Archive for December, 2009

Leak: Android 2.0 Might Come to T-Mobile G1

December 29, 2009

Source: http://ping.fm/JcCcK

Either 2.0 or 2.0.1 are being polished at the moment, it seems

Early adopters of Google’s Android operating system, namely the owners of a T-mobile G1 handset, might have a new reason to rejoice, it seems. According to the latest news around the Internet, there are great chances that the Android 2.0 operating system will make an appearance on their mobile phones, and there are also great chances that they will receive the Android 2.0.1 flavor of the platform.

This is a rumor that might stand up in the end. As many of you might already know, the G1 was said at a certain point in the past to be only eligible for an update to the Android 1.5 (Cupcake) iteration, while the Android 1.6 (Donut) flavor was said to be too big to fit on G1’s internal memory. However, Android 1.6 went just fine with G1, and there are great chances that 2.0 (Eclair) will also fit the handset’s flash memory.

According to the guys over at AndroidSPIN, there is no doubt that the T-Mobile G1 will enjoy an update to Android 2.0 or 2.0.1in the near future. There are no details available on the source of the rumor, yet they say that an OTA update is currently being polished for the device (for what it’s worth T-Mobile has been rumored before to be working on 2.0 updates for its Android devices).

“It has been confirmed that T-Mobile is releasing an Eclair update for the T-Mobile G1. The update will be at least Android 2.0 but more likely Android 2.0.1 as both versions have already been prepared as OTA updates. An anonymous source of ours has confirmed that both the Android 2.0 and the Android 2.0.1 are in the hands of some very fortunate people. Nothing can be released just yet due to Non Disclosure reasons,” AndroidSPIN notes.

The T-Mobile G1 was the first Android device on the market, and a wide range of updates were delivered to it, bringing forth numerous enhancements, but it is rather uncertain whether its owners will be receiving other updates too in the future. In case Android 2.0 is indeed on its way to the G1, it will receive a warm welcome from the handset’s users, that’s for sure.

 

[via Softpedia]

 

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Google Android Market: 20,000 Apps And Rising

December 16, 2009

Source: http://ping.fm/zpnkH

Google (NSDQ:GOOG)’s Android Market has crossed the 20,000 applications mark and is continuing to grow at a rapid clip, having nearly doubled in size in the last five months, according to a third-party portal.

A 20,000-app strong Android Market still puts Google well behind the titanic that is Apple’s App Store, but the progress suggests the Android Market is poised for explosive growth next year.

The 20,000 apps statistic comes from AndroLib, a portal and applications tracker that looked at the distribution of free and paid applications in Android Market and on Tuesday had the Android Market at more than 20,140 applications. Of those applications, about 62 percent are free and 38 percent are paid, according to AndroLib. Google’s Android Market saw the most software added in November 2009, around the time Motorola’s Droid smartphone was launched, AndroLib found.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt earlier this year suggested that Android’s growth would be explosive, and indeed, many of the fall’s hottest smartphones — from Motorola (NYSE:MOT), HTC, Samsung and others — run on the Android platform. Google itself has a Google-branded smartphone in the works called the Nexus One, scant details of which have started to emerge this week.

Most analysts suggest Apple (NSDQ:AAPL)’s App Store will hit 300,000 applications in 2010, with the Android Market expected to hit 50,000. In a presentation at the Raymond James IT Supply Chain conference in New York Tuesday, IDC Chief Research Officer John Gantz urged attendees to keep a sharp eye on how Google’s Android grows.

“Android is very distantly following the iPhone right now, but there will be some very interesting developmnts around the Google Android [platform] in the next 12 months,” said Gantz, who also predicted a “developer war like you’ve never seen” thanks to the number of mobile Internet users hitting 1 billion for the first time next year.

[via ChannelWeb]

Google Phone Nexus One Coming in January 2010

December 13, 2009

Source: http://www.googleandroidblog.com/phones/google-phone-nexus-one-coming-in-january-2010

Called the Nexus One, the Google phone is coming in January 2010 after Google admitted it had given employees devices to test. The Android operating system device resembles the unlocked HTC Touch, runs Android 2.1 on a Snapdragon chip and has two microphones. There is also reportedly voice to text features for the phone. Google crafted and customized the smartphone’s software and will sell the device online. This is a leap for Google, which has never sold hardware and has been content to furiously upgrade the Android OS and let carriers T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and Sprint sell Android phones.




 

 

 

The Google phone is real and it is coming in January 2010 to challenge Apple’s vaunted iPhone, according to a deluge of press reports in the wake of Google’s acknowledgment that a special device with new mobile features and functionality is being tested by its employees.

