Archive for August, 2009

Motorola Sholes Hits Verizon Late October!

August 30, 2009

Source: http://ping.fm/HsBOu


Verizon Wireless customers can start (unofficially) counting down the days that an Android Phone – and a seemingly awesome one at that – lands on their carriers shelves. A leaked Verizon roadmap has unveiled a whole swarm of Verizon Wireless goodness and amongst it all is a late October release of the upcoming Motorola Sholes.

First we see a little “evolutionary” image showing which 2009 devices are taking over the presence of currently existing models:

vzw-upcoming

See that little “Upcoming Device Opportunities” at the bottom of the image? Perhaps we should pan down a bit and see what the future holds?

vzw-upcoming-2

I spy Android! The cost is still TBD but I bet a lot of Verizon customers will be willing to spend whatever it takes to call the Sholes their own. If you’re in the group, make sure to visit our Motorola Sholes guide and our Motorola Morrison guide and sign up for the newsletters – we’ll Email you as SOON as they’re available for purchase!

Great news for Android which will (hopefully) be available on America’s largest carrier in two months and even better news for Verizon customers who are craving the Droid. What a great start to a week for Android lovers!


[via Phandroid]


Archos’ Android-based A5S and A5H Internet Tablets outed by FCC, Available September 15th?

August 29, 2009

Source: http://ping.fm/7YvF8

This image has no alt text

You know those confidentiality agreements companies sign with the FCC to keep our prying eyes away? Well, Archos didn’t sign one. The result is a treasure trove of information about its new A5S (model 7501) Internet Media Tablet and a whisper of the A5H (model 7502) to come. The A5S looks very much like the 4.8-inch Archos 5 we already know and uh, know. However, there is a slight redesign resulting in a new location for the speaker and headphone jack as well as the inclusion of a microSD slot and what looks to be microUSB. Given the emergence of this new model so close to Archos’ Android launch event and the repeated mention of the 5-inch “Archos 5 Internet Tablet” in Archos’ own Android AppsLib store, we’re guessing this is the new Android device set for a September 15th announce. True, the single UI shot (pictured after the break) isn’t vanilla Android (it’s likely skinned a la HTC’s SenseUI) but it marks a radical departure from Archos’ current offering. The FCC tested 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and an FM transmitter and receiver on the A5S while a user manual briefly mentions 3G data, although the FCC didn’t test it. Perhaps that’s the secret sauce inside of the A5H model 7502?

The upcoming Archos devices are Internet Media Tablets A5S and A5H.













[Via Engadget]

Android Is At The Top In Mobile Game Sales

August 29, 2009

Source: http://www.googleandroidblog.com/news/android-is-at-the-top-in-mobile-game-sales

Mobile phones are becoming very competent and popular mobile gaming platforms. According to the largest third party application store, mobile games were 25% of all apps sold for the first half of 2009. That is a 6% increase from 2008.

AndroidG1BasicLogoNov5

According to Handango’s report, Android was one of the most popular gaming platforms for mobile devices. Games in the Android catalog accounted for a larger percentage of sales than they did in other smartphone catalogs.

Android isn’t alone in being a popular gaming platform. Handango also said that RIM’s Blackberry line was popular with mobile gamers, 36% of all apps sold for the device were games. The growth of mobile gaming is no surprise to me. We always have our phones on us for the most part and games are a great way to kill some time.

[via InformationWeek]

Wikitude 3 App and Wikitude.Me Released

August 27, 2009

Source: http://ping.fm/NdH6z


wikitude3Someone has been busy! In a Press Release published yesterday, mobile app developer Mobilizy killed two apps with one code, announcing the launch of Wikitude 3 and Wikitude.Me. The application fits into the wonderful world of Augmented Reality (AR) we keep hearing so much about. It is essentially a “World Browser” that allows location-based information to be overlayed atop your phone’s display when viewing the actual world around you.

