One of the more interesting behind-the-scenes additions in Android 5.1 is a new carrier provisioning API that provides functionality which likely benefits carriers and customers alike. Any time you join a carrier, you get services along with your account, whether it's Play Store billing, visual voicemail, premium subscription services billed to your account, or any number of other things. For as long as Android has existed, the methods used to provision these services on a customer's account have varied widely from carrier to carrier, and there was no standard way of doing it. Read More
Sunrise, a thoughtfully-designed calendar app that only recently made the jump from iOS to Android, got a bump up to version 1.1.0 today, bringing with it new integration for a variety of services including Songkick, Tripit, Evernote, Github, and Asana. Basically, this integration provides syncing between the services and Sunrise, where the calendar app can grab reminders from Evernote automatically, your Tripit plans and trips will automatically populate, Songkick concerts will show up like magic, and Github or Asana changes will be synced (in both directions). Read More
A few days ago, it was confirmed that Google had started asking manufacturers to brand boot animations with a specific "Powered by Android" lockup as part of Google's Mobile Services license. Samsung's Galaxy S5 and HTC's new One M8 both carry the branding, and today Motorola's Moto X and Moto G have joined the party, but Motorola has something else in store as well - a new boot animation just in time for April Fools Day. Read More
One of the fundamental differences between Android and every other mobile operating system is the practically unrestricted capability to run services. Without this freedom we could not enjoy something as powerful as a homescreen widget or as straight-forward as a Twitter client with background updates. Aside from games and very simple utilities, it’s becoming increasingly rare to find an app that doesn’t run a service, at least for a short span of time. Read More
If you're the sort who already worries Google has too much of your personal information, this is not for you. For everyone else, Google is reportedly developing a new opt-in data collection service that will reward users for passing additional mobile usage data back to Mountain View. The so-called Mobile Meter app is expected to come to both Android and iOS.
Android already provides Google with various bits of data like location and search activity. Read More
For the uninitiated, 2Checkout is a web-based storefront service that allows users to both create an online checkout system for their products as well as handle merchant services like credit card payments. If you've ever tried to set up your own shop, you know how difficult it can be to get all the moving parts together. Now, 2Checkout is making it even easier with the release of its mobile app that will allow sellers to track sales, issue refunds, and even contact customers. Read More
One of the most common questions users have regarding Google's various content offerings is "Why isn't it available in [insert any number of countries here]?" Google has been working to change that, offering more and more of the Play Store's non-app content abroad. In that spirit, today it announced that Google Play Movies is now available in Korea (where we saw Eric Schmidt having some Gangnam style fun earlier this week). Read More
Have you ever seen a mind-blowing app that's sure to change the way you use Android... only to be discouraged by a $6.99 asking price? Or maybe one of your regular apps has updated and broken some core functionality, and you have to uninstall it and just wait for the next version. Now there's a service that will keep tabs on your somewhat neglected apps and convert it into an RSS feed for your favorite reader. Read More
British Telecommunications plc (aka British Telecom, or BT) has joined the long list of litigants looking to catch Google on alleged patent infringement, filing a lawsuit with the US District Court for the District of Delaware claiming that Google infringed six of its patents with Android and other services.
BT is out for blood, seeking damages as well as an injunction over patents ranging from "Service Provision System for Communications Networks" to "Storage and Retrieval of Location Based Information in a Distributed Network of Data Storage Services." Among the services named as prime examples of infringement are Google Maps, Places, Offers, Music, Location-based advertising, Google+, and of course Android. Read More