Browsing all articles in Android
Apr
17

Google Launches Chrome Remote Desktop On Android, Allowing Mobile Access To Your PC

Author admin    Category Android, IT News     Tags

Google this morning launched a mobile client application called “Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android” (whew!) which allows for remote access to your Mac or PC from your Android device, whether smartphone or tablet. The new app is an extension of Google’s previously launched Chrome Remote Desktop screen-sharing service, which allows you to share your desktop’s screen with other Chrome browser or Chromebook users.

As with its big-screen counterpart, to use the Android application you first have to install a helper application on your desktop or laptop computer. That app is here in the Chrome Web Store and works on Windows (XP and above), Mac (OS X 10.6 and above) and Linux computers. The helper app installs as an extension to Google Chrome or the Chrome-based OS that powers Google’s Chromebooks.

Once installed, however, you’ll be able to open the app and connect to any of your computers with just a tap, manage them, and navigate through their files and folders from afar — like a modern version of GoToMyPC, for example.

We’ve known an Android client was in the works for some time, as there was even a functional version of the Android client available back in January, though it required that you compile the app from source in order to use it. An iOS version is also in the works, but its development is said to be further behind.

The move comes at a time when competitor Amazon is targeting enterprise users with its own version of remote access software, Amazon Workspaces. Officially launched to the public in March, this service similarly lets company employees access their work computers from any device, including Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Android or Kindle Fire HDX tablets. Of course, in Amazon’s case, the goal is to make its tablets appear more business-friendly.

Google’s Remote Desktop, on the other hand, has a more consumer-focused vibe, which even had the company once touting the service as a way to be the family hero by “adjusting printer settings on your mom’s computer to finding a lost file on your dad’s laptop,” for example.

The official Chrome Remote Desktop Android app is available here on Google Play.

[techcrunch]

Mar
20

Android: Fast Communication with .NET Using Protocol Buffers

Author admin    Category .NET, Android, IT News, Programming, Tips & Trik     Tags

Introduction

One of challenges in the interprocess communication when communicating across platforms (e.g. between Android and .NET) is how to encode (serialize) messages so that they can be understood by both platforms. Default binary serializers provided by platforms are not compatible and so the common solution is to encode messages into some text format e.g. XML or JSON. This can be perfectly ok in many cases but for applications with high performance expectations using the text format may not be an optimal solution.

The example bellow demonstrates how to use Protocol Buffers binary serialization in the inter-process communication between Android and .NET applications.

You Need to Download

In order to build the example source code you will need to add references to related libraries into the project. To get these libraries you can download:

  • Eneter.ProtoBuf.Serializer – protocol buffer serializer for Eneter, it also contains compiled protocol buffer libraries and utility applications for ‘proto’ files.
  • Eneter.Messaging.Framework – communication framework that can be used for free for non-commercial use.

Protocol Buffers libraries are open source projects that can be found at:

  • protobuf – Google implementation of Protocol Buffers for Java, C++ and Python.
  • protobuf-net – Protocol Buffers implementation from Marc Gravell for .NET platforms.
  • Eneter.ProtoBuf.Serializer – Open source project to integrate Protocol Buffers and Eneter Messaging Framework.

Add Following References into your Project

Into .NET project:

  • protobuf-net.dll – protocol buffers serializer for .NET, Windows Phone, Silverlight and Compact Framework developed by Marc Gravell.
  • Eneter.ProtoBuf.Serializer.dll – implements serializer for Eneter Messaging Framework using protobuf-net.dll.
  • Eneter.Messaging.Framework.dll – lightweight cross-platform framework for inter-process communication.

Into Android project:

  • protobuf.jar – protocol buffers serializer for Java and Android developed by Google.
  • eneter-protobuf-serializer.jar – implements serializer for Eneter Messaging Framework using protobuf.jar from Google.
  • eneter-messaging.jar – lightweight cross-platform framework for inter-process communication.

Important: please follow this procedure (for Eclipse) to add libraries into the Android project:
(To add a library into the project you need to import it instead of adding it via project properties.
Also ensure Java compliance level is set to 6.0. Properties -> Java Compiler -> JDK Compliance -> 1.6.)

