Google's compatibility definition document (CDD) is meant to provide guidelines, requirements, and recommendations to Android device manufacturers who want their devices to be "compatible" with the latest release of Android, allowing them to pass Google's Compatibility Test Suite.
Last time Google updated the document, we noted at least one change of interest, requiring that manufacturers use white status icons with translucent bars. Naturally, when we noticed Google had updated the document again, we had to take a look and see what changes had been made.
There are lots of changes in the new document, but the following are a few of the more interesting ones.
Since Google I/O we've been waiting anxiously to see which apps would be among the first to gain compatibility with Chrome OS. As Sundar Pichai explained at this summer's conference, Google plans to get Android apps running natively on the company's desktop OS, using App Runtime for Chrome.
Google is carefully curating the experience, however, working with select developers to make apps available through Chrome's web store. In September, Duolingo, Evernote, Vine, and Sight Words came to Chrome, and today Google announced a lineup of seven new apps, including Cookpad, Couchsurfing, Overdrive, and four others. The web store appears to still be updating, so the rest of the new apps will hopefully become apparent soon.
The latest Dropbox update should give early adopters of the Android L preview something to smile about. This release addresses the showstopping compatibility issue that has thus far plagued the app, so users should now be able to use the cloud storage app on their pre-release mobile operating system of choice without experiencing an instant crash.
Update: Director of Product Management for Google Wallet Peter Hazlehurst dropped by our comments section below to confirm that Wallet is not compatible with the new Nexus 7 for the same reason as the HTC One Play Edition – the device does not carry a secure element, the small bit of hardware required to store encrypted card credentials on a device. This is required in order for Wallet to function, well, securely.
If you're the owner of a 2013 Nexus 7 and if were planning on using Google's own mobile payment solution with the NFC-toting slab, you may be surprised to learn that Google Wallet is in fact not compatible with the latest seven-inch addition to the Nexus family.
Pushover, a "simple push notification service" that essentially allows web services, scripts, and a lot more to send notifications to your mobile device, got an update recently to version 1.6 (and soon after, 1.6.1), which brought on a couple more nifty features.
Namely, the update brings support for DashClock, the popular clock/information widget that has gained immense support in its first few weeks of existence. Now DashClock can show you how many Pushover notifications are waiting for you.
The update also brings support for the lauded Pebble Smartwatch, allowing the gadget to receive forwarded notifications, provided you've got the Pebble app, and the watch is paired with your phone.
When Stargate Command launched on the Google Play Store a couple of weeks ago, there were shouts of "For cryin' out loud!" heard 'round the Android gaming community. If you had trouble installing the game thanks to an absurdly limited number of "compatible devices," then boot up your DHD and grab a handy Zat gun: it's now showing compatible with just about everything we can throw at it.
In Stargate Command you play as everyone's favorite snake infestation, Teal'c, as he defends the SGC from Goa'ulds, Jaffa, and Replicators. At least you can defend the base, after spending some cash on an in-app purchase.
There aren't many things in this world that can be as purely amazing as LEGO. The only people who aren't fans of the world's best creativity toy are people who (mistakenly!) think the company has sold out and encourages kids to follow pre-made instructions instead of building something new. To that I say: Mindstorms EV3. With Android compatibility out of the box. Your argument is invalid.
The main part of the new kit, the Intelligent Brick (seen above as a glowing torso with a QR code on its chest) will have more processing power, more memory, and more on-brick programming capabilities.
Grand Theft Auto III, the car-stealing, open world game that came to Android in celebration of the series beginning ten long years ago, got a nice update today, bumping it to version 1.3. Besides the usual bug fixes, the GTA update expands the game's compatibility to ASUS' Eee Pad Transformer Prime and the Medion Lifetab, while also adding support for Gamestop's wireless game controller, and enhanced controls for other gamepads and Sony's Xperia Play.
If that's not enough, users can now install the game to an SD card, enable haptic feedback, and adjust video display settings for better performance. Here's a full look at the version 1.3 change log.
Since its launch, we've had bittersweet feelings about the Amazon Mobile app for Tablets. The app shows promise as a tablet-friendly shopping solution, but until now has suffered an extremely limited compatibility, only working with tablets running 4.1 and up and carrying a 1280x800 resolution.
An update to the app today, however, has changed all that. Along with a few bug fixes, the update (to version 5.50.1010 for those keeping count at home) brings support for devices in 7" or 10" form factors, with a variety of resolutions, and loosened OS requirements. Here's the full change log:
What's in this version:
* Now available for Android tablets that are 7" to 10" with resolutions from 600x1024 to 1200x1920 with Android OS 4.0.3 and up.
Home Box Office Inc. brought updates to their HBO GO and HBO MAX apps today, adding various bug fixes, performance enhancements, and support for Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
For those who aren't familiar, HBO GO (which just got support for tablets running Android 4.0.4 and below last month), provides a mobile streaming service for those with eligible HBO subscriptions through participating television providers. Likewise, MAX GO provides mobile streaming for eligible Cinemax customers.
While it's great to see both of these apps updated to support the latest and greatest iteration of Android, it's odd that HBO's MAX GO app is still incompatible with tablets.