Phandroid » Developers http://phandroid.com Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Fri, 27 Feb 2015 20:18:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Don’t look now, but Sponsored Apps are coming to Google Play http://phandroid.com/2015/02/26/google-play-sponsored-apps/ http://phandroid.com/2015/02/26/google-play-sponsored-apps/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 14:32:45 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160227 google play sponsored apps gif

Google Play’s search results have long been clean of advertisements with Google looking to ranking algorithms, editor-curated lists and other standard practices to let the best apps naturally bubble to the top. But developers will soon be able to pay for their app to be featured above all the rest.

Google has announced Sponsored Apps for Google Play. It sounds just like you’d imagine: you search for, say, “recipe app,” and a “sponsored” app will be the first result before taking you to the rest of the pack. It’s just like the ads you see across Twitter, Facebook and Google Search itself.

Google says they’re doing this to help developers get their apps to more eyes, which would in turn help them make more money. Their 2014 payout of over $7 billion to app developers who run ads is used as incentive.

This isn’t open to anyone and everyone just yet. Google is working with a limited, select group of partners to trial the program in the early going. If all goes well we imagine it will be opened up to anyone willing to dish out the coin needed for prime advertising real estate.

There’s sure to be a good deal of backlash within the community about the move, but if Google wants to make Google Play a more viable platform for developers to make income then they have to start allowing developers to get the most eyes they can on their app. It’s hard to do that with millions of other apps to compete with, so this is sure to be the most lucrative and effective route to that goal.

[via Google]

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Google will reportedly introduce new Android Pay API at Google IO 2015 http://phandroid.com/2015/02/25/android-pay-api-debuting-at-google-io-2015/ http://phandroid.com/2015/02/25/android-pay-api-debuting-at-google-io-2015/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 22:59:21 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160196 Android Pay

Google Wallet’s road to a ubiquitous mobile payments solution has been a bumpy one. This was thanks in part to carriers trying to impede its progress with their own NFC-based mobile payments system called Softcard. After reports that Softcard was bleeding money, Google swooped in, announcing a partnership that will see Google Wallet coming pre-installed on all Android devices from here on out. Not a bad deal at all.

Echoing Google’s “2 of everything” approach to their products and services, Google is now reportedly gearing up to introduce a new payments API for developers called Android Pay. The new API will be built from the ground up and will allow developers to add a mobile payments option into their app. Users will only have to add their credit/debit card information and can pay for anything within the app with only a single tap. The API will also allow for tap-to-pay transactions in retail stores using Google’s Host Card Emulation (HCE).

According to sources, that doesn’t mean Google Wallet is going anywhere. Android Pay will also support Google Wallet which will continue to exist as a separate entity. This will allow users to link their Google Wallet accounts to any apps already using Android Pay. Likewise, users and companies looking to avoid Google Wallet entirely will finally have that option with Android Pay.

It’s still not clear exactly what Google plans on doing with existing Google Wallet APIs (which allow developers to add a “Buy with Google” button in their apps) but we’re sure to learn more during this year’s Google I/O 2015 in May.

[ArsTechnica]

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Don’t forget to sign up for IDEAA’s Big Android Meat and Greet in Washington DC April 4th http://phandroid.com/2015/02/24/ideaa-big-android-meat-and-greet/ http://phandroid.com/2015/02/24/ideaa-big-android-meat-and-greet/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 17:19:00 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=160058 big android meet and greet dc

IDEAA today formally announced their history, their mission and their future. If you don’t know, IDEAA — which stands for International Developer Education and Advocacy Alliance — is a new organization formed by the folks behind the yearly Big Android BBQ that has taken place since 2010.

After the success and growth of those events, they wanted to expand their presence to reach all the goals and visions set forth by everyone involved.

“After the tremendous success of our events in 2014 we believed the best way to support developers and our strong partnerships was to transition to this new organization,” says Aaron Kasten, president of IDEAA. “IDEAA will give us a chance to expand our goals and continue to  provide unique quality events that are equal parts education, entertainment, and altruism.”

With this alliance comes the possibility of creating a wide range of events not tailored just to Android developers, but developers of all kinds. We’re not sure what, exactly, they have in mind for the entirety of 2015 and beyond, but we do know about their first event.

It starts April 4th of this year with the Big Android Meat and Greet over in Washington DC that we already told you about. That event features a free “Code Kitchen” that runs from mid-morning through mid-afternoon with free lunch served. The Code Kitchen is a networking opportunity and workshop for developers to get together and help each other understand Android more deeply.