  1. Create a new folder ‘libs’ in your project. (use exactly name libs)
  2. Right click on ‘libs’ and choose ‘Import…’ -> ‘General/File System’ -> ‘Next’.
  3. Then click ‘Browser’ button for ‘From directory’ and navigate to directory with libraries you want to add.
  4. Select check boxes for libraries you want to add.
  5. Press ‘Finish’

Protocol Buffers

Protocol Buffers is a binary serialization originally developed by Google to share data among applications developed in different languages like Java, C++ and Python. It became the open source and was ported to other languages and platforms too.

The biggest advantage of Protocol Buffers is its performance and availability on multiple platforms what makes it an alternative to consider when designing the communication between applications.
If you are interested a simple performance measurement is available at https://code.google.com/p/eneter-protobuf-serializer/wiki/PerformanceMeasurements.

Working With Protocol Buffers

The following procedure is optimized for defining messages for cross-platform communication:
(If you want to use Protocol Buffers only in .NET you do not have to declare messages via the ‘proto’ file but you can declare them directly in the source code by attributing classes – same way as using DataContractSerializer.)

  1. Declare messages in the ‘proto’ file.
  2. Compile the ‘proto’ file into the source code (C# and Java). It transforms declared messages to classes containing specified fields and the serialization functionality.
  3. Include generated source files into C# and Java projects.
  4. Initialize Eneter communication components to use EneterProtoBufSerializer.

640249/UsingProtoBuf.png

Example Code

The example bellow is exactly the same as in my previous article Android: How to communicate with .NET application via TCP. The only difference is the code in this article uses EneterProtoBufSerializer instead of XmlStringSerializer.

Please refer to Android: How to communicate with .NET application via TCP if you need details about how to use TCP on Android and how to setup the IP address in the emulator.

640249/CommunicationBetweenAndroidandNETProtoBuf.png

proto File

The ‘proto’ file represents a contract describing messages that shall be used for the interaction. Messages are declared in the platform neutral protocol buffer language – for the syntax details you can refer to https://developers.google.com/protocol-buffers/docs/proto.

Messages in our example are declared in the file MessageDeclarations.proto:

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// Request Message
message MyRequest
{
    required string Text = 1;
}

// Response Message
message MyResponse
{
    required int32 Length = 1;
}

The ‘proto’ file is then compiled to C# and Java source code. Declared messages are transformed to classes containing declared fields and serialization functionality.

The following commands were used in our example to compile the ‘proto’ file:

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protogen.exe -i:MessageDeclarations.proto -o:MessageDeclarations.cs
protoc.exe -I=./ --java_out=./ ./MessageDeclarations.proto

Android Client Application

The Android client is a very simple application allowing user to put some text message and send the request to the service to get back the length of the text.
When the response message is received it must be marshaled to the UI thread to display the result.

The client uses EneterProtoBufSerializer. It instantiates the serializer in the openConnection() method and puts its reference to the DuplexTypedMessagesFactory ensuring so the message sender will use Protocol Buffers.

The whole implementation is very simple:

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package net.client;

import message.declarations.MessageDeclarations.*;
import eneter.messaging.dataprocessing.serializing.ISerializer;
import eneter.messaging.diagnostic.EneterTrace;
import eneter.messaging.endpoints.typedmessages.*;
import eneter.messaging.messagingsystems.messagingsystembase.*;
import eneter.messaging.messagingsystems.tcpmessagingsystem.TcpMessagingSystemFactory;
import eneter.net.system.EventHandler;
import eneter.protobuf.ProtoBufSerializer;
import android.app.Activity;
import android.os.Bundle;
import android.os.Handler;
import android.view.View;
import android.view.View.OnClickListener;
import android.widget.*;

public class AndroidNetCommunicationClientActivity extends Activity
{
    // UI controls
    private Handler myRefresh = new Handler();
    private EditText myMessageTextEditText;
    private EditText myResponseEditText;
    private Button mySendRequestBtn;

    // Sender sending MyRequest and as a response receiving MyResponse.
    private IDuplexTypedMessageSender<MyResponse, MyRequest> mySender;

    /** Called when the activity is first created. */
    @Override
    public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState)
    {
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
        setContentView(R.layout.main);

        // Get UI widgets.
        myMessageTextEditText = (EditText) findViewById(R.id.messageTextEditText);
        myResponseEditText = (EditText) findViewById(R.id.messageLengthEditText);
        mySendRequestBtn = (Button) findViewById(R.id.sendRequestBtn);

