It’s that time of the year again. The days are getting longer, new hardware is being released, and Google has revealed the next version of Android. As of the March 7th release of the developer preview, we’ve worked our way down Alphabet’s alphabet all the way to “P.” We still don’t know what P is going to end up standing for (Pineapple upside-down cake?), but by now we’ve got some idea for the changes present in this latest/upcoming version of Android.
To paraphrase David, “I turned around, and it was Christmas.” Thanks to all our tipsters— we ❤ you— our collective Android Police inboxes overfloweth in a deluge of developer discovery.
The Google I/O 2018 ticket sign up registration is now closed, but there’s something else on the I/O website that should grab your interest: the event schedule is now up and you can see that there might be two main keynotes on May 8, one from 10am to 11:30pm and one from 12:45pm to 1:45pm. I don’t think this format was used in the previous years: it used to be one long main keynote.
Aside from the main event, the schedule has a long list of sessions to look through just to try to gauge a bit what the next focus points for Google will be over the next year. There’s never anything super juicy there or any large slip, as Google often tends to leave a few sessions out from the schedule because their name is reliant on something being announced in the main keynote. But still, I took a quick look and found a few interesting/telling sessions:
And there are many sessions for developers about Kotlin, Firebase, Flutter, Instant apps, AR/VR, developing for the web, Google Pay, Assistant, and some sessions about understanding memory usage and battery drain in apps. All in all, it’s the usual except for two main missing topics: no Android TV, no Android Auto. Google sometimes adds more sessions as we approach I/O and even adds more sessions after the main keynote event, so there’s hope for them still, but this is where things are at for now.
It has been a very long time since we last covered Android x86, but the project is still alive and kicking. If you’re not familiar with it, Android x86 is a port of Android to x86-based PCs and Macs, with almost no changes to the interface (for better or for worse). The first stable port of Android 7.1 has just been released, so you can enjoy Nougat on your PC or virtual machine of choice.
There have been two previous release candidates for Android x86 7.1, one in June 2017, and the other in October. Now the project believes 7.1 is stable enough for most people to use on their computers, and there have been some changes since the last release candidate. Here’s the full changelog:
Android-x86 installer was improved a lot including:
Create EFI boot entry to efibootmgr.
Add auto-installation function which is useful to install Android-x86 as the only one OS.
Provide more information on disk and partition selection menu.
Add advanced options to provide more boot options.
Save the last choice in grub2 menu.
Update kernel to the LTS kernel 4.9.80 with more patches from AOSP.
Add a new HAL for iio type sensors.
Show poweroff menu by ctrl-alt-del.
Fix a lot of bugs.
I fired it up in VirtualBox, and once the VM’s mouse integration was disabled, it worked pretty well. The developers even included Taskbar as a launcher option, so you can easily take advantage of Nougat’s multi-window capabilities. The Play Store works perfectly as well. Unfortunately, there’s still not an easy way to disable the on-screen navigation bar.
You can download Android x86 for both 32-bit and 64-bit PCs at the source link below.
The first stable version of ‘Android x86 CM 14.1’ is also now available from the project. Unlike the above release, which is based on AOSP (stock) Android, this version is based on LineageOS 14.1. More information (and download links) is available here.
Google Android OS is Google’s Linux-based open source operating system for mobile devices. Android has been the world’s most widely used smartphone platform as of 2010, with a worldwide smartphone market share of 75%.
Android offers users a “direct manipulation” interface for smart, natural phone use. Android’s open source code and permissive licensing allows device manufacturers, wireless carriers, and developers to adjust, customize, and distribute the platform freely.
Android System Versions: Donut to JellyBean
Android releases a few updated versions of its operating system every year. Android system versions are named with a dessert theme, the original being Donut 1.6 in 2009, and the latest being JellyBean 4.2 in 2012.
Currently there are 10 different Android versions, with Gingerbread being the most popular, running on 44% of devices. Gingerbread, despite being released in 2011, continues to be the most popular Android version due to many lower end devices still being released with it. The next most popular version is Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) with just under 30%
The latest Android update is Android 4.2 JellyBean, featuring a new camera experience, new form of typing, and Google Now.
