There are more Linux gamers now than ever before

Also in today's open source roundup: Sony releases PlayStation video streaming app for Android, and six under-the-hood Android N features worth knowing about

There are more Linux gamers now than ever before

Linux gaming is on the rise despite Steam's hardware survey

Linux gamers have had much to be thankful for over the last few years. But some in the media have used Steam's hardware survey to portray Linux gaming as being in decline.

A writer at PCWorld notes that Steam's hardware survey is misleading, and that there are more Linux gamers now than ever before.

Chris Hoffman reports for PCWorld:

How many Linux gamers are there? It's tough to say. We don't even know how many Linux users there are in general. Valve's Steam Hardware Survey supposedly sheds light on the OS breakdown among gamers, and it appears to show Linux use declining. But Valve's Steam Hardware Survey is misleading, obscuring the fact that Linux gaming is healthier than ever.

Here's one obvious caveat: Steam's user numbers are growing. So while Linux usage on the Steam Hardware Survey has declined from about 2 percent in March 2013 to 0.91 percent in February 2015, that smaller percentage is from a larger overall user base.

So let's look at percentages. In October 2013, the Steam Hardware Survey showed 0.98 percent of Linux users. That's about 637,000 Linux gamers. In February 2015, the Steam Hardware Survey showed 0.91 percent of Linux users. That's over 1.2 million Linux gamers!

Here's something surprising: Valve's Steam Hardware Survey doesn't include its own SteamOS operating system as part of the Linux market share, nor does the Steam Hardware Survey show it as another operating system. The Steam Hardware Survey just doesn't appear for users in Big Picture Mode, and Steam on SteamOS is always in Big Picture Mode.

More at PCWorld

Sony releases PlayStation video streaming app for Android

Android users who also own a Sony PlayStation now have another video streaming option for TV shows and movies. Sony has released its PlayStation video streaming app for Android devices.

Rob Triggs reports for Android Authority:

There is already plenty of choice in the video streaming app market, but today Sony is throwing its hat into the ring with the launch of its PlayStation Video app for Android. The app grants full access to the range of TV shows and Movies available through the service, which are available to rent as well as buy without the need for a subscription.

The major selling point of this app is probably that the service is tied into the same PlayStation Store that runs on Sony's PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and Vita consoles, as well as the company's web store front. So if you purchase or rent a film on one device you will now also be able to access it from your Android phone or tablet too, and vice versa.

More at Android Authority

Six under-the-hood Android N features worth knowing about

Android N is getting lots of attention in the media, but most sites have focused on its most prominent features. There's more than meets the eye in Android N, and Ars Technica has a list of six under-the-hood features worth knowing.

Andrew Cunningham reports for Ars Technica:

Android N has a bunch of big new features in store for its users—the ones who eventually receive the update and don't have those features torn out or replaced by their phone's manufacturer, anyway. We've already covered a lot of the biggest user-facing stuff, including the multi-window multitasking mode, the revamped notifications and quick settings, and the new UI customization options.

But every year there are a few smaller or hidden features that are important to the platform but don't get as much of a spotlight, either because they're hidden under the covers or they appeal to a narrower audience. As we've done for Android L and M, we've looked at the developer docs and come up with a handful of new additions that you ought to know about as you're playing with these early developer builds.

  1. ART JIT

  2. Quick Settings API

  3. Data Saver

  4. Always on VPN

  5. Direct Boot

  6. OpenGL ES 3.2

More at Ars Technica

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