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It’s been months since Google released the source code for Android 4.4 KitKat, but some phone and tablet makers continue to release new devices running software that’s as old as Android 4.0.
While most newer Android apps will run on older devices, having to support older devices could be holding developers back from implementing newer features — and device makers and wireless carriers that are slow to release OS updates can also pose a security risk to their customers.
So what power does Google have to make sure device makers ship products with newer versions of Android? It can refuse to offer support for the Google Play Store and other hallmark features unless OEMs use relatively recent builds of Android… and according to a report, that’s just what Google may be starting to do.
Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.
- Report/rumor: Google to require OEMs to use recent versions of Android in order to get Google Play certification
If the report is true, it means in order to ship hardware with the Play Store and Google Play Services after February 1st, 2014 device makers need to load Android 4.2 or later. [Android Police]
- Microsoft working on Xbox Reading eBook service?
There are Xbox movies and music apps built into Windows 8.1 A Reading app could be next. [LiveSino]
- Hulu Plus gets more CBS content including classics such as Taxi, Brady Bunch, Laverne & Shirley
Hulu Plus is just about doubling the amount of CBS content available by adding another 2600 TV episodes to its library. [BusinessWire]
- Google adds Chromecast support to most YouTube videos embedded on third-party websites
You could already stream YouTube videos to a Chromecast using the YouTube mobile app or YouTube website. Now you can also stream videos embedded in most websites. [Android Police]
- Is BlackBerry working on an octa-core phone?
Leaked benchmarks suggests BlackBerry may be prepping a phone with a Qualcomm 8-core, 64-bit processor. [N4BB]
- Sad to see Flappy Bird disappear? Now you can ply a Flappy Bird Clone on a Pebble watch
The surprisingly successful, simple, super-tough game Flappy Bird was pulled from the Google Play Store and the App Store this week. But it lives on in a thousand clones… including one designed to run on a Pebble smartwatch. [Smartwatch Fans]