The Creator CI20, developed by UK chip designer Imagination, is a microcomputer set to rival the Raspberry Pi. Although slightly bigger in size, Imagination’s project packs more processing power, more RAM, and its own onboard flash storage.
Like the Raspberry Pi, the CI20 can support various Linux operating systems, but, unlike its competitor, can run the Android 4.4 KitKat OS, too. It features on-board WiFi and Bluetooth functionality, compared to the Pi’s single Ethernet port. The Ci20 will cost slightly more than the Raspberry Pi, priced at £50 ($65). It is available for pre-order now, with the first models shipped in January 2015.
The latest Android 4.4 KitKat is still running on a very small range of devices, having some manufacturers still working on updates for their previously released handsets with a lower Android version.
Even so, Google is undoubtedly working on another Android version, namely the 4.5, an operating system update schedule which Google made a habit of announcing during the I/O developer conference. However, this year might be different as some information sheds some light on what’s going to happen this year.
The dates for Google’s I/O developer conference have been recently announced, having it held between the 25th and 26th of June. If we are to follow Google’s past release announcements for the next Android OS version, that would be the date for this year’s announcement of the upcoming Android OS version. But sources from Google in Dublin tend to contradict this routine.
An anonymous source from Google HQ in Dublin is said to claim that a brief information from his or her superiors point to Android 4.5 being announced at a separate event which will be held in July, the same time when the Nexus 8 tablet is said to be announced. The information tends to add more information to the rumors about Google attempting to drop the 7-inch tablet market and focus on 8-inch tablets starting from this year.
Google’s actions have been justified by the increasing competition in the 7-inch tablet market, whereas 8-inch tablets are still in their early steps. And judging by both rumors, it appears that Google’s 8-inch tablets will not arrive in April as rumors have stated in the past. However, take the information with a pinch of salt, since no official information about either the next Android update nor the 8-inch Google Nexus tablet has been released yet.
Thank you Unwiredview for providing us with this information
Google is about to get tough on Android smartphone makers. Google is seeking to enforce a new rule that all smartphone makers must ship their smartphones with Android 4.4 KitKat if they offer their phones with access to Google’s Services Framework and the Google Play Store. Google have apparently spoken to all major smartphone vendors like Samsung, HTC, LG, ZTE, Motorola and others to inform them of the change. The main justification for a new strict policy on the Android operating system is because of the criticism Android has faced for its version fragmentation.
That is to say that currently the Android market is comprised of a wide range of smartphones and tablets running on different versions of Android which makes it problematic for developers to develop apps that work on all versions. According to the most recent figures Jelly Bean is installed on 59.1% of devices (35.9% 4.1.X, 15.4% 4.2.X and 7.8% 4.3), Ice Cream Sandwich on 16.9% (4.03-4.04) and Gingerbread on 21.2% of devices (2.3.3-2.3.7). Android KitKat (4.4) has just 1.4% of the market share which is barely ahead of Froyo (2.2) which has 1.3%.
Google’s memo apparently reads:
“Starting February 2014, Google will no longer approve GMS distribution on new Android products that ship older platform releases. Each platform release will have a “GMS approval window” that typically closes nine months after the next Android platform release is publicly available. (In other words, we all have nine months to get new products on the latest platform after its public release.) “
Given Android 4.4 was released on the 31st of October a 9 month window gives Android partners until the 31st of July to ship everything with Android 4.4.
Google getting tough on its partners certainly could work to the consumer advantage. The measures will mean that whether you buy a budget smartphone or a high-end smartphone you will still have the latest version of Android which should bring better performance and better features across the board. However, some partners and consumers will not like the idea that they are being “forced” to run the latest version of what is supposedly an open source operating system. Some hardware may simply not be compatible with Android KitKat so how will Google deal with those instances?
