Google’s Android distribution numbers for January 2018 show growth for Oreo and Nougat

Wondering which versions of Android are being used the most as we head into 2018? Wonder no more.

Google today released its updated Android distribution numbers, which show the usage of Android versions that accessed the Play Store during the 7-day period ending on January 8, 2018. Android Oreo (8.0 and 8.1) grew a tiny bit from last month, finishing at 0.7 percent usage.

Android Nougat (7.0 and 7.1) was the only other version to grow this month, finishing at 26.3 percent usage. That makes it the second most-used version behind Android Marshmallow (6.0), which slipped to 28.6 percent usage this month.

Android Lollipop (5.0 and 5.1) is still claiming a significant piece of this pie, despite having slipped to 25.1 percent usage. Android KitKat (4.4) slipped to 12.8 percent this month, while Android Jelly Bean (4.1-4.3) fell to 5.6 percent usage this month.

Rounding things out is Android Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) and Android Gingerbread (2.3), which held steady at 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent usage, respectively. googleandroiddistributionjan2018aam

5 best Android apps for screen recording and other ways too!

best Android apps for screen recording
One of our more frequent requests from readers is to tell them how to record your screen on Android. The functionality has been around for quite some time but usually requires some tinkering and adjustment to get it. In Android Lollipop, they have a screen recording method building into the OS and that’s how most people do it these days. Let’s take a look at a few Android apps and some other methods to get you screen recording.

AZ Screen Recorder

Price: Free / $2.99
AZ Screen Recorder is the gold standard for screen recorder apps. It's light, easy, accessible, and cheap. It features an overlay button that doesn't interfere with the recorded content. In addition, you can add the front facing camera for things like game streams or commentary. It even has a small video editor built-in. That way you can shave away the parts that don't matter. Of course, it doesn't require root, has no watermarks, no time limits, and more. The pro version goes for a paltry $2.99.

DU Recorder

Price: Free
DU isn't a name people generally associate with quality. However, this one is actually fairly legitimate. It records your phone screen with up to 1080p/60fps quality. The app also works in 20 languages, has a decent UI, and a video editor built-in. It also does some of the fun stuff like including a front facing camera, shake gestures, and a GIF maker. It's all entirely free to download and use. It does have problems, though. Tablet support is a bit flaky and some people found bugs. Still, for its price, it's one of the better screen recording apps.

Google Play Games

Price: Free
Google Play Games is not just a hub for your mobile gaming. It also has a screen recording function. It works rather well. However, it is mostly only for gamers. You launch the game with the screen recorder directly from the app. It records your stuff and then stops like it should. You can get around the games-only limitation by exiting the game mid recording and then going to whatever app you want. However, at that point, we'd probably just recommend AZ instead. It should work with up to 720p streams.

Twitch, YouTube Gaming, etc

Price: Free
Many streaming services now include mobile support. Twitch and YouTube Gaming are two of the most prominent ones. You simply stream your game play like normal. Both services allow you to download your footage after you're done. It's a good solution for gamers especially. In fact, it's probably better than Google Play Games for this kind of stuff. Unlike Google Play Games, it's kind of difficult to use this one for apps or anything other than gaming. At least these services are free.
Twitch, YouTube Gaming, etc


Price: Free with ads / $2/month / $10/year / $40/lifetime
Vysor is a fun little app that allows you to cast your device to your computer screen over USB. From there, you can use it on your computer or screen record it on your PC if you’d like to. It tends to work pretty well although you will need to fork out a little bit of money in order to get HD quality. This app doesn’t record anything on its own so don’t expect any options to do so. You’ll have to record it on your computer on your own. If this app isn’t cutting it for your, TeamViewer is another decent option in this space. You do need a screen recording app on your computer in order to capture footage, though.

best Android apps for screen recording

Other methods for screen recording

There are other ways to record your screen on Android and that is by using hardware. There are two main ways to do so using hardware:

