All About Android 151
Guest: Aaron Newcomb
Topic: The Google Now Launcher, Samsung's marketing jackpot, TWiT Live on your Chromecast, and more.
Recorded: March 4 2014
All About Android 151: Rollin' With the Normals
- Google will be rolling out a Google Play Services update over the next few weeks that will make your device more secure. Verify Apps was introduced to 4.2 devices in 2012, and then pushed to all devices last year thanks to the increasingly awesome Play Services app. It scans an apk or new app download at the point of install and tells you if it contain smalware or bad guys that Google has logged and is currently tracking.
- The new update will result in the continual scan of those apps even after they are installed. So if Google logs an exploit that was not discovered when you first installed the app, now you'll still be notified once they do post that discovery to their servers.
- A new Gartner report shows that Android, for the first time, has surpassed iOS as the dominant platform for tablets in terms of sales from 2013, much the same way it did for smartphones a few years ago. Apple remains dominant as a single manufacturer of tablets, however.
- The jump was substantial: Last year, iOS sat at 61.5m to this year's 70.4m. Android, on the other hand jumped from 53.3m last year to 121m this year, more than doubling!
- Ready for a 64-bit Android phone? Samsung isn't quite ready to make the jump yet, but plans to have their chips 64-bit ready sometime this year. The switch to 64-bit would do no good currently as the Android OS isn't even 64-bit compatible yet. Samsung say their 64-bit chip will be ready whenever the OS and ecosystem gain that compatibility.
- Samsung debuts its first Galaxy S5 ad during the Oscars and turns sponsorship dollars into all-star selfies
- Speaking of Samsung, talk about striking Internet gold when it comes to marketing dollars spent. Not only did the first Galaxy S5 ad run during the Oscars Sunday night, but Twitter went re-tweet nutso over Ellen DeGeneres's mega-celebrity self from the show, rocketing the tweet to "most retweeted ever" status, taken with the Samsung Galaxy S4.
- Since the Glass Explorer program began, Explorers have grown accustomed to monthly updates to the firmware on the device bringing enhancements and fixing bugs every month. Well no update happened in February and Google employee Teresa Z confirmed that the monthly update cycle is changing.The new plan is to develop big ideas more comprehensively and roll them out when ready. As well, Glass will finally see an update to 4.4 KitKat from it's current version, 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich.
- Blackphone might have a secure competitor in the Android world: Boeing announced the Black handset, a highend smartphone to be sold to Govt agencies and companies engaged in contractual relationships with those agencies (ie Homeland security, defense, etc)
- They claim it is a sealed device that will sell with an end user NDA. The product quite literally will not survive if someone tries to tamper with it. A break in will trigger a process that deletes the data and software, rendering the device useless.
- Google announced that the first Ara developers conference is scheduled for this April. Harry McCracken at TIME got more details about the modular phone:
- There will be three different sized devices: mini, medium and jumbo
- The mini will be $50-ish and sport only wifi/no cellular
- Google will be sole manufacturer of the base motherboards.
- Various OEMs will provide interchangeable components.
- Expect consumer sales by early 2015
All My Android Drama
- We all know that HTC is gearing up to announce what could be its biggest life preserver to date, the All New HTC One, at the end of the month.
- What happens when a video, recorded by a kid who appears to have gained unauthorized access to the device, appears on YouTube almost a month before the announcement? All we have are questions but here's the scoop:
- 12 minute review of the phone, with blatantly obvious IMEI info, and contact details, among other things, without any sort of blurring
- HTC sr global communications manager reached out to the kid on Twitter, saying "It's not going to be a good week for you, my friend". The tweet was later deleted.
- The kid states in his twitter feed a number of things: His parents don't work for HTC, the device was a fake, he recorded the video and only intended on posting it after the device was officially released, someone else posted the video in his name, he doesn't have a YouTube acct, etc.
- Beyond the drama, what we have is likely a version of the upcoming All New HTC One, complete with dual RFC. What we still don't know is what those damn cameras do!
- XBMC 13 Gotham to get Android hardware decoding
- Google Now Launcher availability expands to Nexus and Google Play edition devices
- It was a matter of time, and last week, Google finally released the Google Now Launcher into the Play Store for Nexus and Play edition devices.
- APK teardown reveals: Nothing new (all launcher updates will likely happen through the search app anyways)
- New photo features in Google+ for Android
- Non-destructive photo editing across devices
- Brand new filters and creative tools
- A single view of all your photos
- The new ‘All’ view displays your entire photo library
- An easy way to browse your photos by date
- Look for the scroll bar on the right.
- Google+ Community Moderators Can Now Pin Posts
- Google+ Community Moderators Can Now Pin Posts Via The Site And The Latest Version Of The Android App
Hi guys, I haven't ruled out adding Chromecast support to TWiT Pro at some point in the future, but in the meantime I have released a new app named TWiT Cast. Instead of playing video on the device, it acts as a second-screen for your TV, allowing remote control of the Chromecast.
Note that even with the stripped-down functionality, the app is over 4 times the size of TWiT Pro. This is due to all the junk that Google requires in a Chromecast app, and partly explains why I'm loathe to integrate it into TWiT Pro. Honestly, it was a lot of work to create this app, no matter what Google claims about it being easy. The Google Cast SDK is just not well-engineered.
Anyways, I'd appreciate a mention on a show, of course. :) Maybe it will cut down on the number of emails begging me for Chromecast support!
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