LG will be launching a new range of budget smartphones at Mobile World Congress 2014 later on this month. The new series of phones, dubbed the L Series III, includes 3.5 inch, 4.5 inch and 4.7 inch variants. From right to left in the above picture that’s the L90, L70 and L40. The L Series III are simply evolutions of the Optimus L II range in terms of the hardware internals. Being a budget smartphone series the specifications are relatively modest but perfectly adequate for anyone who doesn’t intensively use their phone.
The LG L90 features a 1.2GHz quad core CPU, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, a 4.7″ qHD (960 x 540) IPS display, 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP rear camera and a 2540 mAh removable battery. The dimensions of the LG L90 are 131.6 x 66 x 9.7mm.
The LG L70 has a dual core 1.2GHz processor with a 4.5″ WVGA (800 x 480) IPS display. 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage and an 8MP or 5MP (depending on retailer/carrier) rear camera top off the rest of the key specifications. The entire handset measures in at 127.2 x 66.8 x 9.5mm and has a 2100 mAh removable battery.
The final new addition is the LG L40 which is unsurprisingly the most affordable and lowest spec’d model. A 1.2GHz dual core, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of memory and a 480 x 320 resolution 3.5 inch display round up the main internals. This small handset measures in at 109.4 x 59.0 x 11.9mm and comes with either a 1700 or 1540 mAh removable battery depending on the retailer/carrier.
All three phones have 3G support and run a customisable version of Android 4.4 KitKat. As the pictures illustrates they will come in black and white variants.
HTC is always looking for ways to boost its brand in the face of stiff competition from the likes of Apple, Samsung, LG and Nokia to name but a few. After hosting an “ask me anything” on Reddit the HTC USA product team revealed that they would be standing behind their flagship phones by providing major Android updates for 2 years after release.
Apparently the reason for this being North America only is due to the way North American devices often have different hardware to global versions of HTC flagships. The hardware used for North American versions is often easier to upgrade, HTC used the example of the HTC One X which they claim is upgradeable on North American hardware (Qualcomm based) but not on international hardware (Nvidia). The HTC One X is currently being limited to Android 4.2 but HTC has vowed to explore making the upgrade to 4.4 more carefully as enough people voiced their concerns about it.
Google’s Nicolas Roard has revealed some of the improvements to the default Android 4.4 KitKat photo editor via Google+. The new photo editor is more advanced than the previous default photo editor on Android. The new non-destructive photo editor allows for full size image processing, zooming, re-editing, image exporting and user presets. The main advantage is the ability to add graduated filters, per channel saturation controls, full colour adjustments and more. Of course being an Android feature it should work and be present on all Android 4.4 compatible smartphones and tablets, unless vendors choose to replace it with their own photo editing software. See more details about it in the Google promotional video below:
In a promotional picture on the Android.com apps and entertainment section Google is showing off what apparently is the upcoming Nexus 8 tablet. The Nexus 8 has been in the rumour mill for a while now and is speculated to be based on the LG G Pad 8.3 tablet. This would hardly be surprising as LG and Google work together closely on a lot of things. The LG G Pad 8.3 is shown running Android 4.4 KitKat and you can see the bezel design that’s visibly slimmer than the Nexus 7 2013 Edition.
In September we saw a similar sequence of events. A picture appeared with someone holding a “mysterious phone” and then it later ended up being announced as the new Google Nexus 5. We are now expecting to see a similar thing happen here with Google’s Nexus 8.
Google might have accidentally leaked an image of their upcoming Nexus tablet, circulating under the name “Nexus 8”. Originally spotted on The Verge forums, a strange tablet was pictured in Google’s own promotional material for the revamped Android page promoting Android 4.4 KitKat. The picture is found at the bottom of the Apps & Entertainment page, and reveals a woman holding a tablet with very thin bezels.
The bezels are much thinner than the ones found on the Nexus 7 – 2013 Edition, and the device also appears to be running Android 4.4 KitKat due to the white status bar icons shown in the image. The tablet looks to keep to a similar overall size when compared to the Nexus 7 – 2013 Edition, leading us to believe that Google could be readying a Nexus 8 tablet.
