All About Android 181

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All About Android
Episode 181

All About Android 181: The Dubstep of Smartwatches

Guest

  • Jerry Hildenbrand, Editor, Android Central
  • @gbhil

News

The Information wrote last week that Google's MADA (Mobile Application Distribution Agreement) has been updated with some changes that continue to bring Google front and center on all devices that have reached agreements with Google to provide phones with Google services in tow:
OK Google Hotword mandatory
Google Search with swipe up from home button (how would this work on Samsung?)
"Powered by Android" at bootup must be present
Bypassing other search apps like Bing will enable OEMs to get a cut of Google search revenue generated on the devices.
Google released new Android Auto developer documentation on developer.android.com, showing off more of Google's in-car platform and giving developers a better sense of the system's capabilities. Android Auto is a lot like Android Wear in that it's an extension of Android running from your phone. Auto provides a standard UI with limited modification capabilities. (colors, icons, background image, but the interface is standard)
The first version will support music, podcast, live radio, and audio news apps.
Picture of interface follow. There is a day/night mode.
No new app is required for Android Auto. Compatibility is built into existing apps, relatively easily
Documentation mentions nothing about Version L being a requirement for Android Auto.
Google's making some changes to how we see ads on our devices. Jerry wrote about these new ad styles, what can we expect to see in the near future?

Email

20:37

Greetings AAA Team,

Long time listener and watcher of the podcast, I must say this is the highlight of my Tuesdays. :-) Now, on to business.

I am a huge fan of smartwatches and the functionality that they provide; however, I have seen too many cases where the hype of the Moto 360 cause many to make excuses in regard to the shortcomings of the device.

Being a LG G Watch owner (early adopter) it is frustrating to see so many people dismiss this device that has exceptional battery, performance and doesn't look that bad (in my opinion) -- just a standard square. On the other hand, the Moto 360 looks phenomenal; however, this seems to be the biggest selling point. Performance isn't there, battery life isn't there -- if this was any other device (ex: the latest newly hyped flagship Android smartphone) it would be crushed and dismissed quickly.

I guess my question is: Why is the Moto 360 so different?

Dexter Johnson

Hardware

29:16

Motorola Nexus 6 (this image is a mockup to protect source)
A larger Moto X, with aluminum frame, and similar black plate.
5.9” QHD display (496ppi)
Same 13MP RFC with OIS
2MP FFC
3200+mAh battery
Front facing stereo speakers
Compatible with Motorola’s turbo charging (15min charge=8hrs life)
Version L: New icon refreshes, Drive and Play gets their own folders (likely part to Google’s expanded requirements for partners), New messaging app and no Hangouts app icon.
Likely this *is* the only Nexus this year, no smaller version as has been rumored.
iPhone 6 bend versus competitors
Consumer Reports: iPhones vs other giant phones in a bend test that added 10 lbs of force in succession and tested the results.
Galaxy Note 3 made of plastic won at 150lbs of force
LG G3 at 130lbs
iPhone 6 Plus at 90lbs
HTC One M8 and iPhone 6 at 70lbs
70lbs = breaking 4 wooden pencils at the same time
New details around Project Ara, thanks to project head Paul Eremenko:
Will run a modified version of Version L that makes the modular hardware compatible with the OS. Also allows for hotswapping while the device is powered on, (not including CPU and Display), Modules sold in something like the Play Store online.
Expect a demo of working Ara device in December at its developer conference.

Email

44:30

Jason,

My TWiT Pro and TWiT Cast apps are subject to the policy. They do not receive enough donations to pay for a private mail service, much less a co-working space as Gina suggested. As a matter of fact, only about 1% of users donate anything at all.

Best Regards, Mark Hanson (developer of TWiT Pro, TWiT Cast)



Dear AAA,

I was just listening to your discussion about Google's upcoming address requirement and thought I'd provide my thoughts from the perspective of a hobbyist developer. For the first part of this response let's assume that the address I am required to provide is my home address (as this is the only physical address many hobbyists have).

One argument that was made was essentially that as long as you aren't scamming customers or doing anything shady you shouldn't have to worry about users utilizing your home address for malicious purposes. I think this is a fairly flimsy justification. I'm sure as people with fairly prominent web presences you know as well as anyone that it doesn't take a lot of provocation for people to get nasty. People get offended easy these days and death threats are not necessarily reserved for unsavory developers. Additionally, although not really a safety concern, I would rather not have my home mailing address available to every data mining spammer on the internet.

Of course Gina's/Ron's suggestion of using available physical address services (not sure about the technical term) is a helpful suggestion, but the cost of such services cannot be viewed as inconsequential. One of the big selling points about the Play store for hobbyist developers is the low barrier to entry. Paying a one time $45 fee is attractive for small developers who won't make much money. Being forced to pay an additional $15 a month just for an address basically eliminates this.

It was also brought up that this requirement would be useful for customers. I don't really think this is true at all. If the goal is to decrease the number of crappy apps on the market why not just change the approval process? If the goal is to give paying customers an avenue to contact the developer with questions/complaints why is a valid email address insufficient? I can't think of any situation where a letter to a developer would be preferable over an email (which developers are already required to have publicly available). 

Ron mentioned that the existence of a physical address is a good way to identify a real company as opposed to a "fly by night" operation. While I kind of see your point here, there are other pretty easy ways to get an idea of this. Just "Googling" the publisher name is often an adequate way to tell if it's a "real company". That being said I'm not sure the distinction should matter in the first place. Screenshots, videos, reviews, and of course the description are all present to give you an idea if the purchase is worth the money and after that you have a 2 hour refund period.

Well this turned out more long winded than I intended but thanks for taking the time to read it. Keep up the good work on the show, I love everything about it!!!

Matthew Holtzem

Apps

56:37

Speaking of the real address requirement, Google also rolled out a new requirement for developers, giving them 3 days to reply to customer support emails from users. 24-hours if its marked as urgent "by Google". Again, is this kind of thing a deterrent to smaller, indie developers?
And finally, Google is starting to show the price ranges for apps that are listed with in-app purchases. It's showing a low-high price range. No details on what those prices get you inside the app. No details about if the price is a pro-app upgrade versus consumable.
Pushbullet takes on IFTTT with Channels. Create a channel of your own that allows for a notification to be sent to your devices when a certain thing happens. Channel creators can choose to send at any time to subscribers of that channel. It can be based on RSS as an automatic trigger as well.

Email

1:07:13

Hi all y'all

Really enjoy the show. Had a couple of questions. My work required that my android device be encrypted if I wanted my work emails on my phone. I did it and am not experiencing and problems, but I was surprised at how much it hijacked my security settings. It requires a pin, but severely limits the delay time before it kicks in and won't allow me to use apps like Jason's from last week (delayed lock). My question is with the release of L and encryption by default, will those types of limitations still be in place?

My second question is just a curiosity. I use Navigation Layer - a gestures app and an app that controls the screen rotation and one that controls the brightness - I cannot install any outside apps (from Amazon app store) while Any of them are running. I've learned that any ""overlay"" apps running don't allow you to install outside apps. You can get to the screen, but hit the install button, nothing happens. The cancel button works. I just turn the apps off so I can install, but I am curious WHY? Thanks.

Mark

Android Arena!

1:10:00

Sponsors

Production Information

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