If you've never heard of Stack Exchange, you're missing out on some of the best Q&A-style sites on the Internet. Each site is a community built to encourage people to ask and answer questions. Reputation and badges can be earned by giving good answers and comments. With over 120 communities (and growing), there are sites dedicated to programming, server management, gaming, travel, and even anime. The one thing that has been missing was a good mobile application.
Shortly after the new Android Runtime made its grand entrance, I ran a pretty exhaustive (and exhausting) series of performance benchmarks that showed ART wasn't really ready to blow us away. At the time, I opted to avoid the topic of battery life because it is so difficult to test accurately and with unbiased, meaningful results. As it turns out, that was dumb. Yup, so many of you have asked, I finally had no choice but to dive in and run a battery of tests on...well, the battery.
Much of Android's development is done out in the open, which is how several Android developers noticed that a recent commit to the Android Open Source Project master tree would break many of your favorite root apps. This is the result of a newly implemented security feature, rather than an active effort to lock things down on Google's part. Nevertheless, it could result in some inconvenience, so developer Chainfire has taken to his Google+ page to detail what will happen if the change is not reverted before the release of a future version of Android.
Earlier this week, Samsung officially started the rollout of the Galaxy Note 3's update to Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Appearing first for those in Poland through KIES, the update matched what had been leaked shortly before the rollout began.
Just a few days later, Samsung has uploaded the official kernel source files to its Open Source Release Center.
Interestingly, the manufacturer told developer Chainfire just yesterday "we only publish open source code of official version," responding to a request for access to the files.
Each month, Google updates Android's platform distribution numbers according to devices that have accessed the Play Store in a seven-day period. January's updated pie chart has just hit, and things seem to be following a fairly predictable pattern.
KitKat, which was positioned at 1.1% last month, has eked out an additional 0.3% to reach 1.4%. Gingerbread, meanwhile, fell from 24.1% to 21.2%, continuing its gradual decline. Jelly Bean (including API levels 16-18) has actually grown to 59.1%, up from 54.5%, as manufacturers work to catch up to Android's latest and greatest.
After a brief (read: 1-day) hiatus, popular ROM management app ROM Manager has returned to the Play Store. It was originally removed for violation of Google Play's Developer Program Policies, specifically the subsection regarding in-app purchases. Koush, the developer of ROM Manager, had long included a PayPal upgrade option inside of the app, a feature which doesn't jive with Google's policy that apps on the Play Store must use the Play Store billing service exclusively for in-app sales.
It's officially official: the Oppo N1 is the first Google-approved CyanogenMod phone. After passing through Google's CTS (compatibility test suite), CDD (compatibility definition document), and CTS Verifier, the phone can legitimately run Google's suite of apps and have access to the Google Play Store. It is an undeniably big milestone for Cyanogen Inc., who hope to release a true "CyanogenMod" phone at some point, with the "highest quality hardware available" through a partnership with an as-yet unannounced firm.
Even casual observers of the Android ecosystem know that piracy is a big issue for developers. But if a report from mobile security company Arxan is to be believed, app piracy and "hacking" is incredibly prevalent, or at least prevalent enough that most of the popular apps are available in a pirated or cracked form. According to the company's "State of Security in the App Economy" report for 2013 (PDF link), the top 100 paid Android apps have been "hacked."
We used "cracked" in the headline because Arxan doesn't mention the purpose behind these hacks, so we're assuming that in most cases they're free, pirated versions of paid apps.