Perhaps the best way to explain is through a video demonstration:

The huge news here is the combination of Augmented Reality and active contribution through geo-tagging points of interest. Even more awesome is that Wikitude supports logging in using third party accounts such as Yahoo!, Google, Twitter, Facebook and other OpenID partners.

wikitudeme

The Augmented Reality space is heating up in regards to AR Browsers… but I’d love to see AR implementations in more uniquely targeted opportunities for example applying it to an App like SkyMap or Augmented Reality games. Self-serving interests aside, the folks at WikiTude have done a great job and the app is worth checking out. Here is the full Press Release launched yesterday:

Mobilizy releases WIKITUDE 3 and an enhanced version of Wikitude.me

SALZBURG, Austria: AUGUST 26TH 2009. Mobilizy GmbH introduces WIKITUDE 3 for the Android OS and relaunches a completely new Wikitude.me geo-tagging platform. WIKITUDE 3 is the latest release of the Wikitude World Browser, the premiere mobile AR application for Android, which displays location-based, geo-specific content in a real-time augmented reality camera view on a smart-phone using GPS & gravimetric (compass) sensors.

WIKITUDE 3 is the latest release of the Wikitude World Browser, which presents the user with data about their surroundings, nearby landmarks, and other points of interest by overlaying information on the camera-view of a smartphone bringing information from the internet into context with the real-world. The Mobilizy development team has listened to it’s users and implemented several new features to improve and enhance the user experience within WIKITUDE 3. New features include:

  • Full Integration with the Wikitude.me user-generated, geo-tagging platform
  • An enhanced User Interface (UI) which tightly aligns with the UI in the forthcoming iPhone version of the Wikitude World Browser
  • Improved methods to enhance perspective and depth of perception of POIs (Smaller POIs indicate further distance, larger POIs indicate close proximity)
  • The search and viewing-distance for POIs can be regulated by the user with a sleek slider bar
  • New & Improved filter options allow end-users to choose which content overlays and POI categories are displayed
  • Improved methods for locating POIs through search terms
  • An improved radar-overlay displaying the user’s current viewing direction and POIs within a specified radius
  • An entirely new “Beam-Me” feature which tele-ports the user to a pre-defined geo-location, allowing the user to experience a specified geo-data overlay;

Currently, WIKITUDE World Browser 3.0 offers data overlay sources from Wikipedia, *Qype and user-generated content from Mobilizy’s Wikitude.me (www.wikitude.me)

Wikitude.me
Mobilizy GmbH has partnered with Netociety Ltd., a specialist in enterprise social software, to develop an enhanced geo-tagging experience that empowers individuals with the tools to create POIs and location-specific, hyper-linked digital content which can be viewed through the WIKITUDE World Browser. According to Markus Tripp, the project manager of Wikitude, “Wikitude.me is the first platform which allows individuals to actively contribute to augmented reality. This is an amazing and huge step forward in the AR industry!”

Wikitude.me provides an open, easy-to-use, free mobile information platform for anybody who wants to access or provide location based and situation-specific information or services via mobile phones. Basically, Wikitude.me can be understood as a platform which encourages community-driven content creation to which anybody can contribute freely, very similar to the philosophy of Wikipedia, but for mobile augmented reality. With regards to intellectual property, Wiktude.me is implemented under a Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License.

To get started with Wikitude.me platform users can login through existing 3rd party accounts such as Yahoo!, Google, Twitter and Facebook. The ability to add points of interest and “geo-tag the world” is done through any Internet-enabled device, such as a netbook, laptop, desktop or a smartphone like the Apple iPhone, Nokia N97 and the Android handsets which are available today. For each point of interest there is a title, description (250 chars), category, language, and link to a URL. Each POI that is geo-tagged on the Wikitude.me platform is also cross-posted on Twitter ( http://ping.fm/IkQDY ) to inform the global Wikitude community of the creation of fresh geo-content.

