While a launch of a new iPad is grabbing headlines worldwide this month, a arch program rival, Android by Google, is also undergoing a array of pointy changes that have not been heralded as widely.
Google’s plan — to rise a same handling complement program that each phone and inscription builder could share and emanate a uniform knowledge for users — has mostly worked.
Android is fast apropos one of a many renouned handling systems, embraced by some of a largest smartphone makers worldwide.
Samsung, Motorola and HTC, among others, have embraced a Linux-based program for their phones, customizing it a little, adding a few apps and charity foe to a renouned iPhone.
But with so many cooks in a kitchen, Android was firm to run into communication hiccups stemming from unavoidable changes and upgrades by wireless carriers and manufacturers.
Google, that grown Android, expelled a latest chronicle late final year, rather whimsically called Ice Cream Sandwich. (Google names all Android versions after food.)
“What plagues a Android ecosystem is a miss of consistency,” says Richard Shim of NPD Group’s DisplaySearch. “That spells consumer knowledge that is reduction than ideal. It’s formidable to navigate, and frankly, (something) consumers shouldn’t have to understanding with.”
If you’re an Android novice, here are some questions to contemplate as we demeanour to refurbish your phone.
Q: What chronicle of a Android handling complement is on my phone?
A: If your phone is reduction than 2 years old, chances are that it’s regulating on an OS called Gingerbread, that was introduced in late 2010. Google says about 60% of Android phones are regulating Gingerbread.
A most smaller commission of users also has Froyo or clair phones, a versions that preceded Gingerbread.
Less than 2% of a phones now used run on Android 4.0, also famous as Ice Cream Sandwich.
Q: Do Android tablets run on a same OS commissioned on phones?
A: Nearly all Android tablets run on another OS called Honeycomb, that will be phased out, as 4.0 works on both tablets and phones.
Google done life formidable for developers by introducing Honeycomb in early 2011. As a result, some apps that run on phones don’t work on tablets, and clamp versa.
“These sorts of issues are being resolved, and they will go away,” Shim says.
“You’ll not usually have coherence and harmony and larger entrance to a library of apps, we won’t have a headache of reckoning all this out. Incompatibility in a program side and consumer difficulty — (4.0) is dictated to residence both issues,” Shim says.
For example, smartphones and a Motorola Xoom inscription run on 4.0.
Q: What’s special about Ice Cream Sandwich?
A: You can organisation your apps by boring one onto another.
On smartphones, a home shade includes a “favorites tray” that can be customized to enclose apps, shortcuts and folders.
You can check for messages, respond to calls with a content message, conduct song marks or go directly to a camera but unlocking a phone.
Android 4.0 also boasts softened blunder correction, a voice submit for dictation and a underline that lets we clear your shade by regulating technology that recognizes your face.
Q: When can we design an upgrade?
A: Updates for many Gingerbread models will start this year. Phone manufacturers, with capitulation from wireless carriers, mostly establish when and that models are authorised and prepared for an upgrade.
The attention generally supports phones adult to 18 months. If we possess a phone that’s comparison than 18 months, you’re expected stranded with a stream OS.
Q: What are a ascent skeleton of a 3 largest Android phone manufacturers — Samsung, HTC and Motorola?
A: A tiny lineup of devices, including a Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone and Motorola Xoom tablet, already run on ICS.
Motorola says several inclination now on Gingerbread will be upgraded via a year including Droid Razr, Motorola Razr, Droid 4, Droid Bionic, Atrix 2 and a Photon 4G smartphones and Droid Xyboard 10.1 and 8.2 tablets.
HTC says a following U.S. smartphone models will ascent to ICS: Sensation 4G; Vivid; Amaze 4G; EVO 3D; EVO Design 4G; Rhyme; Thunderbolt; Droid Incredible 2; and HTC Rezound.
Samsung didn’t exhibit details.
Q: How do we ascent to 4.0?
A: If your phone is eligible, you’ll get an warning on your phone.
Once we determine to user terms, a new program will be commissioned automatically over a air.
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