Google announces Android Pay at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The new feature is not a new product but a framework that allows secure payments support from other companies which works in physical stores and also apps. It also supports NFC and biometrics.
We are doing it in a way in which anybody else can build a payments service on top of Android. So, in places like China and Africa we hope that people will use Android Pay to build innovative services.
The European Comission announces that Google agrees to classify games that offer in-app purchases as paid instead of free, even if they do not require any payment upfront. This is done to comply with a European Commission guideline set to prevent children from accidentally making in-app purchases:
Google has decided on a number of changes. Implementation is underway and will be completed by the end of September 2014. These include not using the word “free” at all when games contain in-app purchases, developing targeted guidelines for its app developers to prevent direct exhortation to children as defined under EU law and time-framed measures to help monitor apparent breaches of EU consumer laws.
Google announces that they are bringing select Android applications to Chromebooks, starting with Evernote, Vine and Flipboard. Users can nominate their favorite Android applications to be released for Chromebooks.
Google introduces Google Auto Link (GAL), an in-car system that will be able to sync with Google Android smartphones. The system will rival Apple’s current Apple Car Play. It is the first product developed under its new partnership with Open Automotive Alliance. The partnership includes Audi, Honda, General Motors, Hyundai and chipmaker NVIDIA Corp . Developers who attend the Google I/O Conference in late June will be able to view the interface and a demonstration.
Google removes the ISIS app ‘Dawn of Glad Tidings’ from the Play store after it is widely reported by media. The app, which posts ISIS-created content including hashtags, links and images over users’ Twitter accounts, has been available for around two months and has been downloaded thousands of times. Google spokesman:
We remove any applications that breach our community guidelines.
Google creates the Open Automative Alliance to bring the Android system to cars. The companies in the alliance include Google, GM, Honda, Audi, Hyundai and Nvidia. The group’s focus is to integrate Android into the entertainment system. They will develop new features that will allow developers to add car modes to the apps. The alliance plans to launch the first cars in late 2014.
The Open Handset Alliance, a collection of 34 firms including T-Mobile, HTC, Qualcomm and Motorola, announces they plan to collaborate with Google to develop Android. They hope it will be the first open platform for mobile phones. Google CEO Eric Schmidt says:
Today’s announcement is more ambitious than any single ‘Google Phone’ that the press has been speculating about over the past few weeks. Our vision is that the powerful platform we’re unveiling will power thousands of different phone models.
Eric Schmidt, chief executive at Google, expresses that mobile advertising is twice as lucrative as traditional online advertising:
What’s interesting about the ads in the mobile phone is that they are twice as profitable or more than the nonmobile phone ads because they’re more personal.