Mobilizy GmbH believes that the future of mobile augmented reality (Mobile AR) literally rests in the hands of the users. Our team can develop the infrastructure for Mobile AR experiences such as WIKITUDE 3 and platforms like Wikitude.me, but ultimately the end users will determine how mobile AR will be shaped. Mobilizy is constantly researching and developing ways to improve the WIKITUDE mobile AR experience by placing the user at the center of our development process
NOTE: POI data created by early-adopters of the beta version of Wikitude.me will be migrated to the new platform early next week.

About Mobilizy:
Mobilizy GmbH is an early pioneer in commercial augmented reality and the creator of the WIKITUDE World Browser, which is the first practical augmented reality (AR) mobile application. Available on Android (Coming soon to iPhone). Mobilizy engages in the research and in-house development of location-based services and augmented (mixed) reality experiences for smartphones. Mobilizy is one of the leading innovators in developing new methods and applications for data acquisition and exchange in the emerging market of augmented reality.

About Netociety:
Netociety Ltd. is a UK-Austrian based software development firm helping companies customize, implement and adopt social software, collaboration tools and best practice. Netociety facilitates the development of collaboration systems for engaging with customers, employees and partners. Improvements in innovation, change, marketing, and productivity efforts are focused on.

WIKITUDE: The World IS the Platform!


[via Phandroid]

Archos A5S Android Internet Tablet from FCC Report Tip

August 27, 2009

Source: http://ping.fm/EXZp4

Archos’ Android-based Internet Tablet has been prematurely revealed, courtesy of the company’s FCC report.  The device – which resembles their existing Archos 5 PMP, but uses Google’s mobile OS – has been confirmed as the Archos A5S (7501), as well as having an untested sibling device, the A5H (7501).

archos_android_internet_tablet_a5s_7

The Archos A5S has WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR and both an FM receiver and transmitter, together with a touchscreen and – going by the single image of the device powered on, which you can see in the gallery below – a custom UI on top of the standard Android interface.  While the FCC did not test any integrated 3G connectivity option, the (incomplete) user manual does suggest that at least one model will have it; it’s been speculated that this could be the differentiating factor of the Archos A5H.

There’s also a microSD card slot and microUSB ports.  We’re expecting the Archos Android MID to be officially announced on September 15th, hopefully with a price that puts it firmly in the “affordable companion device” category.

[via SlashGear]

Augmented Reality Traffic App for Android Surfaces

August 27, 2009

Source: http://ping.fm/Yf5so

One of the new buzzwords in applications for mobile phones floating around is augmented reality. This type of app takes an image seen live form the phones camera and overlays it with directions or other data as an example.

augmented-traffic

A slick new augmented reality app for the Android platform has surfaced called Augmented Traffic Views. The app overlays data on top of live camera view including images from traffic cams and other data. The app will even pop images up from other cameras along the route you are driving.

The only city covered by the app right now is Toronto and we don’t know when the app will be offered to the public. What we do know is that the app is very cool and looks like one of the more useful augmented reality apps out there.



[via BGR]

My Android Impression by Rom Feria

August 25, 2009

Source: http://ping.fm/yfMZ7

After more than a week using an Android-based mobile phone, the T-Mobile G1 from Manila Bulletin and another from a popular electronics manufacturer whose name I cannot reveal due to an NDA, I think I can say that I have sufficient experience to provide you with my impression of the platform.


First, I love Android due to its open source nature and its Linux underpinning as well as its Java development environment. This is actually perfect for a FOSS advocate and a Java Champion like me.  I have tried a mobile phone that runs on Java as well as a mobile device that runs on Linux and I can honestly say that the Android blows them out of the water. Google has done a tremendous job marrying these technology into a single (and still open source) platform.


Coming from the iPhone, the Android phones have a similar touch-screen interface sans multi-touch (which is coming soon with version 2.0). However, the iPhone’s method of organizing applications into pages is far better than having three pages and a slide-up page that houses all the rest of the applications. Whilst some will say that it is easier to have one single page with all your apps, personally, I prefer the iPhone’s app organization.


