Android Developers Union wants to take on Google

AnDevUni logoIt has been a rollercoaster week for Android. Aside from overtaking iOS and Blackberry in US market share, iPad 2 hype and the influx of malware reports in the Android ecosystem have been racking up. Yesterday, Google trolled through its Android Marketplace to find 21 malicious apps that had over 50,000 downloads.

Now, Google may have some defectors on its hands. An alleged group of Android developers have created the Android Developers Union, which claims its members are “fed up with the conditions of the Android Market. We are tired of being treated like sharecroppers on Google’s digital plantation!” The group has seven demands, including renegotiating Google’s tax on app sales, public bug tracking, and algorithmic transparency, all of which Google has apparently denied.

Unfortunately the group is providing little transparency itself. So far, only one name is associated with the union – Rich – who says he was passed between auto-responses and mild threats when he tried to find out why his app was pulled and he had failed to make any sales. It’s possible his app was just that bad (it was called Rapid Download): Engadget noticed it was “encouraging users to infringe copyrights right in the product description.”

There’s some suspicion that this “union” is really just a one man operation – that one man being Rich. He claims that after his poor treatment within Google, he has invested his time into calling fellow Android developers to jump ship to other platforms unless improvements are made. Whether or not this is an effective movement (and we’re guessing not), it definitely doesn’t make Android look good.

Developers have been increasingly interested in Google’s mobile platform, and it’s been living up to its position as a capable iOS competitor. Either there’s a seedy underbelly to the world of Android app development, or a few burned coders are seeking some well-publicized revenge. It’s worth noting that Google was reportedly “not happy” with Android Marketplace’s performance in 2010, and was on a hiring spree to get as many developers in the door as possible. Still, it seems like if Google had created a sweatshop-app-operation, more developers would be coming out of the woodwork, tying their names to this cause. We’ll keep on an eye on their (or his) progress to see if the movement gains any steam.

Cars

Driving a prototype 2020 Passat at Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground

Volkswagen’s Arizona Proving Ground is where new cars are tested to the breaking point, including the 2020 Passat midsize sedan. Ride along as the new Passat completes testing ahead of its 2019 launch.
Computing

New rumors say the Pixelbook 2 could show up at CES 2019

What will the Pixelbook 2 be like? Google hasn't announced it, but thanks to rumors and leaks, we think we have a pretty good idea of what the potential new flagship Chromebook will be like.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now, from Super Mario Odyssey to Fortnite.
Mobile

Google to end support for Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich

Anyone with an old phone that is still running Android 4.0 may want to look into upgrading their phone, as Google has announced that it will be ending support for this older version of Android.
Gaming

Xiaomi’s Gamepad 2.0 turns the Black Shark into a mini Switch

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced the Gamepad 2.0 for its Black Shark gaming phone that launched earlier this year. The new gamepad is similar to the Switch Joy-Con, with one piece attaching to each side of the phone.
Mobile

Google makes it easy to donate to charity straight through the Play Store

As we head into the holiday season, Google announced a new feature on Google Play that makes it a little easier to donate to charity. Through the new page, you'll be able to choose from a range of charities to donate to.
Mobile

Midrange phones can’t do A.I., but MediaTek’s P90 chip aims to change that

MediaTek has announced the Helio P90 mobile processor, which it says will bring the best A.I. features we see on high-end smartphones, to the mid-range. We spoke to the company about the chip.
Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.
Wearables

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Mobile

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Mobile

The LG V40 ThinQ, G7 ThinQ, and Watch W7 are discounted for the holidays

LG announced a series of deals for the holiday season where you can buy the company's two flagship phones, the V40 ThinQ and G7 ThinQ, as well as its latest smartwatch, for between $150 and $200 off, depending on the device.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Mobile

McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T is yet another flagship killer smartphone, bringing powerful specifications to a much lower price than the competition. Now, OnePlus has teamed up with McLaren for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.