Being able to remotely wipe your phone's data is a handy feature and, in conjunction with Android's Device Protection, can make your phone all but useless to a would-be thief. I say "all but" useless because there's always the possibility of a workaround or a deep compromise of your account information that could let a thief into your device in an extreme scenario. Granted, almost nothing can claim to completely eliminate the risk of data theft once your accounts are compromised, but there are steps that can be taken to at least mitigate the damage, even if just long enough to get back control of your stuff.
Around two years ago, we published an article saying that despite the claimed existence of a single, 15-minute app refund windows (now 2 hours), Google Play actually had multiple refund windows available to customers that were automated up to around 48 hours after the purchase of an app. Specifically, from a period of 15 minutes (again, now 2 hours) to up to 48 hours after an app or game was purchased, simply submitting a refund request would generally result in a refund being issued automatically, without regard to reason.
At the time, we actually confirmed some of this with Google's PR, though they declined to state that the 48-hour refund windows was fully automated, likely to discourage abuse of the system.
Koush has really kicked Vysor development into high gear after MPEG-LA came calling to demand its pound of flesh, and that's good for anyone who needs to manage a mess of test devices. Vysor now has a Share All feature, which makes it a snap to set up a device farm for testing. Yes, this is part of the paid version of the app, but it's cheaper than enterprise plans at a cloud testing service.
According to a Bloomberg article published this morning, Google has been actively tracking the time it takes Android device manufacturers to update their handsets to a new version of the Android OS. Better yet? There are supposedly discussions happening inside Google as to whether or not to make the stats public, as a sort of "name and shame" directive to encourage manufacturers and carriers alike to update their handsets more quickly. To which I respond: oh god yes please, do this, Google.
The report also mentions a few other tidbits that are interesting, and we'll get to those, but let's focus on what I will now call The Android Update Wall Of Shame, which should very much be what it is called if Google does, in fact, publish it.
The Raspberry Pi 3 appears to be on track to receive official AOSP support from Google. At least, that is the most obvious conclusion based on the fact that Google has created a code repository for it within the same directory that also includes the Nexus devices and generic source code.
The Raspberry Pi 3, the latest iteration of the cheap, simple, and small computer, is marketed as a device to promote more engagement with computer science and programming. It has also gained a great deal of support from DIY types, who have rigged them up for all manner of uses.
Do you like the LG V10's hardware but wish you can install a different ROM on it? The first step to that is by unlocking your phone's bootloader. In LG phones, this has been notoriously difficult because the company locks its bootloaders and workarounds are either non-existent or super complicated.
What LG has been offering though, in the past year, is an official page to help you unlock the bootloader on the European G4 and G5, and now it's adding the LG V10 for Europe. But only on Marshmallow — this doesn't work if you're still on Lollipop. Oh and there's a clear exception for France, because as far as I can tell the phone wasn't officially released in the country.
Google I/O 2016 came to a close on Friday, and it marked our sixth year in attendance to Google's annual developer bash. A great many topics were covered from divisions all over Google, with lots of announcements big and small, both consumer and developer-facing. Our first I/O recap covered the front half of the show, while Mark takes a look at some of the announcements from Google's ATAP division as well as shares some thoughts on the show and news overall this year.
Looking to get your head around the majority of the announcements at Google I/O? We've got a video for that. Our summary of all the announcements from the keynote and day one of the show will catch you up with the major happenings at I/O 2016, with our very own Mark Burstiner.
There are many opinions about wearable technology, but most criticisms focus on the awkwardness – or just plain unattractiveness – of many products that have come thus far. One of the more interesting presentations from I/O 2015 came during the ATAP session, in which Project Jacquard was introduced. This is a touch-sensitive fabric that can be woven into regular clothing and used a bit like a trackpad. This technology is being put to real use, and in a partnership with Levi Strauss, the first product using Jacquard will be launching next Spring.
Levi's is calling it the Commuter Trucker Jacket, a denim jacket with Jacquard woven into the left sleeve.