Those who have an itch to party can drop an optional $75 to get on a cruise boat afterward and check out the Cherry Blossoms festival where you’ll see the sweet berries in full bloom. All of it is capped off with what’s sure to be an awesome fireworks show. Good old-fashioned Texas barbecue will be served before getting on the boat, of course, so you won’t have to worry about your stomach. Oh, and food and drink on an open bar is included with the price of your ticket, so go nuts.

It sounds like an awesome time and we can’t wait to hear more about what IDEAA has planned for the future. For now, if you want to attend the Big Android Meat & Greet in DC you’ll need to head to EventBrite and order your ticket (whether you’re going for the free portion or otherwise). Be sure to handle that and make sure you can make your way to Washington DC April 4th to partake in the festivities.

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Android developers beware: fake Google Play violation email is a scam looking to steal your password http://phandroid.com/2015/02/20/google-play-store-violation-phishing-scam/ http://phandroid.com/2015/02/20/google-play-store-violation-phishing-scam/#comments Fri, 20 Feb 2015 19:22:38 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=159772 hackers

Reports of phony Google Play emails being sent to Android developers as circulating around the web. We, at Phandroid, have also received one of these emails, little more than a phishing scam meant to steal developers’ console passwords. Ours says we have 7 days to respond to a Google Play Store violation (some devs are receiving 3-day emails) and comes from a “gooogle.com.de” address (with an extra “O”).

Google Play Violation phishing scam

Once the link in the email is clicked, developers are taken to a site that looks very similar to the normal Developer Console. We have to admit, the wording in the email doesn’t feature the usual grammatical errors and is seemingly urgent enough that some developers might panic and miss it. Needless to say, avoid clicking or signing into anything from that email, lest you’d like your developer account compromised.

UPDATE: Google issues official e-mail to developers warning them of this phishing attack.

We are aware that some Google Play developers have received policy warnings from a fake Google account. The subject lines of the fraudulent emails include variations of “3-Day Notification of Google Play Developer Term Violation.” If you received an email with this subject line, please mark it as phishing and proceed to delete it without clicking on any links contained within it. Find out more about recognizing phishing emails here:https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/75061.

If you use Gmail, please report all phishing attempts by following these instructions: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/75061.

As a general reminder, you should only enter your Google account password on the official Google sign-in page: https://accounts.google.com/. Also note that the official URL for the Google Play Developer Console is https://play.google.com/apps/publish/.

If you believe your account has been compromised, please follow these instructions: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/50270.

Thanks,
The Google Play Support Team

(c)2015 Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

You have received this mandatory email service announcement to update you about important information relating to your Google Play account.

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No coding experience? Learn to build Android games with this deal from AndroidArea.com http://phandroid.com/2015/02/10/no-coding-experience-learn-to-build-android-games-with-this-deal-from-androidarea-com/ http://phandroid.com/2015/02/10/no-coding-experience-learn-to-build-android-games-with-this-deal-from-androidarea-com/#comments Tue, 10 Feb 2015 20:52:47 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=159063 android-game-developer-bundle

You’re a total newb with no experience in programming. You’ve always wanted to build an Android game but you have no idea where to start. Here’s a clue: AndroidArea.com, where you can gain access to the educational tools you need to build the next great Android game, and it won’t put you in debt.

Get the Android Game Developer Bundle for $49 at AndroidArea.com

$49 gets you access to seven online course geared toward developers of all skill levels, from those with little to no coding experience to development wizards. With hundreds of lectures and over 60 hours of content, you’ll have your work cut out for you.

Separately, the courses included in the Android Game Developer Bundle would set you back over $750, but who has that kind of cash? This small investment could pay huge dividends. Will you make the next Flappy Bird? Only one way to find out. Head over to AndroidArea.com and enroll in this special online educational offer now.

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Android 5.0 Lollipop update has finally reached enough devices to appear on Google’s developer stats http://phandroid.com/2015/02/02/lollipop-stats/ http://phandroid.com/2015/02/02/lollipop-stats/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 18:55:39 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=158457 android version numbers feb 2nd

It wasn’t long ago that we were wondering how long it would take for Android 5.0 Lollipop to make its way to the Android version distribution chart. Google offers the chart to developers to see which versions of Android are most prominent to help target the right audience.

