News by Andrew Kameka on Friday April 18, 2014.
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If there's one trend every Android users should be very happy to see taking hold, it's the growing popularity of manufacturers putting their apps in Google Play in order to make the update process faster and smoother. Sony is starting to embrace that trend. The Japanese phone maker has placed its Xperia Keyboard app in Google Play. Sony users already have access to the keyboard that can synchronize settings across devices, but the introduction into the Play store makes it possible to issue future updates without having to change and test the firmware package on its devices.
One of the features listed as important in the changelog is "new improved keyboard layout for Thai." Rather than go through the process of changing the entire software package and making sure there are no complications, Sony can use Google Play to issue a simple update to support the language. HTC and Motorola have embraced this strategy by putting most of their proprietary apps in Google Play as part of an effort to accelerate updates, and Sony is more of need of this shortcut than any other company given its slow update process.
Using Google Play to distribute updates isn't exactly new for Sony. The company has kept certain elements of its software, like Smart Connect for feature automation and Track ID for song tagging, as individual apps for several months. With the introduction of the keyboard in the Play Store, we can hope this kicks off the start of more apps being distributed in this fashion.
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.