Android or iPhone: Android for Google Apps
The debate between Android vs. iPhone continues, with enthusiasts from both camps making their cases. While the sleek, visually stunning design of the iPhone wins over many, Android receives the latest Google mobile products, as Google strives to push and challenge the boundaries of mobile devices.
The price point for Android devices, with Android tablets or Android phones, also tends to be lower than Apple devices.
Android Features and Google Products
Android lets users customize their smartphones for a unique and tailored experience. Users can add widgets to their home screen, receive notifications of texts, voicemail, and missed calls, and switch between various apps with multi-tasking capabilities.
Apps for Android
There are numerous Android mobile apps, or applications, that extend the functionality of Android devices. The Google Play Store, which serves as the primary Android app market, has over 700,000 Android apps available for purchase or free.
Our software and services help businesses and agencies take the guesswork out of pay-per-click advertising so you get more from your marketing budget.
The most popular Operating System for mobiles at the moment is Android, which was launched by Google way back in 2008. Android is an open source operating system written in Linux and basically designed for smartphones and tablets. It was launched during the period when Apples’s iOS(Also read: Evolution of iOS) was at the helm of the OS for mobiles market. Initially Android OS didn’t create any ruckus in the mobile world but it started to grow gradually.
Android was developed by Android Inc. which was later bought by Google in 2005. The first Android based smartphone was HTC Dream which was launched in 2008. As the OS is open-source, it allows the developers to play with the code allowing them to modify the code as per their needs. At present Android has one of the largest community of Application Developers writing and developing large number of applications that extend the functionality of the device.
Google has launched different versions of Android till now and the interesting fact to be noticed in these versions is that most of the names of OS are named after desserts and the names are in alphabetical order such as Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and now Jelly Bean. Now the next version is expected to be Key Lime Pie. The first two versions were not given any name and just simply referred as Android 1.0 and Android 1.1 and from Android 1.5 specific names were assigned to the OS. Besides these versions, many incremental updates were launched on top of these OS to fix the bugs etc.
While the mobile launched with the first version of OS – HTC made T-Mobile G1 or HTC Dream – was found wanting in many aspects and lacked many features but it showed enough promise to pull out some impressive features in future. And now after four years Android is running neck to neck with iOS and giving stiff competition to Apple Inc.
Let us see the different versions of Android in detail-
As i said earlier, Android 1.0 was not given any name. For the first time this OS appeared in HTC T-Mobile G1 in 2008 and the features like Gmail, Bluetooth, Google Maps, Google Calender, pull down notification window were offered. And the most important one – Android Market – was provided. Though the market had just 35 apps but it caught the eyes of the developers. Since then Android started to make its mark.
Later in 2009, an update to this version, first ever software update- Android 1.1 -was launched. This version fixed some bugs and allowed the user to save attached documents.
Android 1.5 was named as cupcake and it marked the beginning of the tradition of naming the OS in alphabetical order. It was launched in April 2009 with API level 3. Video recording and uploading to YouTube, support for widgets and animated transition effects were added in this version. The on-screen default keyboard got text prediction feature and also the support for third-party virtual keyboards was provided.
Android 1.6 – Donut was launched in September 2009 with many improvements. Android Market was enhanced and the number of apps also increased. ‘Mark All’ option was added in Gallery. Screens with 800×480 resolution was also supported by the platform. Stand out features like Android Search, Voice Search Functionality, Handwriting gestures etc were added.
One of the popular versions of Android – Android 2.0/2.1 (Eclair) – was launched in October 2009. Many camera-oriented features like flash and digital zoom, scene mode, white balance, color effect and macro focus were introduced. Other than these, multi-touch support such as pinch zoom, multiple user accounts, Quick Contact, live wallpapers, five home screens, improved keyboard, microphone icon for voice dictation in emails, speech-to-text option and Bluetooth 2.1 were included.
