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Android KitKat


Google's latest Android distribution report for June,2014 shows that Android 4.4 KitKat is continuing to gain ground over older versions. KitKat has gained 4.1 points over its share in May, and now stands at 17.9%. This came at the expense of almost every other Android build with the exception of version 4.2 Jelly Bean, which saw a growth of 0.6 points.




Jelly Bean still holds the lion's share of the pie, however, with the three API layers composing 56.5% of the overall Android landscape. Of course Android L Preview is not included on this report as it's only a BETA version not a market stable version.




Play Games


Google announced amny updates coming to the Play Games at its I/O conference. Google is integrating new features into the app, which includes a new Game Profile feature that exists and a sort of unified leaderboard with achievements and the like. Naturally, this lets users compare how they play with their friends.


Also coming to the Google Play Games a couple of new game services called Quests and Saved Games. They're both fairly straightforward, but here's the list:


Quests: Allows developers to integrate time-based goals into their games without having to update the app each time. The Android Developer's site gives the example of weekend challenges, or daily missions. Neat.


Saved Games: This saves players' game progress across devices, and displays the total time played along with a cover image. Kind of like Steam, but for mobile games.




Game devs are also getting access to more tools, like Game Stats and a C++ SDK and we'll see these improvements the final version of Android "L" later this year.


Android Auto


Yes, that's right, Android is coming to Cars too, and I don't mean a better way to attach your phone to the dashboard. Android Auto is Now official with more than 40 OEMs are now in the Open Auto Alliance. That includes 25 car makers that will be working with Android Auto. The first AA vehicles will come out later this year.


Android Auto SDK


Navigation is a big part of Android Auto, but messaging and audio is integral to the experience as well. Notifications pop up as heads-up banners so nothing gets in your way, and voice replies are built right in.


Android Auto


Several developers have been able to create early versions of Android Auto apps including Pocket Casts and Spotify (it's mostly audio right now). It's not just music, though. Android Auto apps can plug into messaging APIs in the same way Android Wear devices do. The Android Auto SDK will be out soon so all developers can build car versions of their apps. Watch the Promo video below!




Android 5.0


A Screenshot of the upcoming Android 5.0 "L" Release has been accidentally leaked from Chromium Issue Tracker. The screenshot leaked on Reddit showing "L" letter on the status bar indicating the Android version.


Android 5.0 L


The screenshot shows a Google account login dialog that looks substantially different from the current implementation, and what appears to be a re-styled Chrome with design elements from Quantum. Additionally, the status bar shows a place holder "L" icon, and a bell icon that sources tell us is indicative of a new feature in L that will offer "limited interruptions," basically muting or partially muting notifications. Since heads-up notifications are expected to appear in L (significantly re-styled to look more like Google Now cards), this feature may keep them from popping-up over whatever the user is working on.


The shots are 1280x768, indicating that they're from a Nexus 4. Also of note is the fact that the screenshots don't show background protection behind status and nav bars.




Google Now Music


Google Now service is constantly evolving to make your Android experience a more personalized one by providing you easier access to the applications and services you use most. Now, you are able to click on links to music services for the bands that you search for on Google Now.


Google Now


So let's say you're searching for Arctic Monkeys, Google Now will pop up links to the band's YouTube page, and provide links to Spotify and the Play Music app. It also supports iHeartRadio, Google Play, and TuneIn. For now, this feature is only available in the United States, other countries with Play music will get it soon.



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