‘Google Android’ Category
Google has announced that all apps in the Android Market will have to show content ratings, or else be labelled as ‘mature’.
In a blog post, Android developer Eric Chu said that the move comes in response to increased requests from users asking for more information on the apps and that Goolge will be showing the content ratings for the apps in a few weeks.
Chu said that the Android Market content policy has not changed, and all apps will be rated according to one of four levels: All, Pre-teen, Teen, or Mature.
“To prepare for this launch, starting next week, developers submitting new or updated applications will be required to include a rating for all applications and games uploaded onto Android Market. In addition, developers will have the next several weeks to add a rating to their existing applications and games,” he said. “Once content rating is visible to users, anyapplications or games that do not include a rating will be treated as ‘Mature’.”
Google has launched a new local recommendation tool for the latest Maps for Android application.
Named Hotpot, the tool combines information from Google Places’ collection of over 50 million locations around the world, local reviews and user recommendations to better tailor a person’s search results.
“With Hotpot, we’re making local search results for places on Google more personal, relevant and trustworthy,” Google project manager Lior Ron said in a blog post.
He said that Hotpot will offer users recommendations based on a their own preferences, as well as on those of their friends. It will also allow users to directly update ratings on the go fromMobile Maps for Android.
“Your recommendations are with you whenever you need them. In search results, you can see recommended places by using the new Place Search and clicking on the “Places” filter. You can also see recommendations when searching on Google Maps, Google Maps for Android or when checking the Place pages for a specific business,” Ron added.
Google is set to make its Android operating system more suitable for business use with the launch of new Android administration controls on Google Apps.
IT administrators will be able to monitor Android smartphones within the enterprise by using a simple set of controls available on the Google Apps ecosystem.
The company said in a blog post that employee will now be able to use their personal or work Android smartphones running Android 2.2 to safely access company files and data.
According to Google, IT admins will be able to use Google Apps to remotely wipe all the data on stolen or lost Android devices, put a lock on idle devices if they remain inactive for a specific period of time, deploy device passwords on each phone, set the minimum length of a password and require passwords to be a mixture of numbers and letters.
“These policies can be enforced on devices that have installed the Google Apps Device Policy application, which will be available from Android Market in the next few days,” the company said.
Top Google executive David Lawee has claimed that acquiring the Android platform was Google’s best deal ever.
Speaking during the 16th annual Stanford Accel Symposium, Lawee said that at first he was sceptical of Google acquiring an obscure open source platform. But as the platform emerged and became integrated with Google’s mobile ad network, the investment had paid off in the best possible manner.
Talking about Android founder Andy Rubin, Lawee said: “I saw this guy [Andy Rubin, founder of Android] in my building for two years, walking his dog, and I was like, I hope this guy does something.”
It was due to Rubin’s hard work and Google’s backing that turned Android into one of the most popular smartphone platforms in the world, giving Apple’s iOS a hard time.
The most crucial part in Android’s success was its integration with Google’s mobile ad network, which was in turn strengthened with the $750 million acquisition of AdMob. Google now claims that mobile advertising rakes in around one billion dollars every year for Google.
Google has enabled advertisers on its AdMob network to release interactive video ads on its Android mobile operating system platform.
According to the company, advertisers will now be able to serve interactive video ads on the Android OS with the help of a new software development kit.
The ability to serve video ads on AdMob was previously available only on Apple’s iOS-based iPhone smartphone.
Google said that it had run around 120 highly successful video ad campaigns on iOS for brands such as Universal Pictures, Best Buy and Seattle’s Best Coffee.
The company said that it was activating 200,000 Android-based smartphones on a daily basis, AdMob advertisers will have a huge user base for serving interactive video ads.
“These interactive ad units have proven to be extremely effective in engaging users on iOS and we look forward to helping our advertisers reach more users than ever across platforms,” the company said.
Google has released the stand-alone YouTube video sharing application for devices using its Android operating system.
