexus 7, you really should update to Android 4.3. It is being reported that Android 4.3 supports TRIM.
TRIM will talk to the storage on your device, letting it know when blocks are sitting there unused and are ready for garbage collection. This needs to happen, and when it does, it stops your device from eventually running slower and slower. If TRIM doesn't do its job, then when you "delete" a file on your device, it really isn't deleted, but the space is instead marked as being available to be cleared later when the system needs it.
Android 4.3 only came out last week, and includes TRIM support for all Nexus devices. So if you're one of the tens of millions running a Samsung Galaxy-branded smartphone, you're out of luck, this time.
Google launched Android 4.3 last week when they announced their refreshed Nexus 7 tablet, but now hackers and developers have been going elbows deep into the Android 4.3 code where they've discovered that the new mobile OS is ready for 4K-capable TVs.
Android Police have discovered some image assets in Android 4.3 that point to XXXHDPI resolution, a pixel per inch density of 650. Considering HTC's One smartphone has a Full HD display (1920x1080) and has a DPI of 480, this is interesting. Android now supports resolutions much higher than 1080p, meaning we should expect 4K support in the near future, or even now.
Android engineer Dianne Hackborn wrote a note attached to the code, which says: "A typical use of this density would be 4K television screens-3840x2160, which is 2x a traditional HD 1920x1080 screen which runs at DENSITY_XHIGH."
Finally. The day has arrived: Google have unleashed Android 4.3 to the world, keeping the "Jelly Bean" codename intact. What exactly does Android 4.3 bring to the tablet versus Android 4.2?
Well, we have a bunch of multi-user settings, which includes the ability to restrict profiles for younger people. This is a great feature to keep your content, or the ability to access adult content, from children. You can restrict app content at the user level, with a user enjoying the ability of restricting a number of puzzles within a game to a specific profile.
On top of this, you can prevent kids from going crazy and racking up huge bills with the in-app purchases. This is a must-have for all parents, in my opinion. Apple, where are you?
Over 1.5 million Android devices are activated each day, Google Play Store passes 50 billion downloads, too
Late last week, Google CEO Larry Page revealed that over 1.5 million Android devices are activated each and every day. This is up from last September's numbers of around 1.3 million each day.
Google are inching closer to having one billion Android-based devices on the market, with Page stating that it is "pretty amazing given the first Android phone launched less than five years ago." Moving onto the Google Play Store, the Google CEO revealed that over 50 billion apps have been downloaded from the Google Play Store.
This number should astound people, myself included, because last September this number was just 25 billion. This represents a 100% increase in under a year, which is an amazing number no matter which way you look at it. Google Chrome received a mention, too, with the web browser from Google now enjoying 750 million users, one of those being me.
Google has updated Chrome OS in the beta channel with a couple of new features. The new build is version 29.0.1537.32, and also arrives with a number of bug fixes, security updates, and additional feature enhancements.
The biggest feature of this is the new "immersive" mode, which sees a fullscreen browsing session open up, hiding the navigation bars. Google have also updated Kernel 3.8 for both the Chromebook Pixel, and Samsung 550. Chrome OS owners can now pin apps to the shelf by using drag-and-drop from the Launcher.
The update also includes a Consumer Kiosk Mode, which lets users build a Chrome OS-based kiosk. Google didn't finish there, though, as there's now a two-finger method to navigate browsing history as well as the ability to sync default wallpaper selections across devices. The app launcher search feature has also been improved, and overall, the system dynamically learns what users search for, and can now search for apps within the web store if now matching apps are installed. There's also a tweaked interface that shows apps in a better way.