OUYA at 499 games

Occasionally I look over the OUYA website, and today it had a nice looking number in the top right. Milestones like this make me believe what OUYA have achieved is pretty special; Afaik there are no other shipping #Android consoles which have built up a store of nearly 500 titles focused on the console platform from scratch, and it’s been less than a year since developers started getting their hands on hardware.

Android; why closed open source can be bad

In a G+ post comment I made a statement about how the closed-source components are detrimental to those OEMs who don’t sign up to the Google agreement for the GApps, and here’s an example; In JellyBean Google has starting giving approved OEMs Chrome as the default browser, but only gives it to OEMs who sign up to the GApps agreement. From what I’ve been told part of what you get is the GApps version of Chrome being used to back WebViews.

Sonys' SmartWatch 2

A few people have asked me how I’ve been getting on with the SmartWatch2 from Sony … The tldr is that I like it, and more than I thought I would. If you’re interested in why keep reading. I have a few main concerns with wearable tech, and the SmartWatch2 seems to address them all; Battery life; The SW2 needs charging about as often as my current ‘phone (a Galaxy S4), so putting them both on charge at the same time isn’t difficult to remember.

Importing Devices

I’ve often wondered if people who recommend importing devices which are only available in specific countries realise it’s a self-defeating practice. Companies monitor sales through channels, they don’t know where the end customers are. So if, for example, there’s a product only available in US, and you buy it from a US-based supplier, the company producing that product sees it as a US sale rather than one for the country you’re in.

Google Play Edition Devices

So in the last couple of months Google have released the Google Play Edition HTC One, the PE Samsung S4, Nexus 7 (2013 edition), ChromeCast, and the MotoX all only in the US, adding to Google Glass’s continued US-only availability. If you go beyond hardware there’s things like Voice, All Access Music, and I’m sure a number of other products which, if you’re not in the US, you’re not likely to be able to use.

Android Master Key Exploit

The details of what I believe to be Android bug 8219321 (master keys) are below. I’ve put this together from the Cyanogenmod bug report and patch, so if anyone has some better information I’d welcome it. When checking APK content signatures PackageParser calls its loadCertificates method, which in turn uses the getInputStream method of JarFile whose implementation is in ZipFile (the parent of JarFile) and looks up the relevant entry in a Map.

Leaving OUYA

Nearly 8 months ago I met with a few software engineers working from some rented desks in San Francisco. They were the OUYA engineering team. We talked, they took me through their interview process. I also had a meeting with Julie Uhrman, after which I went from being a believer that it could happen to a believer that it would happen and there was a place on the team for me and I could help make it happen.

Droidcon London 2013

I got a call from Skills Matter asking me if I’d be interested in going to droidcon London 2013…. well, it’s already certain I’ll be there, and here’s why; There are going to be several tracks at #DroidconUK13 , and each track has a track-master, a person who has volunteered to co-ordinate the track, sort out who talks in which slots, and make sure their track is appealing to developers.

Developing for different platforms

So if I understand this TechCrunch article correctly; Overdose Caffeine stopped developing for the OUYA because they don’t want to implement a control system which works well with an OUYA controller (and the article reads very much like they may have received an incentive to highlight another product) To me this article highlights one part of the value of the OUYA store; It stops users getting apps from developers who don’t understand the UX needs of a console.

Google Glass Hardware

Maybe I’ve been looking in all the wrong places, but it seems no-one has raised an issue with the current iteration of Project Glass hardware; The uncertainty over the future of its' CPU. All the reports I’ve seen say that the current hardware is running an OMAP 4430 and TI announced last year they were winding down their smartphone and tablet orientated OMAP chips, which is the segment where the 4430 lives (see http://goo.