        // Subscribe to handle the button click.
        mySendRequestBtn.setOnClickListener(myOnSendRequestClickHandler);

        // Open the connection in another thread.
        // Note: From Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) or higher
        //       it is not possible to open TCP connection
        //       from the main thread.
        Thread anOpenConnectionThread = new Thread(new Runnable()
            {
                @Override
                public void run()
                {
                    try
                    {
                        openConnection();
                    }
                    catch (Exception err)
                    {
                        EneterTrace.error("Open connection failed.", err);
                    }
                }
            });
        anOpenConnectionThread.start();
    }

    @Override
    public void onDestroy()
    {
        // Stop listening to response messages.
        mySender.detachDuplexOutputChannel();

        super.onDestroy();
    } 

    private void openConnection() throws Exception
    {
        // Instantiate Protocol Buffer based serializer.
        ISerializer aSerializer = new ProtoBufSerializer();

        // Create sender sending MyRequest and as a response receiving MyResponse
        // The sender will use Protocol Buffers to serialize/deserialize messages. 
        IDuplexTypedMessagesFactory aSenderFactory = new DuplexTypedMessagesFactory(aSerializer);
        mySender = aSenderFactory.createDuplexTypedMessageSender(MyResponse.class, MyRequest.class);

        // Subscribe to receive response messages.
        mySender.responseReceived().subscribe(myOnResponseHandler);

        // Create TCP messaging for the communication.
        // Note: 10.0.2.2 is a special alias to the loopback (127.0.0.1)
        //       on the development machine.
        IMessagingSystemFactory aMessaging = new TcpMessagingSystemFactory();

        IDuplexOutputChannel anOutputChannel
            = aMessaging.createDuplexOutputChannel("tcp://10.0.2.2:8060/");
            //= aMessaging.createDuplexOutputChannel("tcp://192.168.1.102:8060/");

        // Attach the output channel to the sender and be able to send
        // messages and receive responses.
        mySender.attachDuplexOutputChannel(anOutputChannel);
    }

    private void onSendRequest(View v)
    {
        // Create the request message using ProtoBuf builder pattern.
        final MyRequest aRequestMsg = MyRequest.newBuilder()
                .setText(myMessageTextEditText.getText().toString())
                .build();

        // Send the request message.
        try
        {
            mySender.sendRequestMessage(aRequestMsg);
        }
        catch (Exception err)
        {
            EneterTrace.error("Sending the message failed.", err);
        }

    }

    private void onResponseReceived(Object sender,
                                    final TypedResponseReceivedEventArgs<MyResponse> e)
    {
        // Display the result - returned number of characters.
        // Note: Marshal displaying to the correct UI thread.
        myRefresh.post(new Runnable()
            {
                @Override
                public void run()
                {
                    myResponseEditText.setText(Integer.toString(e.getResponseMessage().getLength()));
                }
            });
    }

    private EventHandler<TypedResponseReceivedEventArgs<MyResponse>> myOnResponseHandler
            = new EventHandler<TypedResponseReceivedEventArgs<MyResponse>>()
    {
        @Override
        public void onEvent(Object sender,
                            TypedResponseReceivedEventArgs<MyResponse> e)
        {
            onResponseReceived(sender, e);
        }
    };

    private OnClickListener myOnSendRequestClickHandler = new OnClickListener()
    {
        @Override
        public void onClick(View v)
        {
            onSendRequest(v);
        }
    };
}

.NET Service Application

The .NET service is a simple console application listening to TCP and receiving requests to calculate the length of a given text.

The service uses EneterProtoBufSerializer. It instantiates the serializer and puts its reference to the DuplexTypedMessagesFactory ensuring so the message receiver will use Protocol Buffers to deserialize incoming messages and serialize response messages.