Do not get your hopes up too soon as it could just be a marketing mistake, and the device in cause could even be a Nexus 7 with a poorly simulated screenshot on top. If Google is preparing such a device, we will hear more news on the topic at hand or maybe even see it released sooner than anybody could expect.
Google have already stated the Samsung Galaxy Nexus will not get Android 4.4 KitKat support (because it is too old) but the guys over at XDA Developers have decided they aren’t going to accept that. XDA Developers forum user Gharak posted up an Android 4.4 KitKat ROM for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The Android 4.4 ROM apparently works fine with the Galaxy Nexus but there are some glitches with it, such as a graphics glitch with the rotation and lock functions.
Anyone with a Samsung Galaxy Nexus handset might want to give the 4.4 ROM a shot but its worth remembering that it certainly won’t be as stable as a normal Android release. You should always install and “tinker” at your own risk, preferably if you have another spare handset. All the download links can be found here at the source.
In less than 24 hours, a group of talented software geeks has been successful in porting Google’s latest Android OS, 4.4 KitKat, to three Nexus devices. Android 4.4 KitKat is not yet officially available for Nexus devices, but AOSP builds for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 – 2012 and 2013 Editions are available for download.
Nexus 7 – 2013 Edition Wi-Fi version users can get their AOSP KitKat fix from Rootzwiki, while the Nexus 7 – 2012 Edition Wi-Fi model users can get the ROM via Paranoid Android. A Google Apps package for them can be grabbed from here. The Nexus 4’s AOSP KitKAT ROM is available for download as well over here.
A reminder however is that installing unofficial software on your devices, even if these are AOSP ROMs for Nexus devices, is not recommended. Everyone is responsible for whatever happens during the installation, but in case you decide to go this route, make sure you backup your data and follow the necessary install steps closely.
The Nexus 4, Nexus 7 – 2012 and 2013 Editions , Nexus 10 and Google Play editions of the Galaxy S4 along with HTC One will be updated to Android 4.4 KitKat in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for the official update.
Google released two long-awaited and hotly anticipated products. Already detailed earlier, the Nexus 5 runs on Mountain View company’s latest mobile OS. Android 4.4 KitKat has been in the news for quite some time now. It’s high time we learnt more about it, and officially now.
One of the key features of the new release is optimizations made to the OS, so as to be able to run smoothly on legacy devices with just 512 MB of RAM. Don’t get too excited, your old 2011 Smartphone won’t get the update. The significance of this update is that entry-level devices in the future should have no problem running Android 4.4 smoothly, despite their aging hardware.
Google has brought in a new sensor batching technology that cuts down on power consumption. Wireless printing has found its way into the features list, with support for HP hardware. Android 4.4 KitKat comes with the updated Hangouts app, capable of sending and receiving text messages and placing HD video calls. Google has updated the ‘People’ app, adding more functionality to it. It’s search functionality has been revamped, allowing you to look across multiple accounts with relative ease.
Google Now has also received a massive update, taking advantage of some of the hardware features offered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 SoC. The voice recognition engine has been tuned to be 25% more accurate than before. Also, all those envious of Moto X owners need not be anymore, for the Nexus 5 can also be woken up using just your voice commands.
The Play Store is set to undergo a few changes, and news this afternoon suggests some new media content. While Play Magazines has long been a middle-of-the-road option when compared to similar services on other platforms, Android Police is reporting that it could be changing for the better.
In their ongoing teardown of Play Store APKs, the team over at AP found mention of Google Play News a few months back. While nothing came of it, this recent teardown of Play Store 4.4 reveals several mentions of Google Play Newsstand. This hints at a long-rumored digital news service, much like Play Magazines. If the code is unchanged, we may also get the same service we saw with Play Music All Access.