Android 2.2 named as Froyo (derived from Frozen Yogurt) was launched in May 2010 with many bug fixes. The SDK for Android 2.2 was launched based on Linux Kernel 2.6.32. The highlight of Froyo is that it allowed the users to install the apps on SD card so that the internal memory can be managed efficiently. This version also supports 720p screens, Wi-Fi tethering etc. With the help Adobe Flash 10.1 integration, devices running on Froyo allow the users to watch videos on web other than YouTube.
Market application was enhanced with batch and automatic update features. Many incremental updates were released for Froyo such as 2.2.1, 2.2.2, 2.2.3.
The next version of OS was Android 2.3 codenamed as Gingerbread which was launched in December 2010. This version supports large screen mobiles with much larger resolution. NFC (Near Field Communication) feature was added in this version with much improved power management. Internet telephone, video chat capability were also introduced.
Many incremental updates ranging from 2.3.1 to 2.3.7 were launched for Gingerbread.
This version of Android was mainly designed for Tablets. Launched in February 2011, it came with much organised tablet UI, enhanced widgets, improved performance etc.
Android 3.1 and 3.2 were just incremental updates which were released to fix the bugs.
Some of features in Honeycomb are-
Dual pane modes for address book.
Support for video chat using Google Talk.
Redesigned keyboard, making typing fast, efficient and accurate on larger screen sizes.
Multiple browser tabs replacing browser windows, plus form auto-fill and a new “incognito” mode allowing anonymous browsing.
Motorola Xoom is the first Android 3.0 based tablet.
Android 4.0 was launched in October 2011 with much improved UI and ultra-modern features. This was launched with full support for multi core CPUs to improve the processing capabilities and the multitasking. The OS came out with virtual buttons, improved copy and paste functionality, Pinch-to-zoom functionality in the calendar, Face Unlock feature (a feature that allows users to unlock handsets using facial recognition software) and many more.
This is a Full Fledged mega hit OS with many latest smartphones running on it. To fix the bugs and to improve the performance many incremental updates ranging from 4.0.1 to 4.0.4 were released.
Android 4.1 and Android 4.2- Jelly Bean
After ICS Android 4.1 – Jelly Bean – was announced at the Google I/O conference on 27 June 2012 and was launched on July 9 2012. This was launched mainly to improve the functionality and performance of UI.
Nexus 7 was the first tablet to run Jelly Bean. With Android 4.1 being an incremental update not many noteworthy features were introduced. Some of the features included in Android 4.1 are- Smoother UI, Enhanced accessibility etc.
Recently at Google I/O Conference, Announcement regarding the next version of Android rumored to be Key Lime Pie was expected. But the Search Engine giant didn’t make any announcement. Instead they announced the launch of new developer tools. Before key lime pie comes out it is rumored that we may get another version of Jelly Bean.
It is also being said that Google would be releasing Android 4.3 on white Nexus 4 June 10th.
There have been 900 million activations for devices running Android so far nearly 1/7th of world’s population.
Google Play has now passed 48 billion app installs with humongous 2.5 billion app installs in last few months alone . Recently Google has removed 60,000 low quality apps from Google Play.
Code names for Android OS from Google and release history
In this post, I am describing various code names used by Android OS. You can bookmark this page to keep track of the code names for various Android OS releases.
Now a days, most of the big brands assign code names to their products. With increasing number of code names, I myself get confused on what is what. In this article, I am providing the details of various Android OS versions released so far and that are coming up in the near future. If I missed any, please let me know and I will add it here.
Android OS Code Names
Google started using code names for Android OS starting from version 1.5, which was the second major release of the Android OS, originally developed for mobile platforms. After releasing the first version of Android in Sept 2008, Google has significantly improved the Android platform and is currently the most popular mobile platform in the world. The version 4.0 code named Ice Cream Sandwich is a true cross platform operating system which can run smoothly on mobile as well as tablet platforms.
Android Cupcake was the first official code name used by Android OS, even though there were previous releases of Android OS before this release. The Android version 1.5, a.k.a was released on 30 April 2009.
Android Donut was release on 15 September 2009 but it had a very short life since Google came up with Eclair in another month.
