Technology Nougat is now the most-used version of Android, 17 months later

15:01  06 february  2018
15:01  06 february  2018 Source:   engadget.com

Essential Phone skips Android Oreo 8.0 due to stability issues

  Essential Phone skips Android Oreo 8.0 due to stability issues Android phonemaker Essential is skipping over Android Oreo 8.0 despite running a beta program for the platform these past two months. In its announcement, Essential said it's launching a beta program for Oreo 8.1 to be able to fine-tune the build with the help of users' feedback. Interested users will have to have enough tech savvy to be able to install the platform, and they can also expect to deal with bugs until the stable release. Essential didn't reveal when the beta will be available, so those who'd like to take part in the testing program will just have to wait for more info.

a close up of a piece of paper© Provided by Engadget Google hasn't quite licked its problems getting users to adopt the latest version of Android. Its latest Play Store user share stats show that Nougat has become the most-used Android release at 28.5 percent... just over 17 months after its summer 2016 debut. Not exactly a speedy transition, then. That still gives it the edge over the older-still Marshmallow release, mind you, and indicates that a large chunk of the user base is running a modern take on Android.

There's a smaller piece of good news, too: Oreo has climbed above 1 percent after sitting below that milestone since its fall premiere.

Alexa can build Amazon Music playlists for you

  Alexa can build Amazon Music playlists for you Amazon announced today that Amazon Music listeners will now be able to ask Alexa to make a playlist through their Alexa-enabled devices. Commands like "Alexa, add this to my playlist" and "Alexa, create a new playlist" can be used and users can ask the assistant to add songs to a specific playlist or to create a new playlist from the current song being listened to.Last month, Amazon added support for SMS messaging through Alexa-enabled devices as well as voice control to its Alexa app for Android.

The long interval between Nougat's launch and taking the lead can likely be pinned on the same factors that have dictated Android upgrade cycles for years. Many Android vendors take months to deliver upgrades (due to both their custom software and carrier testing), and stop providing upgrades roughly 2 years after a device launch -- you might not see more than one or two major revisions until you replace your phone.

That pattern might not repeat itself going forward. Oreo's modular Project Treble framework is designed explicitly to reduce the delays for upgrades. It might not dramatically increase the adoption rate for newer Android releases, but it certainly won't hurt. The challenge, not surprisingly, is increasing Oreo adoption. It likely won't see a dramatic upswing until more major smartphones ship with Oreo out of the box, such as the Galaxy S9.

Android Messages may soon let you text from the web

  Android Messages may soon let you text from the web Could Google finally be getting serious about taking on iMessage?It’s possible, however, that the last leg of that messaging stool is about to get a lot more interesting. Android Police just dug into the code for the very latest version of Android Messages, the app Google makes for SMS. And inside it are references to two very intriguing features.

Android version user share, February 2018© Google Android version user share, February 2018

Android Developers

Google gives Gmail the Android Go treatment to save data and storage .
Last December, Google launched Android Go, a lightweight operating system for less capable phones typically used in places like India and Indonesia. The company has also been creating apps for these less-capable phones, too, including YouTube Go and a Go-enabled Assistant. Now Google has Gmail Go, a Gmail client made to use less data and storage space for lower end Android phones.Users will still get the smart inbox behavior of the regular Gmail app, 15 GB of free storage space and support for both IMAP and POP email protocols. According to TechCrunch, several reports show the app coming in as a 9.

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