The Android integration with Google’s service is similar to how iPhone is integrated with MobileMe. However, Google does not charge extra for such services – calendar and e-mail. I have yet to sync photos to Picasa or documents with Google Docs but I know that there are separate apps for those. So if you are an iPhone user with MobileMe – you will be familiar with how this works.


One feature that tops the iPhone is the Notification feature. Whilst the iPhone has App Push Notification service for third-party applications and Push e-mail, Android provides the same service for practically all apps. All notifications are displayed on a single page (revealed when you do a swipe gesture from the notification bar or whatever it is called) – contrast this to iPhone’s notification service which displays on the the most recent one. I’d say “iPhone FAIL!”.


Another feature is support for background apps. Whilst this certainly is an iPhone deal-breaker, I find that I can only use one application at a time, with the rest providing me with notifications. What I find rather annoying with multiple applications is how to manage it. Apps do not simply quit when you press the Home button – they run on the background.


Sooner or later, it eats up resources and render your phone useless for a couple of seconds whilst the phone kills apps that are no longer in use. A Task Manager is a must-have application on the Android – so you can manually kill apps that are running on the background.


Android phones come with access to the Marketplace, its version of the iTunes App Store where you purchase and download apps. You can enable your phone to allow applications from Unknown Sources – akin to having your phone jailbroken. This is very similar to a jailbroken iPhone – get apps from iTunes App Store AND Cydia App Store.


Non-official applications do not go through an approval process, in which the app is tested for bugs and stability, and some tend to crash a lot. I have experienced this – even from apps from the Marketplace – apps crashed quite often. Another side of this is malicious apps – since you can get apps from anywhere and with Android’s Dev Tools practically allowing you complete access to the phone’s internals – that can corrupt your phone data or worse.


Overall, the Android is feature-rich but the user experience lacks a page from the iPhone. Case in point, open the browser and enter the URL – normally, you look for the Location bar to enter the URL of the site. This is how you do it on the iPhone – tap the topmost part of the screen (with the browser open) and the Location bar appears and you can enter the URL and boom! On Android, you open the browser, push Menu button, tap Open and then enter your URL. Open another browser window requires an extra step compared to the iPhone.


Speaking of user experience, the keyboard design is a little bit frustrating. You’d be lucky if you can get a phone with a physical QWERTY keyboard but new Android models only come with a soft keyboard like the iPhone’s. The Android keyboard has a slow reaction time – making it frustrating when you type fast.


[via Manilla Bulletin Publishing]

PAC-MAN Paved the Way for Android to have More Great Namo Games

August 25, 2009

Source: http://ping.fm/xdQcI

Namco announced today that they are committed to the Android platform as a major gaming platform with the release of four classic titles on the Android Market.  You can now purchase full versions of their best selling games, Inspector Gadget, Rolling with Katamari, Brain Coach with Kawashima and More Brain Exercise with Dr. Kawashima. These games follow the success of Pacman which was release for free to support the launch of the G1 back in September 2008.

“Less than a year after the launch of the first Android-powered handset, the platform has already established itself as the leading open platform within the mobile industry and its potential for mass market adoption is clear,” said Scott Rubin, vice president of sales and marketing for Namco Networks. “Android has fast become an important sales and development platform for Namco and we will continue to bring a broad range of exciting titles to users through the Android Market.”

You can read the whole press release via Business Wire


Sony Ericsson Xperia X5 (Nadine): Android Concept

August 25, 2009

Source: http://ping.fm/Qt2rn


First of all, the obligatory bucket of salt should get a few extra helpings with this post. The Xperia X1 is a great device, the X2 is rumored to be its WinMo wielding successor and if we’re lucky enough, the Android-based Xperia X3 rumor will pan out too. But a Phandroid reader (Thanks Jeff!) has spotted mention of another Android Xperia – the Xperia X5, codenamed Nadine:

xperia-x5

Let’s get all the misguided hope out of the way first. These are merely “concept” pictures… and pretty poor ones I might add. Looking at these images SCREAMS fake, not to mention the X2 and X3 haven’t been announced and the rumor mill would have seemingly skipped over the X4.

