As a public service,
This QR code will invite your Android phone to install Disconnect, a privacy app that Google has banned from its ‘play store’. (More info here.)
To install the app you will need to navigate to your device’s Settings, select Security or Applications (depending on device) and check the Unknown Sources box.
There is also an iOS version.
That big bug looks fixed as of the new version of “Android System WebView” they pushed out yesterday or today. I downloaded the new version 42.0.2311.137 and things seem to be working fine.
You may have noticed in the last few days that some apps don’t work right on your android phone – they close as soon as you open them, or in the middle of using them. I had this problem with Handcent, and also with clicking on (most) articles on some (but not other) apps from online news sources. Many other apps are also closing unexpectedly. This is certainly a problem in my HTC One M8, and I gather it has hit some android tablets too.
The source of the problem is an update Google did to the “Android System WebView” app. Despite looking like an app, this is really part of the Android operating system: Google is moving to transition from having all Android updates come in Android version releases and spinning off parts that it update more quickly (and behind the back of the phone makers and cell phone companies) via the Play Store.
To solve the problem you must do 3 things:
- Turn off automatic app updates in the Play Store (unless they are off already). This will mean you’ll have to go in and accept updates by hand every day or two, but it’s worth it. Alternately, in Androd 5.x you can just find the “Android System WebView” app in the Play Store, then tap on the three dots in the upper right and make sure “Auto-update” is unchecked. This won’t change your global settings.
- Go to settings, App Manager, find the “Android System WebView” app, and uninstall the updates. This will revert the app to a working version. It might be insecure, but at least it will work.
- Do not accept offers to update the “Android System WebView” app (or if it does update repeat step 2), until there’s a version more recent than 42.0.2311.129 dated Apr 24, 2015, which is the bad one.
No word from Google yet when they will fix this. You’d think HTC would be on to them about it.
I think the phrase “pocket Stasi”, meaning a cell phone that tracks and surveils you too much, has legs.
I first ran in to it yesterday, in a review of the Moto X flagged by David Farber’s email list:
… essentially, it’s the world’s most sophisticated cluster of sensors you can wear on your person, and it’s going to know every single thing you do, whether it’s driving, sleeping or taking a walk around the block. Google is betting that you will love your pocket Stasi so much you’ll never want to be without it—and Google is right.
I don’t know what the first use might be – maybe LibrarianShipwreck, The Stasi Agent in Your Pocket?
Yes, it trivializes the horror of the Stasi — totalizing sensors are bad, but not as bad as a secret police, nor is Google a pipeline direct to one. But I still think the phrase has legs.
Maybe everyone else knew, but I was surprised to learn that the University of Miami has its own Android/IPhone app.
Of course it’s a bloated 10MB monster, but even so. Rumor has it you can use it to check out books from the library, but I haven’t figured out how yet. The map looks useful, but a search for “Architechture School” and “Law School” returned not found.
First impression: Looks slick, but it isn’t very efficient, and it’s not terribly user-friendly. In other words, all very Miami?
There was nothing in the documentation to suggest that 4000 or so Google contacts and 196 apps (including all the cruft you pre-loaded on my phone and I cannot remove), would bork the Droid Incredible 2.
Anyway, I don’t have 4000 contacts. The phone, or the phone-Google connection, seems to have systematically put in multiple entries for the ones I do have due to some weird effect of matching contacts.
And most of the apps are very small.
Oh, and did I mention that the DINC2 startup screen (pictured) always makes me think of the Eye of Sauron?