Google is apparently working on a software update to eliminate the components of their seek interface that infringe on Apple’s Siri patents, but a far better remedy may possibly simply have been to depart it on the shelves, let the update, and up the damages owed Apple. That manner Google pays, not consumers. My counterpart over at Android Central, Phil Nickinson, has a fantastic editorial up on the matter. in case you haven’t already please stop reading this now, go learn his editorial, after which come back here. Okay, so now many Android fans are without doubt livid at Apple over this ban. They claim Apple is litigating rather than innovating. Unfortunately, Apple is doing both . either way, that conveniently sidesteps some thing incredibly important:
A lot of Android’s trouble are Google’s fault. Sure, it’s easy to cast Apple, Microsoft, Oracle et. al. as the awful guys. They’re giant, nasty for-profit corporations, after all. And fair enough. But so is Google. Frankly, I’m flabbergasted Android enthusiasts aren’t angriest — Vader- and Hulk-level angriest — at Google over all this. Don’t be evil cliches aside, Google had systematically and recklessly displayed such indifference to the intellectual belongings of others — from extensive corporations to private citizens, as to frame on contempt. While the courts might eventually let Google get away with it , there’s no good reason Google couldn’t have made a licensing address sunlight for Java.
“Today I’m announcing my departure from Google after almost 8 years,” announces Gundotra in his ‘goodbye’ post. He continues, “I’m also forever in debt to the Google+ team. This is a group of people who built social at Google against the skepticism of so many. The growth of active users is staggering, and speaks to the work of this team.”
After eight incredibly successful years with Google, Vic Gundotra, the father of Google+, has announced he’s leaving the company.
As is often the case with the departure of major execs, there’s not a lot of details on why he is choosing to leave the company. Gundotra does state, however, that it is “time for a new journey. A continuation.” Gundotra says he’s excited for what’s next, and honored by all he’s accomplished at Google.
Shortly after Gundotra announced his departure, Larry Page also took to Google+ to honor the man with some kind words:
You cut your teeth on our mobile apps and developer relations, turning our disparate efforts into something great. When I first used turn-by-turn navigation, it blew me away. And, walking onto the stage at I/O last year, it was amazing to see developers so excited about Google. These were vintage Vic projects.
Then you built Google+ from nothing. There are few people with the courage and ability to start something like that and I am very grateful for all your hard work and passion. I really enjoy using Google+ on a daily basis, especially the auto awesome movies which I really love sharing with my family and friends. Good luck with your next project after Google. In the meantime we’ll continue working hard to build great new experiences for the ever increasing number of Google+ fans.
So what’s next for Google and Google+?
That’s a great question, though obviously one we don’t have any immediate answer to. In his G+ response, Larry Page made it clear that they will continue working as a company to expand Google+, but there’s no denying that Gundotra’s departure will affect the future direction of the growing social network.
Thankfully, Google+ has come a long way since its founding, in large part thanks to Gundotra’s efforts. These days there are many loyal Google+ fans and its pretty obvious that the service is a priority for Google. Still, it’s sad to see Vic go.
Gundotra’s resignation goes into effect immediately, so who’s taking his place? While Google has yet to formally announce their plans, Re/Code claims that sources suggest Google VP of engineering David Besbris may likely be taking the role. Another possible candidate is Google+ product head Bradley Horowitz.
We’ll be sure to keep you informed as we learn more about Gundotra’s departure and Google’s plans to replace him, so be sure to stay tuned to Android Authority.
In the post-Snowden era the need for consumer level encryption is being seen not only as a necessity but also as a way to attract customers. For maybe the first time non-technical end-users are asking questions about security and it can be a factor in deciding which services users pick. According to people familiar with Google’s plans for its Gmail service, the search giant is looking into ways to add better encryption options to its email service.
The problem with many forms of symmetric encryption is that the service provider has access to the “master key” which allows the messages to be decrypted. Famously Snowden used the Lavabit encrypted email service which was forced to shutdown about a year ago. The service voluntarily ceased operating because the founder was probably being asked by the US government to hand over all of Snowden’s emails along with the necessary keys for decrypting them.
Google has research underway to improve the usability of PGP with Gmail.
There is another type of encryption which is called public key cryptography or asymmetrical encryption which uses two keys, one for encryption and one for decryption. The idea is that the first key (used for encryption) can be published freely and publicly, while the second key (used for decryption) remains secret. This form of encryption is end-to-end in that it is the users who perform the encryption and decryption before the message enters into the email system. The most famous implementation of public key cryptography is Pretty Good Privacy, or PGP for short. It was created by Phil Zimmerman back in the early 1990s and although there are free and open source versions available (most notably GnuPg, or GPG for short), the system has never gained widespread acceptance.
There is also the problem of public key distribution. They can be transmitted in plain text, but the various means of distributing public keys have never gained popularity.
