» Android http://androinica.com Google Android phones, news and apps Fri, 17 Jan 2014 18:41:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 Google rolls out updated Play Store for devices running Android 2.2 or higher http://androinica.com/2013/04/google-rolls-out-updated-play-store-for-devices-running-android-2-2-or-higher/ http://androinica.com/2013/04/google-rolls-out-updated-play-store-for-devices-running-android-2-2-or-higher/#comments Tue, 09 Apr 2013 19:27:23 +0000 Natesh Sood http://androinica.com/?p=46847

Are you sick of the current Google Play Store appearance?  Do you desire a more simplistic design and user experience?  Well, fortunately, Google has spent the last several months redesigning the Google Play Store to make it even more user…

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Are you sick of the current Google Play Store appearance?  Do you desire a more simplistic design and user experience?  Well, fortunately, Google has spent the last several months redesigning the Google Play Store to make it even more user friendly and easier to find apps and products.

Google calls the new Play Store update a “fresh new look,” which will make tablet and smartphone users find content quicker.  For example, similar apps, music, movies, and magazines will be grouped together so that you can easily find the material that suits your interests.  The idea behind the Play Store is a unified marketplace to find apps and other content in an efficient manner.  Each subsequent Play Store update certainly adds to the usability.

The latest version of the Play Store is version 4.0.25 and is rolling out starting now to smartphones and tablets running Android 2.2 or higher.  Unfortunately, Google estimates it will take a few weeks before every single Froyo+ device has the Play Store update.

[Google Android Blog]

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Google: Andy Rubin denies rumor of physical Google retail store anytime in near future http://androinica.com/2013/02/google-andy-rubin-denies-rumor-of-physical-google-retail-store-anytime-in-near-future/ http://androinica.com/2013/02/google-andy-rubin-denies-rumor-of-physical-google-retail-store-anytime-in-near-future/#comments Tue, 26 Feb 2013 20:47:16 +0000 Natesh Sood http://androinica.com/?p=46687

Recently, there were a couple of reports circulating that Google might get into the physical retail store business by the end of 2013.  Given the recent expansion of Google related products, it makes sense — to an extent — why…

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Recently, there were a couple of reports circulating that Google might get into the physical retail store business by the end of 2013.  Given the recent expansion of Google related products, it makes sense — to an extent — why Google might pursue opening physical store locations.  Moreover, it would be another way to drum up interest for the Nexus line of products by allowing prospective customers to simply stroll into a store and pick one up.

Unfortunately, Andy Rubin, Chief of Android, commented on the rumor at hand and simply announced Google has no plans to launch any stores in the near future.  Rubin believes in his company’s ability to sell products online (such as through the Play Store).  We have seen the fallacies of the Play Store, especially given its crash during the initial Nexus 4 launch.  However, besides that instance, the Play Store has been pretty successful for Google in terms of selling products.  Might we one day see a physical Google retail store remains to be seen, but Andy Rubin remains adamant that such a venture is not in Google’s immediate future.

[All Things D]

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Android 4.2.2 is currently rolling out to Nexus devices http://androinica.com/2013/02/android-4-2-2-is-currently-rolling-out-to-nexus-devices/ http://androinica.com/2013/02/android-4-2-2-is-currently-rolling-out-to-nexus-devices/#comments Tue, 12 Feb 2013 20:00:39 +0000 Natesh Sood http://androinica.com/?p=46631

It appears an incremental upgrade to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is now pushing out to several Google Nexus devices including the Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Galaxy Nexus, and Nexus 4.

The update is aptly titled Android 4.2.2 and it isn’t…

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It appears an incremental upgrade to Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is now pushing out to several Google Nexus devices including the Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Galaxy Nexus, and Nexus 4.

The update is aptly titled Android 4.2.2 and it isn’t Key Lime Pie, but the 47MB update should provide some important bug fixes for Bluetooth and stability in general.  Specifically, the Bluetooth streaming issue is known and acknowledged by Google and the 4.2.2 update should address this.