  • If you’re on a device with Android Lollipop (or higher), you can use ADB to record your screen. We have a great tutorial you can read to learn how and you can find it by clicking here.
  • Professionals often use a capture card to hook their Android device right into their computer and record it from there. Capture cards can get rather expensive but you’ll get probably the best frame rates and quality. Plus it records directly to your computer hard drive which allows for much larger recordings. Do note that you’ll have work around some potential HDCP problems so get the ole search engine up and running. Most capture cards come with screen recording software. That solves that problem for you.
  • There are other apps like Vysor on the Google Chrome app store. The basic idea is to connect your phone to your computer. It them mirrors the screen directly to your computer. From there, you just have to figure out how to record it yourself. It’s not the easiest method by any stretch. Each app also has a different set up. However, it is an option.
  • Some Chromebooks now include the ability to mirror your Android device directly to it. This, of course, requires buying a Chromebook. That’s an unreasonable expenditure for what should be a relatively simple task. However, we do try to cover all of the bases here and this is definitely an option. You still need an app to record your Chromecast screen, though.

If we missed any great methods of screen recording on Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!

Android vs iPhone: 14 Reasons Android is Still Better

Android vs iPhone: 14 Reasons Android is Still Better is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

We’ll explain why Android is better than the iPhone with an early 2018 Android vs iPhone comparison that looks at where Android is still King even with the iPhone X on the market.

We’re seeing more Android Oreo updates arriving soon and the the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy Note 8 and the LG G6 are all here. The Samsung Galaxy S9 is coming in just a few weeks. Further out we have the Galaxy Note 9 coming and the Pixel 3 to look forward to.

On the other end of the spectrum, Apple’s iOS 11 update, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X close the gap in some key areas, building on the iPhone 7, but there are still a lot of areas where Android is hands down better than the iPhone and iOS.

Here's how Android beats the iPhone in 2018.
Here’s how Android beats the iPhone in 2018.

Ultimately you need to figure out if an Android phone is better than the iPhone for your needs and your preferences, but if you are trying to decide this list of things that Android does better can help.

Apple caught up to Android in many areas with the last several updates, but there are still many closed off parts of iOS that are wide open to customization and control on Android.

While Apple updated, Google did not sit by without adding to Android devices. There are a plethora of great Android smartphones that deliver features you will not find on the iPhone and iOS 11. After you read the Android vs iPhone comparison you still need to pick the right Android smartphone or the right iPhone.

Some shoppers may not care about every reason, but knowing what the competition offers makes it easier to decide which smartphone you should buy in 2018.

More Choice with Android

Apple offers more choice than we’ve seen from them before with the iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8 and the iPhone X — but you still only have three screen sizes and two designs to pick from. The iPhone SE does still fit in, but with no iPhone SE 2, the 4-inch screen size is all but gone from Apple. You can still find good Android phones with smaller screens. Android delivers more options with waterproof phones, different screen sizes, more colors, different materials and other differentiating factors.

With Android smartphones users can choose a modular design with Moto Mods, and better waterproofing on the Note 8 as well as a variety of looks, styles and configurations.

There is also support for a huge screen with a built-in stylus with the Note 8. In addition to these big names, there are many other options from Motorola, Huawei and if you include last year’s releases a number of other interesting options.There are also options to buy some Android phones a replaceable battery, something that isn’t available without adding a case to the iPhone.

Users can pick the phone size and design they want, and they can also pick a phone that offers a replaceable battery, a great camera or another feature without limiting to just three phones for the latest features and user experience.

Micro SD Card Support

Even the new 64Gb iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus don’t offer enough room for some users, and that is the amount of storage you are stuck with until you buy a new iPhone in two years. if you want to buy more storage off the bat, you’ll spend $150 more for 256GB.

Many Android phones support a Micro SD card that can store photos, videos and some apps so that you can easily add more storage for $15 to $30 with a small memory card.

Even 16GB Android phones offer more use thanks to the ability to add a Micro SD card to the mix. Some phones support up to a 128GB Micro SD card and almost all current Android phones with a Micro SD card slot can handle a 64GB Micro SD Card.

