Almost every carrier story we post has at least a few versions of the following comments—"I would totally use carrier X, but it doesn't work very well where I live," and "I don't know why everyone is always talking smack about carrier Y, it works great in my area." According to the Wall Street Journal, Google's rumored MVNO could put an end to that by not only supporting both T-Mobile and Sprint, but by switching between the networks automatically depending on which signal is better.
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.
Sometimes old stuff is too old. It's sad, but companies don't have unlimited resources, and they can't provide new software updates and service forever. That's especially true of smaller companies like Dropcam (though it's technically owned by Nest, which is technically owned by Google, so I'm not sure if it qualifies as a "small" company anymore). But instead of simply leaving owners of older hardware in the dust, or compromising on new features for the always-on home monitoring service, Dropcam has decided to simply upgrade the old models for free.
You might have noticed a number of recent stories (like this one) claiming Google was abandoning some huge portion of Android users rather than fixing WebView security holes. It's exactly the kind of thing that makes good clickbait. Google has now issued a statement on the security issues in Android 4.3 and earlier, basically pointing out it's not feasible to update old code forever and offering tips for avoiding potential exploits.
The US and EU have put in effect sanctions against the Crimea area of Ukraine following Russia's annexation of the peninsula, and now various tech companies are complying. Google has already started to block AdSense and AdWords in the region, reports TechCrunch, and it plans to cut off Google Play services starting on February 1st.
Google's actions follow the likes of Apple, PayPal, and Valve (which has opted to turn off Steam in Crimea altogether).
Reports indicate that Google has taken definitive steps towards launching their own cellular phone service, making a long-whispered rumor sound like more than just hearsay. Google is working on deals with both Sprint and T-Mobile to become a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) on their infrastructure. While details are sparse for now, this might be your surest bet to avoid bloatware if there ever was one.
An MVNO is a third-party who uses a major carrier's network to provide service.
Version 40 of Google Chrome went live today after a couple months in beta. There's no single headlining feature in this update, but there are a variety of genuinely useful additions and fixes. It is Wednesday, after all, and what better update than a major Chrome release?
We have previously covered the bulk of the changes in this release. What's on the menu? Here's a changelog, created by me with links to previous coverage (as if Google would provide one):
About that last one, here's what we mean: press and hold on the address bar and you'll see something like the image below.
It may be taking longer than many potential customers would like, but Google is still working on bringing its goods and services to interested parties around the world. Today, those in New Zealand and Taiwan will be happy to find that the Play Store now has a "Devices" section in their countries.
For now, it seems that only the Nexus 9 and the Chromecast are available in these two countries, but this is still a promising development.