The application, which will only run on Android 2.2 Froyo, is the second such application to get updated and added separately from Android. Before this, Google had released the stand-alone version of its Gmail client.
YouTube for Android 2.2 will come with a host of new features, such as in-page playback, which will allow users to read the comments while watching a video. Other additional features are rotate to full-screen and personalisation of home screens.
Users will also be able to shoot and upload videos directly from the application instead of exiting the application and uploading the video separately. YouTube users will be able to like any video using Buzz, Facebook and Twitter.
Making YouTube into a stand-alone application for Android will allow Google to easily release updates for the application. However, releasing the application for Android 2.2 will leave out a huge number of Android users who haven’t yet upgraded to the latest version.
Google Android division head Andy Rubin has used Linux speak to respond to Apple CEO Steve Job’s latest comments on the “open” and “closed” war between Android and Apple.
According to tech news site The Register, Rubin sent out the tweet after Apple announced its third quarter financial results, during which Steve Jobs gave a special appearance to rant about how iOS is superior to Android.
Rubin tweeted: ‘the definition of open: “mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git://android.git.kernel.org/platform/manifest.git ; repo sync ; make”‘
This signifies that Android OS is far more open than Apple’s iOS, which operates in a closed environment.
The tweet meant that once a Linux command line is initiated to create a directory, all the developers have to do is download the open source Android code and build their own OS.
This is in stark contrast to Apple’s closed approach, which regulates everything from the software to the hardware belonging to the iOS family.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt has said that the Android OS has broken even, raking in enough advertising revenue to cover its development costs.
When Google had first launched the mobile phone platform, a lot of people, including Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had dismissed it for having no revenue model as Google gave the software to its hardware partners for free.
Google however, had other ideas. By making itself the default e-mail, search and mapping client, the internet search giant looked to form a massive mobile advertising network, which has grown increasingly successful and become a thorn in the sides of Apple and Microsoft.
In an article published by Newsweek, Schmidt said that Android advertising revenue was covering its software development costs.
He also predicted that Android had the potential to power one billion smartphones in the future, which could result in $10 billion year-on-year revenue for Google, even if a person only spends $10 every year on Android services, like its online store which offers music and videos.
Google’s Android Licensing Service (ALS) has been hacked.
The news of the vulnerability was unveiled by Android Police, who have noted that Google has responded quickly, announcing that the company is already looking into the matter.
Writing on the official Android developers blog, Android developer at Google, Tim Bray, has written: “100% piracy protection is never possible in any system that runs third-party code, but the licensing server, when correctly implemented and customised for your app, is designed to dramatically increase the cost and difficulty of pirating.”
“The best attack on pirates is to make their work more difficult and expensive, while simultaneously making the legal path to products straightforward, easy, and fast. Piracy is a bad business to be in when the user has a choice between easily purchasing the app and visiting an untrustworthy, black-market site.”
Bray has indicated that developers can save their applications from being copied by “obfuscating” the authentication code needed as a pre-requisite to jump the authentication process. Google has outlined how to do this here.
Google and Adobe have partnered to make Google’s Android operating system a long term market leader.
Technology news website Cnet reports that, in a presentation to media representatives, executives at Adobe elaborated on how the company is making efforts to offer the best technology there is to make Google’s Android OS a success.
Adobe’s rift with Apple resulted in the recent partnership with search giant Google in May this year.
A team of Adobe developers worked at the Mountain View, California offices to develop its Flash Player 10.1, keeping in mind the Android platform.
Android-based phones integrated with Adobe’s components promise to be different and better than Apple’s iPhones, the company has said, insisting to its customers that their phones can access and play videos and games that Apple’s iPhone and iPad just can’t.
According to Adobe executives, the company is working full time to make its Flash Player technology available on Research In Motion’s BlackBerry, Hewlett-Packard’s WebOS and Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows Phone 7 as well.
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