Google Maps is Better on Android

Use Google Maps easier on Android.
Use Google Maps easier on Android.

You can install Google Maps on the iPhone, but you cannot make it the default app.

This means Siri will always get directions in Apple Maps. The Apple Maps app is better than it was at launch, but it is still missing many points of interest, complete streets and neighborhoods and it still sends on on weird routes very often.

On Android, Google Maps offers transit directions in more cities, better driving directions, a deep point of interest search that works more often and it is integrated into the phone so that addresses open into Google Maps unless you choose to use an alternate mapping service.

Easy to Clear Cache to Get Space Back

Quickly reclaim space on Android faster than on iPhone.
Quickly reclaim space on Android faster than on iPhone.

Apps often download photos, videos and other pieces of information to your phone as you use them. If you look at the size of an app like Vine or Instagram on the iPhone or Android you’ll likely see a lot of storage space in use. This is because the app can keep data related to the photos and videos that it downloads.

On the iPhone you need to delete the app and re-install it to get that space back. If you are using a 16GB iPhone, you may do this once every month or two.

On Android the app often includes an option to clear the cache, even if the iPhone version doesn’t. If that doesn’t work you can also clear the cache of an app in the Android software.

Android Widget Support is Better

Widgets on Android are better than on the iPhone.
Widgets on Android are better than on the iPhone.

On Android users can choose widgets to show on the lock screen and on their home screen. This puts weather information, a live calendar and other information that each user finds important with a glance at the screen.

On the iPhone users can add some widgets, but they are only in the Notification Center and Apple is notoriously picky about what the widgets can do and what they cannot do.

It’s easier to tap a widget on the home screen than it is to open the Notification Center, count to three for all the widgets to load and change the location of the one you want to tap, and then tap it.

Android Customization Blows iPhone Away

Users enjoy more customization on Android than on the iPhone. On Android users can install a new launcher that changes the overall look of the home screen.

Many Android versions include small options to change themes for color and other tweaks. Samsung and other companies are even going further with themes that change more than just the main color of the phone.

If you want more control over what your phone looks like without the need to jailbreak, Android is the better option.

Android Default App Choices Are Better

Choose a default Android app. You cannot do this on iPhone.
Choose a default Android app. You cannot do this on iPhone.

On the iPhone Apple does not let you choose new default apps. Safari, Mail and Apple Maps are the default and unless you are in a third-party app that lets you choose which browser to use there is no real choice. Deep linking helps you stick in apps you like, but it’s not as good as setting your favorite browser, mail client or other app.

On Android users can choose a default app to handle almost any task. This includes picking an app to watch YouTube links, Twitter links, send email with, browse the web and much more. Users can choose a new default and reset the default app later if they need to choose new one.

Split Screen Multitasking on Android

The top Android phones from Samsung and LG offer the option to use two apps on-screen at the same time. This multitasking makes it possible to chat and look at a document or work and watch content without a second device.

On a small phone screen there are limits to the usefulness, but it is an option that we enjoy on Android.

The iPhone does not support running two apps on the screen at the same time so you need to switch back and forth if you are talking to someone about a webpage or document. Apple added support for this to the iPad, but so far it is not available on the iPhone.

Multiple User Support on Android

Switch users on Android phones easily.
Switch users on Android phones easily.

We don’t share our phones with others the same way we share a tablet, but it is nice to have a multi-user mode on Android phones running Android 5.0 Lollipop and higher.

This includes the option to create an account with limited access for your kid, a guest account so you can lend a device without sharing your info. There is even an option to pin a screen so that when you hand someone your phone they can’t see more than what you are showing them.

The iPhone offers no support for multiple users and no real kids mode without going through a complicated process to lock one app to the screen.

Install Android Apps from Any Source

Unless you jailbreak the iPhone or rely on shady user profiles there is no way to install apps on the iPhone outside of the App Store.

On Android you can choose an option that lets you install apps from any location. You can side-load an app that is not on the Google Play Store so that you can use any app you need to.

This also makes it possible to run apps not specifically designed to work with your phone.