The chart doesn’t show versions with less than 0.1% of the pie, but Android 5.0 Lollipop has made a roaring comeback to take a whopping 1.6% in today’s update. This would mark the first time it has been seen on the list.

We reckon that has a lot to do with more Moto G units getting the upgrade recently, as well as Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One M8 devices starting to receive the upgrade through Europe and Asia. The Samsung Galaxy S5 in the United States has also started receiving the upgrade as of today.

Lollipop statue

1.6% of a small pie is nothing, but 1.6% of potentially billions of active Android handsets out there is no small number. Jelly Bean and KitKat will likely hold the crown for a while longer, but it’s nice to see Lollipop finally find its way onto the list. You can find the full numbers in the chart above, and developers who actually need this data can find other goodies — such as screen densities and resolutions — at the jump.

[via Android Developers]

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Android 5.0.2 factory images now available for the Nexus 7 LTE (2012 and 2013) http://phandroid.com/2015/01/30/android-5-0-2-factory-images-now-available-for-the-nexus-7-lte-2012-and-2013/ http://phandroid.com/2015/01/30/android-5-0-2-factory-images-now-available-for-the-nexus-7-lte-2012-and-2013/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2015 22:39:48 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=158400 Nexus 7 2013

It’s been a long time coming, but those of you with the cellular equipped Nexus 7 (both models) can expect Android 5.0.2 Lollipop to soon hit your devices. Earlier today, Google posted the system images and binaries for both the original Nexus 7 LTE , and the Nexus 7 2013 LTE as shown in the screen shot down below.

Nexus 7 2013 LTE Android 5.0.2 image

The Android 5.0.2 update (build LRX22G) is the same build number that already rolled out to the Nexus 10 and WiFi equipped Nexus 7 models. We’re not sure what took Google so long, but hopefully it gave them enough time to patch up all those bugs we’ve been hearing about. From here, you can either manually apply the update yourself (providing you have an unlocked bootloader and knowledge of ADB), or wait for the official rollout to commence.

Still no word on when Google plans on pushing out this update over-the-air, but it shouldn’t be much longer now. Those of you with the 4G LTE equipped Nexus 7 or Nexus 2013 can rest assured the update is, in fact, coming.

[Google Developers]

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Google wants you to buy Project Ara modules from food trucks in first market pilot [VIDEO] http://phandroid.com/2015/01/14/project-ara-market-pilot/ http://phandroid.com/2015/01/14/project-ara-market-pilot/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 17:39:21 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=157209 Project Ara-tested.com

You read that right. At the second Ara Module Developers’ Conference today, Google announced that they’ve identified a market for the initial pilot for Project Ara. That market is Puerto Rico, and it was chosen for its “mobile-first” society where a vast majority of citizens use mobile smartphones as their primary means of connecting to the internet. No word on how long it’ll take to eke out of that part of the world, but we’re promised we’ll be kept in the loop.

While Google will have a sizable roster of carrier partners to test the modular smartphone with, the company also envisions another method of selling modules: food trucks.

Chinese-food_truck_in_Nouméa,_New_Caledonia,_2011

Well, sort of. You won’t be able to order a 32GB Ara module with a side of fried rice, but they will use similarly-equipped trucks to place vending stations in high traffic markets (sort of like seeing a smartphone kiosk inside a mall). You can see an example of one of these trucks used

Thankfully Google confirmed that the first market pilot and the eventual global launch is still on track for 2015, though not without moving through a few more much-needed iterations of Ara. Today we were treated to the revelation of the spiral 2 endo skeleton revisions that will push the platform to the next step. It included the introduction of several new module types, including a speaker module, a pollution sensor module and an extended battery module.

They also touched on changes to the endo skeleton that allows antennae modules to communicate with other separate modules to enable multiple data and voice radios. This would, for example, allow 3G and 4G radios to exist in their own spots on the endo skeleton instead of the two needing to be stuffed into the same module. It’s the first step toward equipping Project Ara with full connectivity for use in an actual cellular environment.

spiral 2

And that’s just what they’ve introduced today. They already have early plans for the spiral 3 revision. It’s due in Q2 2015 and is set to be the last major revision ahead of the pilot test.

Those plans include more space for battery modules, improvements to a contact-less data transmission platform that increases the quality and reliability of a module, and changes that allow the endo skeleton itself to be used as an antenna to help radio performance (particularly for high-frequency network bands).

spiral 3

The developer conference is still ongoing, so be sure to head here to follow along if you’re interested in any of it. Warning: it’s really technical stuff, so if you’re not a developer or an extreme tech head then you’ll probably hear more jibberish than anything else. We’ll keep you guys posted if anything new comes from Google’s cool halls within Mountain View.