The whole implementation is very simple:

Collapse | Copy Code
using System;
using Eneter.Messaging.DataProcessing.Serializing;
using Eneter.Messaging.EndPoints.TypedMessages;
using Eneter.Messaging.MessagingSystems.MessagingSystemBase;
using Eneter.Messaging.MessagingSystems.TcpMessagingSystem;
using Eneter.ProtoBuf;
using message.declarations;

namespace ServiceExample
{
    class Program
    {
        private static IDuplexTypedMessageReceiver<MyResponse, MyRequest> myReceiver;

        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            // Instantiate Protocol Buffer based serializer.
            ISerializer aSerializer = new ProtoBufSerializer();

            // Create message receiver receiving 'MyRequest' and receiving 'MyResponse'.
            // The receiver will use Protocol Buffers to serialize/deserialize messages. 
            IDuplexTypedMessagesFactory aReceiverFactory =
                new DuplexTypedMessagesFactory(aSerializer);
            myReceiver = aReceiverFactory.CreateDuplexTypedMessageReceiver<MyResponse, MyRequest>();

            // Subscribe to handle messages.
            myReceiver.MessageReceived += OnMessageReceived;

            // Create TCP messaging.
            IMessagingSystemFactory aMessaging = new TcpMessagingSystemFactory();

            IDuplexInputChannel anInputChannel
                = aMessaging.CreateDuplexInputChannel("tcp://127.0.0.1:8060/");

            // Attach the input channel and start to listen to messages.
            myReceiver.AttachDuplexInputChannel(anInputChannel);

            Console.WriteLine("The service is running. To stop press enter.");
            Console.ReadLine();

            // Detach the input channel and stop listening.
            // It releases the thread listening to messages.
            myReceiver.DetachDuplexInputChannel();
        }

        // It is called when a message is received.
        private static void OnMessageReceived(object sender,
                                              TypedRequestReceivedEventArgs<MyRequest> e)
        {
            Console.WriteLine("Received: " + e.RequestMessage.Text);

            // Create the response message.
            MyResponse aResponse = new MyResponse();
            aResponse.Length = e.RequestMessage.Text.Length;

            // Send the response message back to the client.
            myReceiver.SendResponseMessage(e.ResponseReceiverId, aResponse);
        }
    }
}

[codeproject]
Mar
6

Android : OS mobile tersukses sepanjang sejarah

Author admin    Category Android, Google, IT News     Tags

A Google executive claimed Wednesday that Android has seen the fastest and most successful adoption of any operating system in history.

Speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, Nikesh Arora, senior vice president at Google, said the following, courtesy of Seeking Alpha:

I mean, look, in the history of operating systems, I think Android has been the quickest and most successful adoption of an operating system in the world. So you just sort of stop, take pause and say, oh my God, that’s crazy. Nobody could have ever predicted that we’re going to get an operating system adopted in an industry, which has so many different OEMs, manufacturing with their own operating systems having adopted around the world.

A report back in 2012 claimed that both Android and iOS were growing 10 times faster than PCs did in the 1980s.

And it’s clear that iOS on the iPhone and iPad had blistering adoption rates (with one study, back in 2010, showing iPad had the fastest adoption rate ever).

Also, the adoption rates of iOS upgrades, such as iOS 7, tend to outpace Android.

But recent data from IDC and App Annie (December 2013) show Android, for example, with a big lead over Apple in the installed base of smartphones (see chart at bottom), while Apple leads in game monetization.

And there are plenty of other studies too — usually focusing on smartphones — that show Android leading.

The success of apps on iOS, however, has been a strong suit for Apple, as a recent Piper Jaffray study, released in January, shows.

In the same report, though, Piper Jaffray argued that the quality of apps on the two platforms is now equalizing and that services will now be the key differentiator.

The initial release of Android was in September 2008. iOS made its debut in June 2007.

So, is Google, right? Maybe that’s best left to readers to debate.

[cnet]

Mar
4

How to identify malicious Android apps on Google Play

Author admin    Category Android, IT News     Tags

“How do I know that the new installed app behaves as described?” asks Andreas Zeller, professor of software engineering at Saarland University. So far experts have identified so-called malicious apps by checking their behavior against patterns of known attacks. “But what if the attack is brand-new?” asks Zeller.

His group seems to have found a new method to answer all these questions. Zeller summarizes the basic idea as follows: “Apps whose functionality is described in the app store should behave accordingly. If that is not the case, they are suspect.”|


His research group has named the software based on this idea “Chabada”. For every app, it analyzes the description of its functionality that can be read in the app store. With methods from natural language processing, it identifies the main topics, for example “music”. After that, Chabada clusters applications by related topics. For instance, the cluster “travel” consists of all apps that deal with traveling in some way. Using program analysis, Chabada detects which data and services are accessed by the apps. Travel apps normally access the current location and a server to load a map. So a travel app secretly sending text messages is suspicious.