Download Movies & Music From Anywhere

You can download music, movies and shows from almost anywhere.
You can download music, movies and shows from almost anywhere.

If you want to add music or movies to your iPhone you need to download them on a computer and sync with iTunes or purchase them inside an app and only use them in that app. Yes, the iPhone lets you download Spotify music, download movies from iTunes and other movie services without a computer, but on Android you can download right from the web.

On the iPhone it is not possible to download many things right to the device, so users need to stream it. This is better with new options to save to iCloud or Dropbox, but its not the same as Android yet. On Android a user can download this file to the phone or Micro SD card to watch offline without needing a computer. There are similar benefits to buying music online if you don’t want to buy through iTunes.

Google Now & Google Assistant Beat Siri

Hey Siri is useful, and Siri can finally connect to a variety of third-party apps, but it pales in comparison to the connectivity that Google Now and the Google Assistant offer.

On many Android devices users can say, “OK Google,” or a custom command to wake the phone up for voice control without touching it or it being connected to power. Users can also choose which app Google Now should use for an activity. Instead of restricting users to Google Music, a command to play an artist can open Spotify or another music app.

Google Now also does a great job of showing useful and relevant information for users on the Google Now home screen. With the Pixel you also get Google Assistant.

More Mobile Payment & NFC Options

The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus include NFC to let users make mobile payments, but that is the only function and there is only one option — Apple Pay.

On Android phones users can use NFC to control phone settings, trigger tasks like turning on car mode or setting the phone to home mode.

Android phones also support Android Pay for payments and other options like Samsung Pay. Some of these only support limited banks, like Apple Pay, but you do have more options.

With Samsung Pay, you can even pay on normal credit card machines without advanced NFC chips.

Android Notifications Are Appealing

On the iPhone Notifications stack up in the Notification Center and quickly turn it into an unusable mess because clearing a notification is an annoying double tap procedure that involves small touch targets unless you have a newer phone with 3D Touch.

On Android users can swipe to the side to remove a notification and on many devices you can see deliver incredibly useful notifications on the lock screen that let users see what the notification is about at a glance. On devices like the Galaxy S8, you can even customize the Notification Bar.

Android vs iPhone: 14 Reasons Android is Still Better is a post by Josh Smith from Gotta Be Mobile.

Android distribution for July shows Nougat in double digits

On a regular basis, Google releases statistics for its Android versions, showing just how far the newest version is moving along in adoption. It also shows the other versions inevitably getting smaller in numbers, but for most that’s good news.

The newest report shows that the latest version of Android, Nougat 7.0 and 7.1, has officially made it into the double digits. Specifically, Android 7.0 is now sitting at 10.6%, while Android 7.1 is at 0.9%.

Meanwhile, Android 6.0 Marshmallow is still reigning supreme on the list, sitting at a comfortable 31.8% and actually growing 0.6% from last month’s report. Android 5.0 and 5.1 Lollipop has a combined adoption of 30.1%, while Android 4.4 KitKat is now at 17.1 percent.

Android July 2017 distribution

At the bottom of the list is a tie between Android 2.3.3 – 2.3.7 Gingerbread and Android 4.0.3 – 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, both at 0.7%.

All of this is pretty typical, with the newest version of Android slowly gaining ground on devices out there in the wild. It’s a slow process, but the numbers continue to grow. Android Nougat will get a big boost after Android O, the next major version of the mobile operating system, launches later this year, too.

Which version of Android do you have on your daily driver?

Here’s how to get Google Assistant on Android 5.0+ Tablets WITHOUT Root

Google Assistant is Google’s answer to Amazon’s Alexa – a smart, personal service that has evolved in numerous ways and has expanded to multiple new platforms since its initial unveiling during last year’s Google I/O. Although initially exclusive to the Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones (and available in a more limited manner in the Google Allo app), the awesome users on our forums were able to get Assistant running on any rooted Nougat phone. Back in March, Google announced that they would make Assistant available for all smartphones running Android 6.0+ in certain countries. A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one.

