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Google

Google Charging OEMs Licensing Fees For Play Store 225

An anonymous reader writes "Google has begun charging OEMs for access to its proprietary Play Store applications for Android though the reported amount is as low as 75c per device. Between charging OEMs for Google Play apps, showing ads within these apps (Search, Maps and GMail) and profiling users with the data it collects this does show that Google is willing to leverage their stranglehold on the mobile market to control and monetize wherever it can. Add that these proprietary applications and the proprietary Google Play Services are the primary areas for Android innovation and development and you end up with an operating system that is less and less 'free' in the freedom and cost senses of the word."
Advertising

Google Glass and Surveillance Culture 318

Nerval's Lobster writes "Tech journalist Milo Yiannopoulos asks the question lurking in everyone's mind about Google Glass. 'It's an audacious product for a company no one trusts to behave responsibly with our data: a pair of glasses that can monitor and record the world around you,' he writes. 'But if Glass becomes as ubiquitous as the iPhone, are we truly to believe that Google will not attempt to abuse that remarkable power?' With each new eyebrow-raising court judgment and federal fine levied against Google, he adds, 'it becomes ever more clear that this is a company hell-bent on innovating first and asking questions later, if ever. And its vision, shared with other California technology companies, is of corporate America redefining societal privacy norms in the service of advertising companies and their clients.' He feels that Google will eventually end up in some sort of court battle over Google Glass and privacy. Do you agree? Does Google Glass deserve extra scrutiny before it hits the market?"
Android

Why Eric Schmidt Is Wrong About Microsoft Not Mattering Anymore 398

First time accepted submitter Gumbercules!! writes "Eric Schmidt said he believes there is a 'Gang of Four' technology platform leaders — Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook — Microsoft isn't one of them. I wrote about why I believe he's wrong and what it might say about Google's weaknesses. From the article: 'It's no secret that Microsoft have utterly failed to make significant roads into the mobile market place. Windows Phone 7 has approximately no marketshare (ok they have live 5% or so) and this has actually gone down over the last year. It's also no secret that Microsoft have failed to gain any semblance of "cool" and that they're also managing to drag Nokia down with them. It's not even a secret that nearly everyone who looks at the new Windows 8 interface-formally-known-as-Metro doesn't like it. However this isn't the whole story.'"
Android

Alibaba Says Google Threatened Acer With Banishment From Android 352

Spy Handler writes "In a Microsoft-esque move, Google threatened Acer with banishment from Android if it went ahead with its new cellphone project with Alibaba (China's version of Amazon), using an OS called Aliyun. Acer has remained silent on the issue, but Alibaba reports that they received notification from Google, stating 'if the new product launch with Aliyun went ahead, Google would terminate Android product cooperation and related technical authorization with Acer.' A possible reason for Google's upset is that the Aliyun OS, which is not Android, can run Android apps as well as its own."
Patents

Pinch-to-Zoom and Rounded Rectangles: What the Jury Didn't Say 147

CharlyFoxtrot writes "Steve Wildstrom at Tech.Pinions takes on some of the what he calls folklore surrounding Apple v Samsung, investigating what was and wasn't part of the case and how the media got it wrong: 'There's one serious problem with the first sentence, which was repeated dozens of times in stories in print and on the Web. Apple only has a limited patent on the pinch to shrink, stretch to zoom gesture that is a core element of touch interfaces. And the 826 patent wasn't in dispute in the Samsung case because Apple never asserted it. In fact, this particular patent does not seem to be in dispute in any litigation.'"
Handhelds

Thoughts On the iPad Mini 214

John Gruber at Daring Fireball has a thoughtful piece about the design of Apple's smaller iPad, which the company is expected to announce on September 12. Simply shrinking the current iPad's dimensions to a new form factor is unlikely, he says, and the bezel surrounding the display is more likely to be a cross between an iPad and an iPhone. He also discusses evidence of Apple's PR team getting the rumor mill going immediately after the announcement of Google's Nexus 7, and how Apple has probably bet on having a thinner and lighter tablet than Google, rather than worrying about a better display. Quoting: "Apple product designs are true to themselves. Each thing has proportions suited to its own nature. Consider how the iPad doesn’t look like a blown up iPhone. They share a few similar design elements — a family resemblance, if you will — but the proportions are different. The iPad has a thick bezel surrounding all four sides of the display; the iPhone does not. Why? Because you need a place to rest your thumbs while holding an iPad. ... Should not the iPad Mini fall somewhere in between? Not as close to the aspect ratio of its display as the iPad-as-we-know-it, but also not as far away from its display aspect ratio as the iPhone. You might need more thumb-rest room on the sides than you do on the iPhone, but not nearly as much as you do on the full-size iPad. If that assumption is right, the proportions of a 7.85-inch 4:3-aspect-ratio display iPad Mini are likely not the same as the proportions of the 9.7-inch 4:3-aspect-ratio display iPad."
Google

How Steve Jobs Changed Google Plus 243

Anthony_Cargile writes "Everyone thinks of Google Plus as a social networking website competing with Facebook, but that is no longer the case — even Google recognizes its failure in that regard. But in a meeting with Sergey Brin and Larry Page shortly before his death, Steve Jobs gave key advice as to what direction to take their company with regards to Google Plus, as is evidenced by their controversial new 'umbrella' privacy policy that went in effect this year. Privacy advocates beware, as the problem is almost certainly worse than ever anticipated."
IOS

iOS Tops Android For Number of New App Projects From Developers 122

Analytics firm Flurry recently posted a report comparing the new projects being undertaken by developers for mobile apps on Android and iOS. According to their data, significantly more projects are started for iOS than for Android. The gap has been slowly shrinking over the past few quarters, but it's still bigger than it was a year ago. "For every 10 apps that developers build, roughly 7 are for iOS. While Google made some gains in Q1 2012, edging up to over 30% for the first time in a year, we believe this is largely due to seasonality, as Apple traditionally experiences a spike in developer support leading up to the holiday season." The iPad's dominance of the tablet market is one of several reasons for the gap. "In Flurry’s estimation, the fragmentation of the Android platform is increasing the cost and complexity of app development, perhaps curbing third-party investment in software."
Android

Splashtop Drops Windows 8 Metro Testbed Onto Android 36

MojoKid writes "Want to try out the Windows 8 Metro interface on your Android tablet? Splashtop apparently has a solution. The company previously released a Windows 8 Metro testbed for the iPad back in April, and now it has one for Android devices, which is available in the Google Play Store. You'll need a PC with the Windows 8 Release Preview installed, but once you have that taken care of, you'll be able to poke around Microsoft's new touch interface on any Android tablet."
Google

Bing Search Overtakes Yahoo 169

SharkLaser writes "Microsoft's Bing search engine has overtaken Yahoo for the first time. While both Bing, Yahoo and a bunch of meta-search engines like the privacy-oriented DuckDuckGo use Bing's back-end, it clearly shows Yahoo's declining market share. comScore has also released its search data for 2011 — overall, Bing gained 3.1% of market share while Yahoo lost 1.5% and Google lost 0.7%. Yahoo's new CEO Scott Thompson has lots of work to do."
Android

Android Update Alliance Already Struggling 364

adeelarshad82 writes "Earlier this year many Android phone vendors and U.S. wireless carriers made a long-awaited promise, which was to push timely OS updates to all new Android phones. Seven months in and especially with the release of Google Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), PCMag decided to reach out to all those vendors and wireless carriers to see how things were coming along. Brace yourselves Android fans, you're not going to like the responses."

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