The Android operating system-based device, which people are calling Nexus One, resembles the unlocked HTC Touch, lacking a physical keyboard. It is also apparently larger and thinner those devices, perhaps coming close to the screen size of the Motorola Droid phone.

The device runs Android 2.1 (the Droid runs Android 2.0) on a Snapdragon chip and has two microphones. There is also reportedly voice to text features for the phone. The Unlockr has pictures of the device here.

Google ignited an avalanche of coverage when it gave devices to employees Friday for dogfooding, part of the company’s test process for soliciting feedback and suggestions. TechCrunch uncovered several tweets from Google employees who raved about the device, even when they were not supposed to discuss it.

“A friend from Google showed me the new Android 2.1 phone from HTC coming out in Jan,” wrote the GreatWhiteSnark in a poetic tweet. “A sexy beast. Like an iPhone on beautifying steroids.”

Google felt compelled to respond to questions about whether this so-called Google phone, a device the company is creating with a hardware partner but selling itself as a GSM phone independent of carrier help, Dec. 12.

Mario Queiroz, vice president of product management at Google, wrote in a company blog post:

“We recently came up with the concept of a mobile lab, which is a device that combines innovative hardware from a partner with software that runs on Android to experiment with new mobile features and capabilities, and we shared this device with Google employees across the globe. This means they get to test out a new technology and help improve it.Unfortunately, because dogfooding is a process exclusively for Google employees, we cannot share specific product details. We hope to share more after our dogfood diet.”

Given Qeuiroz’ comments, it is quite likely the device is this very same Android Developer Phone 2 in a shadowy picture on the Android Developer Web site here. Google began offering SIM-unlocked gadgets for $399 a year ago this month to let programmers test and debug Android applications.

The Wall Street Journal meanwhile confirmed previous reports and added some details (paywall warning), confirming that it is an HTC-built smartphone upon which Google crafted and customized the software and will sell it online.

This is a leap for Google, which has never sold hardware and has been content to upgrade the Android OS and let carriers T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and Sprint sell Android phones. That Google is allegedly eschewing the carrier crutch marks a bold step for the company for which there are many reasons.

Experts believe Google is doing this because Android is fragmenting — too many operating systems and custom firmware builds — and Google wants to make a device with which it is completely satisfied. Om Malik wrote:

Google’s decision to release a device shows that the company is worried about the fear of fragmentation of the Android ecosystem that we have often talked about. By putting its stake in the ground, the company is hoping that it doesn’t make the mistake that Microsoft made by dragging its feet in releasing Zune and ceding the market to Apple’s iPod. The iPhone, despite the issues with AT&T’s pokey 3G network, as very eloquently pointed out by Verizon in its ads, continues to sell like a monster. Google doesn’t have much time and needs to respond fast.

Others say Google wants to “own” the device because carriers hew to the competition and and can get downright Draconian about what features run on devices they sell.

For example, the Google phone is expected to feature the company’s Google Voice phone management application. Verizon has said it would support Google Voice, though Apple rejected it from running on its iPhone, which is sold exclusively by AT&T.

Experts expect the iPhone to appear on other carrier networks in 2010; a Google phone such as the Nexus One could facilitate that move.

[via eWeek]

 

Droid: Creepy invasion of privacy has never been so enjoyable

December 11, 2009

Source: http://ping.fm/F6eWN

In my last post, “Smartphones’ biggest drawback? Terms of service,” I shared my experience with my previous smartphone, the HTC XV6800 (TyTN), and how I came to acquire Verizon’s new Droid.

As far as terms of service, Verizon has changed their stupid GPS policy with new devices. GPS is a sweet experience, despite the fact that Google MySQL DBs are surely recording every action of every moment of your everyday life and trying to figure out how to monetize all of those things by delivering ads that will make you spend more money.

The ads, which appear as you move from app to app within the Droid, are so non-intrusive that when you DO realize that there are ads on the screen, it’s somewhat startling. But the most surprising, unexpected thing about the Droid, is that it’s actually, truly, a stealthy Google Phone (gPhone). That fact seems to have been lost by the tech industry and journalists. You don’t really activate the Droid until you enter your Google account – and once you do, watch out.

My Droid grabbed all kinds of information – contacts from my corporate account, personal account, and Facebook – and integrated it into the most cohesive and well-organized address book I’ve ever had. And it did this without asking me, telling me, or with me even realizing that this was going to happen. It did this flawlessly, but it was also a little spooky going into my Contacts book and seeing profiles of friends from FB, along with their FB pictures, who had never been in my personal contacts list before.

