25 episodes

Android Bytes (powered by Esper) is the podcast that dives deep into the engineering and business decisions behind the world’s most popular OS. https://www.esper.io

Android powers over 3 billion devices worldwide and is the platform of choice for over a thousand companies. You’ll find Android on smartphones, tablets, watches, TV, cars, kiosks, and so much more. How does Google architect Android to run on so many form factors, and how do companies fork AOSP to make it run on even more devices? These are the kinds of questions the Android Bytes podcast considers each week.

Join cohosts Mishaal Rahman and David Ruddock, two journalists with extensive knowledge covering the Android OS platform and ecosystem, as they speak to system architects, kernel engineers, app developers, and other distinguished experts in the Android space.

Get in touch with us at Esper.io if you’re looking to use Android for your product — we have the experience you need.

Android Bytes (powered by Esper‪)‬ Esper.io

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

Android Bytes (powered by Esper) is the podcast that dives deep into the engineering and business decisions behind the world’s most popular OS. https://www.esper.io

Android powers over 3 billion devices worldwide and is the platform of choice for over a thousand companies. You’ll find Android on smartphones, tablets, watches, TV, cars, kiosks, and so much more. How does Google architect Android to run on so many form factors, and how do companies fork AOSP to make it run on even more devices? These are the kinds of questions the Android Bytes podcast considers each week.

Join cohosts Mishaal Rahman and David Ruddock, two journalists with extensive knowledge covering the Android OS platform and ecosystem, as they speak to system architects, kernel engineers, app developers, and other distinguished experts in the Android space.

Get in touch with us at Esper.io if you’re looking to use Android for your product — we have the experience you need.

    How to distribute apps on Android without Google Play

    How to distribute apps on Android without Google Play

    The Google Play Store is home to millions of Android apps. It's most likely the place where you downloaded the app to get this podcast. But what if you're in that very special group of users who source their apps from outside the bubble of Google Play?
    On this episode of Android Bytes, we talk with https://twitter.com/lberrymage (Logan Magee), the developer behind his very own app store, https://accrescent.app/ (Accrescent).
    01:23 - Why do so many OEMs license GMS? What’s the importance of the Google Play Store and Google Play Services?
    03:38 - What are the considerations you need to make when designing an app store?
    07:45 - How do you get your app store on devices without GMS?
    09:32 - What is Accrescent, and how will it differ from other Android app stores?
    11:51 - How does Android’s security model work when it comes to apps? What is an APK file? What’s inside of an APK? How is it updated?
    14:20 - How have APK signatures evolved? What do APK Signature Scheme v3 and v4 bring to the table? How does APK Signature Scheme v4 enable the “Play as you download” feature?
    16:28 - Is there a way to secure Android’s trust on first use (TOFU) model for first-time app installs?
    19:20 - What do Google Play and other app stores do to get developers on board?
    20:40 - How does Google Play (try to) keep malicious apps off their store? Are these measures effective?
    26:08 - Should app stores take over guarding of sensitive permissions from the OS?
    28:40 - What is the advantage of bundling an app store with the OS image? What can preinstalled app stores do that sideloaded third-party app stores can’t?
    30:25 - How does Android 12 enable third-party app stores to perform unattended updates?
    33:35 - What is an Android App Bundle and how is it different from an APK? What are the benefits of app bundles and what are some of the downsides?
    40:25 - How will Google Play’s app archiving feature work? What is an archived APK?
    41:50 - What can we learn about Android app distribution from China?

    Android Bytes is hosted by Mishaal Rahman, Senior Technical Editor, and David Ruddock, Editor in Chief, of Esper.
    https://twitter.com/MishaalRahman (Mishaal's Twitter)
    https://twitter.com/RDRv3 (David's Twitter)

    For more about Esper, visit us.
    https://blog.esper.io/ (Esper Blog)
    https://www.esper.io/ (Official Esper site)
    https://www.esper.io/book-demo (Book an Esper Demo)

    Our music is "https://home96.bandcamp.com/track/19 (19)" by https://twitter.com/RNDYGFFE (HOME) and is licensed under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ (CC BY 3.0).