The image and info comes from a Korean website that seems reputable ( http://ping.fm/vohnH) and in their article discussing the Xperia X5 Nadine they acknowledge that the concepX5 “looks more concept” and the “existence of this product is still doubtful” but if they compelled to post the rumor we thought you should know – even if solely for entertainment purposes.

If you speak Korean feel free to help us translate the original article, otherwise here it is translated to English:

In 2008, Sony Ericsson X1 released shortly after they begin to have the news XPERIA series, X2, X3 be followed by X5, everyone will X5 this product conceptualization, especially as to the function of the current configurations can imagine be added to this phone. In 2008 the old experience, 8 million pixel camera regarded as the top offers, but in 2009, that the legendary X5 models have been equipped with a 12 million pixel camera.

Last year, more than three-dimensional bar design using Sony Ericsson X5, the new X5 design looks more concept. While the Sony Ericsson X2 seems to release more backward, but the X5 existence of this product is still doubtful. The latest X5 will adopt the sliding cover design and full-keyboard design, the overall design direction was continued XPERIA family tradition.

Sony Ericsson X5 adopted the Android system, rather than the XPERIA series usually Windows Mobile system, the fuselage at least 3.5-inch screen, built-in 12 million-pixel camera will be able to support the auto-focus, the Sony Ericsson introduced idou later, the problem seems to be not so difficult for a solid line. It can be seen from the design, Sony Ericsson X5 will be available in three colors. As for the authenticity of this phone, and when released are still unknown market.

Supposing the X5 is somehow real it would be a beast of a phone indeed:

  • 3.5-inch touchscreen
  • Sliding Full QWERTY Keyboard
  • 12MP camera with Auto-Focus and XENON Flash
  • HD Video Recording
  • Android
  • 3 Colors: (Chrome Silver, Ocean Blue, Sunny Orange)
  • Sony Ericsson AppStore

Don’t get your hopes up but that is what the poorly rendered and MS-paintified concept images proclaim. Mention of the Sony Ericsson AppStore is an interesting idea. Will Sony Ericsson act as an intermediary and use Android Market to fuel their own Application Platform? I hope not.

Then again why dive into that debate when the chances of this rumor panning out are a long, long, long shot at best? We can still hope *Crossing Fingers* but please forgive my reluctance to add the X5 to our list of Rumored Android Phones.

[via Phandroid]

Android Developer Challenge 2 – Now Open!

August 25, 2009

Source: http://ping.fm/I5DaI

Android Developer Challenge 2The official Android Developer blog has today announced that the second Android Developer Challenge is now open for submissions.

App developers are required to submit their applications to one of ten categories which include:

  • Education/Reference
  • Games: Casual/Puzzle
  • Games: Arcade/Action
  • Social Networking
  • Lifestyle
  • Productivity/Tools
  • Media
  • Entertainment
  • Travel
  • Misc

For each of the ten categories, the following prizes will be awarded:

  • 1st prize: $100,000
  • 2nd prize: $50,000
  • 3rd prize: $25,000

With overall prizes available across all categories:

  • 1st prize: $150,000 (meaning the overall winner will receive $250,000)
  • 2nd prize: $50,000 (meaning the 2nd prize winner will receive up to $150,000)
  • 3rd prize: $25,000 (meaning the 3rd prize winner will receive up to $125,000)

Entrants are reminded that all submissions must be entered before 11:59:59pm Pacific Time in the United States on August 31, 2009.

The Developer blog also stresses the importance of using only published APIs for the submitted applications, as some judges may be testing the apps on new or untested Android handsets.

Plan on entering the challenge? Let us know in the comments!

android-developers.blogspot.com + code.google.com/android/adc/

[via Talk Android]