Actions on Google is the name for third-party services on Google Assistant, which was opened up to developers back in December. There is no shortage of Actions available, but I have yet to find one that I would actually use more than once. Google wants developers to create compelling features for Assistant, so the company has started a competition with various monetary and physical rewards.
One of the more interesting things to emerge from the digital revolution is hacking competitions and prizes, wherein benevolent "white hat" hackers are invited to try and defeat hardware and software in a closed environment. The latest mobile-only edition of the Pwn2Own competition was sponsored by software security company Trend Micro, offering cash prizes to anyone who could get user info, install rogue apps, or completely unlock some of the biggest mainstream phones out there: the Nexus 6P, the Galaxy S6, and the iPhone 6s.
Project Ara is still going strong, and Google demonstrated it at I/O at the ATAP presentation. Project Ara Technical Lead Paul Eremenko talks up the modular phone platform in the video below (starting at around 23:30), bringing the concept beyond simple phone component upgrades. "What if a phone could see in the dark? What if a phone could test if water is clean?" The collaborative Ara team wants the hardware to be just as flexible as the larger Android ecosystem.
They showed off a working, self-contained Ara "Spiral" prototype phone for the first time, with all the hot-swappable modules installed and a build of Android running.
The second annual Mobile Pwn2Own competition, run by HP TippingPoint's Zero Day Initiative, is fast approaching. This year's event will take place at the PacSec Applied Security Conference in Tokyo from November 13-14, and over $300,000 in cash and prizes is up for grabs. The Pwn2Own contest challenges security researchers to find and exploit vulnerabilities on mobile devices and rewards them by giving them the device they were able to compromise. In short, a contestant must "pwn" a device in order to own it. This year's event is sponsored by Google's Android Security Team and BlackBerry.
Contestants can receive $50,000 for compromising a mobile device using Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, or NFC.
Curiosity, which we deemed "the most absurd, ambiguous, and tedious game of all time" at its launch, was a game with a simple premise: tap on your screen forever, until a huge, huge cube finally dissolves into nothing. Players were aided in this quest by other players and various powerups.
Today, it was announced that the game has ended, and the winner, who was promised a "life changing" revelation at the end of it all, has received just that. Or Peter Molyneux's definition of it, anyway. In two tweets, Molyneux announced the winner, and what ended up being "inside the cube," which was the following video.
After our holiday / new year giveaway onslaught, you probably thought we were done with big-ticket item giveaways for a while here at Android Police. You thought wrong.
Bitdefender (check out our review of their Mobile Security app here) and Android Police have teamed up to bring you one of our biggest giveaways ever, giving you a chance to one of eight awesome grand prizes (or one of 10 runner-up prizes) - one of four ASUS Transformer Prime 32GB tablets, or one of four GSM unlocked Galaxy Nexus smartphones. In addition, 10 runner-up winners will be selected to receive free one-year subscriptions to Bitdefender Mobile Security for Android.
O'Reilly's Android Open conference, which is happening October 9-11, is our first real media sponsorship of an Android event (yay!), and as media partners, we were given 2 free tickets to the event, along with an exclusive 20% off code: AN11AP.
Since nothing would make us happier than giving away the 2 free tickets we've gotten (worth $1295 each) to the most deserving AP readers, I had Cameron immediately fire up the giveaway last week. After receiving about 50 entries, it's now time to announce the two winners who would be getting entry to the conference and Sunday workshops for free.
Out of all the giveaway/contests we do here at AP, my favorites always end up being the creative kinds because they always leave us with long-lasting memories and give a chance to truly talented people who put in work into their entries. Such were the photo, the Twitter design, t-shirt design, and most recently the 404 page design giveaways (the last one being my favorite).
It's now time to launch another creative giveaway because 1) everyone likes free stuff and 2) we need banners.
Good banners. Creative banners. Banners we won't be embarrassed to give our partners and fans to put on their sites.
supply a premium giveaway that didn't involve social media for a change and
give the talented readers of Android Police a chance to showcase their creativity and leave a permanent imprint on this website's design and identity
After over 140 submissions - some great, some not so good, some incredibly creative and witty, and some hilarious, I've requested your help in selecting your winner by picking the top 20 designs and putting them up for a reader vote.
To be clear, the poll's purpose was to gauge the general public's opinion on the designs to help us select the finalist, but some people took it as a popularity contest and an invitation to cheat.