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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
If you've ever wanted to keep an eye on your computer from your smartphone whilst you're out and about, then you'll know how limited your options are. You could use a remote monitoring tool such as LogMeIn Ignition to physically control the machine, but it doesn't offer a quick overview of resources on your phone and the application costs a cent shy of $30, which isn't exactly a price that encourages impulse buying.
In a word: yes. Wireless carriers in the US (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.) have long been deeply opposed to net neutrality over their so-called "mobile broadband" networks, but today they've been given a power they have long desired to see the FCC put into writing.
If you haven't been following the net neutrality saga, you might want to find out what exactly "net neutrality" is, or what it means.