The reason is that in its simplest form an email message needs to be typed up and then the text copied into the PGP/GPG program. The text is then encrypted (using the public key) and then the encrypted version is copied back into the email client and sent to the recipient. At the other end, the recipient copies the encrypted text into PGP/GPG and uses the private key to decrypt the message. This process isn’t streamlined and the extra steps needed to perform the encryption/decryption deter users from adopting the system widely. There are a variety of services, browser extensions and plugins which try to make the processes easier, however their adoption has never reached a critical mass.
There is also the problem of public key distribution. I can easily give someone my email address but for them to send me an encrypted email they need my public key. This can be transmitted in plain text, but the various means of distributing public keys have never gained popularity. One problem is that if I have someone’s email address then I need to get hold of their public key. I can get it by emailing them or by searching on their blog or on social media, but it requires users to make a conscious effort to publish their public keys and for others to find them. A directory of public keys where you can look up keys sounds like a good idea, but there is the problem of misuse and problems with spam etc.
However the negative side for Google is it can’t scan encrypted messages in order to display the appropriate adverts.
VentureBeat has published a quote from a Google employee who has let it slip that Google is researching ways to streamline the use of PGP/GPG with Gmail. Google has “research underway to improve the usability of PGP with Gmail,” said the employee who is familiar with the matter.
If Google develops a way to integrate PGP/GPG with Gmail, where it never has a copy of the private key, then Google won’t be able to decrypt emails for any government agencies as they simply don’t have the key.
However the negative side for Google is it can’t scan encrypted messages in order to display the appropriate adverts. Since Google is probably using user profiles more to display adverts then this might not be an insurmountable problem, however it will be interesting to see what Google can come up with.
This week in your world of Android: clues of Android 4.4.3 emerged, the G3 broke cover, a phone kill switch initiative was announced, we learned more Project Ara details, Google released a new stock Android camera and updated other apps, and the OnePlus One’s design finally leaked.
These are the essential stories, the summary of an entire week in just a few words. It’s Android Weekly.
Where’s Android 4.4.3?
First, Android 4.4.3 appeared in a Sprint Nexus 5 update support page. Then in a Bluetooth certification doc. Then in the changelog of a Google app. There’s only one thing missing – the actual rollout!
Some of the world’s top smartphone makers and carriers have agreed to implement kill switches in devices starting with July 2015. From that point, everyone will be given the option to remotely wipe or lock down their phones in case they lost them.
Google held the first ever Project Ara developer conference this week, in an effort to attract software and hardware makers to the innovative modular phone project. We got to learn more about how Ara works and when we will be able to actually buy the first modular devices.
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Google revamped its Camera app and released it to the Play Store. Compatible with Android 4.4 and higher, the app brings a new Lens Blur mode, better Photo Spheres and panoramas, and a refreshed user interface.
The rumor mill is piping up this afternoon with word of a possible sub-0 Nexus device. There are no specifications to speak of just yet, but unnamed sources and rampant speculation lead to the idea of a low-mid range phone with a MediaTek chipset, 1GB of RAM and 2G/3G connectivity.
The rumored Nexus device is not expected to be Google’s next flagship smartphone, that has been reserved for what is dubbed the Nexus 6 which is speculated to be built by LG. It is not in Google’s typical naming scheme, but this new sub-0 phone is starting to feel like what other manufacturers call a ‘mini’ version – Nexus 6 Mini, perhaps? As for the pricing, we’re already seeing Lenovo launch their A-series tablets for a little over 0 equipped with MediaTek chipsets, speaking to how the chipmaker could have Qualcomm and others worried.
Is it inexpensive, or just cheap?
This is a valid concern for Android device shoppers. We have seen more than a few cheap Android tablets creep onto the market in the last couple years. However, some prominent device makers have also created exceptional equipment at affordable pricing. Take the Moto G for example, the Moto G is a sub-0 phone that was released in January. It is a solid device that also packs 1GB of RAM and does not have a 4G radio, we’ve taken the Moto G for a full review, read all about it here, and checkout the video below.
Looking a little higher end than the Moto G, set to be officially announced in the next week, the OnePlus One is looking to possibly hit the market as the most powerful smartphone to date. The young company lives by the motto “never settle,” and is expected to have their ‘flagship killer’ smartphone launch for as little as half the price of the Samsung Galaxy S5. Google themselves have already shaken the 7-inch range tablet market, launching the Nexus 7 tablet back in 2012, with a redux in 2013. Built by ASUS, the Nexus 7 still feels very much like a premium device, but it too sells in the 0 price range.
We’ll compare the Moto G with pricier phones, because its price tag casts a new light on all of its features. – Joshua Vergara, Android Authority
These devices have set in motion a trend and a realization for smartphone manufacturers, there is a huge global market for quality, yet affordable equipment. Motorola is rumored to be bringing a new low-cost smartphone to Mexico – called the Moto E, the rumor has it as a very similar unit to the Moto G, capitalizing on a phone model that has already been a top seller for the company.
Is there a market for a sub-0 Nexus device?
A sub-0 Nexus device is an intriguing prospect. On the one hand, we hold the idea that Nexus devices are for those that are in the know when it comes to Android – specifically built for developers to have access to all of the OS features and hardware sensors that Google has put into their pure Android. On the other hand, Nexus devices have proven to be excellent phones at an affordable price. The Nexus 5 has been a favorite for many, starting at 0, it has been the best answer for many new-to-Android users that ask “what phone should I get?” Check out our review of the Nexus 5 to see why.