As usual, the update will roll out in waves to users running stock Android on either tablet or either Nexus smartphone (provided it is GSM unlocked).  In addition, it is currently rolling out to AOSP and should be uploaded shortly.

[AndroidPolice]

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HTC CEO Peter Chou envisions success for his company in 2013 http://androinica.com/2013/01/htc-ceo-peter-chou-envisions-success-for-his-company-in-2013/ http://androinica.com/2013/01/htc-ceo-peter-chou-envisions-success-for-his-company-in-2013/#comments Sat, 05 Jan 2013 20:25:05 +0000 Natesh Sood http://androinica.com/?p=46383

It is no surprise to many that HTC is not what it used to be in terms of selling Android smartphones.  With Samsung and Apple continuing to increase their respective market share, it seems consumers have all but forgotten about…

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It is no surprise to many that HTC is not what it used to be in terms of selling Android smartphones.  With Samsung and Apple continuing to increase their respective market share, it seems consumers have all but forgotten about HTC smartphones.  CEO Peter Chou claims his company did not market aggressively enough on their key products, but will attempt to change that in 2013.

More importantly, Chou says HTC will produce more innovative products in 2013 hoping to stem the decline and to produce profits for the company.  In the third quarter of 2012, HTC’s global market share was a dismal 2.2%.  In order to achieve success in 2013, HTC will have to launch some great products, but also spend money in marketing these products.

The HTC One X+ and the DROID DNA are terrific smartphones, but not enough consumers are aware of their presence, which can be attributed to poor marketing.

I’ve personally enjoyed using HTC products, but it’s time for HTC to take a page of out of the Samsung and Apple book.  It needs to launch a flagship device on as many carriers as possible.  Samsung has to key products on most carriers — the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II.  HTC does not have a flagship device on Sprint nor T-Mobile.  Hopefully, HTC will have some products to show off during CES 2013 or MWC 2013.

[WSJ]

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Jelly Bean claims 10.2% of Android distribution, Gingerbread falls to 47.6% http://androinica.com/2013/01/jelly-bean-claims-10-2-of-android-distribution-gingerbread-falls-to-47-6/ http://androinica.com/2013/01/jelly-bean-claims-10-2-of-android-distribution-gingerbread-falls-to-47-6/#comments Fri, 04 Jan 2013 02:03:23 +0000 Natesh Sood http://androinica.com/?p=46363

Android Jelly Bean is the latest version of the Operating System and the most coveted version of Android available today.  However, if an uninformed individual took a look at the distribution numbers, he/she would likely believe that Gingerbread is the most coveted…

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Android Jelly Bean is the latest version of the Operating System and the most coveted version of Android available today.  However, if an uninformed individual took a look at the distribution numbers, he/she would likely believe that Gingerbread is the most coveted version of Android since it is still the overwhelming majority.

Six months after launching Android Jelly Bean, only 10.2% of all Android users are running the latest version.  Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which is also another popular release owns 29.1% of Android distribution.  Gingerbread, while it may have lost some market share, still owns 47.6% of all users.

The major, and obvious, plight of Android is fragmentation and users are often stuck on lower versions of the Operating Systems.  With Nexus devices in such high demand, we are hoping non-Nexus manufacturers understand that the users want devices that will receive updates for the duration of at least two years and those updates should be timely.

Hopefully the next time the Android distribution numbers are published, Jelly Bean and ICS will have more users than Gingerbread.

[Android Developers]

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Google: 1.3 million Android activations per day, 70k tablets per day http://androinica.com/2012/09/google-1-3-million-android-activations-per-day-70k-tablets-per-day/ http://androinica.com/2012/09/google-1-3-million-android-activations-per-day-70k-tablets-per-day/#comments Wed, 05 Sep 2012 18:34:54 +0000 Natesh Sood http://androinica.com/?p=45797

Before Motorola officially took the stage to announce their latest products, Google’s Eric Schmidt had an update regarding Android activations.  Previously at Google I/O, it was announced that Android activations reached 1 million per day.  Today, however, Schmidt announced…

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Before Motorola officially took the stage to announce their latest products, Google’s Eric Schmidt had an update regarding Android activations.  Previously at Google I/O, it was announced that Android activations reached 1 million per day.  Today, however, Schmidt announced Google now activates 1.3 million devices per day.

