Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cupcake, the oncomming storm.

With Cupcake, Google closed a hole that allowed some devs to make some really good apps.

Many settings can no longer be directly manipulated in code. So far hat is on the list is: Screen Brightness, GPS, Bluetooth.

Truth is, we should never have messed with these settings in the first place. To do this we had to access APIs that were not public. Google told us not to in fact. But people (like myself) built programs that manipulated these settings, and these programs were celebrated in the community as being very useful.

Some companies abused some settings. Skyhook, a location API encorporated into a few popular applications (ShopSavvy) was manipulating the WiFi and GPS settings without user knowledge. This is a huge mistake which got them some very bad press and may have been one of the main reasons for this change.

I have no problem with Google removing access to these settings, but at least put something more controllable in it's place. Instead Google removed access to settings and have left no other option than to go into the Settings application and change it manually. And in doing so, over 100,000 of my active installs (ToggleBlu, FastBright, ToggleGPS) will disappear over night.