The success of a sub-0 Nexus device may come down to two main factors. First, who is Google building this device for? If the phone is built as an extremely affordable developers test phone, normal consumers may be put off by a lack of features, such as external SD card support. Second, in one word, marketing. The Nexus 5 may be made to capture the moments that matter, but I have never met it in any ads outside of Google’s own websites, or seen people dancing with it to Michael Jackson. Whether Google’s purpose is to make a number one selling phone or not, a sub-0 phone removes the barrier to entry to the Android ecosystem, which may prove crucial to gaining new users, especially in emerging markets around the globe.
We look forward to learning more about this sub-0 Nexus device. Until then, what are your thoughts on a Nexus branded sub-0 phone – will Google make a knockout product for an amazing price, or just a decent entry level unit that anyone can afford?
With the release of the Google Now Launcher on the Play Store, so much Android users were left jilted. The coolest thing to hit Android this week is only available for Nexus and Google Play Edition devices. in case you don’t have one of those, yet still wish the launcher, fret not. It can be done.
It’s genuinely pretty easy, too. First, you’ll would like to get into your settings and let apps outdoor of the Play store to be loaded. To do that, you go to Settings > Security. From there, you’ll see a heading referred to as “Device Administrators”. under that, you’ll see “Verify Apps”, which has a tidy little explanation of what it’s about. Enable that one, and you’re midway there. The second thing you’ll want to do is ensure you have the most recent version of Google Search enabled on your device, which is version 3. 2. 17. 1009776. in case you don’t, go ahead and hit the Play Store and check for an update, but we’re sure you’ll have it already. It’s rather much Google’s stock and trade — literally. Third, you’ll want to find an APK file for the new Google Now. they’re available via a number of sources, with DevHost and Android Police being two popular sources.
With the release of the Google Now Launcher on the Play Store, most Android users have been left jilted. The coolest thing to hit Android this week is best readily available for Nexus and Google Play version devices. if you don’t have one of those, yet still wish the launcher, fret not. It can be done.
It’s as a matter of fact fairly easy, too. First, you’ll want to get into your settings and permit apps external of the Play store to be loaded. To do that, you go to Settings > Security. From there, you’ll see a heading called “Device Administrators”. below that, you’ll see “Verify Apps”, which has a tidy little explanation of what it’s about. Enable that one, and you’re halfway there. The second thing you’ll want to do is make positive you’ve got the most recent version of Google Search enabled on your device, which is variation 3. 2. 17. 1009776. if you don’t, go ahead and hit the Play Store and check for an update, but we’re sure you’ll have it already. It’s pretty much Google’s stock and trade — literally. Third, you’ll want to find an APK file for the new Google Now. they’re obtainable via several sources, with DevHost and Android Police being two sought after sources. We’ve no longer heard of any issues just yet with this, so go ahead and give it a shot.
The coolest factor to hit Android this week is solely readily available for Nexus and Google Play version devices. if you don’t have one of those, yet still wish the launcher, fret not. It can be done.
It’s actually fairly easy, too. First, you’ll want to get into your settings and allow apps outside of the Play shop to be loaded. To do that, you go to Settings > Security. From there, you’ll see a heading generally known as “Device Administrators”. Under that, you’ll see “Verify Apps”, which has a tidy little explanation of what it’s about. Enable that one, and you’re halfway there. The second thing you’ll want to do is make certain you have the most recent version of Google Search enabled on your device, which is version 3. 2. 17. 1009776. in case you don’t, go beforehand and hit the Play Store and check for an update, but we’re sure you’ll have it already. It’s pretty much Google’s stock and trade — literally. Third, you’ll want to discover an APK file for the new Google Now. they’re obtainable by means of several sources, with DevHost and Android Police being two trendy sources. We’ve not heard of any problems just yet with this, so go beforehand and give it a shot. it’ll take a few tries if you use the mirrored APK, but we’ve had success on a few assorted devices. once downloaded, pull down the notification tray, and select it.
Welcome to another quick edition of the Android group Nightly. In what may well very nicely be the last one ever (if the world does indeed end) we’ll start off with some enjoyable news from Google, then dig into everything that mattered to us today. Google’s letting you send greetings through a private call to friends from Santa, so give it a try.
There’s a few more bits of news relating to Google today. Their Play Store has some sweet deals going on with about 10 spectacular games, then Acer is building a budget pill to take on Google’s Nexus 7 and B&N’s NOOK. Then we learned the official ASUS Nexus 7 desk dock will be on sale December 30th.
Samsung news, we consistently have a little. Samsung’s Galaxy S II on AT&T is getting Ice Cream Sandwich, and there’s no signal of Jelly Bean. Then the international Galaxy S III is getting another update of Jelly Bean with Sammy’s premium suite of updates. We’re additionally hearing Samsung’s 5.5-inch flexible AMOLED display will be showcased at CES.
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