Then there’s the truth

I’ve been through numerous debates on Android malware. The truth never fit the narrative spit out by, of all people, virus companies. Then today…the truth:  Based on the data from tracking over one and a half billion app installs Google obtained convincing evidence that the rate of “potentially harmful apps” installed is stable at about 1,200 per million app installs, or about 0.12%. It’s verrrrry easy to read a headline about Android malware and respond with “open” jokes. Let’s see how many post the...

Android vs iOS: Product dev

I ran across this post by Audiobox through +Matias Duarte and enjoyed these nuggets: For reference, Google’s developer instructions for how to set up beta testing are ~350 words. Apple’s? 2800. That’s critical. Google’s alpha/beta updates from May rocked my world too. Worlds apart: According to Apple, iOS app beta testers who run into crashes are expected to sync their device to iTunes, find a CrashReporter logs folder on their computer, and then email a log file to the developer. Android testers hit “send” on a popup. 0-60 (asterisks mine): Android, by comparison, is a breath of fresh air. […] Trying the very first build of your app on real hardware is as easy as hitting “Run.” No provisioning profiles. No developer accounts. No bull**. Deployment: While everyone else is building for iOS and wasting weeks in the App Store submit-review-deny-resubmit doldrums, you could be racing ahead on Android, where app burnout hasn’t yet set in. That’s because the best part, the dirty little secret, is that Android users are starved for beautiful apps. Yes. Exactly. The beautiful apps desire is strong on Android and it is the right time to build beautiful apps. Obviously iOS is a great platform but the approaches are literally night and day. I do like what I’m seeing in XCode 5 and iOS 7 dev [posts coming soon] for native dev but 0-60 has changed...

Facebook goes all in on Play Beta Testing

  Beginning today, the Android beta program will give users who opt-in access to the latest versions of Facebook for Android before the general release. Our goals with this program are to expand our pool of testers and gain feedback across a more diverse set of devices. Just by using the app and reporting issues, beta testers will be able to help us improve performance on a wide variety of Android devices we may have  otherwise been unable to test at scale. Facebook posted this today. It falls in line with my thinking on Google’s efforts. Simply put and IMHO…the Play Store definitely provides one of the best developer...
Google Play Developer Console – Alpha Testing

Google Play Developer Console – Alpha Testing

I was impressed by the Google Play Developer Console announcements surrounding alpha/beta testing. At work and on other personal/contracting projects I use TestFlight. They just added Android support but with the latest updates to the Developer Console…I’m not as intrigued as I once was. After seeing so many great sessions at I/O 2013, I found myself itching to test things out so I started sketching my Windows 8 app Timely (easily the fastest to dev out of the bunch) for a port to Android (native). In another post I’ll detail different tidbits about porting the app to Android but in this post I want to focus on the testing. The first thing I noticed was the simplicity. Once you’re on the Alpha Testing tab you simply upload the APK and you’re set. From there you can control supported/excluded devices and your alpha testers. You also have a list of the uploaded APKs with a very easy way to upgrade from alpha to beta testing or skip beta and go to production with the Promote… button. One of the sweetest parts was controlling the alpha testers. I expected something much more difficult but it was an interesting and welcomed feature. I’ve been messing with Google+ Communities more and more lately so to see a really easy way to create a private G+ community to manage your alpha testers was pretty cool. After creating the community it is as simple as pasting the link to the community and clicking Add. Yes, this image has the link to the app but you have to be a part of the G+ community to access it. Once you...

3.7M

Andy Rubin on Google+: UPDATE: There were 3.7M Android activations on 12/24 and 12/25. Congrats team-android! Wow. Just…wow.
Google, FIX THIS!!

Google, FIX THIS!!

What is “this”? Here is what I said on March 4, 2011 in my Where Android blows itself away, for me post: Why are manufacturers not releasing their updates within days or weeks of Google releasing their bits? Google: if you’re holding up manufacturers, you’re destroying your ecosystem. Manufacturers: if you’re just slow, dealing w/ politics, or _________ [fill in that blank], you’re destroying your customer base and Google’s ecosystem. At Google IO 2011, Google said they were working on the logistics problem of getting manufacturers on the same page. The idea is to have all phones upgraded within an 18 month window [1.5 years] after release. This clearly is not the case as Samsung announced no ICS upgrade for Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab because of TouchWiz [from The Verge]: The company’s argument is that they lack sufficient RAM and ROM to run the new OS alongside TouchWiz and other “experience-enhancing” software. This will come as a massive blow to the great many users of the Galaxy S, who would have rightly expected the 1GHz Hummingbird processor and accompanying memory to be able to handle ICS — it’s the same hardware as you’ll find inside the Nexus S, and that phone is receiving Android 4.0 over the air right now.   [from Samsung Tomorrow’s post; in Korean, Chrome can translate, roughly, for you] Samsung: So a device with the same internals as the latest Nexus cannot get an upgrade because of the internals…errr…wait. Hrmm. Oh yeah…TouchWiz is there so we can’t do it. Users: Later! I don’t see users waiting around for Samsung to get it right. The Galaxy S is still a quality device and...

