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Google Announces 'Works With Cardboard' Program With Design Guidelines, New Partnerships, And More

With Cardboard, it seems that Google is in the middle of an effort to push VR along as quickly as possible by inviting everyone to participate.

Since launching the viewer with an open-sourced design, Google has gone on to promote Cardboard-compatible apps, provide viewer specifications, and publish SDKs, encouraging more developers and would-be Cardboard manufacturers to join the party. Ostensibly the philosophy is that VR will reach its potential faster if everyone works together.

Today, Google has announced a new "Works with Cardboard" program to equip developers and manufacturers with even more tools.

For manufacturers, Google will release a tool that configures any viewer to work with all apps.

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Google Updates Its Android Compatibility Definition Document For Lollipop

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.

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Google Releasing Platform Developer Kit To Manufacturers Before Major New Android Versions - Are Speedier Updates On The Way?

Android has become somewhat infamous for slow (almost unbearably so) updates for users of pretty much any non-Nexus device. In fact, when Jelly Bean was announced earlier today, the first thought on some users' minds was that their handsets haven't even tasted Ice Cream Sandwich yet.

Google is well aware of this issue, though - last year, it made an attempt (albeit a feeble one) to solve the problem with the Android Alliance. I think we all know how that turned out.


This year's I/O saw a related announcement: that of the Android PDK, or the Platform Development Kit. In short, it's a set of tools which will aid manufacturers in porting new versions of Android to their devices and which will be released to said manufacturers a few months before the public launch of each major Android update.

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Chart: Are There Really Too Many Android Phones? That Depends On How You Look At It

After reading a couple of great pieces on Droid-life about how Android manufacturers seem to be moving at breakneck pace to advance hardware and iterate handsets like crazy, I had an idea - let's visualize it in different ways. First, we'll start with a pretty basic comparison, showing the US's four major carriers and the number of Android devices they currently offer.


*includes upcoming DROID RAZR and Galaxy Nexus on Verizon. Based on respective carrier websites as of 10/28/11.

Next, we'll see how much each of the major handset manufacturers contributes to these numbers at the present moment.


*includes upcoming DROID RAZR and Galaxy Nexus.

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Android Devs To Manufacturers and Carriers: It's Not Rooting, It's Openness

The Android dev team has generally been assumed to have a passive stance on rooting and unlocking Android devices. That is, do it if you want - we won't stop you. And there's certainly evidence abound supporting this - Google's Nexus One could be unlocked via a simple ADB (Android Device Bridge) command: fastboot oem unlock. The same is true of the Nexus S.

Of course, it only makes sense - Google doesn't want to put any unnecessary barriers between Android developers and the open source OS, especially on developer phones.

But a new post on the official Android Developers Blog shows that team Android is a little more concerned with how their operating system is being used than some of us may have previously assumed.

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