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Android

  • Google is targeting the next billion (and Microsoft) with Android One

    At Google’s I/O conference last month, the internet giant unveiled Android One – an initiative that will help connect (at least) the next billion people. This is not a charitable move. Rather, as the number of smartphones globally head to 2-billion in the next 12 months, everyone competing in the space faces the real risk of running out of growth. For Google, this risk is even more acute. Beyond the close on 2-billion people already using smartphones, the next billion or two are not likely to be using the ‘desktop’ internet in any meaningful way. That makes owning the...

  • Want to know what’s next for Android? Here’s how to watch Google I/O live

    It's almost time: the massive annual event where Google gives us a glimpse into what it's working on (and occasionally lets us watch its co-founder skydive). Yes, Google I/O starts today in San Francisco. While we don't know the specifics of what will be unveiled at the two day event, we can make some educated guesses. We'll probably see a demo and find out more about the new version of Android, the successor to last year's KitKat, which is rumoured to be named 'Lollipop'. We'll also be hearing more about Android Wear, Google's operating system for wearable devices, which is...

  • You can now buy stuff from Google Play using PayPal, just not hardware

    This is interesting. Google will now let you pay for purchases on the Play store using PayPal. In an official blog post, Google says it hopes the new feature will help it expand international sales on the store. According to the blog post, sales on the store have increased 300% over the past year, with two-thirds of Google Play purchases now happening outside of the United States. To start with, the feature is being rolled out in 12 countries including the US, Germany, and Canada. When you make a purchase on Google Play in these countries, it says, you'll...

  • Apple and Google have already won the smartphone wars, now what?

    Last year, Android and iOS devices accounted for 93.8% of global smartphone shipments. That’s 94 out of every 100 shipped to operators and retailers. And the trend is accelerating… in 2012, the number was 87.7% (according to the IDC). By the fourth quarter of last year, it was 95.7%. During 2013, shipments of smartphones hit one-billion for the first time, and also surpassed shipments of feature phones. The line between the two categories is blurring - Nokia’s Asha range of devices is perhaps the best example of this (and it doesn’t seem to be included in IDC’s smartphone numbers). Now,...

  • Android Wear could be Google’s killer weapon in the wearable arms race

    With the launch today of Android Wear Google has made what could be its most important move to date in the wearable space. Sure Glass has been the locus of its wearable focus until now, and people are doing incredibly cool things with it, but an operating system made specifically for wearables could see it dominate the space even more thoroughly than it has smartphones. As per the official blog post announcing its launch, Android Wear is Google's attempt to extend the Android experience into the world of wearables, starting with smartwatches. The Mountain View-based tech giant says that...

  • The problem with an Intel push for an Android Windows marriage

    Android and Windows running in harmony on the same machine isn't something new. Whether it's by dual-booting -- choosing which OS to boot when starting a device -- or virtualisation -- think BlueStacks -- we've seen companies like Samsung and ViewSonic take a stab at the idea with the Ativ Q and ViewPad 10Pro, respectively. But now, Intel is said to be poised to throw its weight behind the idea. Just as the world's largest consumer electronics show is about to begin, rumours are surfacing that we are about to see a flurry of Intel-blessed devices emerge from International...

  • Baidu reports 270m active Android users in China

    If anyone is in the position to know what Chinese netizens get up to online, it’s Baidu, the nation’s top search engine. Baidu’s newest mobile trends reports reveals lots of details about what people in China are doing with their smartphones and feature phones – but let’s focus on the big picture. The report shows that China now has 270-million active Android users (in Q3 2013), up from about 130-million at the same period last year. Notice that the rate of growth of Android uptake is now slowing on average -- to about 10 to 13% per quarter -- but there’s...