700,000+ per day

Andy Rubin on G+: There are now over 700,000 Android devices activated every day. Awesome news but who’s winning? Short answer: the device/OS that works best for...

Most Ridiculous Article Award: Apple’s Relentless Push Forward

@daringfireball quoted this: At a time when most current Android devices — even the ones that will be sold over the holiday shopping season — wont ever have the option to install Android 4.0, Apple is specifically pushing the iOS install base forward. Apple wants all iOS users on iOS 5, not just the ones who buy a brand new device. I find this post utterly ridiculous. First, he’s speculating and seriously putting himself on a ledge with such a large accusation regarding which devices will get Ice Cream Sandwich [Android 4.0]. Then he goes on to say “Apple wants all iOS users on iOS 5, not just the ones who buy a brand new device.” This is where my ridiculous meter goes off the charts. There are five versions of the iPhone. Two of those five are getting iOS 5. Now I’m not arguing whether a 3Gs or 3G should get iOS 5 but clearly he’s under a fruit flavored, Kool-aid induced high. Apple in no way wants all iOS users on iOS 5 without them buying an iPhone 4 or 4s [ie – latest hardware]. Furthermore, iOS 5 isn’t the exact same on the 4 and 4s, namely regarding Siri [which could be any number of reasons why it isn’t on the 4]. Let’s return to the article. iOS 5 is a major turning point for the entire iOS ecosystem. Although Apple has always made it relatively easy — and most often free — to upgrade iOS, users will now be notified of available upgrades and be able to quickly install them right on the device. The...

HTC, I want a divorce!

[fair warning, this is a rant] Since Summer 2010 I have been rocking an HTC Evo after leaving my iPhone 4 upgrade with AT&T. I went with the Evo 4G and loved it, even bought my brother, wife, and employee one. Sense is an excellent “overlay” for Android and I missed a ton of the issues many people talked about with Android looking ugly, not being smooth, etc. It is a really nice addition but I do have issues with it. My main issue is the battery and it has moving away from the Evo product line but let’s start with a lighter topic first: updates. Updates  HTC isn’t overly bad with this, IMHO, and it is somewhat petty but where is the new Android Market? I love app updates and check daily [literally] for them. When I keep seeing and hearing about this new Android Market and can’t touch it…I get annoyed. Again…pretty petty because I’m still getting to My Apps, finding new apps/games, etc. What I can’t get to are books and movies. I don’t buy those on phones anyway [Kindle books I do] but I want my options open, in case I do buy a movie on my tablet and want to switch to my phone on the go. The Evo 4G is even more outdated than my Evo 3D. That’s somewhat expected except for the fact it came out last year [15 months ago].  I’m currently running Android 2.3.4 [Gingerbread] so the Evo 3D has the latest Android, which is great, but things like the Market just annoy me. Battery This is the bottom line reason...

Google Answers: Market Purchase Pin

I recently wrote about Android needing parental controls [specifically for purchases] and Google has answered with pin locking for purchases. Not that they did it because of my post but the things I’ve been blogging about [namely my desires for better manufacturer releases from Google IO 2011] are being answered. Keep rockin’ Google! Source: Android...
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1…Welcome Home