Google Assistant on Android Smartphones

Since then, even desktop and laptop PCs can take advantage of Assistant thanks to the release of an official SDK. Those among us who own an Android Wear 2.0 compatible smartwatch, certain Android TV models, and some vehicles with Android Auto can also take advantage of Assistant. But there’s one device that is notably missing from this growing list of Google-blessed devices – tablets. A Google spokesperson confirmed that the wider Assistant roll out back in March would not include Android tablets running 6.0+.

That’s never stopped us at XDA from trying to figure out ways around (in our eyes) these arbitrary restrictions. Thanks to XDA Member Nikhilkumar038, we now have a way to use Google Assistant on any Android tablet running Lollipop, Marshmallow, or Nougat without needing root!

I’ve tested this on two separate devices – a Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2 running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and a Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 running Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. This should theoretically work on smartphones running Android Lollipop as well.

Google Assistant for Tablets Tutorial

The way this method works is by launching a hidden (but thankfully accessible) activity within the Google App called This can easily be done by using an application that can list and then launch all available activities from your installed apps. Activity Launcher is one app that is dedicated to this purpose, though the well-known Nova Launcher has a built-in function to launch activities in case you already have this launcher installed. Update your Google App to the latest stable version if you haven’t already.

Method 1 – Using Activity Launcher

  1. Open Activity Launcher
  2. Tap on the “Recent activities” tab up top and select “All activities.” Wait for all activities to load.
  3. Scroll down until you find the Google App. Tap on it to expand all available activities under the Google App.
  4. Find You can either tap on it once or create a shortcut to it on your launcher.
  5. You’ll now find yourself within the new Assistant “explore” screen where Google categorizes available integrations, how to use them, and quick access to make custom shortcuts.
  6. Swipe over to the “Your Stuff” tab up top.
  7. Tap on “Add Reminder” to trigger Google Assistant. What this action does is launch the activity – which normally can’t be accessed on your unrooted device.
  8. You’ll now be taken through the hotword setup process. Teach it to recognize your voice, and you’re done! Now you can access Google Assistant by saying “OK Google!”

Method 2 – Using Nova Launcher

  1. Find an empty spot on your home screen and long-press to add something new.
  2. Tap on “Widgets.”
  3. Under “Nova Launcher” tap and hold “Activities” and drag it to your home screen.
  4. Scroll down and find the “Google App.”
  5. Tap on it to expand it, and select
  6. This will add a new “Google Assistant” icon to your home screen which is a shortcut to this activity. Tap on this icon.
  7. You’ll now find yourself within the new Assistant “explore” screen where Google categorizes available integrations, how to use them, and quick access to make custom shortcuts.
  8. Swipe over to the “Your Stuff” tab up top.
  9. Tap on “Add Reminder” to trigger Google Assistant. What this action does is launch the activity – which normally can’t be accessed on your unrooted device.
  10. You’ll now be taken through the hotword setup process. Teach it to recognize your voice, and you’re done! Now you can access Google Assistant by saying “OK Google!”


The first, and most obvious caveat, is that you can’t access OK Google by long-pressing on the home button. Long-pressing the home button will instead launch Google Now on Tap. I know many of you would actually prefer having Now on Tap as well as Assistant available, though, so I can’t knock too many points off for that. Though, this does mean that you’ll have to live with using your voice to access Assistant, which I would imagine isn’t too much of a problem considering where most people keep and use their tablets (at home). If you want, you can keep the home screen shortcut we made in this tutorial and tap on “add a reminder” anytime to manually bring up Assistant, but it’s less convenient this way.

Next, there’s the unfortunate reality that Google may patch this method in a future update of the Google App. This wouldn’t be the first time that a company has removed unofficial functionality after we publicized it, so I would recommend getting this set up while you can. Fortunately, you can just refuse to update the Google App if you really wanted to, which is far more realistic than never updating your Samsung Galaxy S8 if you were planning on using the original Bixby remap method.

Stay tuned to the XDA Portal for more tutorials like this! Thanks again to XDA Member Nikhilkumar038 for publishing this method on our forums!