  • With Android KitKat, Google knows everything you do… and that’s scary

    Android KitKat (4.4) is all about “connecting the next billion users”. That’s a lofty ideal from Google, and the fact that the new version of the OS has a vastly slimmed down memory footprint should not be underestimated. That Android can now run comfortably on 512MB of RAM is critical to extending Google’s reach beyond a hundred-million or eight devices. In fact, it’s easy to argue that this is the most important feature of the OS (ignore all the other bells and whistles). Look out below, Nokia Microsoft Asha and BlackBerry! But hidden in plain sight is a feature that’s...

  • How Google clamps down on Android’s open-source: the key is Google apps

    Google is often seen as the good guy of the big corporations operating in the world today. Its informal motto is "Don't be evil" after all. Without shouting conspiracy at the top of my lungs, a recent article by Ron Amadeo on Arstechnica brings to light just how Google is starting to close the source so to say, on its Android platform, and perhaps its behaviour could be seen as less "Don't be evil" and more that of the schoolyard bully. When Android was first brought to market, the mobile landscape had different textures. iPhone was on its way to...

  • iMessage app for Android removed after security concerns

    An app that lets users send and receive messages using Apple's iMessage service on Android devices sounds cool right? But it's also very fishy. It also only lasted for less than two weeks. Upon its release, the iMessage Chat app received a lot of criticism from developers who believed it to be encroaching on the security and privacy of Apple users. The unofficial app was bashed earlier this week by developers who claim that the service was harvesting Apple ID usernames and passwords by passing packets through China-based servers. Furthermore, facts such as the need for an Apple user to offer...

  • BBM for iPhone, Android to save us from iMessage, WhatsApp on 21 September

    While BlackBerry is rumoured to be pursuing a sale -- to be wrapped up as quickly as November -- and preparing another round of layoffs, the embattled Canadian titan is still releasing devices and plowing ahead with plans to roll out BBM to the iPhone and Android platforms. The once exclusively BlackBerry-only club will open its doors on 21 September and there is no cover charge -- BBM will be available as a free download in Google Play and the App Store. Why would you leave the comfort of iOS 7's swanky new messages app or your swiss-army knife of...

  • JellyBean continues its rise, now running on 45% of Android devices

    Google may have just announced the name for the latest version of Android, but the as-yet-unreleased KitKat isn't making a mark on the millions of devices running the operating system yet. But as Google's latest statistics suggest, it may have to fight with the lingering presence of its dessert-flavoured predecessors for a while. According to the latest update to the Android developer's dashboard, while JellyBean is now the version running on the largest percentage of devices which accessed the Play Store over the last week, older versions like Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich still hold quite a chunk of...

  • Meet Kit Kat, the latest flavour of Android

    Google has announced that the next flavour of Android won't be called Key Lime Pie, as we've been led to believe until now, but Kit Kat. Yup that's right, your next version of Android will have the same name as a wafer-filled chocolate bar from Nestle. The news, which was broken by Google's SVP of Android Sundar Pichai, also saw the company reveal the there are now over one-billion Android installations around the world. Google hasn't revealed what updates will come with the newest version of its mobile OS other than to say that it's looking to "make an...

  • Google finally brings out tool to help you find your lost Android

    This has been a long time coming. Google is set to release a series of updates that will help you find your lost or stolen Android device. Until now, Android users have had to rely on third-party apps if their device decided to go for a proverbial walk, but the updates mean that they will now have a couple of pretty powerful tools in their armory when it comes to locating their phone. The first feature is meant for people who regularly lose their phones inside their homes and rings the device at maximum volume, even if it's...

  • Jelly Bean overtakes Gingerbread as most popular Android version (finally)

    Yep, Android users are moving on: Google's latest refresh of stats for developers shows that dear old Gingerbread is no longer running on the largest percentage of devices worldwide. The top spot has finally been claimed by the latest version of the operating system -- Jelly Bean. Android 2.3.3 -- 2.3.7 (otherwise known as Gingerbread) has been around since early 2011 and has been a favourite among manufacturers of budget Android phones ever since. But Google's figures, which represent the portion of operating systems used to access Google Play, show that the latest version now holds a combined 37.9% of...