Android Eclair was released on 26 October 2009. The first smartphone device to come preloaded with Android Eclair was Motorola Droid.
Froyo was released on 20 May 2010 and the Google’s Nexus One was the first smartphone to launch with Android Froyo. The Android Froyo had only a short life and within few months Google released newer and much improved versions.
Android Gingerbread was introduced on 6 December 2010 and was a significant improvement in terms of performance compared to the previous releases. The first tablet to use Android Gingerbread was Google Nexus S.
Android 3.0, code named “Honeycomb” was a major update to the previous release to support tablet computers. Honeycomb was released on 22 February 2011 and the first tablet computer to use the Android OS was Motorola Xoom.
Ice Cream Sandwich, a.k.a ICS is the code name for Android 4.0. It was announced in May 2011 and was officially released on 19 Oct 2011. The Ice Cream Sandwich version is a major step in the cross platform OS from Google. Android 4.0 (or, Ice Cream Sandwich) is a single OS that can run on multiple platforms including tablets, phones and a variety of other devices.
Several websites have reported that the code name for next Android OS will be Jelly Bean, which will be Android 5.0 and will be released in Q3 this year. Google has not made any official announcements regarding the Jelly Bean release yet and it is possible that it may be named something else and it may not be even version 5.0. Many analysts predict it could be version 4.x since the previous release (Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich) is not yet available in many devices.
Tony John is a professional blogger from India, who started his first Weblog in 1998 at Tripod.com. Tony switched to blogging as a passion blended business in the year 2000 and currently operates several popular web properties including IndiaStudyChannel.com, Techulator.com, dotnetspider.com and many more.
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Android-x86 Just Might Make a Good Linux Desktop Alternative
Mar 20, 2014 3:33 PM PT
Working with the Android OS on a desktop computer environment takes personal computing in a new direction. How many will follow it remains to be seen.
The release of Android-x86 version 4.4-RC1 (KitKat-x86) by the Android-x86 Project brings the viability of an Android distro as an alternative desktop several steps closer, but it is still a work in progress.
This software release lets you run a live session of Android from CD or USB drive — or you can install Android KitKat for the PC on a laptop or desktop’s hard drive.
This Android-x86 Project is an unofficial initiative to port Google’s Android mobile operating system to run on computers powered by Intel and AMD x86 processors, including netbooks and laptops. The project is maintained by Chih-Wei Huang, who described the 4.4-RC1 version for PCs as a stable version based on Google’s Android 4.4.2 (KitKat-MR1) release.
“The Android-x86 release has great potential for both consumers to use the Android OS on their legacy computers and vendors to use it for their own branded releases,” Ron Munitz, CTO of Nubo Software, told LinuxInsider.
Nubo Software is developing an Android version that runs on servers. Munitz volunteered as a programmer on parts of the Android-x86 Project.
Android Distro for Linux Lovers?
LinuxInsider put this potential Linux distro contender through the paces of performing routine work and casual computing tasks. For surfing the Web and handling email, social networking posts and household record-keeping, a desktop or laptop Android OS works well. Could it eventually replace a Microsoft Windows, a desktop Linux distribution or the Mac OS X? Maybe!
A desktop or laptop running a more polished version of Android-x86 KitKat software easily could cash in on mobile Android’s popularity and become an Android distro for PCs, agreed Munitz. After all, Android is Linux. It’s based on the Linux kernel.
“There are already some Android desktops out there and Android notebooks are on their way,” said Tuong Huy Nguyen, principal research analyst for consumer tech and markets at Gartner.
“Anecdotally, I heard there is an interest from the consumer segment for Android notebooks — so potential demand. Thus vendors are responding with a product, ” he told LinuxInsider.
Several small vendors already sent hardware to project maintainer Huang for evaluating and development. For example, Tegatech (Tegav2 tablet), WeTab GmbH (Wetab tablet) and some small Taiwan vendors, he said.
“But I’m not sure if they have really shipped Android-x86 based products. For big vendors, I think they will co-work with Intel directly,” Huang told LinuxInsider.
