Free-to-play is a divisive topic in the games industry right now. Some developers and publishers, especially in the mobile gaming world, love it - free games get downloaded more, and they have the potential to bring in more revenue. Gamers used to the "pay once, pay forever" model of games and software in general over the last 30 years think it's changing the industry and damaging both the economics and the mechanics of gaming itself.
Google changed the policy for app refunds from 24 hours to 15 minutes a few years ago, but Android users eventually adjusted to it. There is still a less prominent way to seek a refund after the 15 minute window if you have a legitimate gripe – it's tucked away in the Play Store order history. However, at some point recently, Google changed the way these refund requests worked.
The blog iTechTriad posted this as a PSA and a potentially serious bug on April 8th, and we've spent the last several weeks digging for details, eventually confirming it as a new Google policy.
Google continues its monthly ritual of posting platform distribution numbers for Android. After getting a fairly late start, KitKat is keeping up its suddenly explosive pace by adding 3.2% to last month's 5.3%. This is largely due to a continual stream of updates to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note 3.
The increase in KitKat's presence came at the expense of almost every older version of Android except for Jelly Bean 4.2, which actually rose 0.7%.
While developers from a startling number of countries can post apps to the Google Play Store for users around the world to download, setting up the infrastructure for these developers to sell paid apps - and more importantly, to get paid for their apps - isn't quite so widespread. Today Google is opening up Google Wallet Merchant registration to eight more countries, allowing developers in those countries to get paid in their local currency.
If you entered Google's new lottery system for I/O 2014, go check your email account. Odds are pretty good that you've got an email, or that you will receive one shortly. Several Google+ users are showing off their fancy invitations. Those who have "won" the right to purchase their $900 tickets have already been charged via their Google Wallet accounts.
Source: Bao-Long Nguyen-Trong, Google+
And if you didn't get in?
In a rare (and very amusing) fireside chat between Matias Duarte and Joshua Topolsky, we heard that I/O 2014 might put significantly more attention on great design as a topic. Today, a post on Google's Developer Blog is here to back up that declaration and adds that there will be sessions and workshops geared for designers and developers interested in improving their products. While there still hasn't been an official session list posted, this is surely meant to encourage designers to apply for registration before the window closes on Friday.
Alright, Android developers and general enthusiasts: the floodgates are open. Google is now accepting registrations for Google I/O 2014, which takes place at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco on June 25th and 26th. If you've got a spare nine hundred bucks and the means to get there, you can submit your details and hope for a spot.
Things are a bit different this year. Instead of a mad dash for a limited number of tickets, not to mention no small amount of confusion and frustration as Google's registration buckles under the pressure, attendance will be under a general lotto system.
Google I/O registrations were supposed to open in just a few hours so developers and people who love free stuff could deluge Mountain View with applications. That's not happening, though. The Google Developers G+ account has posted an update stating the registration window has been pushed back to next week.
"Because the history of computing has taught us is that data will not be contained. Data breaks free. It expands to new media, crashes through barriers; painfully, maybe even dangerously. But, uh, there it is… Data finds a way." - Jeff Goldblum as Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Gift Shop)
When we last left our favorite removable storage device, OEMs had begun adopting Google’s policy for restricting write access to SD cards.
This post is specifically for app and game developers. Ladies and gentlemen, let's peek behind the editorial curtain for a bit. Here at Android Police, each writer sifts through hundreds of emails every day. A good portion of these are from people trying to promote an app, game, or service. Someone at AP reads each and every one of them, but to be perfectly honest, it's impossible for us to follow up on all of them.