With All Access, we were treated to a free trial before deciding whether or not to take the plunge and subscribe. It seems that Google Play Newsstand may offer the same kind of free trial. What lefts to be known is whether or not it’s a one-price unlimited news aggregate like All Access is for music.
If it is, news that they could couple a news service with Play Magazines is their saving grace. Of course, which partners they have on-board for any service is what will drive it. As great as All Access is, it can leave users wanting compared to competing services. With the proliferation of information sharing across the web, we’re left to wonder just how Google plans to make this worth while to consumers.
Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s ready for prime time, either. We would like to see it come to light with Android 4.4, but we’re not holding out hope just yet. It’s in the code, and obviously ready to launch, but we saw this with Play News months ago, so we’ll wait to hear something official before speculating much more.
It appears that today we are having a Nexus 5 leak frenzy, and here’s another one which puts at least one rumor to rest. As we found in some leaks earlier, Google planned to bring multiple variants of their next-generation Nexus Smartphones with varying battery capacities. The leak appears to have been misleading, so there is no point hoping for a 3000 mAh battery packed in the new handset. The Nexus 5 is confirmed to carry a 2,300 mAh battery unit, which we feel is quite good already. Sure, it doesn’t match up to the Xperia Z1 and LG G2, both of which have 3,000 mAh batteries, but owing to the lack of OEM overlay and extra background apps, we expect the Nexus 5 to come close to the battery life on offer by rivals.
Also, it has been once again confirmed that the Nexus 5 will come in only two variants, 16 GB and 32 GB, without a micro SD card slot as expected. It is good to know that Google isn’t launching an 8 GB variant, as we found that to be completely useless. According to the latest reports, and deductions based on the teaser images being posted by KitKat’s Twitter account, Google will announce Android 4.4 KitKat, and most probably the Nexus 5 alongside it, on October 21st.
Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.
The Android 4.4 KitKat update is getting near and we are all excited to see what comes out of the brain trust over at Google. One feature that they have confirmed is the ability for users to choose a third-party app as their default SMS or MMS app. This has of course never been available before. Google notes that many third-party SMS and MMS apps have already been made using workarounds to gain access to users’ text messages, a method that it doesn’t quite condone. The specific changes which have been made are to SMS_DELIVER_ACTION and WAP_PUSH_DELIVER_ACTION, SMS and MMS respectively, which will only work with one app at a time starting with Android 4.4.
The details come amid rumours that Google will also begin bundling SMS and MMS messaging right into its Hangouts app, creating a competitor to Apple’s iMessage. It also reports that Google will do away with Android’s traditional Messaging app, leaving Hangouts as the only built-in text messaging option for Nexus devices. This is something we have wanted for some time, as Google have struggled somewhat to encompass all their messaging platforms into a single solution.
If you’re eagerly awaiting the new LG Google Nexus 5 smartphone then you’ll be pleased to know a video has just emerged completely showcasing the new handset. We’ll cut to the chase and show you the new video straight away – it can be seen below:
Smartphones.sfr.fr are the lucky publication who managed to get one of these new handsets in to take a look at. The 7 minute video is likely to be of a LG Google Nexus 5 prototype handset that will closely resemble the final retail version. The video shows that the handset has Android 4.4 KitKat as its main OS. From the video we can see the handset has no microSD card slot but if you are an optimistic person then there is a slim chance one is hidden underneath the removable back cover.
Aside from what the video shows we already know (from the all the current rumours) that the Nexus 5 has a 5 inch 1776×1080 display (taking into account the portion of the display used for the software controls), the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 SoC, 2GB of RAM and 16/32GB of internal storage. There is believed to be no micro SD card slot and the handset is apparently set for an October 15th launch. The rear facing camera has 8 megapixels with optical image stabilisation and the battery is expected to be 2300 mAh for the 16GB model and 3000 mAh for the 32GB model. Pricing is rumoured to be $299 for the 16GB variant and $399 for the 32GB variant.