Google has successfully consolidated and seamlessly integrated YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, plus GoogleDocs, GoogleVoice, and GoogleReader, which all come together within the cloud. In fact, my experience with the Droid illustrates how neatly Google has been working to position themselves as the central broker in all transactions that take place in your digital life.

For example, I decided to use my Droid to post a video to YouTube and share the YouTube post via FB. To my surprise, when I opened the YouTube app, it took me to a YouTube account I’d forgotten that I had. Google hadn’t forgotten this account, though. Google is the giant, pink cyber-elephant in the room – and Google doesn’t forget.

I’m convinced that Google’s master plan is to get you to use as many services and features as possible so that your smartphone is always turned on, in your hands, and in front of your eyes. Ultimately, Google isn’t a search engine or a cloud-based app delivery company – it’s an information warehouse. Google is advertising, as much as McDonald’s is actually a real-estate company.

If this sounds like a negative review, let me be clear – creepy invasion of privacy and being cyber stalked by a multi-national global company has never been so enjoyable. The Droid’s ability to integrate, organize, and consolidate your entire digital life — your accounts, apps, sites, and digital information – is super convenient. I’d even go so far to say that it’s the world’s most efficient, accurate, and effective PDA to date.

And that’s the one HUGE thing Droid does that the OTHER one – the one with the fruit on the back of it – DOESN’T. The iPhone cannot match the level of integration that the Droid delivers because of the nature of the Google-ness underlying the device, services, and features. And even if that weren’t the case, Google threw in the turn-by-turn GPS to seal the deal.

However, these benefits don’t mean that the Droid is an iPhone “killer.” Droid apps are rougher, less-polished, and there’s a lot more evidence of the DIY, home-rolled Linux community core in the Droid apps – and frankly, that isn’t going to appeal to the broader consumer audience in the way that iPhone apps do.

Despite that, the 10,000 or so apps in the official Android marketplace are overwhelming. There are also several sources for “non-market” apps that don’t require you to do any special “jailbreak” of your phone or otherwise bypass security. We’ll see if Verizon leaves this untouched in the future – but for right now, that’s a significant advantage to the Droid market.

Clearly, the iPhone is the primary competition for the Droid and vice versa. Having 100,000 apps versus 10,000 apps seems kind of like having 40,000 nuclear missiles versus 4,500 nuclear missiles, when 1,500 would be enough to wipe out life on the entire planet. I understand that there are some “special” titles on the iPhone, especially commercial games, that haven’t made their way to Android yet. Time will tell if this is a technical limitation or simply that Android didn’t have the critical mass to attract those game makers. I suspect it is more the latter than the former.

Here are a few drawbacks of the Verizon Droid:

  • Application management seems a little clunky. Apps exist in a folder or drawer, and if you download an app, it goes into this bucket. You can drag and drop your apps onto one of three desktops, but there isn’t a lot of “management” or organization to the scheme.
  • Having MultiTouch disabled, even though PicSay illustrates that the device is MultiTouch-capable, is probably an attempt to avoid a patent lawsuit by Apple – and the touch to zoom works ok, but it still sucks to have to make concessions like that.
  • I also think Verizon’s insistence to charge an outrageous additional fee for tethering is ill-advised. Your 5GB unlimited data should be yours to use however you like, hooked up to whatever you want. However, if Verizon wants to put a “high-bandwidth usage” cap on anything exceeding the 5GB unlimited plan, that seems fair to me. What would truly be ideal is if some other major carrier (no, not T-Mobile… I said a MAJOR carrier) responded by allowing free tethering with an unlimited data plan.

Together, Apple and Google will begin to influence how wireless communications companies do business. I also think that Apple and Google will see the benefit in adding free and inexpensive features that are a value-add to consumers, whereas wireless carriers only have the incentive to monetize every bit of service they can in any way possible.

Frankly, I expect AT&T and Verizon will experience what it feels like to be a faceless customer that can easily be replaced and is only welcome as long as they are useful and generating positive growth and income (after all, Google wants to deliver ads – and they don’t exactly care where you are or what you’re using when you get those ads). I’m kind of excited by that prospect, because wireless carriers have got it coming.

The big change that the Droid brings isn’t the device itself, but rather how it positions Google – and how it exposes how carefully Google has been positioning themselves. The proof of concept is finally there in a way that’s going to start attracting people outside of the tech bleeding edge.

For good or bad, the experience delivers in a way that’s bound to appeal. I’m just not sure what we’re giving away to get to that point. At some time in the future, I may wish for the simple days back, when Verizon took advantage of me by charging me twice for the same service. Of course, that will be my last laugh – if Google, using Linux, delivers themselves to a place where they are far worse than Microsoft ever dreamed of being.