 

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Watch Google’s Project Ara developer conference live stream right here at 11am Eastern http://phandroid.com/2015/01/14/project-ara-dev-conference-live-stream/ http://phandroid.com/2015/01/14/project-ara-dev-conference-live-stream/#comments Wed, 14 Jan 2015 14:47:09 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=157200

Google has a developers’ conference going on this morning, in case you didn’t know. It’s a long shot from Google I/O, but this one focuses on Project Ara, the company’s modular phone project that would let users choose their own specs by fitting a frame with LEGO-like blocks.

This is the second Project Ara developers’ conference ever, and we’re expecting a couple of different things:

  • Google is going to talk about MDK — Ara’s development kit — version 0.2, and everything it enables
  • Google is going to help module developers get up to speed on everything they need to start creating modules

That’s what we know for sure. What we’re hoping? Google surprises us with availability information (the earliest reported window was January 2015, but that could have easily changed behind the scenes). Regardless of what happens, though, it’ll all be interesting, and you can follow along with us thanks to this handy live stream. Can’t watch live? We’ll do our part to bring any breaking news right to the front page.

Project Ara Spiral 1

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Buy into the hype, learn to code for Android Lollipop with this AndroidArea.com deal http://phandroid.com/2015/01/12/learn-to-code-for-android-lollipop/ http://phandroid.com/2015/01/12/learn-to-code-for-android-lollipop/#comments Mon, 12 Jan 2015 19:42:28 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=157098 nexus 6 lollipop

Android Lollipop arrived on the hype train from Google town, and it’s slowly but steadily making its way to more and more handsets every day. Get ahead of the curve: learn to code for Android 5.0 and have your software ready just in time for the next round of major Android launches.

Learn to code for Android Lollipop for only $89 at AndroidArea.com

This development course is being offered at an exclusive discounted rate via AndroidArea.com. $89 gives you access to over 30 hours of online instruction and exercises that walk you through the processing of building more than 10 sample apps. Skills covered include Java programming, extensible Markup Language, Android Studio 1.0, Material Design, and more.

The course is hosted by Matt Parker, an app maker who has built for startups and Fortune 500 companies alike. This level of instruction would normally cost $500, but we’ve got it here for over 80% off. That’s a minimal investment for an enterprise that could eventually return huge dividends. But you’ve got to get schooled up first. Head on over to AndroidArea.com for all the details.

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Latest Android version numbers show no sign of Lollipop, but Froyo is still kicking http://phandroid.com/2015/01/07/android-versions-january-2015/ http://phandroid.com/2015/01/07/android-versions-january-2015/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 18:22:25 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=156758 android model

Google has updated the version distribution numbers for Android by platform, a tool that helps developers figure out what most Android users are on to help them target development more efficiently. The story? Well, not much has changed.

The latest version of Android — Lollipop — is still nonexistent. We thought we might see it eek onto the chart after a few months of updates and more people buying the latest Nexus devices, but it’s still accounting for less than 0.1% of the overall market share.

android distribution january 6th 2015

It might sound bad, but there’s not much to worry about. The only devices which have received the upgrade to Lollipop on a wide-scale basis are the Moto X, Moto G, Google Play Edition and recent Nexus phones. That crowd of folks is a lot smaller than the millions more people with Galaxy S5s and LG G3s and the like. The upgrade has gone out to those handsets in some parts of the world, but only in very limited capacity.

You may recall that Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean and KitKat also got off to slow starts in their quests to break out, and now they combine to make up a vast majority of the overall Android user base. All of that is to say there’s nothing to worry about — Lollipop will be along shortly, and once the ball gets rolling it won’t stop.

One other interesting tidbit to take away here is that Froyo is still alive, even if only barely. It has 0.4% of the pie. Combined with Gingerbread’s 7.8%, legacy Android is still nearly 1/10th of Android’s overall install base. Good or bad? That depends on how you look at it, but as long as those numbers continue to fall with each passing day we can’t say it matters much.

Lastly, KitKat is growing, which is a good sign that more and more manufacturers are making it a point to get their users up to the latest version of Android possible. The problem? When they finally do get KitKat, they’re going to start wanting Lollipop. And the neverending cycle of update madness continues well into the new year. The full numbers can be found at the jump.

