In a post to Google's Android Building group today, Jean-Baptiste Queru once again acted as the bearer of good tidings for developers and tweakers everywhere, announcing that "a new set of proprietary binaries for Jelly Bean are available."
The new batch of binaries includes those of the Nexus S and Nexus S 4G (Crespo and Crespo4G respectively), the latter of which we just recently saw added into the AOSP fold.
Google has again updated the current platform version numbers, and they show a reasonably good uptick in the usage of Android 4.0 variants. However, Google's new baby, Jelly Bean, is still bumping along at less than 1% even with all those Nexus 7 tablets.
Last time Android 4.0 was almost 11%, so those new devices and updates are definitely helping. Gingerbread was, and still is the majority of devices, but it's dropped a few points from roughly 64% to a touch over 60% now.
Update: We've received confirmation from Google that shipping is underway for pre-order customers.
We've just received information suggesting that some Nexus Q's have begun shipping to customers who pre-ordered the device before Google announced yesterday that its launch had been suspended while the device was reworked to not be quite so useless. All pre-order customers were promised their Q's "soon" and free of charge, and apparently when they said soon, they meant it.
Holy crap - Google Wallet just dropped a bomb on everyone and announced that the service now supports Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. We sort of suspected something like this would happen, and Google has managed to do it by making Wallet payments partially cloud-based, as opposed to a fully embedded system.
This means Wallet will work offline for the actual payment (it stores an encrypted card ID in the NFC chip), but does require an active internet connectionif you want switch payment options or add a new one.
OUYA, for those who may have forgotten, is the much-talked-about, Android-powered gaming console that recently hit Kickstarter, surpassing $1 Million in backing in under 24 hours (currently near $6M at time of writing with 7 days to go) and promising a dazzling sub-$100 game console and awesome gaming experience.
Hot on the heels of news that the console will pack OnLive support and feature games like Final Fantasy III as launch titles, OUYA's founder, Julie Uhrman has announced that she'll be hosting a Reddit AMA session today, August 1st, and will begin answering questions at 10:00am PST (1:00pm EST).
In an e-mail sent out to Play Store developers earlier, Google announced several updates to its developer program policy. The e-mail mentioned changes in policy including clarification to payment policy regarding subscription billing, the restriction of the "use of names or icons confusingly similar to existing system apps" (a statement that brings back memories of Facebook's "Messenger" gaffe), clarification regarding dangerous products, and practices that violate the Play Store's spam policy, all in addition to a stringent new Ad Policy.
Sudo Make Me An App has just released Sudo QuickLaunch to the Play Store, an app that handily replaces Google Search's swipe-up gesture in Jelly Bean with a list of your favorite apps.
If you're like me, you hit the search bar in Jelly Bean more often than you swipe up to get to Google Search, so Sudo QuickLaunch is a welcome addition that not only makes that gesture useful, but can keep your home screen clutter-free.
Recently, a Sony representative took to Facebook to announce the company's Jelly Bean plans for some of its Xperia devices. As it turns out, Sony wasn't too pleased with this move and has now backpedaled on everything the rep said, adding that it was still "actively investigating" Jelly Bean upgrade options. In the meantime, the rollout of Ice Cream Sandwich to Xperia S and 2011 Xperia smartphones will continue as planned.
Multi-user support is one of the few remaining things a desktop OS can do that Android can't. The "coffee table tablet" use case would greatly benefit from a multi-user setup, as would an enterprise user who wants to keep work and home separate. It's been a top 20 item on the Android bug tracker since the debut of Honeycomb, so there is certainly demand for it.
As we've seen from my previous experiments in sticking my nose where it doesn't belong, Google likes to leave breadcrumbs in shipping products for the astute observer to find, and the multi-user situation is no different.
One of the great things about Android's ecosystem is the number of indie developers who are able to enter the market successfully, providing a great product and inspiring would-be developers to join in. For many though, Android development in general is a mysterious topic. How an app or game goes from an idea to an entry in the Play Store is unknown, but (thankfully) not unknowable.
Of course, considering how major development studios bring apps to life doesn't require too much thought – major companies like EA, Disney, or Rockstar have no problem hiring designers and developers to crank out and maintain polished apps.