In an e-mail sent out to Play Store developers earlier, Google announced several updates to its developer program policy. The e-mail mentioned changes in policy including clarification to payment policy regarding subscription billing, the restriction of the "use of names or icons confusingly similar to existing system apps" (a statement that brings back memories of Facebook's "Messenger" gaffe), clarification regarding dangerous products, and practices that violate the Play Store's spam policy, all in addition to a stringent new Ad Policy.
|Liam Spradlin||Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.|
Sudo Make Me An App has just released Sudo QuickLaunch to the Play Store, an app that handily replaces Google Search's swipe-up gesture in Jelly Bean with a list of your favorite apps.
If you're like me, you hit the search bar in Jelly Bean more often than you swipe up to get to Google Search, so Sudo QuickLaunch is a welcome addition that not only makes that gesture useful, but can keep your home screen clutter-free.
It looks like owners of AT&T's Inspire 4G should be expecting an OTA update any time now – HTC posted a notice to their support site earlier indicating that an update carrying software build 3.20.502.2 would begin rolling out July 31, 2012 (today).
The update, which AT&T recommends setting aside about 20 minutes for, brings just a few new features and a small handful of fixes/enhancements. New features include HTC Sense 3.0, "Task Manager," and AT&T Address Book.
One of the great things about Android's ecosystem is the number of indie developers who are able to enter the market successfully, providing a great product and inspiring would-be developers to join in. For many though, Android development in general is a mysterious topic. How an app or game goes from an idea to an entry in the Play Store is unknown, but (thankfully) not unknowable.
Of course, considering how major development studios bring apps to life doesn't require too much thought – major companies like EA, Disney, or Rockstar have no problem hiring designers and developers to crank out and maintain polished apps.
Thumb Keyboard, one of the most intuitive, well-designed, and practical keyboards available (especially for tablet users) got a big update recently, bringing the app up to version 4.5.
Perhaps the biggest benefit to the new update is that Thumb Keyboard now supports ICS' continuous voice recognition, which in case you've forgotten, is the feature introduced with Ice Cream Sandwich that actively listens and dictates your speech. This is a feature I haven't seen in other alternative keyboards, and it's definitely nice to have.
Looking to be the successor to the Pantech Breakout, it seems that a little phone called the Pantech Star Q will be headed to Verizon. This sliding, QWERTY-packing device is decidedly a budget phone, expected to ring in at just $99 on contract, but it includes a mixed bag of low-end and surprisingly appealing specs, including Android 4.0.4, a Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, a front-facing camera (of indeterminate resolution), a 3MP rear shooter, a 4" WVGA display, and of course a sliding QWERTY keyboard.
Rounding out the list of budget Android handsets for which details emerged overnight, it looks like Samsung will be releasing the Droid Charge look-alike Galaxy S Lightray 4G to MetroPCS in mid-August.
The Galaxy S Lightray is not your average budget device, though – besides a 4.3" Super AMOLED Plus display (carrying an unknown resolution), 8MP rear camera (with flash), 4G LTE connectivity and (maybe) a 1.3GHz single-core processor, this phone appears to be packing a TV antenna for "Mobile TV" (evidently powered by Dyle TV).
Sprint customers using Samsung's Galaxy Nexus or Galaxy SIII should expect an OTA update to roll in any time now, bringing some enhancements and fixes that – while not entirely exciting – are worth picking up.
The Galaxy SIII update brings the device's software up to L710VPLG8, and includes a handful of improvements, including enhancements to Samsung's Smart Stay feature, voice recognition, and the addition of All-Share Cast support.
The Galaxy Nexus, meanwhile, will be bumped up to IMM76K.L700FG01.
Users may recall that the AT&T-connected One X was left out of the initial kernel source code drop just after HTC delivered a somewhat disheartening statement to the Verge indicating that the device was not eligible to participate in the Taiwanese manufacturer's bootloader unlocking program due to unspecified "restrictions," which many users read as "AT&T says no."
While it appears that the AT&T-connected One X still isn't compatible with HTC's bootloader unlocking tool (and may never be), the release of its kernel source code is still positive news for tweakers, tinkerers, and developers alike.
The Nexus Q, unveiled at this year's I/O conference to a somewhat unsure audience, is a device that looks to unify your living room's media experience, allowing the streaming of all your Play Store content to connected speakers and TVs, while also allowing for remote control from your (or your friends') Android devices.
One of the Nexus Q's main claims to fame is that it allows anyone in the room to connect and share Play Store content quickly and easily.