This week’s Android news brings competition with Google for the future of Android, more smartphone madness, an accessory to turn your phone into the ultimate universal remote and improvements to a number of popular apps. Here is your AndroGeek Weekly Wrap-Up for the week of August 25th.
California to Require Anti-Theft ‘Kill Switches’ on Smartphones ~ Reuters
It’s official! A recent bill to require the ability to remotely disable smartphones has passed. Manufacturers will have until July 2015 to comply and educate users on how to use the new features on their devices.
Why Android Desperately Needs a Billion Dollar Success Story ~ Andrew Chen
While Android might be dominating the market on devices. App developers are quick to note that developers are having trouble making a living in the Android ecosystem. Andrew Chen outlines what he thinks is the biggest thing holding Android back today.
Obscure Android Software Firm Attracts Google Rivals ~ The Information
Cyanogen is software firm responsible for one of the most popular custom Android firmwares available–CyanogenMod. As Android matures, more users are jumping ship from stock ROMs and customizing their devices. It seems manufacturers could be looking to do the same without the worry of the watchful eye of Google.
Fake Apps: Feigning Legitimacy ~ TrendMicro (PDF)
Trend Micro just published a research paper on the state of fake apps in the Android ecosystem. Studying Google Play, they found that nearly 80-percent of the top 50 free apps had imposters available on the store. Of these fake apps, just over half were malicious.
This Kickstarter Project Turns Your Smartphone of Tablet into an Universal Remote ~ AndroidAuthority
Once a common feature, the IR blaster has become a feature that is only found on flagship phones and devices. The AnyMote hopes to bridge the gap between your device and home offering a way to control most IR controlled devices without the need for a blaster on your phone or tablet. It looks like the project will meet its goals, but you can still lock in on an early device.
Samsung Has Finally Announced a Smartwatch Worthy of the Moniker ~ Pando
The smartwatch market has been volatile to Samsung to say the least. Fortunately, it seems they are starting to hone in on what a smartwatch buyer really wants. By including 3G connectivity within the device, Samsung is hoping to create new ways to use their smartwatch and provide better functionality for users.
OnePlus One to Abandon Invites Come October ~ Android Authority
Whether its the bitter aftertaste of their botched marketing contest or a better source of hardware, OnePlus is hoping to abandon their invite system soon. If you’ve been waiting to get your hands on this popular device, and haven’t already jumped to a different device, you might finally get a chance without spamming your friends’ social media accounts or posting selfies on forums.
The HTC Nexus Tablet is Spotted Getting Wi-Fi Certification ~ Android Spin
Rumors have been flying fast and furious about the Nexus device developing over at HTC. With certifications under way, the device could be arriving much sooner than many thought.
Cyanogen is Working on “Something Really Cool” with Nextbit ~ MobileSyrup
Details are scant, but rumors are running rampant. Cyanogen and Nextbit are teaming up. A recent require for private alpha testers and a push for funding have many questioning if we will be seeing a new CyanogenMod powered device in the near future. With Nextbits ex-Google and Motorola pedigree, that would certainly make sense.
HTC’s Smartwatch Tipped to Arrive in September ~ Mobile Syrup
Amidst the flood of LG and Samsung smartwatches hitting the market, new from HTC has been silent. Fans of the company will be happy to hear a recent leak places HTC’s entry into the smartwatch fray in North America sometime in September. Global releases will follow.
Minuum Keyboard Got Updated, Floating and Compact Modes in Tow ~ Android Guys
Minuum Keyboard offers a fresh take on mobile text entry. While it’s far from traditional in design, it works shockingly well. The latest update brings a variety of configuration options on how the keyboard is displayed and fixes a few bugs.
Nova Launcher Gets Updated with New Drawer Animations in Version 3.1 ~ Android Guys
Nova Launcher is officially out of beta! The latest update brings custom app drawer animations, the ability to search apps and widgets and a variety of bug fixes to improve stability and performance.
Pushbullet Update Lets You Respond to Text Messages from Your PC Using Any SMS App ~ Phandroid
Pushbullet previously allowed SMS quick replys if you used EvolveSMS on your device. A recent update adds the ability to use this feature using any SMS app to provide more ways to interact with your device using your PC.
- Parents and gamers rejoice! Disney’s Castle of Illusion is a steal for a limited time for just 99-cents.
- Turn any room into a party with a refurbished Jawbone BIG Bluetooth Speaker. Only $159.99 on Woot!
- Turn your tablet into a productivity beast! Woot! is offering new Belkin YourType Bluetooth Keyboard and Stand combos for just $29.99.
- Master waking up in the morning with the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock, on sale for just 99-cents.
- Beat the average price–currently under $5–and get 7 Android games from Stacksocial.
That’s the big news in Android for this week!
We’ll be back next weekend with a new list of bits and bytes for you to enjoy.