Android Platform Version Share – September 2012

Google just published the monthly Android platform distribution. It shows that Android version 4.0 (ICS) has been growing at the same pace as last month, and version 4.1 (Jelly Bean) is just about getting a foothold in the market.

Version August September Change
# API
Jelly Bean 0.8% 1.2% +0.4%
v4.1 16
Ice Cream Sandwich 15.9% 20.9% +5.0%
v4.0 14 – 15
Honeycomb 2.3% 2.1% -0.2%
v3.x 12 – 13
Gingerbread 60.6% 57.5% -3.1%
v2.3 9 – 10
Frozen Yoghurt 15.5% 14.0% -1.5%
v2.2 8
Eclair 4.2% 3.7% -0.5%
v2.1 7
Donut 0.5% 0.4% -0.1%
v1.6 4
Cupcake 0.2% 0.2% 0%
v1.5 3

ICS usage share got a bit of a boost from the upgrades as well as some of the new phones. In next months statistics, we should see some of this boost shift to Jelly Bean if the most popular phone right now e.g. the Samsung Galaxy S3 gets upgraded. Along with other phones due for release this may put Jelly Bean at nearly 10%. or at least I hope! Otherwise the Jelly Bean share should hover around 2% while the ICS share rises to the mid-20%.

We’re unlikely to see the Gingerbread usage share decrease any quicker then the current rate as the phones still on this version are bound to stay on it. This will just get diluted as new phones come to market, and old phones are discarded.

Upgrading your Xoom to Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

Motorola Mobility is currently in the process of a limited rollout of Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich (Version 4.0.3/Package IML77 to be precise). Instead of waiting for the wider release you can manually upgrade your Xoom to ICS.

Your will need

  • A USB host cable, and
  • A USB thumbdrive, or an sd-card on a single card reader also works. Not too sure about those N-in-1 card readers – I’d stay away from those. Also, it doesn’t work from the micro-sd drive in the Xoom.

I use an SD-Card connected to the Xoom via micro-USB host cable and a USB-2.0 SD-Card reader. My Xoom is the Wifi model running the latest US Honecomb 3.2 (i.e. HTK75D).

Instructions:

  1. Download the zip file from Google and save it into the root folder of your USB drive.
  2. Connect the USB drive to the Xoom using a Host cable.
  3. Shut down your Xoom.
  4. Switch it on and press the Volume Down button as soon as the red Motorola logo appears.
  5. It should say Android Recovery in the top left. If it doesn’t keep pressing Volume Down until you see it.
  6. Press Volume Up to select the option.
  7. When the Green Android with the Exclamation Point appears, hold the Power button and press Volume Up.
  8. Select Update from USB drive.
  9. Pick the downloaded zip file.
  10. Enjoy your Ice Cream Sandwich! 🙂

Source: XDA Forums / Bauxite

Issues in Android 3.2

Android 3.2 finally provides external storage support in actual android code, so the manufacturers don’t need to patch it in. However, it is currently just read-only. That seems to have dissapointed a few people.

One of the biggest niggles however in Android 3.2 is they introduced a bug in intents. Its the mechanism how one activity launches another one. If there are multiple apps installed which can handle an activity (e.g. if you have multiple image viewer apps), android gives you a window where you can pick which app you want to use. This bug prevents the picker window from coming up properly. Instead, the screen just darkens a little. The workaround is to rotate the device which will cause the window to come up.

Updating UK Xoom Wifi MZ604 from android 3.0.1 to 3.2

This shows how to upgrade your Xoom Wifi (MZ604) from Android/Honeycomb 3.0.1 to 3.2

As all the UK (as well as other non-US) Motorola Xoom owners are aware, their Xooms are stuck on Android 3.01 whereas the US version is already rolling onto 3.2. The European customers were promised version 3.1 a few weeks ago, but there is no news of anyone actually getting that update yet.

So … if you have a UK Xoom Wifi, here’s how you can get 3.2 installed on it. It’s not completely risk-free, and not entirely simple either, but it’s certainly less frustrating than dealing with Motorola Support when it comes to finding out information on updates.

I guess right now your About tablet screen looks like this …

… and that’s what we’re about to change!

The Process

The process you’ll follow is:

  1. Flash the U.S stock 3.0.1 image
  2. Auto-update to 3.1 (and then to 3.2)
  3. Flash the ClockworkMod Recovery image
  4. Flash the Rooted 3.2 image.

UPDATE: As a couple of comments have pointed out, the 3.2 update is now available OTA via the Auto Update. It is a two stage process, it will first update to 3.1 and reboot, after which, if you check for updates again it will find 3.2. So, follow steps 3 and 4 only if you want a rooted version of 3.2. Cheers commenters for pointing this out.

NOTE: By following these steps you’ll be voiding the warranty on your Xoom, and there is a chance you could brick your device. I’ve only tried it on the UK Wifi Xoom i.e. the MZ604. Also, this will erase all your data from the Xoom, so back things up!

These are quite detailed instructions so the process seems quite long, but it should take less than an hour to complete for most people. If you’ve done firmware updates before, it should really take around 20 minutes to fully root, or less than that to get the stock Android 3.2.
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Random Factor Mahjong – Android

I like mahjong. It’s amongst favourite timewasters. Windows 7 has a fairly nice one called Mahjong Titans, but Random Factor Mahjong on Android is something else. Unlike other Mahjong games on phones, this one looks fantastic, especially on a tablet like the Motorola Xoom.

It features 3 difficulty levels, auto hints, and if you get stuck you can shuffle the remaining tiles or start over. If you still fail, you can also walk through the solution. It’s got some nice touches like slowly zooming in as you clear tiles near the edge of the screen, as well as multitouch. It automatically saves the game state when you quit, or if your game is interrupted by a phone call.

Its Unique selling point is meant to be that each game is generated completely randomly, which definitely its longevity. It definitely has the addictive factor.

It’s available in Ad Supported and Paid versions. Considering the amount of time you’d spend playing it, the paid version is worth it.