Of the 1.3 million activations per day, 70,000 of these activations belong to tablets.  This number is pretty impressive in itself since the iPad typically owns the tablet department  I expect this number to increase as the new Kindle Fire is announced and the Nexus 7 continues to roll.  Lastly, there are 480 million Android devices currently running across the world.

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Google Play Store to begin selling gift cards in near future http://androinica.com/2012/08/google-play-store-to-begin-selling-gift-cards-in-near-future/ http://androinica.com/2012/08/google-play-store-to-begin-selling-gift-cards-in-near-future/#comments Thu, 16 Aug 2012 16:19:21 +0000 Natesh Sood http://androinica.com/?p=45417

Based on a recent tear down of the new Google Play Store version as well as a leaked image, it appears gift cards are on the horizon for Google Play customers.  In the next several weeks, Google will officially announce…

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Based on a recent tear down of the new Google Play Store version as well as a leaked image, it appears gift cards are on the horizon for Google Play customers.  In the next several weeks, Google will officially announce this information, but essentially customers can purchase gift cards and give them to friends and family.

First, Android Police did a great job in analyzing the differences in code between the latest update and previous versions to find out that gift cards were indeed in play.  Feel free to take a look at the image above to see how the gift card screen will most likely render in Google Play.

Secondly, AndroidCentral received an image of a physical $25 gift card and a $10 gift card, leading many to believe the two iterations of gift cards are $25 and $10.  It looks like Google will begin selling them in third party retailers such as Best Buy, Sam’s Club, Wal-Mart, Amazon, etc.  It’s going to be a great day when I see a Google Play branded gift card standing next to an iTunes one.

As of now, none of this information has been confirmed by Google, but the evidence in favor of gift cards is overwhelming.  I hope we see an official announcement in the next couple of weeks.

[Android Police] [AndroidCentral]

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Google debuts official Android blog, a new source for Android news http://androinica.com/2012/08/google-debuts-official-android-blog-a-new-source-for-android-news/ http://androinica.com/2012/08/google-debuts-official-android-blog-a-new-source-for-android-news/#comments Wed, 01 Aug 2012 22:39:58 +0000 Natesh Sood http://androinica.com/?p=45166

Android has been around for several years now and you would think it would have its own blog by now, but evidently not.  However, Google realized its fans wanted more Android information and specific pages dedicated to then open platform.…

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Android has been around for several years now and you would think it would have its own blog by now, but evidently not.  However, Google realized its fans wanted more Android information and specific pages dedicated to then open platform.  With a swift wave of its hand (mouse?), Google rebranded its Mobile blog into the Official Android Blog.

If you head to the Google Mobile blog at this time, you will be greeted with a post that reveals the launch of the Official Android Blog.  In addition, the page will automatically redirect you to the new page.  The first and latest post on the new Google sponsored Android blog details Google Wallet’s ascent to the cloud.

The Official Android Blog will become your one stop shop for all official Google Android related news, but of course, Androinica will continue to provide you folks with thorough coverage of the latest rumors, smartphone launches, and app reviews.