[via Android Developers]

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Hey Google: absurd developer policies are hurting the Android community http://phandroid.com/2015/01/04/play-store-developer-policies/ http://phandroid.com/2015/01/04/play-store-developer-policies/#comments Sun, 04 Jan 2015 15:20:31 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=156419 Show Google how important this issue is by signing the petition on Change.org

The Google Play Store is becoming an absolute joke, governed by contradicting laws that are enforced without logic, and policed anonymously and at random. Once heralded as the most open and developer friendly mobile platform on the planet, Google has given Android a huge black eye by sucker-punching loyal developers right in the face. Over and over and over.

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 1.14.01 PM

How do we know? We’re one of them. Here’s our latest frustrating and infuriating interaction with Google (it’s happened before):

Your title and/or description attempts to impersonate or leverage another popular product without permission. Please remove all such references. Do not use irrelevant, misleading, or excessive keywords in apps descriptions, titles, or metadata.

  • So is it the title? Or the description? Or both? What? Google offers zero specifics but they link an article that seems to suggest our description is to blame.
  • We cannot make adjustments or updates to the app as it has been indefinitely suspended and all downloads/reviews/ratings permanently lost. We have to upload a new app and start from scratch, but have no clue if our new app will also suspended… making investing any time or money in the venture a complete waste of time.
  • A request to reinstate the app so we can make necessary adjustments is denied almost immediately with a canned e-mail response.

So here we are, dumbfounded. We’ve dumped a ton of time, resources, and finances into into this app over the past 2 years and Google deletes it without warning and without the information necessary to correct this app (or properly submit future apps). It’d be bad enough if Google was just doing this to us – but they’re not- Google is governing the Play Store like tyrants, randomly burning and pillaging the resources developers have built up over years, leaving behind nothing but smoldering ashes and silence.

“If I was a developer debating whether to launch first on Android, iOS, or Windows… I’d look at Google’s recent actions and think: anything but Android”

Hey, Google- you should be embarrassed. What currently seems like “Amateur Hour at the Play Store” could snowball into much more. If I was a developer debating whether to launch first on Android, iOS, or Windows… I’d look at Google’s recent actions and think: “anything but Android”. When an automated system can wipe out an entire company with no discussion or recourse, why risk it?

There is one caveat I’d like to address which may – in part – explain this suspension, but I’ll also explain why that possibility is still inexcusable and absurd. It’s possible that Google is contesting the validity of our app because it uses the name “PS4″ which is a product we don’t own. Why shouldn’t this make a difference?

  • Unless Sony filed a trademark violation against us (which is highly unlikely), Google shouldn’t care. We’ve directly communicated with Sony in the past and I’d highly doubt they take issue with the app or app name. Google’s web results are filled with fan sites and the Play Store should be no different (but with the same case-by-case caveats that protect trademark holders).
  • They’ve put us into a panicked frenzy, creating fear that our other apps (like Phandroid news) may get suspended, but we have no clue what to adjust to ensure we’re following the Play Store rules. We don’t know exactly what rule we broke or how we broke it, so we’re forced to preemptively adjust everything within the realm of Google’s ridiculous possibilities. Seriously Google, are you running a business or a circus? Do you not see the problem here?
  • Google makes a truckload of money on Android-related products. Android would not exist without developers. Would it be such a bad idea to hire a team of people to handle these very important and urgent matters, communicating directly with developers when the existence of their app literally depends on it?

Our best guess is that our “App Description” contained the term “PS4″ too often, but we did so for the obvious reason- we want potential users to know what they can find in the app! They allow up to 4,000 characters in the app description so why punish people for including more than one sentence defining the app? How are we supposed to describe the app without using the keyword that defines the app’s main content and purpose?

To illustrate, here is our new description for Phandroid News for Android:

Android enthusiasts will love this quick and beautiful news app which features the latest breaking news, rumors, tips, tricks, reviews, and videos for everything Android. Get the latest info about Android phones, tablets, TV, Auto, and more from the industry’s leading Android news source – Phandroid.com!

This replaces what we feel is a far more informative and helpful description, but we felt forced to do so because… well, because Google is ridiculous and doesn’t seem to care about developers in this capacity (we know all too well). Here is the old description:

Get the latest News, Reviews, and info delivered right to your phone or tablet from Phandroid, the world’s first and most respected News for Android™ source.

