Tag Archive for ‘Android’

iMessage Kept Off Android for iOS Lock-in ➝

Michael Simon, writing for Macworld:

In a “proposed findings of fact and conclusion of law” filing by Epic Games in its suit against Apple over the terms of the App Store, Epic revealed that Apple once considered a version of iMessage for Android but decided against it “as early as 2013,” just two years after it launched on iOS. Using information gleaned from depositions with senior Vice President Eddie Cue, along with comments from Apple fellow Phil Schiller and senior vice president Craig Federighi, Epic claims that Apple’s ultimately decided that the iMessage’s “serious lock-in” was more valuable to the company than cross-platform convenience.

I like Apple a lot. They do a lot of great things and make some excellent products, but they sure make awful decisions sometimes.

From a user perspective, there is no good reason to keep iMessage off of Android. And interestingly, if Apple shipped a version of iMessage for Android in 2013, they probably would have completely owned the messaging market. Especially given Google’s comparatively scattershot approach.

➝ Source: macworld.com

How to Add Wireless CarPlay to Any Car With an Android Tablet ➝

This is actually pretty rad and seems like a neat weekend project to play around with. But taking it a bit further, it makes me wonder how much it would cost and how difficult it would be to replace my car’s head unit with something that I could get wireless CarPlay on.

➝ Source: redmondpie.com

Have Plex Your Way ➝

A great update to Plex’s iOS and Android apps, which adds the ability to customize the app’s home screen, a tab bar for quick navigation, and support for podcasts. I’d love to see the home screen customization make its way to the Apple TV soon. I’ve switched to using Infuse on tvOS simply because it hides libraries that we don’t need access to in our living room — specifically, our photo library and live TV.

“Counting the Days Until I Can Go Back to Normal” ➝

Matt Birchler, on exiting the honeymoon phase with his Google Pixel 2:

Then I get settled in and start to notice the little things that annoy me about Android. Maybe it’s an iOS feature I miss more than I realized I would. Maybe it’s a feature Android has that I thought would be more elegantly implemented than it has. Maybe it’s a few apps with stability issues. All of these things happen to me over time and they start to wear me down. I start having to reboot the phone more. I have to clear caches for apps that are misbehaving. I have to go to shady-ass websites to download APKs from god knows where to make a feature work how it’s supposed to work. I have to do all these things regularly and it takes its toll. I fall more and more out of love with Android.

I’m a few weeks away from concluding my Android experiment for the year, and I feel like a student before winter break, counting the days until I can go back to normal.

Google Collects Android Users’ Locations Even When Location Services Are Disabled ➝

Keith Collins, reporting for Quartz:

Since the beginning of 2017, Android phones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers—even when location services are disabled—and sending that data back to Google. The result is that Google, the unit of Alphabet behind Android, has access to data about individuals’ locations and their movements that go far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy.

Quartz observed the data collection occur and contacted Google, which confirmed the practice.

The cell tower addresses have been included in information sent to the system Google uses to manage push notifications and messages on Android phones for the past 11 months, according to a Google spokesperson. They were never used or stored, the spokesperson said, and the company is now taking steps to end the practice after being contacted by Quartz. By the end of November, the company said, Android phones will no longer send cell-tower location data to Google, at least as part of this particular service, which consumers cannot disable.

Google only decided to discontinue this practice after getting caught red-handed. But if no one noticed, how much longer would this have gone on?

The Essential Phone ➝

Chris Hannah, on Andy Rubin’s newly announced Essential Phone:

In principle I like the Essential phone, but I just can’t imagine myself switching to Android (this is a deeper problem I’ll expand upon in the future). I would of preferred it to run a separate operating system, but I do respect the amount of work that would take to build, not even thinking about the app ecosystem.

However it is a step in the right direction for Android phones, which I believe was started by the Google Pixel. In my mind, android phones were all about quantity, and not necessarily being the best devices. But it’s started to take a different course, and it’s only for the best.

I didn’t follow the news of the Essential Phone very closely. It’s one of the best-designed Android phones I’ve ever seen, but at the end of the day, it’s an Android phone.

Apple Dot Com Slash Switch ➝

A new section on Apple’s website encouraging Android users to switch to iPhone. It launches alongside a handful of ads with similar messaging and design aesthetic.

On Third Party Android Apps ➝

Matt Birchler:

I’ll spoil the ending right here: Android apps are far behind what is available on iOS. The best Android apps feel like they are on par with iOS apps from 2010. The apps I have been recommended to try out would be laughed out of the room if they were on iOS. Yes, most iPhone apps have either an Android version of themselves or a similar equivalent, but every single one of those Android versions are worse than their iOS counterparts. Every. Single. One.

The problems run deep, as development for Android seems to be basically non-existent. I know that can’t be true, but that’s what it feels like. I’ve been told the best Twitter and RSS reader apps are actually discontinued and have not been updated in years. You heard that right, the best app for Twitter is not even developed anymore. We rightly give Apple shit for having issues with their App Store, but at least any list of “the best XYZ apps” is going to be populated with current apps.