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Samsung updates are more timely then ever – Android Authority

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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus back vs Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 2

Traditionally, Samsung hasn’t been the best at providing timely Android updates. The company typically waits to ship devices with the latest version of Android until after the release of its Galaxy S flagships, and security updates usually take a while to make it through the pipeline.

It looks like the South Korean company has finally started to buck that trend.

Related: When should you expect to receive Android 10?

Android 10

Samsung began pushing out the Android 10 update to the Galaxy S10 line in November, which was way ahead of schedule. Then, the company began releasing the update on Galaxy Note 10 devices a couple of weeks later. It even pushed the update out to the Galaxy M20 and M30 budget devices.

Now, the recent announcement of the Samsung Galaxy A71 and A51 promises Android 10 out of the box. Though we don’t know when exactly we will see these devices, they are expected to launch before next generation’s Galaxy S11 series. Plus, the upcoming Galaxy Note 10 Lite and Galaxy S10 Lite are also expected to launch soon with the latest version of Android on board.

It’s true there are still many Samsung devices that haven’t received the Android 10 update and likely never will, but at least the company isn’t waiting for next year’s flagship devices to start pushing it to select current and upcoming handsets.

Security updates

It doesn’t stop there either. The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus on the latest beta release have already received the January security patch weeks ahead of schedule. The company also began pushing the December patch to the Galaxy Note 9 and Note 10 lines days early at the tail end of November.

This is even more impressive given that Google has struggled to provide timely security patches to Pixel devices recently. Both November and December security updates fell several weeks behind, and the shiny new Pixel Feature Drops are still not here for many users.

Related: Buy a Pixel if you want timely updates… Oh wait.

The point is, Samsung is improving its software update rollouts and other manufacturers should take notice. The company has a long way to go, but it has also come a long way, and it’s headed in the right direction. We can’t say that for every Android OEM.

We’re looking at you LG.

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U.S. judge urges Apple, Epic Games to put antitrust claims before jury – Reuters Canada

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FILE PHOTO: The popular video game “Fortnite” by Epic Games is pictured on a screen in this picture illustration August 14, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Illustration/

(Reuters) – A federal judge in California on Monday urged Apple Inc and “Fortnite” creator Epic Games to take their antitrust dispute before a jury, saying the higher courts would be less likely to overturn the result.

“I know I’m just a stepping stone for all of you,” District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers said during a virtual hearing from Oakland, California.

Epic Games sued Apple in August, alleging the iPhone maker’s 30% commission on purchases made through Apple’s App Store was anticompetitive. The judge’s comments came during a hearing to decide whether to keep in place an emergency order saying Apple could remove “Fortnite” from the App Store but could not harm Epic’s developer tool business.

Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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Google to make third-party app store use easier with Android 12 – GamesIndustry.biz

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Google has stated that beginning next year with Android 12, it will make it easier to use third-party app stores on Android — but it’s also doubling down on its existing requirement that it get a 30% cut of Play Store sales.

As reported by Android Central, Google confirmed a Bloomberg report from last week saying that by September 2021, all apps selling digital goods through the Play Store will be required to go through Google’s payment system.

Though this does not impact the vast majority of developers who are already using this system, a handful of companies including Netflix, Spotify, and Tinder have bypassed it by permitting direct payments in their apps.

Epic Games attempted a similar thing with Fortnite back in August on both iOS and Google Play, and was removed from both storefronts.

Additionally, Google has issued a statement promising that it is planning to make third-party app stores on its platform easier to use for customers in the future.

“We will be making changes in Android 12 (next year’s Android release) to make it even easier for people to use other app stores on their devices while being careful not to compromise the safety measures Android has in place,” the statement reads. “We are designing all this now and look forward to sharing more in the future!”

These moves appear to be directly in response to the ongoing conflict between Epic and the mobile platforms, which has escalated into a legal battle between Epic and Apple, but which Google has requested to stay out of in favor of handling its own case separately due to differences between its business model and Apple’s.

Google currently already allows third-party app stores on its platform, and Fortnite itself is accessible via Epic’s website in the browser on Android, while Apple does not permit third-party stores at all.

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Google to enforce 30% cut on in-app purchases next year – CNBC

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Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai gestures during a session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, on January 22, 2020.
(Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

Google said on Monday that it will enforce rules that require app developers distributing Android software on the Google Play Store to use its in-app payment system.

The move means developers have until Sept. 30, 2021 to use Google’s billing system, which takes a 30% fee from payments, instead of independent payment systems. The announcement brings Google Play’s policies in line with Apple’s App Store policies, which have come under fire from developers and regulators over several issues, including its own 30% cut.

Apple has argued against scrutiny of its App Store by pointing out that other app stores, like Google Play, also take a 30% fee from in-app purchases.

Google’s existing policy said developers have to use Google’s billing system on in-app purchases made within the Google Play Store, but it had not been enforced, Google said on Monday in a blog post

Google didn’t name apps that had been skirting the rule. It said 97% of developers selling digital goods already comply with its policies. Netflix and Spotify prompt users inside their Android apps to use a credit card to pay them directly. 

“We want to be sure our policies are clear and up to date so they can be applied consistently and fairly to all developers, and so we have clarified the language in our Payments Policy to be more explicit that all developers selling digital goods in their apps are required to use Google Play’s billing system,” Google said in the announcement, signed by Sameer Samat, a VP of product management. 

Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, updated its Android software in August to allow gamers to directly pay Epic for in-app purchases of digital goods like colorful outfits, which circumvented Google Play billing.

Google responded by removing Fortnite from the Play Store. “While Fortnite remains available on Android, we can no longer make it available on Play because it violates our policies,” Google said at the time. Epic Games sued Google.

Apple also removed Fortnite from its App Store and is embroiled in its own legal battle with Epic Games. 

Google’s Play Store doesn’t attract as much attention as Apple’s App Store

Google has received significantly less attention than Apple over its 30% cut, even though its policies are similar to Apple’s.

One core complaint from Apple developers is that Apple takes 30% from digital purchases made within the app, which can hamper services like Spotify, which have significant costs associated with their services like rights to music. 

Android allows users to install apps without using the Play Store, including apps that distribute other apps, such as Samsung’s Galaxy App Store, the company pointed out in its Monday blog post. But, the Google Play Store is the way most users download applications on an Android phone.

Google hasn’t taken as much heat on its cut of in-app purchases, however.

Developers including Epic Games, Spotify, and Tinder parent company Match have created a nonprofit group to challenge Apple’s App Store practices, for example.

And, when Apple CEO Tim Cook testified in front of the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust this summer, he answered specific questions about which apps Apple allows on its platform and how it uses its power to hamper smaller developers.

When Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified at the same hearing, he faced questions about Google’s role in advertising, search, and data collection, instead of how much Google charges app-makers to use the Google Play store. 

Google said next year’s Android release will “make it even easier for people to use other app stores” without compromising user security. 

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