What you’ll find:
✓ News & Rumors for Android
✓ Tips, Tricks, & Tutorials for Android
✓ Apps & Games for Android
✓ Phones & Tablets for Android
✓ Accessories for Android
✓ Software & Firmware Updates for Android
✓ Opinions, Discussion, and more all for Android!

App Features:
☆ Native Android app with beautiful, Material Design UI
☆ Receive notifications for new articles
☆ “Star” articles to mark them as favorites, for reading later or future reference
☆ View “Featured” articles to quickly browse top stories
☆ Filter articles by categories and topics
☆ Search thousands of articles using text or voice search
☆ Read and post comments with seamless DISQUS support
☆ Login with Google+, Facebook, Twitter, or browse as a guest
☆ View photo galleries, vote on polls, and watch video embeds in articles!
☆ Share articles and images through Android action bar
☆ Resizable widget delivers news to your home screen

Settings & Options:
☆ Select from light or dark theme
☆ Select font size
☆ Toggle UI between Modern Card Display and Traditional List View
☆ Customize frequency and style of notifications

Tips on using the app:
☆ Press on the “Star” to save an article in your favorites
☆ When reading an article, swipe left and right to jump article to article
☆ Press the chat bubble in the lower right of articles to read comments and leave comments
☆ Pull down on any screen to refresh
☆ Latest articles in a widget, navigate through latest articles.
☆ Long press links, text, and images for additional options

★ Where you can find us:
Web – http://phandroid.com
Forums – http://androidforums.com
Facebook – http://facebook.com/phandroid
Google+ – http://plus.google.com/+phandroid
Twitter – http://twitter.com/phandroid

For a company that prides themselves on accurate algorithms and machine learning, they’ve engineered an outrageously dumb system.

Google needs to look in the mirror and make some serious New Year’s Resolutions. Their Android developer policies are unclear. Their system of enforcing them is unfair. Their unwillingness to communicate is lazy. This doesn’t seem like the same Android that was pioneered from scratch… it seems like an Android that has gotten large and complacent. This isn’t the Android promised by the Open Handset Alliance. This is a unilateral mess in the hands of Google and they’re dropping the ball.

Please, Google, pick up the pieces… not just for us but for the sake of the entire Android community and its future.


Below you’ll find the Change.org petition requesting Google improve their practices and communication when issuing and attempting to resolve Play Store policy violations. If you believe in the fair treatment of Android Developers around the world, we invite you to sign the petition.

Android has become the most popular mobile operating system on the planet, but Google is mistreating key stakeholders that helped propel its success: developers.

Google has been improperly suspending Android Apps and Developer accounts deemed to be violating the Google Play Developer Distribution Agreement and/or the Google Play Developer Program Policies. Furthermore, Google’s notification for these violations comes in the form of vague automated e-mails that prevent honest developers from complying with Google’s demands (they’re not told what to change or fix). In many cases, apps and accounts are suspended or removed completely without prior warning or notice, offering no recourse to fix inadvertent violations regardless of the size, nature, or developer’s intentions to comply.

The result of these careless actions are often disastrous and far reaching, ranging from the exodus of loyal Android developers to the sudden loss of income source and jobs. We’ve fallen victim to this troubling practice twice at Phandroid.com which, ironically, is a site for Android enthusiasts by Android enthusiasts. After seeing countless other Android developers burned, left in the dust, and ignored by Google… we felt it was time to speak up (or move on).

This problem can be resolved by creating a team of Android Developer Advocates whose primary role is to communicate directly with developers who are issued policy violations, helping them understand the exact reasons for the violation, and help them understand what adjustments can be made to bring their app and account into good standing. Supporting developers directly will help keep good apps in the Play Store, maximize good-will and morale in the developer community, and prevent the livelihoods of developers, startups, and entrepreneurs from being destroyed.

Stop the automated suspensions. Help developers comply. Protect the Android ecosystem. Save the clock tower.

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PSA to EU devs: adjust your Google Play app pricing to account for new VAT rules http://phandroid.com/2015/01/02/google-play-eu-vat-change-psa/ http://phandroid.com/2015/01/02/google-play-eu-vat-change-psa/#comments Fri, 02 Jan 2015 16:23:47 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=156317 Google Play icon bag new

If you don’t remember, a while back Google made a change to the Google Play developers’ policy to account for new rules in VAT transactions for folks in the European Union. The change effectively automatically offloads the VAT (or “value-added tax,” the standard tax system for members of the European Union) onto the listed price of the app, so instead of it being tacked onto the end of a transaction that the user pays for, it’s being taken from the app’s base price.