The researchers applied this approach on 22,521 apps from the Google Play Store. With a purpose-built script, they had downloaded the 150 most popular apps in the 30 categories from Google Play during spring and winter of last year. Chabada then analyzed them. Finally, the computer scientists from Saarbruecken investigated the 160 most significant outliers to verify Chabada’s selection. The result: It had detected 56 percent of the existing spy apps, without knowing their behavior patterns beforehand.

How important the researchers’ efforts are is shown by a news item published by the Russian software company “Doctor Web” at the end of June last year. It reported that the company had discovered various malicious apps on the “Google Play” platform. Downloaded onto a smartphone, the malware installed other programs, which secretly sent text messages to expensive premium services. Although Doctor Web, according to its own statement, informed Google immediately, the malicious apps were still available for download for several days. Doctor Web estimates that in this way up to 25,000 smartphones were used fraudulently. “In the future Chabada could serve as a kind of gatekeeper, ensuring that malicious apps will never make it into an app store”, Zeller explains.

The computer scientists from Saarbruecken will present their new approach at the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) in Hyderabad, India at the end of May. Already in March, Google security researchers will be meeting with the Saarbruecken team. Google has also already invited Zeller and his colleagues to have Chabada analyze the whole Google App Store.

[tgdaily]

Nov
26

Android’s Camera Confirmed to Get RAW Support in a Future Release

Author admin    Category Android, IT News     Tags

Android-s-Camera

Mountain View-based Internet giant Google has lately been rumored to plan the addition of brand new, highly appealing features to the camera capabilities of the Android platform, and some more info on the matter is now available.

Previously, Google was said to be working on new camera API that would bring support for RAW photography to Android, and this is now confirmed.

Spokeswoman Gina Scigliano has reportedly confirmed that support for said capabilities has been included in the hardware abstraction layer (HAL) of the operating system, namely in that part of the firmware that is in charge with direct communication with the hardware.

“Android’s latest camera HAL (hardware abstraction layer) and framework supports raw and burst-mode photography,” she said, a recent article on CNET reads.

“We will expose a developer API [application programming interface] in a future release to expose more of the HAL functionality.”

Apparently, Android 4.4 KitKat arrived with a series of hidden, Experimental Java camera APIs, in addition to featuring all the camera enhancements that Google has been packing inside Android since version 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

In Nexus 5, the HDR+ mode in the camera already takes advantage of the burst mode mentioned above, though the RAW camera feature is still missing from the package.

Apparently, Google is not yet ready to make the new APIs available for developers out there, though it is expected to incorporate them into an upcoming platform version, as mentioned above.

In the meantime, however, other companies have already brought RAW photography to mobile devices, namely Nokia and Microsoft, which allow owners of Windows Phone 8-based Nokia Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1020 devices to enjoy increased image quality.

In the meantime, Google will focus on the burst-mode capabilities of Android’s camera, it seems. According to Scigliano, the new HAL and future APIs are centered around burst-mode photography.

“The basic idea is instead of taking a single shot with a given set of parameters, you instead have the power to queue up a request to take multiple shots each with different parameter settings such as exposure gain,” she explains.

However, Google does agree that the imaging capabilities of smartphones are equally influenced by the hardware inside them and the software features loaded on top.

[softpedia]

Nov
13

Android dominates 81 percent of world smartphone market

Author admin    Category Android, IT News     Tags

android berbayang

For the first time ever, Android has hit more than 80 percent market share for smartphone shipments worldwide.

The new Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker was released on Tuesday by IDC, which detailed third-quarter numbers for all smartphone shipments worldwide. A total of 261.1 million smartphones were shipped during this quarter, 81 percent of which run Google’s operating system. A study by Strategy Analytics last month revealed nearly the same numbers, showing that Android gobbled 81.3 percent of the global smartphone market in the third quarter.

There are several smartphone manufacturers that run Android on their devices. Of these vendors, Samsung gained the most market share. The Galaxy S4-maker ruled 39 percent of all Android smartphone shipments in the third quarter. The majority of the other vendors saw market share within the single digits or less.

Not only must Google be giving itself a pat on the back, but Microsoft should also be pleased by the third-quarter numbers. During the quarter, Windows Phone shipments jumped 156 percent year-over-year. While Windows Phone market share is still small — less than 5 percent — these numbers do show that people are purchasing the smartphones at a rapid rate. Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reported similar numbers in September showing that Windows Phone is increasingly gaining in the world market.

