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.
June's security updates are now available for all of the currently supported Nexus (and Pixel C) devices. As usual, the code changes to go along with this month's new firmware have been uploaded to AOSP and we've got some changelogs to look through. While it's a bit late, Google also uploaded the code changes for N Developer Preview 3. As usual, this isn't a complete release of N, but mostly just the code for projects licensed under the GPL.
Google has already posted the security bulletin, which describes the lion's share of changes. Most of the issues resolved in this version have to do with vulnerabilities in Qualcomm drivers.
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.