Google Photos' decoupling from Google+ dates back to May, which means five months have now passed since. In this time, Google Photos has received several updates and gained essential features like Chromecast support and albums for adding and reordering images. Now the Photos team is ready to reflect on these five months and share with us a few stats about the app and service's use.
Photos now counts 100 Million active monthly users, but how that number is tallied I couldn't tell you. Does a single search or view count, or did they require uploads for users to be marked as active? I'm not sure. 15 Million animations and collages have been created, either manually or through Assistant. Read More
In just 3 weeks, we expect Google to officially announce a new subscription option that will allow users to enjoy YouTube completely ad-free. In the lead-up to this, both the web service and its Android apps have received a swarm of updates and features. In just the last month, there has been a revised web player, search for 360-degree videos, and some improvements to YouTube Kids (with more to come). There has even been a pretty severe service interruption for Music Key subscribers, most likely as a result of upgrades to the software. With so much happening, it comes as no surprise that the YouTube Creator Studio app also received an update. Read More
Xiaomi isn't letting its devices' limited geographical availability get in the way of its heated competition with other brands for worldwide smartphone sales. As reported by both the IDC and Strategy Analytics, the Chinese manufacturer has shipped the third most smartphones in the world in Q3 2014, leapfrogging LG, Lenovo, and Huawei, and only trailing behind Samsung and Apple.
This shouldn't come as a surprise: Xiaomi has been on a roll for the past year. Before snatching the third global spot, it had already surpassed LG as the world's fifth largest smartphone manufacturer in Q2 2014 — only three months ago. It also overtook Samsung in China, becoming the country's biggest vendor. Read More
Excitement over products like the Ouya, nVidia's Shield line, and even numerous gamepads proves that gaming on Android has entered the mainstream. Developers have been jumping at the opportunity to build games that work across many of the different operating systems; and thanks to the Cross-Platform SDK, they're able to integrate most of the Play Games services into their products on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Until now, this SDK has lagged behind the SDKs for Android and iOS on one specific feature: real-time multiplayer support. As of today, Google is rectifying this oversight and making a number of other improvements with updates to the Play Games SDKs, along with some new features in the Google Play Developer Console. Read More
Mankind loves to obsess over numbers, statistics, and data. Ok, maybe not everybody is stuck on tracking every last thing that happens; but if you're reading this site, there's a good chance you're already checking your monthly activity reports each time Google fires off an email reminder. That addiction to numbers is about to get much more interesting. Google is merging the monthly activity report with Dashboard to produce a super-sized page full of facts and stats about how you're using Google's services.
Very little has changed about the activity report since it launched 2 years ago. There has only ever been a handful of sections, and since updates were on a monthly schedule, the information wasn't exactly up-to-date. Read More
No one app is going to make an Android device immediately safe from any and all threats, but some can make it easier to remain ever vigilant. viaProtect may one day be such a app. This piece of software gives you a basic idea where the apps installed on your phone or tablet are sending your information. It doesn't go into specifics, but it will at least show you how much of your traffic is encrypted and some other security-related information.
Perhaps more interestingly, viaProtect offers a look at what companies' servers your data is speeding off to and where they reside in the world. Read More
Back in January, we learned that if you want to be a developer and avoid leaving money on the table, you need to be on both Android and iOS. One or the other isn't going to cut it. However, according to AppAnnie, if you have to choose just one platform, Android is still struggling to prove it's the one you should go with.
According to the report, Play Store downloads are nearing App Store levels, reaching close to 90% as much as the iOS store. Unfortunately, equal exposure isn't quite translating to equal revenue. As it turns out, Apple's platform is still bringing in about 2.6 times as much revenue as Google's counterpart. Read More
Update: So, scratch all that. Steve Kondik took to G+ today to say that CM will return the opt-out option and will not require users to share data. Though it's with a heavy heart, it seems. Expressing some exasperation, he had this to say on the matter:
It's incredibly frustrating that a handful of incredibly vocal users are ready to "fork" over the issue. News flash: there are already a hundred forks of CM... In the end though, we should respect everyone's wishes here.
CyanogenMod is one of the most popular Android ROMs as far as anyone can tell. It's actually hard to know for sure. Read More
Well, it's that time again – time for the monthly update to Android's Platform Distribution Numbers. Each month, Google publishes the latest figures, letting developers know what versions of Android are currently dominating active devices.
This month, we're seeing a familiar pattern – Gingerbread is continuing its slow descent, hitting 39.8%, down from 44.2% this time last month. Meanwhile the latest and greatest – Jelly Bean – accounts for exactly 25% of the overall distribution, meaning it's finally hit one quarter of all tallied devices. That, for those interested, marks a nearly 9% jump from last month's 16.5% figure.
Ice Cream Sandwich is still strangely climbing, hitting 29.3% up from 28.6% in February. Read More