Hi, Android! Sorry your present is a little late, it took a while to wrap it. Five years ago yesterday, Google's then-CEO Eric Schmidt joined other members of the newly-formed Open Handset Alliance to announce the Android operating system. Back then, we were still nearly a year away from an actual Gphone (and yes, people really called it that) and Sprint and T-Mobile were the only US carriers even interested. Now, Android is installed on over 400 million devices, nearly every carrier in the world wants a piece of the action, and the platform as a whole is the single largest mobile OS ever.
Corroborating some pretty hard evidence of the physical Google Wallet card's existence we revealed last week, TechCrunch noticed this morning that a definite reference to that card has appeared on Wallet's official support site. More importantly, though, this confirms my own suspicions about the future of the Google Wallet app in light of the physical card: near-universal compatibility.
According to the support page, the new non-NFC version of the Wallet app will be compatible with any Android 2.3.3+ device, which is pretty much the vast majority of Android devices out there.
It looks like Samsung has posted up some fresh new open source files today, including files for the AT&T-connected Galaxy Note II. The real story, though, is that Jelly Bean open source files have also been posted for both the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 and Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, neither of which have received their official 4.1 updates just yet.
Readers may remember Samsung hinting at an impending update for these (and other devices) back in September, but the availability of these files may suggest that the update is looming very near.
Google announced in a statement today that Wisconsin Judge Barbara Crabb has dismissed Apple's lawsuit against Motorola Mobility claiming the Google-owned Moto's practices related to standards-essential patent licensing were unfair.
The lawsuit was set to go to trial in US District Court in Madison, Wisconsin this afternoon but was, according to Google, dismissed with prejudice by Judge Crabb this morning. Readers may remember that a similar Apple vs Motorola trial was canceled in Illinois by Judge Richard Posner earlier this year.
As we know by now, Google Wallet has been facing a lot of resistance. Major US carriers are blocking it while competition is getting intense. Google's fighting back, though, and word has it that new partnerships may be in the works. More importantly, Google is primed to introduce a physical Google Wallet card.
We knew that Android 4.2 would see the introduction of new security features both on your device and in the Play Store, but Computerworld got a chance to speak with Android's VP of Engineering, Hiroshi Lockheimer, about the platform's beefed up security measures, specifically Android's new real-time app scanning utility.
The scanner builds on the functionality of the Play Store's existing security features by bringing app-scanning security to the frontend, scanning incoming apps from third party sources (including apps like Amazon's App Store).
Once again and right on time, Google has released Platform Distribution numbers for Android, this time for the month of October. The numbers still show Gingerbread holding on at just over 54%, but Jelly Bean is gaining a little more ground at 2.7%, up 0.9% over the previous month.
Again, the Gingerbread/Jelly Bean numbers are a bit disappointing considering the extremely small change from the previous cycle (a change of less than 1% for each), but it's worth noting that these numbers will (hopefully) be helped along by updates rumored to be coming soon (or those that just arrived).
Taking a new approach to firmware upgrades, Panasonic has decided to update its Eluga handset to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich via a downloadable Play Store app appropriately named 'ELUGA ICS Update.'
For those who don't remember, the Eluga is a little-talked-about handset that debuted in Spring 2012 in Europe and Japan, touting a waterproof and dustproof chassis.
According to its description, Panasonic's update app "connects to Panasonic download server [sic] and downloads the Ice Cream Sandwich software update." Of course, many of us are familiar with what improvements Ice Cream Sandwich brings over Gingerbread 2.3.x, but Panasonic emphasizes the new "powerful new features" of its custom skin as well, listing the lock screen, status bar, home screen, and app drawer as areas of improvement with the update.
We just had a bomb dropped on us by an anonymous tipster, courtesy of a leaked version of the Google Wallet app - and it was hiding some pretty amazing secrets. Let's cut to the chase: physical Google Wallet card. That's happening, and you'll be able to get one, probably soon.
The physical Google Wallet card will work just like a regular credit card. Whatever your currently selected default card on the Wallet app is, the Wallet card will charge to.
Finally. Since Hurricane Sandy flooded out New York and canceled Google's press event, we've been trying everything we can think of to get a review unit. Late yesterday we got an email back from an awesome Googler (thanks!), and I immediately flew out the door to go rescue a Nexus 4 from New York. We got one! Mission accomplished!