Android 4.0 now on a quarter of all Android devices

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is slowly dripping its way onto more devices.

As seen over the last two weeks of October, ICS now flavors 25.8 percent of all Android devices, up from 23.7 percent in the prior month and 20.9 percent in August.

Android 4.1, aka Jelly Bean, ate up 2.7 percent of the market in October, up from 1.8 percent the previous month.

The most dominant version of Android remains version 2.3, or Gingerbread, still found on more than 54.2 percent of all Android devices. That's down slightly … Read more

How to send annoying callers directly to voice mail on Android

We've all been there: you give your number to someone who has no idea when to quit calling you. It might be someone who wants to sell you a new car, smartphone, or even some home improvements. Perhaps it's a disgruntled ex who just can't let go. 

Whomever it is, there's a way to bring back the silence you once enjoyed in the absence of their calls.

For users on Android 2.x:

Step 1: Open the contact info for the person you want to send directly to voice mail.

Step 2: Press the Menu … Read more

Samsung DoubleTime review: Funky form on old Android

It really is such a shame.

Apart from the youthful "Facebook" phone known as the HTC Status, AT&T doesn't often branch out into smartphones with unusual designs. Then comes the Samsung DoubleTime with its bubbly white body, its two screens, and its comfy keyboard.

And guess what? The major roadblock holding it back is its operating-system version--Android 2.2 Froyo instead of Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

Now, this may not bother you. Believe it or not, there are still plenty of Android users out there who prefer the taste of Froyo to Ice Cream Sandwich, but it seems to me that unless AT&T and Samsung plan on updating this morsel, far fewer people will find it appetizing, even at its very reasonable $49.99 sticker price.

It's worth checking out anyway because it's not a design you see every day. See the video and photos, and read all the pros and cons in CNET's full Samsung DoubleTime review.Read more

Sharp FX Plus review: Best for Android beginners

Attention, Wal-Mart shoppers! Sharp and AT&T have seen fit to renew their relationship in the form of the Sharp FX Plus, a slide-out smartphone sold exclusively at Wal-Mart and on

What's that, you say? Sharp?! It's true--while the electronics powerhouse is better known for TVs and other home electronics, the manufacturer does release the occasional handset. Compared with the original Sharp FX, the Plus variety is rounder, smoother, and smarter, now that it boasts Android as its engine.

While there are some nice touches to recommend the Sharp FX Plus--like its compact keyboard and good call quality--there are also some red flags in the too-short battery life and underpowered processor. Still, for just under $30, the handset is priced to sell, at least for shoppers on the lookout for a budget smartphone. Click here to read our full review of the Sharp FX Plus.… Read more

Jelly Bean emerges as next version of Android

As Google's Eric Schmidt tells us, we are still weeks, perhaps even months, away from seeing the first devices to run Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

Expected to launch as Android 4.0, the next build of the platform will combine features from both the Gingerbread and Honeycomb builds. Though we wait for official announcements, the rumor mill has already churned out the next release beyond Ice Cream Sandwich. Say hello to Jelly Bean.

According to a source close to This Is My Next, Google has been internally referring to the build as Jelly Bean, however, it's not an … Read more

AT&T introduces budget-friendly Impulse 4G

In contrast to last week's announcement of the pricey HTC Jetstream,, AT&T is going the affordable route this week with the introduction of the Impulse 4G by Huawei, an Android smartphone that's easy on the wallet.

The Impulse 4G, which will be available starting September 18 for $29.99 with a two-year contract, has a decent set of features, though there are some trade-offs. The Android 2.2 device has a 3.8-inch WVGA touch screen, a 5-megapixel camera with 720p HD video capture, and an 800MHz processor.

The smartphone is also compatible with AT&… Read more

U.S. Cellular adds Samsung Gem, HTC Merge to prepaid

U.S. Cellular customers looking for a prepaid account will now have two more phones to choose from: the Samsung Gem and the HTC Merge.

The angular, black plastic Gem is a full touch-screen Android 2.2 Froyo handset. It has a 3.2-inch screen, a 3.2-megapixel camera, and it'll cost $139.99.

The heavier HTC Merge has metal accents, also runs Android 2.2, has a 3.8-inch touch screen, a 5-megapixel camera, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and dual-SIM mode for world travel. It costs $299.99.

U.S. Cellular's prepaid plans range from $40 to $… Read more

Google Videos enables Froyo phones to rent movies

Google's Videos app has been updated to enable some Android smartphone users to watch movie rentals accessed from the Android Market.

Google said that for right now the app is compatible with Android phones running the 2.2 Froyo and 2.3 Gingerbread versions of Android.

The app will also enable the properly equipped phones to watch personal video. If you have the right software, you also must have the latest version of the Android Market on your phone. The Google Videos app allows you to manage the movies you've rented and it will also display a list … Read more

Android tablets grab 20 percent share

Android tablets have captured 20 percent of the market from the iPad over the past year, but no single tablet has yet been able to challenge Apple's flagship product, says ABI Research analyst Jeff Orr.

In a report out yesterday, Orr pointed to high prices as one factor that has stifled demand for individual Android tablets.

"Many vendors have introduced media tablets, but none are separating themselves from the pack to pose a serious threat to Apple," Orr said in a statement. "In fact, most have introduced products at prices higher than similarly-configured iPads. Apple, never … Read more