    • 48 min
    How Scoped Storage changed Android file access

    How Scoped Storage changed Android file access

    Get ready for a doozy. This episode tries to explain how storage works on Android with a focus on Google's on-again, off-again approach to scoped storage and how apps navigate it all. Hopefully you don't come out of this more confused than before.
    We talk with https://github.com/TranceLove (Raymond Lai), part of the team behind https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amaze.filemanager (Amaze File Manager).
    03:01 - How did storage access used to work in the early days of Android? What is the difference between internal and external storage?
    05:00 - Why is external storage mounted using a virtual file system? Where can apps store files, and what is the "Android" folder used for? What was the problem with mounting external storage as VFAT?
    10:00 - Why did Android 4.4 switch from VFAT to using FUSE to emulate FAT32? Is FUSE still being used? What is SDCardFS?
    12:07 - What is Scoped Storage? How did it affect external storage access?
    13:12 - What is the MediaStore API? How does Scoped Storage protect users?
    17:02 - What is the Storage Access Framework, and why was it so controversial? How did it affect apps?
    24:00 - How did Scoped Storage break file access on some Android TV devices?
    26:54 - How did Google respond to developer feedback on Scoped Storage before Android 10's release?
    27:43 - How did Scoped Storage change in Android 11? What is the "all files access" permission and what are its limitations? How did file managers get around these limitations?
    31:55 - Why did Android return to FUSE? What was the limitation with SDCardFS? How did Google improve FUSE, and what problems does it still have?
    38:44 - What is FUSE passthrough in Android 12? How does it improve performance?
    40:22 - How will Android 13 change file access on Android?

    Android Bytes is hosted by Mishaal Rahman, Senior Technical Editor, and David Ruddock, Editor in Chief, of Esper.
    https://twitter.com/MishaalRahman (Mishaal's Twitter)
    https://twitter.com/RDRv3 (David's Twitter)

    For more about Esper, visit us.
    https://blog.esper.io/ (Esper Blog)
    https://www.esper.io/ (Official Esper site)
    https://www.esper.io/book-demo (Book an Esper Demo)

    Our music is "https://home96.bandcamp.com/track/19 (19)" by https://twitter.com/RNDYGFFE (HOME) and is licensed under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ (CC BY 3.0).

    • 51 min
    How Android updates have gotten easier (but are still hard)

    How Android updates have gotten easier (but are still hard)

    We close the circle on our OSOM double-header here on Android Bytes. In this episode, we chat with CEO Jason Keats and CPO Gary Anderson about how they'll update Android on their new phone, the Solana Saga, and dive deeper into the Solana part of the device. What's the Solana Mobile Stack, what are its benefits, and what can people do with it?
    00:40 - Where do OEMs actually get Android and Linux from? What is a BSP?
    03:10 - What is a Generic Kernel Image?
    06:02 - What is Project Treble and Google Requirements Freeze? How do these initiatives affect Android updates?
    10:10 - What are silicon vendors concerned about when it comes to updates? Is there a clash between their interests and an OEM's?
    12:12 - How long will the Solana Saga be supported for?
    13:44 - What is the Solana Mobile Stack? How will the SMS use the Saga's secure hardware?
    22:08 - Should Google slow down the development of Android?
    25:26 - Sharing some thoughts on Android 13
    27:25 - What challenges did the Essential Phone's pogo pins present? Any other interesting stories?

    Android Bytes is hosted by Mishaal Rahman, Senior Technical Editor, and David Ruddock, Editor in Chief, of Esper.
    https://twitter.com/MishaalRahman (Mishaal's Twitter)
    https://twitter.com/RDRv3 (David's Twitter)

    For more about Esper, visit us.
    https://blog.esper.io/ (Esper Blog)
    https://www.esper.io/ (Official Esper site)
    https://www.esper.io/book-demo (Book an Esper Demo)

    Our music is "https://home96.bandcamp.com/track/19 (19)" by https://twitter.com/RNDYGFFE (HOME) and is licensed under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ (CC BY 3.0).

    • 32 min
    The OSOM effort behind building an Android phone (feat. Jason Keats)

    The OSOM effort behind building an Android phone (feat. Jason Keats)

    It's a two-part special on Android Bytes as we chat with two execs from https://www.osomprivacy.com/ (OSOM Privacy), an Android startup founded from the remains of Andy Rubin's Essential. In this episode, we talk about the company's first product, the Solana Saga, and what it's like building an Android experience from scratch.
    With us are OSOM CEO https://twitter.com/OSOMKeats/ (Jason Keats) and CPO https://www.linkedin.com/in/gareoke (Gary Anderson). You can learn more about the Saga https://solanamobile.com/ (here).
    02:22 - After Essential shut down, why start another smartphone company?
    06:38 - Why do so many smartphones use the same build materials?
    09:05 - What's the Solana Saga all about?
    15:06 - Does the Solana Saga ship with GMS? What is the software experience like?
    18:02 - How exactly does a company bring Android with GMS onto a new device? What are the steps involved?
    21:26 - What is a MADA? Why do companies have to sign it?
    22:17 - Why can't a company launch a GMS product with any version of Android and security patch level? Is this requirement burdensome?
    27:12 - How does one validate that their Android build will pass Google certification? What is xTS and how long does it take to run it?
    31:23 - What is a 3PL? What happens when a build passes certification?
    33:21 - How did Essential manage to ship day 1 Android updates?
    34:50 - How do carriers play a role in Android updates?

