Google’s Android operating system is open source… but many of the apps that make Android what it is are not. The Gmail app, Google Play Store, Google Play Music, YouTube, Google Maps — they’re closed source.
Over the past year or two, Google has started offering many of these apps for download from the Play Store, which makes it easy for users to stay up to date even if they’re not running the latest version of Android. Updates to the Google Play Services framework also helps.
These are all good things for the user experience… but not so much for the openness of the platform. Ars Technica’s Ron Amadeo took a look at Google’s play for Google Play, and how it’s helping Google fight for a uniform experience… while at the same time it has the potential to seriously tick off companies using Android such as Samsung, HTC, and Amazon.
Here’s a roundup of tech news and analysis from around the web.
- Google’s growing emphasis on closed-source, tightly controlled Android apps and services
Android may be open source, but many of the most important components that make an Android phone good (like the Play Store, Gmail app, Google Maps, and search) are not. [Ars Technica]
- Nokia to announce 6 devices on Oct 22nd, including a tablet and big phone
Nokia’s holding an event where the company is widely expected to introduce its first Windows RT tablet. But that may not be all the company plans to launch. [WSJ]
- Microsoft temporarily pulls Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store
The Windows 8.1 software update began rolling out smoothly this week. The update for Windows RT? Not so much. Some users reported the update bricked their Surface RT tablets. Until a solution is found, Microsoft has pulled the update from the Windows Store for now. [ZDNet]
- Bricked your Surface RT when upgrading to 8.1? Microsoft has posted a recovery image.
The good news is that Microsoft has posted a recovery image which may help folks with non-working tablets restore their devices. [Microsoft]
- Maxthon web browser hits Windows Phone
Alternate web browsers. They’re not just for Android (and iOS, and Windows and OS X, etc.) anymore! [TechCrunch]
- SSD storage maker OCZ is falling on hard times
One of the early players in the solid state drive space has seen a massive drop in revenues at a time when demand for SSDs is greater than the company’s ability to produce supply. The future doesn’t look good. Other SSD makers seem to be doing better, which points to problems with management and not just the market for SSDs. [Slashdot]