A year ago today Google announced Android Security Rewards, an expansion of its Vulnerability Rewards Program. Find a vulnerability, tell Google about it, help them fix the issue, and take home money. That's the concept, and it's a common one in the tech industry.
Google handed out over half a million bucks to 82 individuals over the past year. This averaged out to $2,200 per reward. Researchers averaged higher payouts, at $6,700. One, @heisecode, received $75,750 for 26 vulnerability reports. 15 researchers received $10,000 or more.
Android N Developer Preview 4 is out and it marks a very important milestone in Google's release schedule: the API for the next version of Android is officially final and developers can begin posting apps built for it to the Play Store. In fact, this is a first for Android, never before have developers been able to post apps to the Play Store targeting a preview version of Android. Users can now look forward to trying out 3rd-party apps that target Android N without jumping through hoops with individual APKs.
Play publishing You can now publish apps that use API level 24 to Google Play, in alpha, beta, and production release channels.
While Android N doesn't have a name just yet, the Android team seems to feel compelled to taunt us with yet another N easter egg, this time one that is absolutely hilarious. If you long-press the "N" logo after tapping the Android version in the about section of settings enough times, the text above is revealed: Namey McNameface.
Android N Developer Preview 4 has been released, factory images can be found right here, with the full image OTA files here. The new build number is NPD56N. All the same devices that have been supported in the N Preview to date have factory images up now (along with the Sony Xperia Z3). You can check out Google's summary of what's new here. There's also an official blog post here.
New in DP4
Android N final APIs
Developer Preview 4 includes the final APIs for the upcoming Android N platform. The new API level is 24.
You can now publish apps that use API level 24 to Google Play, in alpha, beta, and production release channels.
When the Nearby API started rolling out to Google Play Services in July of last year, it had a lot of potential and promise. It made it so devices could talk to each other based only on their proximity and regardless of whether or not they were on the same WiFi network (in certain applications) or paired via Bluetooth. That's why we've often said it's the genius feature no one is using.
But Nearby in its original form required a lot of involvement from the user. The few apps that implemented the API only used it in specific screens, had to ask for a permission to activate it, and had to show a notification whenever Nearby was on and looking for other devices.
Back in February, Cyanogen Inc. announced the MOD platform, a way for developers to customise the Cyanogen OS experience with deeper-level integration into the framework of the operating system. The update to Cyanogen OS 13.1 - with MOD support included - is now rolling out to the OnePlus One.
Currently, Twitter, Skype, OneNote, Cortana, and Microsoft Hyperlapse hook into the platform and provide features integrated into Cyanogen. Twitter shows trending tweets on your lockscreen; Skype integrates VOIP into the dialer app, along with Skype contacts clearly marked in the phone's contacts app; OneNote integrates with the email and phone apps to enable you to take notes anywhere in the OS; the already-existing Cortana mod takes things further, allowing users to 'take a selfie' hands-free, while also expanding to the lockscreen; and Microsoft Hyperlapse means time lapse videos can be created easily in the camera app, or videos edited in the Gallery app.
It's time for a hot and fresh batch of TWRP releases, everyone. Today, we've got five new devices that now officially support TeamWin Recovery Project, for all of your flashing and recovery needs. Those devices and their respective links are, in no particular order:
As something in the way of a housekeeping note, the NVIDIA Shield Portable has long had unofficial TWRP support, but this is the first time it has actually received a proper, stable TWRP release. Surprising, I guess. The Xiaomi Mi Max just launched, so TWRP contributors wasted no time there, and the same goes for the Moto G4 (the G4 Plus should have no need for a separate recovery image - they're basically the same phone in regard to firmware).
Apple announced a new revenue sharing policy in the App Store earlier today. The company said it would change the subscription revenue split from 70/30 to a more generous 85/15 after those subscriptions have been active for a year or more. We were wondering if Google would follow suit, and it didn't take long. Recode is reporting that Google will be doing just that, but it's actually an even better deal for developers.
So you're one of the Android faithful, but you're also slightly interested in Apple's hardware? What can you do about that? One Nick Lee from development and design studio Tendigi came up with a solution that is both novel and terrible. It's an iPhone case that runs Android. Yes, really.
Lenovo and Motorola announced the G4 and G4 Plus a few weeks ago, and today it appears Moto has published the kernel source for its latest high-end-of-the-low-end (or bottom of the mid-range?) handsets.