The old Android location services will be revamped on the new Android 4.4 KitKat release. It seems that the “Location Access” area will be called simply “Locations” and the Location ON/OFF switch will be moved from the area that used to be called “Access to my location” to the top right corner.
Furthermore, the two Location Sources features, GPS satellites and Wi-Fi & Mobile Network will be replaced with three new features. The first is “High Accuracy” which uses the GPS, Wi-Fi and mobile (but uses more battery), the second “Battery saving” which uses Wi-Fi and mobile networks and of course as the name says, it saves battery. The third is Device sensors only, which only uses the internal GPS receiver, but of course will take a long time to get your actual position.
The rumor is still to be treated as a rumor, at least for now, but given the images and looking from a logical point of view, there are high chances that the rumors will be true. There is a hint pointed to a launch date for the Android 4.4 on October the 15th, but we will have to wait and see what happens.
The most anticipated android update, which is the Android 4.4 Kit-Kat, will hit the Sony’s latest flagship that was launched at the IFA 2013 in Berlin Xperia Z1. Rumors are that Sony is working on its update platform and will roll out Android 4.4 updates in November to its devices. November the 7th is the date for the Xperia Z1 and after that, Sony will release this new update to its other Smartphones as well and there is a chance that after the Xperia Z1, Xperia Z and Xperia Z Ultra will be powered up with the Android 4.4 Kit-Kat.
The rumors also tell us that the Android 4.4 Kit-Kat will be bundled with many changes and will include some great enhancements and features, so probably this update is supposed to be big and could bring huge changes to the Sony Xperia flagships.The update will also bring security and bug fixes and optimized X-Reality Engine will also be bundled with this update.But unfortunately there is no official words on it so consider this news as the rumor.
To sum it all up, Sony will most likely skip Android 4.3 update for its latest flagship Xperia Z1 like Samsung recently do with the Galaxy S3 and its other Smartphones as Samsung have skipped Android 4.2.2 update.
Thank you Android SAS for providing us with this information.
This is really terrible news for all Galaxy S4 owners, as well as new Galaxy Note 3 owners. Samsung has revealed that both devices, powered by the Exynos 5 Octa SoC (5410 and 5420 respectively), won’t get the much wanted software patch which would have otherwise unlocked all 8-cores for simultaneous usage, for example Monster 8-core performance. The reason stated by Samsung is “thermal issues,” which is understandable, considering how hot the Galaxy S4 heats up to even with just its usual four cores operating under the hood.
The 8-core update will come only after the Exynos 5 Octa batches get updated with new production methodology aimed to avoid overheating in 8-core scenarios, and since the Note 3 and Galaxy S4 are sporting the current thermal envelopes, calculated to run with only four cores at once, the fix won’t apply to them, at least officially, unless you don’t mind the risk of frying the handset.
On the issue of the Android 4.4 KitKat update for Samsung’s flagships, the expert advised that this is still months away, and right now they are focusing on getting Android 4.3 rolled out to everyone in Q4.
The next generation of Nexus Smartphone by Google, a device which was called the Nexus 5 for a better part of the year now, might actually be named the Nexus 4 2013 edition. Now that we think of it, such a naming scheme is entirely plausible. Take the Nexus 7 for example, with the new model called the 2013 edition. The same rule is expected to be applied on both the Nexus 10 and the Nexus 5 (Nexus 4 – 2013 edition) when either device is launched later this month.
This was pointed out in the leaked images of the so-called Nexus 5 device, which gave us bits and pieces of the Android 4.4 KitKat it was running, but one image in particular was showing the device’s model named as “Nexus 4”. And given the previously mentioned devices which kept the model but with a slight change to the edition, it might be that Google will name their new Smartphone the Nexus 4 2013 and not the Nexus 5, a name that we all used for months now to describe the upcoming Nexus device.
