All About Android 157
Guest: Russell Holly
Topic: Heartbleed's Android impact, Google Glass for everyone, Samsung Galaxy S5 review, Ara gets a date, Amazon phone is leaked, and more.
Recorded: April 15 2014
All About Android 158: Who Do I Give My Bitcoin To?
- Russell Holly, Mobile Editor for Geek.com
- Google I/O registration now open, attendees to be randomly selected
- Millions of Android Devices Vulnerable to Heartbleed Bug
- We spoke briefly about Heartbleed last week, the bug in OpenSSL encryption that's been in the news all week. It turns out that folks running version 4.1.1 of Android are not immune to the flaw.
- We talked about this change in security before it was official. Well, Google officially announced that its Verify Apps feature that checks for malware and security issues when an app is installed will now cover the apps on your device for as long as they are installed by continuously checking their validity. If an app displays bad behavior, a pop-up will alert the user of this.
- Few people choose to continue installing an application after receiving such a red flag (fewer than 0.18 percent, in the case of a warning from the “verify apps” feature), the company said.
- Sonos is updating its devices to offer support for Google Play Music. Functionality is integrated on devices by using the Cast icon from the app to send your music library to any Sonos device in your home. Sonos normally requires you use their own app for controlling their hardware but that isn't the case here.
- First, if you want to buy Glass in the spur of the moment, you can RIGHT NOW. Be ready to drop $1500, and yes you can return it in the 30-day window if you just aren't sure if its a good idea or not.
- Second, that KitKat upgrade to Glass is now happening! Google says this means better battery life, easier update cycle, new SDK features for developers. Also: Photo bundles for easier navigation, Voice command sorting based on the frequency you actually use them, and this might be a big one: Video calls will be removed for now.
- Project Ara is getting real! At Ara's first developer's conference today that streamed in full online, team leader Paul Eremenko told attendees and watchers to expect its first phone, the "Gray Phone", to go on sale in January 2015 for around $50. It's called the Gray Phone to keep it drab and gray in an effort to get people to customize it as they prefer.
- Android doesn't currently support modular hardware, but he did say that being part of Google means that drivers are due in December.
- The Ara chassis that holds components together should last 5-6 years and components stay attached thanks to electro-permanent magnets.
- Another developers conference is scheduled for July, a third in September.
- Amazon Phone details! Thanks to Boy Genius, we have pictures of the phone, though what you see is not how the device will look when released. It's encased in a cover that makes it impossible to see the true design of the phone.
- 4.7" 720p display
- 4 IR cameras to track head movement for glasses free 3D experience
- An additional FFC for selfless, and a 13MP RFC
- Amazon's MayDay feature is on board.
- About 3D: Many of the homescreen and lockscreen elements will be 3D, plus many core apps will use it too (ie Maps.) Also while shopping, so the user can see different sides and perspectives of an object before purchase. Possible announcement in 2-3mos with launch late summer. Initially US only.
- Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner thwarted by hack
- Samsung Galaxy S5 Download Booster stripped from Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T models
- Samsung’s Galaxy S5 Zoom to be called the Galaxy K, launches April 29
I am a blind user depending on speech output to read anything displayed in my use of technology. I also happen to be very into technology... I want to thank you for bringing up the concern I was thinking of the entire time of accessibility in the context of the design conversation. As visually impared users we depend on our technology even more at times than sighted people do. There is always more of a question mark hanging over our heads as to, will we be able to use something. Will that device or platform or app work for us?
Of course the thought of thinking outside the box in terms of design, ignoring standards makes us shutter! Standards often can lead to a good result for us. Not always, but they do have great potential to. The PocketCast app mentioned actually is very accessible.
I was happy that Kevin talked about an intention to give more attention to accessibility, but I wanted to point out that his mention that another app probably has some keyboard access way to navigate misses the mark. That is because most modern Android phones of course do not have a keyboard and we depend on the touch screen and the accessibility gestures and explore by touch with talkback to use apps as well. I appreciate his intention and figure he probably hasn't looked into it much at all yet.
- There are a few exceptions to the new rule:
- Lower-end Android devices with memory constraints
- Windows Phone and tablet users will still see messages inside their Facebook apps.
- Messaging will remain, for now, inside Paper, the company's recently launched news app.
- As Facebook divorces Messenger from its primary experience, it will likely be able to add many more features, like free calling, which the company recently rolled out to Messenger.
- It might also mean that Facebook will shrink the size of its main app, making it work faster and at the very least clearing up a few MB's on your device. "Once the while process is complete, we expect the core apps to be faster," said the spokesperson.
- A home for life
- Dropbox launches Carousel photo app to organize every shot you ever take
- Dropbox launches Mailbox for Android
- Google is testing new UI and features for Google Calendar
- App icons also getting an upgrade
Surely you've seen this:
The key take-away: ""Apple's vetting process, they say, takes weeks. Google's can take 60 seconds.""
In a similar vein, the other day my weather app ominously announced that it had detected a virus on my phone! Of course it was just a very deceptive ad served through the ad network the app uses. Google needs to police in-app ad networks as well as the apps themselves, better.
Great show--I watch every week and it's very informative and entertaining.
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