Google released a new version of its Compatibility Definition Document for Android earlier this week, and while most of the changes are very, very minor, one did stand out to me in the section on notifications. Specifically, Google has singled out manufacturers who in any way obstruct or remove Android's native notification actions, replies, settings access, and the bundling of notifications. The latest document forbids such practices, stating that OEMs must comply with Google's implementations of the features in AOSP. Here is the relevant section:
Handheld device implementations MUST support the behaviors of updating, removing, replying to, and bundling notifications as described in this section.
In its latest revision of the Android Compatibility Definition Document, Google has laid down some rather interesting rules not related to Android itself, but rather common device hardware. In the CDD, a new section has appeared that specifically relates to the USB Type C standard and charging - a subject that has become increasingly thorny with the proliferation of numerous proprietary fast charging standards.
While the section for now is labeled as "STRONGLY RECOMMENDED," Google is signaling clearly that it could become mandatory: "in future Android versions we might REQUIRE all type-C devices to support full interoperability with standard type-C chargers." Read More
In our final Android 6.0 Compatibility Definition Document post, we'll be looking at a small[-ish] clause added in the security section of the CDD. Previously, Google had not actually defined any particularly specific requirements about factory resets for Android devices. While all devices have such a function, they may differ in their efficacy and level of security post-wipe. And while we don't have any reason to believe a particular manufacturer is not already meeting these new requirements (a point I will stress), it's good to see Google is at least laying down a clear mandate on this issue going forward.
Basically, it was possible, pre-Android 6.0, for a manufacturer to merely conduct a logical wipe when doing a factory reset of a device. Read More
Ever had a phone with a bum gyroscope? Or a totally irrational pedometer? Google, in the interest of better counting your steps and determining just what in the hell your phone is doing moving around in three-dimensional space has now defined a "high fidelity sensor support" flag for Android devices, as in the Android 6.0 Compatibility Definition Document.
The idea here is to give developers a single flag to look for that says "this phone / tablet / whatever is not a dumpster fire of awful sensor accuracy." Or, perhaps, more positively, to just say a device has really good sensors. Read More
Android has long had trouble with audio latency, which has made most music creation tools unworkable on the platform. Things were vastly improved in Android 5.0 to the point that many devices achieved the low latency needed for various audio apps to function. However, not all devices are created equal. In Marshmallow, Google has added a professional audio package manager and there are requirements laid out for devices that take advantage of it. Read More
Nexus Imprint on the new Nexus phones is fantastic compared to other fingerprint sensors. It's fast and incredibly accurate. The setup process is painless too. How will other devices with fingerprint sensors on Android 6.0 fare? They should at least get the job done if they follow the new rules. Google has listed the requirements for OEMs to make sure their sensors work correctly in Marshmallow. Read More
Of all the features added in Android 6.0, Doze might be the most exciting. For years Android has struggled with battery life due to apps running in the background when they aren't supposed to, and Marshmallow could finally put a stop to it. To make sure device makers play ball, Google's Android 6.0 Compatibility Definition Document (CDD) explicitly requires Marshmallow phones to include Doze, and OEMs aren't allowed to monkey around with it. Read More
With every major Android release comes a new version of Google's not-so-famous Android Compatibility Definition Document. As reading goes, it is roughly between the excitement level of "doing your taxes" and "doing somebody else's taxes." Which is to say, I am well-caffeinated this morning. Anyway, the newest version of the CDD for Android 6.0 contains a change we've been on the lookout for since Lollipop was announced last year: mandatory full-disk encryption.
Since the announcement of encryption being enabled by default of the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, Google has been on the encryption warpath (rightfully so!), and did in fact attempt to make this change in the initial Lollipop CDD back in January. Read More