    Android Bytes is hosted by Mishaal Rahman, Senior Technical Editor, and David Ruddock, Editor in Chief, of Esper.
    https://twitter.com/MishaalRahman (Mishaal's Twitter)
    https://twitter.com/RDRv3 (David's Twitter)

    For more about Esper, visit us.
    https://blog.esper.io/ (Esper Blog)
    https://www.esper.io/ (Official Esper site)
    https://www.esper.io/book-demo (Book an Esper Demo)

    Our music is "https://home96.bandcamp.com/track/19 (19)" by https://twitter.com/RNDYGFFE (HOME) and is licensed under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ (CC BY 3.0).

    • 39 min
    A snapshot of Android's camera problems

    A snapshot of Android's camera problems

    On this week's episode, we break down how camera APIs work in Android and why third-party camera apps just can't match the features and quality produced by the stock camera. Long story short, it's a mess. What gives? And what's being done about it?
    We're joined by https://github.com/MHShetty (Mohit Shetty), a developer behind https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=app.grapheneos.camera.playandhl=en_USandgl=US (Secure Camera), the camera app on GrapheneOS and available to everyone on the Play Store.
    01:48 - How does hardware fragmentation make camera app development on Android inherently more challenging than on iOS?
    03:52 - Was there anything Google could have done in the early days to make things better?
    08:21 - Why don't OEMs bother with making sure third-party camera apps work the same as the stock camera app?
    12:27 - What are some features that OEMs can't expose to third-party camera apps through Android's camera API?
    17:20 - How does Android's camera architecture work? What is Camera HAL 3?
    20:23 - How will Google Requirements Freeze (GRF) affect camera HAL versioning?
    24:11 - How do third-party camera apps interface with multiple cameras?
    29:28 - What is the Camera2 API?
    32:52 - What is CameraX and what can (and can't) it do?

    Android Bytes is hosted by Mishaal Rahman, Senior Technical Editor, and David Ruddock, Editor in Chief, of Esper.
    https://twitter.com/MishaalRahman (Mishaal's Twitter)
    https://twitter.com/RDRv3 (David's Twitter)

    For more about Esper, visit us.
    https://blog.esper.io/ (Esper Blog)
    https://www.esper.io/ (Official Esper site)
    https://www.esper.io/book-demo (Book an Esper Demo)

    Our music is "https://home96.bandcamp.com/track/19 (19)" by https://twitter.com/RNDYGFFE (HOME) and is licensed under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ (CC BY 3.0).

    • 47 min
    The curious case of the removable eSIM

    The curious case of the removable eSIM

    This week's episode of Android Bytes actually https://blog.esper.io/android-dessert-bites-24-esim-me-1248143/ (follows up on) something our co-host Mishaal has been looking at for a while: a removable eSIM that lets Android phones without the technology built-in to access eSIM providers. We chat with https://www.linkedin.com/in/esim/ (Christos Omiridis) of https://www.telcovillage.com/ (Telco Village) who was part of the team that created https://esim.me/ (eSIM.me).
    02:09 - What is a SIM? What is an eSIM? Why does it exist?
    09:15 - Why bring eSIM to a device that doesn't natively support it?
    15:50 - How does a removable eSIM interface with Android?
    27:55 - What's the extensibility of modularizing eSIM from other FOSS devs and wireless carriers?

    Android Bytes is hosted by Mishaal Rahman, Senior Technical Editor, and David Ruddock, Editor in Chief, of Esper.
    https://twitter.com/MishaalRahman (Mishaal's Twitter)
    https://twitter.com/RDRv3 (David's Twitter)

    For more about Esper, visit us.
    https://blog.esper.io/ (Esper Blog)
    https://www.esper.io/ (Official Esper site)
    https://www.esper.io/book-demo (Book an Esper Demo)

    Our music is "https://home96.bandcamp.com/track/19 (19)" by https://twitter.com/RNDYGFFE (HOME) and is licensed under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ (CC BY 3.0).

    • 46 min

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