At long last, Android OEMs facing lawsuits against bloatware

samsung

At long last, action is being taken against bloatware on Android devices. Samsung and Oppo are facing lawsuits over their use of pre-installed apps. Both companies are being sued by the Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission, as revealed in a report by the Shanghai Daily. In a study of 20 phones, multiple devices were found to have apps which were not only pre-installed but also unremovable.

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Report: Google secretly acquired ‘app streaming’ startup Agawi last year

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According to The Information, Google secretly bought “app streaming” startup Agawi late last year, an acquisition that wasn’t reported until today. The company built technology that is basically the Netflix or Spotify of apps—letting users stream games and apps to their phone without having to necessarily “download” them:

The search giant last fall secretly acquired an “app streaming” startup called Agawi whose technology allows people to access apps on their smartphone without downloading them first.

The acquisition, which hasn’t been previously reported, provides strong clues about the direction that Google is trying to move mobile software development.

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Pushbullet’s new ‘Portal’ app lets you move files from your computer to your smartphone effortlessly

Introducing Portal, WiFi file transfers made easy - YouTube 2015-06-16 12-02-00

Pushbullet is an essential part many an internet user’s every day routine, and now the company behind the cross-platform file moving app has released a new — and yet very old — way of transferring files from one device to another. The company’s new app, called Portal, lets you effortlessly transfer files from your computer to your smartphone or tablet directly over your local WiFi connection. It’s simple and lightweight, but that’s what makes it powerful. Read more

Google Play ‘Free App of the Week’ showing up in Family section

Google’s policies around pricing in the Google Play store make it impossible to offer an app for free for a limited time and then change it back to a paid app later. Once the developer makes an app free, their only option to make it paid again is to pull the app and re-publish to the store. Thanks to the keen eye of one Redditor, though, it seems that Google may now be offering a promotion similar to that from Apple’s App Store in which one paid app each week is made available for free.

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Leaked screenshots show the upcoming Hangouts app for Android Wear

The upcoming Hangouts 4.0 update was shown off by Android Police yesterday, but now the publication is sharing images of its Android Wear counterpart—something that, for some, might be even more exciting than the full app. It’s been a long time coming, but it looks like Google is finally preparing to officially bring its popular messaging platform to the wrist… Read more

Google’s family-friendly app section launches on the Play Store

Google Play 2015-06-09 11-16-41

We first heard about Google’s “Designed for Families” Play Store program in mid-May, and Google officially announced that it would be adding new family-focused features to the Play Store at Google I/O 2015. Now, a new section labeled as “New Family Fun” is popping up on the Play Store, featuring the friendly star mascot, iconic character categories, and more… Read more

New Android TV apps arrive as update revamps app discovery for the platform

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Android TV is getting a ton of new content today as Google revamps app discovery for the platform making around 600 new apps for the platform discoverable in the Google Play Store. The new update comes alongside Android TV update 5.5.15 that offers better organization for Android TV apps with new sections, categories, and improved navigation, opposed to just the selection of curated app lists that were previously available.

The new apps span across many categories from movies to news apps and games:

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Report: Nintendo’s next-generation NX games console may run Android [Update: Nintendo denies]

nintendo

Update: The WSJ is reporting that Nintendo has denied the suggestion:

There is no truth to the report saying that we are planning to adopt Android for NX

Nintendo has been keeping quiet about its plans for its NX games console, due to launch next year, but a report in Nikkei claims that the system will run Android.

The report suggests Nintendo is planning the shift away from its own operating system as a means of bringing more games developers on board after the Wii U was left with almost no non-Nintendo titles available for it …  Read more

More information emerges regarding Android M’s detailed app permission controls

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Earlier this year, a report emerged claiming that Google was planning on giving Android users more control over app permission settings. At the time, it was rumored that Google would add the ability to give users the ability to manually select what pieces of information to which apps have access. Android Police today corroborates the report from earlier this month and offers up a few more details…

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Incoming Google Photos app with ‘Assistant’ feature gets shown off in screenshots

Today we’re getting a look at an upcoming new version of the Google Photos app courtesy of some screenshots obtained by AndroidPolice. The app features a new Assistant mode that appears to replace the old Autoawesome feature with a more manual editing experience, as well as something new features and tweaks to the overall user experience. Read more

Google reportedly prepping to give Android users more control over app privacy settings

SwiftKey Keyboard + Emoji - Android Apps on Google Play 2015-05-07 14-56-34

According to a report this afternoon from Bloomberg, “people familiar with the matter” have said that Google is preparing to give Android users more control over what data gets shared with their apps. Users will, at some point in the near future, have “more detailed choices” over which pieces of their information that apps have access to:

Google’s Android operating system is set to give users more detailed choices over what apps can access, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter remains private. That could include photos, contacts or location. An announcement of the change, which would put Android closer in line with Apple Inc.’s iOS, is expected for Google’s developer’s conference in San Francisco this month, one of the people said.

More than likely, this is a feature that Google will be announcing alongside Android “M” at this year’s Google I/O conference which is set to kick off at the end of the month.

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