For Windows Phones, Nokia appears to be the smartphone maker of choice. A whopping 93.2 percent of all Windows Phones shipped in the third quarter were made by Nokia.

“Android and Windows Phone continued to make significant strides in the third quarter. Despite their differences in market share, they both have one important factor behind their success: price,” IDC’s Mobile Phone team research manager Ramon Llamas said in a statement. “Both platforms have a selection of devices available at prices low enough to be affordable to the mass market, and it is the mass market that is driving the entire market forward.”

Overall smartphone shipments were up 39.9 percent year-over-year in the third quarter. According to IDC, average smartphone selling prices have decreased as of late as demand for cheaper phones grows. The average price is now at $317, which is 12.5 percent lower than last year.

One exception to the lower price is for large-screened smartphones, or phablets. The average phablet price is currently hovering around $443; however, this is still 22.8 percent lower than last year’s average phablet price of $573.

“Almost all successful Android vendors have added one or more 5- to 7-inch phablets to their product portfolios,” IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker program director Ryan Reith said. “And Nokia’s recent announcement of the Lumia 1320 and 1520 put them in the category as well. In 3Q13, phablet shipments accounted for 21 percent of the smartphone market, up from just 3 percent a year ago. We believe the absence of a large-screen device may have contributed to Apple’s inability to grow share in the third quarter.”

And, this brings us to Apple. While iOS does well in the US, it’s not as popular in the world market. In the third quarter, Apple held 12.9 percent of the market share, which is a 1.5 percent decline from last year. However, the company’s shipments were up from 26.9 million during last year’s third quarter to 33.8 million in this year’s third quarter. According to IDC, some of this market share decline could be due to soft demand in the weeks before the launch of the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, and iOS 7 in September.

[cnet]
Oct
8

Nearly 50% Of Android Devices Now Run Jelly Bean

Author admin    Category Android, IT News     Tags

Almost half of all of Android devices in wild are now running some version of version Jelly Bean, according to the latest data from Google. Android 4.1/4.2/4.3 (which fall under the “Jelly Bean” moniker) now account for 48.6% of all Android devices that reach Google’s servers on a monthly basis.

The extraordinarily persistent 2.3 Gingerbread continues to fall in market share, now running on less than 30% of Android devices at 28.5%. Froyo is now a distant memory, on only 2.2% of Android devices. Google does not report on versions of the operating system running on less than 0.1% of overall distribution.

The latest version of Android—4.3 Jelly Bean—is making its first appearance in Google’s distribution dashboard at 1.5% of devices. So far, the only devices that run 4.3 Jelly Bean are Google Nexus devices (smartphones and tablets) that have been updated to the version announced in July. The new Nexus 7 tablet ships with Android 4.3, while the only non-Nexus device to ship with 4.3 is Samsung’s brand new Galaxy Note 3 “phablet.”

The first version of Jelly Bean—Android 4.1—now runs on 36.5% of devices. Jelly Bean 4.1 was announced at Google I/O in 2012. Jelly Bean 4.2 was announced in October 2012 and now runs on 10.6% of Android devices.

It is important to note that Google’s distribution numbers do not reflect the total pool of devices that run Android across the globe. Google only measures and reports on devices that touch on the company’s servers in a given month. So, if a user has not visited the Android Google Play Store in a month, the device would not be recorded in Google’s reports.

Google’s data gathering and reporting methods means that a whole host of Android devices are not recorded. For instance, Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which runs a forked version of Android that cannot access Google Play or other Google apps, is not part of this report. Nor are most Android devices in China.

According to a report from mobile analyst Benedict Evans using data from analytics platform Umeng, only 5.6% of Android app installs are from Google Play. The vast majority of app downloads in China are from third-party app stores that are often regionally specific. Many millions of Chinese residents use Android smartphones that can’t (or don’t) access Google Play from manufacturers like Huawei, ZTE, LG and Samsung.

Most Android developers in the United States are going to build for Google Play first, so the worldwide distribution of Android operating systems is not quite as important to them. Yet markets like China are increasingly important for developers to tap and Google has created new tools in its Google Play Services platform to help developers globalize their apps.