The Android-x86 community has no set plan for developmental goals or vendor adoption. Android-x86 may never be mature enough to be a product if it doe not get supported now, he added.
Vendor Interest vs. Consumer Viability
“I think interest is different than viability. I am wary about this because consumers may be expecting a Windows or MacOS type experience while responding based on their familiarity with Android on the phone or tablet,” Nguyen cautioned.
The point is, while consumers may be interested, their expectations may be misplaced, he explained. Putting Android on desktops and notebooks may be better for light computing as occurs now on tablets and smartphones, he said.
That is not to say Android devices are not capable of more rigorous computing tasks — but the experience will be significantly different than what consumers are used to, according to Nguyen.
The Business Factor
An Android-x86 desktop or laptop may not be able to handle much productivity, noted Nguyen.
“This applies to both consumers and business users. On the business side, there is also the issue of supporting another ecosystem. They might already be doing this for phones or additional apps,” he said.
Still, Android has the potential to overcome these obstacles, in Munitz’s view. Google itself — if not other vendors — could adjust the Android-x86 code to make it a fully functional OS capable of replacing Windows entirely. The only real challenge would be getting an enterprise-class replacement application for Microsoft Word.
“The office suite is the real Achilles Heal in Android,” Munitz said.
Reviewing the Issues
Downloading the Android-x86 KitKat ISO file was a quick process, but burning the files to a CD-ROM (the files are small enough to not need a DVD) has a performance drawback. Reading the files from the optical drive took much longer than with most other Linux live session DVDs in my experience.
A much better approach is to create a bootable USB stick and burn the files to that device using Unetbootin or another USB Image Writer. That speeds up the entire live session experience. Installing to a hard drive takes very little storage space, so if you take that route, you need only create a 5-GB partition.
This software release supports virtual machine installations, but I found that option to be less successful. Android balked at loading on some of my computers with either CD or USB sources. Running it from a VM environment failed on three of my five computers. The good news is I was able to load Android on even low-powered PCs that balked at loading from the CD by using Android installed to a USB stick.
So far, you can save files and have them there on subsequent logons only on the Android stick — the current version has no persistent memory capability. That means any settings or app downloads made in one session do not carry over to subsequent sessions. This is the only advantage to committing the installation to hard drive.
The first run with KitKat for the PC requires creating or signing into a Google account. The process also involves configuring the WiFi connection. On several computers, the wireless connections failed. On several others, the “no connection” warning occurred even with a connection, whether wireless or LAN.
If you do not have a Google account, a plain vanilla Android loads. This gives you access to the Internet through the Google browser. There is no other browser option available.
Clicking on the Google Play store icon requires Google credentials to proceed. You have basic functionality to use the pre-installed apps without registering your Google account.
Navigating the GUI
Android-x86 has three home screens. Each one has a Google search box for typing and voice input at the top center of the screen. Across the bottom of the Android screen is a wide black panel holding in the center the expected Return button, Home button and Recent Apps button.
The top of the Android screen has a narrow black panel bar. In its right corner, the digital time is displayed. To the left of the time is a handle to drag down a larger box showing icons for User Information, Brightness, Settings, WiFi On/Off, Connectivity, Auto Rotate, Battery, Airplane Mode, Bluetooth Off, Location and Power Off. Directly below this panel bar, near the center, is the Google Play Music Widget.
The app icon for this program is displayed at the bottom of the screen, along with the camera icon and the browser icon. In the center of what is essentially the first row at the bottom of the display is the circular app drawer button with six squares. Click on it to see all installed apps. Above the app drawer button are three dots for each of the virtual pages or home screens.
Unless you are using a touchscreen monitor, you must press and hold any of the mouse buttons and drag left or right to change home screens. The second home page shows a folder on the second row that contains Maps, Gmail, Play Music, YouTube and Navigation. Also displayed is the icon to launch the Play Store. The first row is the same on all three pages. The third home page has the Gallery icon launcher and the Settings launcher. The Google search window sits at the top center of all three home pages.