 

[via Tech Republic]

 

LEAK: The Google Phone “Is a Certainty”

December 5, 2009

Source: http://ping.fm/eT3tY

According to a trusted source who’s seen it with their own eyes, the Google Phone “is a certainty.”

And by “Google Phone” we don’t simply mean another Android handset. We’re talking about Google-branded hardware running a version of Android we haven’t yet seen.

Over the next few weeks, Google Phones (most probably in early, prototype form) will flood the Mountain View campus. They’ll don large LCDs while running a new version of Android—either Flan or the version of Android beyond it—which our source spotted running on Google’s handset as well as a laptop. (Whatever the software was, it most certainly wasn’t Chrome OS, we were assured.)

But maybe the most intriguing bit is what someone said to our source offhandedly, that the current Android, the we all know and love, is not the “real” Android. So what makes for a “real” version of Android?

Our best guess is an Android OS with Google Voice at its heart.

[via Gizmodo]

 

The pros and cons of the Verizon Droid

December 2, 2009

Source: http://www.googleandroidblog.com/phones/the-pros-and-cons-of-the-verizon-droid

Jason Hiner: One of the most widely hyped technology products of 2009 is the Verizon Droid smartphone, the first device to use the new Google Android 2.0 platform, which offers much tighter integration with Microsoft Exchange.

I’m Jason Hiner, and this week on CIO Sanity Savers, we’ll look at the Verizon Droid, from a business and IT perspective. We’ll talk about the pros and cons of the device and where it fits in for business. Stick around.

I’ve been a pretty outspoken critic of the first generation Google Android platform. I felt like it was half-baked, clunky, and a pretty poor user experience overall. However, with the combination of the Android 2.0 OS and some good hardware from Motorola, the Verizon Droid feels much more polished. Of course, it’s not perfect and it’s trying to compete in a very crowded smartphone market.

So, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of the Droid from a business perspective. First, let’s start with the positives:

  1. Solid hardware: With a slim form factor, a next generation mobile CPU, a thin slide-out keyboard, an 854×480 hi-res screen, and a 5 megapixel camera, this smartphone has some premium hardware.
  2. Web browsing: With a large screen, fast processor, and a solid mobile Web browser, the Droid offers one of the best mobile Internet experiences that you’ll find. The interface isn’t quite as a smooth as the iPhone but it does render a larger area of the Web page because of the higher resolution display.
  3. Email management: Android has always offered a great phone experience for Gmail, but Android 2.0 adds even more mail features and also extends that experience to corporate email with support for Exchange ActiveSync.
  4. Contact management: This is the place where the Droid really shines. With your permission, it can aggregate and  unify your contact information from Gmail, Exchange, and Facebook. The Quick Contact features also makes it easy to flip through your address book, find a contact, and then decide how you want to communicate with that person — phone, email, Gmail, Facebook, SMS, etc.

Now for the drawbacks:

  1. Applications: The iPhone’s biggest advantage over every other smartphone platform is the fact that it has over 100,000 applications that add a lot more usefulness to the device, including a lot of useful business functions. Android is a growing platform but it still has only a 10th of the apps that the iPhone has and the apps it does have tend to feel very 1.0 at this point.
  2. User interface: Although the Droid has a more friendly UI than other smartphone platforms such as Windows Mobile or Symbian, it’s still not as easy to navigate as the iPhone. The Droid UI is solid, but it’s still going to require a user manual to figure out.
  3. Overhyped: Verizon has blitzed the airwaves with ads touting the Droid’s merits and its advantages against the iPhone. That has raised expectations so high that it would difficult for almost any smartphone to match the hype.

For more on the Droid, check out my full product review. You can find the link to it in the show notes for this episode.

I’m Jason Hiner, and this has been a quick look at the Verizon Droid. For more, you can find my blog at hiner.techrepublic.com, and you can find me on Twitter at twitter.com/jasonhiner. Thanks for watching. See you next week.

[via Tech Republic]

 

Google Names Android App Winners for the Android Developer Challenge

December 2, 2009

Source: http://www.googleandroidblog.com/apps/google-names-android-app-winners-for-the-android-developer-challenge

The top app in the Android Developer Challenge sends late-night phone calls directly to voice mail while the owner sleeps.

In another effort to help it combat Apple’s wildly popular App Store, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) showed off the winners of its second Android Developer Challenge.

The contest includes a variety of judges from places like Google, T-Mobile, MTV, and Twitter, and it names the best Android mobile applications across various categories like education, entertainment, games, media, and productivity. The overall winner received $250,000, while the winner in each category received up to $100,000.