Looking at the Build Number as well, it shows the internal name of the device on which it is installed. Each facility has an internal name:
Nexus One: passion
Nexus S: frizz
Galaxy Nexus: maguro
Nexus 4: mako
Nexus 4 2013 (Nexus 5): hammerhead?
There is nothing new the name “hammerhead”, which draws the conclusion that it might belong to the Nexus 4 2013 (or Nexus 5 if you prefer it). The information is still vague, but we will soon know all there is to know about the Nexus 4 – 2013 edition (Nexus 5) when it will be released.
Great news for HTC One users as the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updated has started to be available for OTA download. It is reported also that the HTC One will run smoother and faster with the new 4.3 OS than the Samsung competitor, the Galaxy S4.
The update started to become available to unlocked HTC One devices on the 28th of September and carrier locked phones will soon be given the update later on (if not already received). It is worth noting that Android 4.4 KitKat will soon be available in October, so updates are on the roll for android users.
The main improvements that users will see in the new Android 4.3 update for HTC One are:
Improved colour contrast in low-light environments using the camera
New battery charging animation in power-off state
Video highlights can now feature soundtracks
Several bug fixes
Improved overall system performance
Aside from the modifications and improvements provided by HTC to the One smartphone, the new firmware features several Jelly Bean goodies from the Android 4.3 version.
Some features owners should expect from the new software update are as follows:
OpenGL ES 3.0 version for realistic and high performance 3D graphics rendering
Virtual surround sound powered by Fraunhofer Cingo – Beats Audio technology may have overridden this
Bluetooth Low Energy and compatibility with Bluetooth Smart accessories
Improved dial pad functionality with Autocomplete
Better keyboard and text input
Wi-Fi only location scanning
Disabled apps tab found in the “Settings > Applications”
Screenshots of an Android device taken by Myce have revealed what they claim is proof of the Nexus 5 running Android 4.4 KitKat. In a log file “Android Key Lime Pie” is revealed with corresponding references to the Nexus 5 as the product name. Android Key Lime Piece is another way of referring to Android 4.4 KitKat.
The extensive range of screenshots, of which some of the “more interesting” ones can be seen in this article, show that the next generation Nexus device will run Google Babel (Hangouts) and Google Authenticator. Additionally other stuff has been revealed like a complete list of Nexus 5 sensors. The Nexus 5 has a Magnetometer, Gyroscope, Barometer, Game Rotation Vector, Motion detector and Step detector.
The screenshots also reveal evidence for wireless charging and camera sensor settings. If you want to check out a more detailed analysis of the log files and what they could potentially mean then you can find that here.
Rumours coming in from AndroidSAS suggest that LG is now preparing a competing smartphone to Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra, pictured above next its 5 inch sibling the Sony Xperia Z. The new smartphone from LG will take the Xperia Z Ultra head on in terms of the display offering up a huge 6.4 inch 1920 x 1080 418PPI full HD display making this thing closer to a Google Nexus 7 tablet than a 5 inch smartphone.
The LG 6.4 inch smartphone is expected to be powered by a Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 CPU paired with 3GB of RAM and it will run the latest Android 4.4 KitKat. The LG handset will reportedly use an 8MP rear camera with rear flash too. The expected naming and release date isn’t disclosed but more details are expected soon.
Google’s Android 4.4 KitKat appears to have not gone unnoticed by its Windows Phone competition over at Nokia. Nokia’s latest advertising campaign plays on the new Android KitKat naming/branding with the above picture. The ad campaign image which was revealed on Twitter sparked quite a lot of discontent from users. They have criticised Nokia for a desperate attempt and stated that this is what a “bottom 2%” company has to resort to. Of course things aren’t that bad for Nokia but they certainly aren’t as big as they used to be.Maybe an all out assault on its leading Android rivals might be the way for Nokia and the Windows Phone OS to snatch a much more favourable market position? One thing’s for sure and that is that this stunt by Nokia certainly won’t go unnoticed by Samsung’s marketing and PR team.