If you have running applications, clicking the Recent button displays them in a row of thumbnails of each app. Click on the desired app to switch to a full-screen access to that app.
Terminal Window Dressing
The stock software installed includes some three dozen apps. Obviously, some of these apps are stock Android phone tools and will not work from a PC. Other apps in this list will not work if you do not sign onto your Google account. One app missing from the default installation is a file manager.
The KitKat version of the Android-x86 OS has a Terminal window app. This function is not included in the official mobile Android 4.4 version that Google released. So it may be a feature for this foray into using Android on a PC.
The Android Terminal has a drop-down switcher function to navigate among multiple Terminal windows. These seem to be much like virtual workspaces within the terminal environment.
A plus button in the top right creates new Terminal windows. An X button removes an added Terminal window. A typical menu launcher next to these buttons provides access to numerous Terminal-related settings such as Toggle soft keyboard, Special keys, Preferences, Reset, Email to, Take WakeLock and Take WiFiLock
Overall, performance generally was smooth and responsive on every computer I ran the Android distro. However, this software has a known issue involving locking up when the computer goes into sleep mode. After a prolonged period of inactivity, the screen blanks, but waking Android up is impossible.
That fault is temporary and present by design, of sorts, according to Munitz. There is an easy workaround. Just turn off the power management or change the display setting to never sleep.
It was designed like that to allow vendors to take the code and add their own power settings to their specific hardware. That time-out problem is not an issue on Android mobile devices, he explained.
The only other concern I had in playing around with this Android for PC distro release — as with mobile Android — is the lack of printing support. Of course, there is a default app for Google cloud printing.
Jack M. Germain has been writing about computer technology since the early days of the Apple II and the PC. He still has his original IBM PC-Jr and a few other legacy DOS and Windows boxes. He left shareware programs behind for the open source world of the Linux desktop. He runs several versions of Windows and Linux OSes and often cannot decide whether to grab his tablet, netbook or Android smartphone instead of using his desktop or laptop gear. You can connect with him on Google+.
Sentio Desktop transforms your smartphone into a laptop by making Android function like a familiar desktop OS. Pair it with the Superbook hardware for the full laptop experience. Features include:
• Task Bar with System Tray
• Full Keyboard and Mouse Support
• Multi-Window Framework with Sentio Apps
To get the full experience with Sentio Desktop, you will also need to install Sentio Apps, the basic apps pack for Sentio. Sentio Apps includes file manager, browser, image / video / audio players, and more. Download today: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sentio.apps
For more information, visit www.sentio.com
Sentio рабочего стола
Sentio Desktop превращает ваш смартфон в ноутбук путем Android функции, как знакомый настольной ОС. Сопряжение его с Суперкнигой оборудованием для полноценной работы ноутбука. Особенности включают в себя:
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Sweet just got even sweeter with the new Android OS update that gives you faster speeds, longer battery life, split-screen capabilities, smart text selection, improved notifications, autofill framework for your trickiest of passwords, and of course, the all new Google Play Protect, helping to ensure none of your apps become compromised.*
We’re happy to confirm Android 8.0 Oreo will be joining our fleet of Motorola smartphones, starting this fall.
Below is the full list of our smartphones that will be getting the Oreo OS upgrade:
moto z Droid
moto z Force Droid
moto z Play
moto z Play Droid
moto z 2 Play
moto z 2 Force Edition
moto x 4
moto g 5
moto g 5 Plus
moto g 5S
moto g 5S Plus
Stay tuned for updates on Motorola software upgrades here, including details on the specifics by country or carrier.
Since the time of posting this, we have learned of some errors in our marketing materials around Android O upgrades for moto g 4 Plus. It’s our general practice for the moto g family to get one major OS upgrade per device, so it wasn’t originally planned for Android O. But it’s important to us we keep our promises, so in addition to the N upgrade it has already received, we will be upgrading moto g 4 Plus to Android O. Because this is an unplanned upgrade, it will take some time to fit into our schedule, we’ll update our software upgrade page when we have more info.
*Based on the Android 8.0 Oreo Announcement on August 21, 2017.
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