Well, that change went into effect the moment the calender turned to 2015, so we thought it’d be good to remind you to set your apps’ pricing accordingly. Google Play’s developer dashboard allows you to set pricing by each region and country, so you can take a look at each country’s VAT rate (varies up to 25% depending on country) and add the appropriate amount accordingly. Without doing so, you’ll basically be paying someone else’s sales tax, and with all the income tax you already have to deal with we’re sure that wouldn’t be thrilling.

It’s a tall order for those who command a lot of apps, but one that should be done if you don’t want to lose out on extra revenue that might be lost because of this move. It sucks that Google had to make this change, but they did and you should at least be grateful there’s a way to circumvent it with just a bit more legwork on your behalf. At least you’ll have a nice long weekend to get it done.

[Thanks, Jeff!]

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OnePlus releases first alpha of company’s new ROM, and it’s basically AOSP Lollipop http://phandroid.com/2015/01/02/oneplus-one-aosp-rom/ http://phandroid.com/2015/01/02/oneplus-one-aosp-rom/#comments Fri, 02 Jan 2015 13:53:09 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=156301 oneplus one lollipop aosp rom

The folks at OnePlus revealed a while ago that they’d been working on their own ROM to pursue their own vision beyond CyanogenMod. We weren’t sure what to expect from their first and early effort, but we do now: it’s Android 5.0 Lollipop straight from the Android Open Source Project, and that’s about it.

The company published the ROM, which is in its first alpha state, for public flashing through the TWRP recovery, and they noted that the build doesn’t have any added features that don’t already come with stock AOSP Android Lollipop. That doesn’t mean that they haven’t done anything at all, but this is where they are in the early going.

OnePlus One DSC06079

It’s also worth noting that the ROM doesn’t ship with Gapps, the package which gives you access to all of Google’s services not shipped with AOSP. You’ll need to find a quick download of that package to flash after you’ve flashed the ROM (this one should do), but after that you should be good to go.

You should know there are a few known issues being worked through at the moment, though none are particularly experience-breaking. Here’s the quick list:

  • Data roaming is on by default. Make sure to turn if off to avoid potential charges.
  • Camera and video may be unstable. This build supports 4k video, however quality may be low as we are still fine-tuning the camera.
  • Capacitive keys do not turn off when you enable software keys.
  • Clock crashes periodically.
  • If using the new app pinning feature in L, make sure to turn on the software keys first. Otherwise, you will have to reboot your machine.
  • On first boot, startup time will be a bit slow.

No one said alpha builds were perfect, eh? Still, that list seems light enough to consider this one ready to be your daily driver if you can put up with a wonky camera and clock.

CyanogenMod’s wares are probably still your best bet if you’ve come to enjoy the OnePlus One’s unique features, but Lollipop for that particular configuration won’t be ready for quite a while and this is your best bet at getting a taste of Lollipop on your OnePlus One in somewhat official capacity.

That said, OnePlus expects to use this ROM as a basis for a much bigger project going forward, with the company looking to bring their own suite of features and looks in future updates. Feel free to hop on the bandwagon early on, but just know it won’t be anything special or out of the ordinary unless you really want a taste of Lollipop. Find instructions and download links over at the OnePlus forums.

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Franco Kernel makes its way to the Nexus 6 http://phandroid.com/2014/12/29/franco-kernal-nexus-6/ http://phandroid.com/2014/12/29/franco-kernal-nexus-6/#comments Mon, 29 Dec 2014 18:05:59 +0000 http://phandroid.com/?p=156126 nexus 6 overview

Francisco Franco has brought his much-loved kernel to Google’s latest enthusiast device. The developer, who says he’s fallen in love with the device in his time having it, says the upgrade is being pushed out at some point later today. The previous version of the kernel already works seamlessly with the Nexus 6, though this upgrade will likely brings changes specific to the Nexus 6 and the hardware packed inside.

Franco’s Kernels have long been celebrated due to their clean, fast performance and advanced features, and anyone hoping to keep their device in tip-top shape a few years past its purchase date would be wise to use it (or any decent after-market kernel) on their Nexus 6. For those interested, you’ll simply have to install the Franco Kernel Updater on your rooted Nexus 6, and wait for the goodness to arrive to your phone over-the-air.

[via Google+]

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