[rww]

Sep
4

Google Goes For A KitKat, Not Key Lime Pie, In Next Android Version

Author admin    Category Android, IT News     Tags

Android KitKat

Google announced that the next version of Android will be called KitKat, not Key Lime Pie as long expected. Google’s Sundar Pichai, head of Android and Chrome operating systems, first hinted at the name in a post on his Google+ page. KitKat, a Nestle candy-bar brand, has tweeted confirming the name.

Say hello to what could be the world’s first product-placement operating system. In case you were wondering, the latest version will be Android 4.4, not Android 5.0, according to Google’s announcement.

Google is running a promotion with Hershey’s (the maker of KitKat in the U.S.) and is holding a contest to win a new Nexus 7 tablet or credit at the Android Google Play store. From Pichai’s post:

On my return from Asia, I was also thrilled to find this guy waiting to greet me on the front lawn — love the new #AndroidKitKat statue and can’t wait to release the next version of the platform that is as sweet as the candy bar that’s one of our team’s favorites:)

KitKat has been a long time in coming. Google announced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean at its I/O developer conference in 2012 and since then has released two more updates to the operating system (versions 4.2 and 4.3) both named Jelly Bean instead of the the long-awaited “K” flavor of Android. (Each generation of Android has been named for a dessert in alphabetical order—up to now, Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich were the previous versions.)

Google hasn’t said when the KitKat update is coming, but it will likely be within the next two months as the company readies its device lineup for the holiday shopping season.

[RWW]

Jul
25

Google Makes Android 4.3 Official, Offers Multi-User Restricted Profile Accounts And Bluetooth Smart

Author admin    Category Android, IT News     Tags

Android 4.3 isn’t an overly dramatic advancement over Android 4.2, but the new version of Google’s mobile OS announced today does bring a number of improvements that should appeal to both developers and end users. Highlights include the redesigned camera interface, general performance improvements for the OS including smoother animations, and long-awaited Bluetooth Low Energy support.

android 43

Muti-User Restricted Profiles

This builds on the multi-user accounts on 4.2, but adds Restricted Profiles. These make it possible to do parental controls on the tablet, by changing the performance of apps and other services based on who’s logged in. It also blocks out access to stuff like in-app purchases. There’s much more to this than just parental controls, however, including options for provisioning in enterprise settings.

Bluetooth Improvements

Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth Smart) makes it easy to connect accessories to Android devices without sapping too much battery. This is key for smart watch and other wearables, as well as health and fitness trackers.

OpenGL|ES 3.0

This is huge for game developers, as it allows for much better graphics rendering, which shows off very well in the demos Google showed off on stage. Now we can also see lens flares a la J.J. Abrams, and other very nice visual effects on future games. All of the above is rendered in real-time in native 1080p.

DRM APIs

Who doesn’t get excited about locked down media content? Serisously though, this is a boon for content providers and should help Google convince even more to offer up greater libraries, with the peace of mind that their stuff is safe. It does accompany the news that Netflix will deliver 1808p video streaming on Netflix, making the Nexus 7 the first Android tablet to get that.

Notification Access

You now can access and interact with notifications form the Android status bar, and use those to be displayed in another app or via Bluetooth on a connected device (like the Pebble) and you can change their read status and dismiss them, too.

The update is pushing out live today to existing Nexus tablet devices, in addition to shipping on the new Nexus 7. It’s also going to be coming to Google Nexus handsets and experience devices soon

[techcrunch]

Jul
9

Android’s Jelly Bean contingent finally surpasses Gingerbread

Author admin    Category Android, IT News     Tags

jellybeanstats

It’s a new era, we tell ya. An era where Google can finally say that its latest build of Android is also the one being used by the greatest majority of Android users. For over a year, Android 4.1+ has been the most up-to-date build of Google’s mobile OS, and yet, the greatest majority of those accessing the Play Store were using a build that was bordering on antediluvian. According to the official Developers Dashboard, the percentages have slid to a point where Android Jelly Bean — which encompasses 4.1.x and 4.2.x — now represents 37.9 percent of Play Store users. Gingerbread (v2.3.3 through 2.3.7) has fallen to second place with 34.1 percent, while Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.3 through 4.0.4) holds down the bronze with 23.3 percent. Hit up the source link to view the full breakdown, and do us a solid — if you know someone still using Donut, grab ‘em a Christmas-in-July present.

[engadget]

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