[Official Android Blog]

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Google goes back to the drawing board for the Nexus Q, offers free device for those who pre-ordered http://androinica.com/2012/07/google-back-to-the-drawing-board-for-the-nexus-q-offers-free-device-for-those-who-pre-ordered/ http://androinica.com/2012/07/google-back-to-the-drawing-board-for-the-nexus-q-offers-free-device-for-those-who-pre-ordered/#comments Tue, 31 Jul 2012 22:01:49 +0000 Natesh Sood http://androinica.com/?p=45143

It appears Google wants to bolster the Google Nexus Q before it officially launches in order to make it the best social streaming device it can possibly be.  Recently, we’ve seen the Nexus Q go from in stock and

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It appears Google wants to bolster the Google Nexus Q before it officially launches in order to make it the best social streaming device it can possibly be.  Recently, we’ve seen the Nexus Q go from in stock and shipping to shipping within 2-3 weeks.  At this point in time, Google has completely pulled the listing and informs users it is simply “coming soon” without a price tag or expected time frame for launch.

In an email to customers who pre-ordered the Nexus Q, Google reveals its plans to revamp the Nexus Q and make it even better based on initial feedback.  As a token of its appreciation for you pre-ordering the Nexus Q, Google will send each customer a free Nexus Q.  The entire device will be free and your credit card will not be charged the $299 it normally would have been.

This comes as great news for those who pre-ordered the device, and it is also nice to see Google admit a product needs some reworking before it officially hits the market.  Here’s to hoping Google can make the Nexus Q into something great when it launches in the near future.

Here is the full text of the email being sent to customers:

We have an important update about your Nexus Q pre-order.

When we announced Nexus Q at Google I/O, we gave away devices to attendees for an early preview. The industrial design and hardware were met with great enthusiasm. We also heard initial feedback from users that they want Nexus Q to do even more than it does today. In response, we have decided to postpone the consumer launch of Nexus Q while we work on making it even better.

To thank you for your early interest, we’d like to extend the Nexus Q preview to our pre-order customers and send you a free device. If you had other items in your order, your credit card will be charged for those items only.

Your Nexus Q will be on its way soon and you will receive a notification and tracking number from Google Play when it ships.

The Nexus Q Team

[AndroidCentral] [Google Play]

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Black Hat hackers show off Android vulnerabilities in NFC and Google Play Store http://androinica.com/2012/07/black-hat-hackers-show-off-android-vulnerabilities-in-nfc-and-google-play-store/ http://androinica.com/2012/07/black-hat-hackers-show-off-android-vulnerabilities-in-nfc-and-google-play-store/#comments Thu, 26 Jul 2012 12:28:31 +0000 Andrew Kameka http://androinica.com/?p=44967

Google, like all tech companies, is in a constant battle with hackers to expose and close security holes in products like Android. At the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, hackers demonstrated multiple ways in which they could take advantage…

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Google, like all tech companies, is in a constant battle with hackers to expose and close security holes in products like Android. At the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, hackers demonstrated multiple ways in which they could take advantage of those vulnerabilities and compromise an Android device.

One vulnerability manages to outsmart the Bouncer feature designed to keep malware out of the Google Play Store. A pair of researchers from Trustwave Security claim that they sidestepped Bouncer by introducing an app with completely legitimate purposes that is free of malware. It then used Java script bridge to add new features without requiring the user visit the Play Store. Adding malicious code through script bridge could allow a developer to download code that turns over more control and information for seedy purposes.

Another trick on display was Accuvant’s Charlie Miller claiming that he can “take over your phone” using near field communication. Miller says a stamp-sized device placed near a register or other unsuspecting location could “infect” an Android phone. However, the “near” in NFC requires very close proximity based on current set-up, so the feasibility of a real world attack is questionable. A similar NFC attack was discussed that focused on gaining payment information from sales terminals, which seems to be a more likely threat.

Neither the Google Play Bouncer workaround nor the NFC attacks are yet cause for major concern. These hacks were revealed at the Black Hat conference and not some seedy criminal organization meeting, so there’s a greater chance of these security holes being patched before they can widely be deployed and used to attack users. By nature, these presentations are typically done to make companies wiser and recognize vulnerabilities that they missed. The bigger concern may be how quickly and effectively those patches are implemented. One hack discussed at the conference was for a vulnerability Google has already fixed that not all carriers pushed to customers.

[Reuters]

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