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1…Welcome Home

For “work purposes” I needed a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 [did I ever tell you how much I love my job?] so today I finally took the plunge [HP TouchPad is next, maybe]. I absolutely love Honeycomb and the Tab reinforces that love in many ways. It isn’t all a love affair though. I’m pretty disappointed in Samsung for a few things as they relate directly to the Apple lawsuit. I have upgraded the Tab to the TouchWiz version and WOW! McQueen [my XOOM; get it…zoom…fast…Lightening. Nevermind] might get replaced as my main tablet, which wasn’t my intentions at all. Here are a couple of goodies I’ve enjoyed in my first few chances to play with the Tab. Adobe Flash Of course testing Flash was top of my list and here are my full thoughts: AWESOME performance! I seriously don’t know what @gruber, etc are talking about. Can someone please tell me how Flash performance sucks on mobile? I’m in no way saying it is perfect but I’d rather have 80-90% of all Flash work than none [leaving 10-20% for apps requiring keyboard input and really intense apps like old school 2Advanced typed stuff]. I’m mainly a Flash video guy than a Flash games guy anyway so even if that is only 40% of all Flash content…I want my 40! One thing I notice about most posts downplaying Flash performance is lack of video. They poorly explain the experience. To avoid my love for Flash being a reason for readers to assume I’m speaking well of performance, here are some videos [aka proof]. TouchWiz There have been plenty of...
Android Needs Parental Control: An In-app Purchase Story

Android Needs Parental Control: An In-app Purchase Story

I’m more than a bit disappointed in the state of in-app purchasing on Android. It has nothing to do with it working but more to do with the people implementing it and the control we, the users, have over it. The system works but has flaws. Back Story My daughter, Alex’ [9], was here for summer [sucks to not be w/ her always but that’s another story] and seeing as I have this slab of Android tablet sweetness on my desktop, mostly idle, she wanted to play with it. Of course she played all of the games on my XOOM but soon found a desire for something else so to the Market she went. In the Market she found Fashion Story by TeamLava. It is a free download but, being the responsible princess she is, she still asks me if she can install it. Of course I say yes, after seeing “FREE” and skimming the description, content rating, etc. Then came the semi-drama. The Purchase Alex was having a good ol’ time playing the game. I was at my laptop working [in the office; away from her] and I heard the Mail “ding” alerting me to new email so I jumped there to see it. Wait…what? Google Checkout? But I didn’t buy anything. Of course I open it immediately only to see a $99 in-app purchase for 580 gems. I jump from the computer, go to the living room, and question Alex. She was startled because she had no idea it was real money. She thought it was game money she was spending. The Refund My very next step...

Android: Curated App Publishing Proposal

This isn’t an official proposal or anything of structured substance. It is more about a few thoughts on how Google can lock down the Wild West Android Market to better serve its constituents. I’ll just bullet point a few ideas. I’d love to hear more and will make this a living post if comments provide better guidelines. Keep a developer score Apps w/ a high dev score can go into an immediate release [as it is now] or into a review queue Apps w/ a low dev score are forced to go through a review process That’s it for the curation. Now, how is this score calculated. Verified developers Microsoft is Microsoft. Verify they are truly Microsoft and you know you don’t have to worry about spam/virus apps. Allow developers to submit documentation to validate them [not required] This is like the Apple and Blackberry process but is optional. If you validate yourself, you gain extra points. Sponsorship by validated developers Microsoft has employees. They could validate their employees through sponsorship. If a sponsored developer sponsors someone and they blow it, the sponsored developer loses points. This makes the sponsors carefully choose who they sponsor. Average app rating This is a smaller portion of the score but is a factor. [ex – if my 5 apps have an average rating of 4.5 stars, that adds weight to my viability] The formula needs to take into consideration the number of votes. A 5 star app with 5 votes is not the same as a 5 star app with 1,000 apps. Those are just a few suggestions. How better could this...

Where Android blows itself away, for me.

This is a follow-up to my Why Android blows away the iOS, for me. post. It covered my basic loves for the things I first saw in Android and loved! All of those points are still valid and honestly I still think Android beats iOS, IMO. (Don’t worry iOS fanboys fans…I’ll briefly explain what I mean shortly.) After almost a year of use on an HTC Evo, I have come to learn a few things about the Android life. Many of them I love…some I loathe! This post focuses on the loathing part. 😉 iOS iOS is an amazing OS. It has a ton of sweet features and is smooth as silk. With all that glitz and glam…how could it possibly still not beat Android? Great question. Here’s a short answer: integration, Flash [like it or not, you would use it if it was an option and done right in iOS (which means Adobe and Apple doing it right…not just Adobe)], customization, and usability. See my other post for more details but yeah…iOS is far from perfect and is behind the curve by a ton in numerous areas (hint: still tethering to upgrade/sync your device? yeah…behind the curve). Why are we talking iOS in this post? Simple: Android blows itself out of the water because there is a big fish in the sea and it is cleaner, swims in safer waters, and is predictable. What I mean is iOS does these things better than Android and these reasons could cause someone to leave Android, sigh a big sigh of relief, and never look back. Cleaner (Memory Management) iOS users...