The overall winner was an app called “SweetDreams,” which will send late-night phone calls directly to voice mail depending on what the user specifies. An app called “What the Doodle!?” nabbed second place by offering Android users a real-time online multiplayer drawing game. The “WaveSecure” app took third place and it enables users to back up data, wipe data remotely, or lock down a phone remotely if it’s lost or stolen.

The cash prizes will likely be well-received as there are growing reports that many developers are having trouble making significant profits with Android apps. A recent survey by Skyhook found 57% of developers were unhappy with their Android app profits.

Some developers have complained that with the growing number of Android devices with different screen sizes and input methods, it is becoming difficult to optimize programs. Additionally, developers have complained about Android users’ relatively low download rates, as well as the requirement to use Google Checkout for buying programs.

By comparison, Apple’s app platform is relatively more streamlined because there are only three iPhones in the lineup, and many users already have credit cards tied into the iTunes ecosystem. But the App Store is not without its faults either, as Apple acts as a strict gatekeeper and some developers say its approval process can be arbitrary or unfair.

By Marin Perez

[via InformationWeek]


Overall Winners

icon SweetDreams
SweetDreams is a revolutionary tool that will finally allow you to go to sleep without worrying about changing your phone settings in order to avoid unwelcome late night calls. You can even use those inactivity periods to save battery power as well, and of course forget about enabling WiFi, Bluetooth or ringtones volume …
icon What the Doodle!?
‘WTD!?’ is a real-time online multiplayer game where one player tries to draw out a given phrase and others try to guess it. Features FFA and Team games, Global Highscores, Personal Face Doodles, integrated Voice Recognition and more! Real-time drawing!? Built for performance, you’ll really see the magic at first doodle!
icon WaveSecure
WaveSecure is a complete mobile security solution that protects your device, data and privacy. 1. Track your phone’s location and who is using it 2. Lock down your phone remotely, making it worthless to the thief 3. Backup all your data 4. Wipe out your data remotely 5. Restore your data May the phone be with you!

Education/Reference Winners

icon Plink Art
Plink Art is an app for identifying, discovering and sharing art. Take a photo of a painting, and the Plink Art servers will try to identify it. You can also browse our database of artwork by keyword or timeline and share your discoveries with friends.
icon Word Puzzle
The Word Puzzle is designed to provide a fun way to learn basic English words for preschool children. Kids can study spelling and pronunciation with flash card and check achievement with word puzzle. Interesting visual and sound interaction with awarding system helps kids to keep learning. Let kids play with your Android.
icon Celeste
An educational augmented reality app that displays the Sun, Moon, planets and their paths through the sky onto your camera view. You can navigate through the sky selecting celestial bodies to display interesting information about our solar system. See the exact spot on your horizon where the sun will rise and set.

Entertainment Winners

icon A World of Photo
Loosely inspired by the traditional “Spin the bottle”, A World of Photo is a casual, geographic worldwide multiplayer online game with a social touch. Players spin their phones and will receive a photo from whomever in the world they pointed to. For best play experience, let the app run in the background.
icon SongDNA
Need any information on a song? Practicing for a big karaoke gig? Music quiz coming up tomorrow? The SongDNA widget allows you to quickly look up your favorite song’s detailed information. It includes the lyrics, artist’s bio, homepage, highest chart rank and video. Handy when you’re training for your next karaoke gig!!
icon Solo
Solo is a great, easy to play and feature rich pocket guitar for your phone. A must for all guitar enthusiasts! Features include -Huge chord library with 380+ chords & diagrams -Load/save chord layouts -Play along with music on your phone -Overlay music & lyrics from the internet -Various strum modes, including shake strum

Games: Arcade/Action Winners

icon Speed Forge 3D
Speed Forge: Heavy duty hover vehicles, normally used for mining are now seen in illegal races organized in abondoned factories and dark Marsian alleys. The rock crushing explosives once used in these machines now serve a different purpose…
icon Graviturn
Tilt your phone to move the red circles out of the screen while keeping the green circles. Infinite levels from very easy to nearly impossible. Compare your performance with other players after each level (online highscore and statistics).
icon Moto X Mayhem
Jump, lean, and race through seven levels of amazing motorbike action in the best side scrolling bike game! Lean forward and back on your motorbike as you climb hills and fly through the air using accelerometer technology. Witness realistic physics as your shocks recoil when you land jumps! Or just flick your rider around!!

Games: Casual/Puzzle Winners

icon What the Doodle!?
‘WTD!?’ is a real-time online multiplayer game where one player tries to draw out a given phrase and others try to guess it. Features FFA and Team games, Global Highscores, Personal Face Doodles, integrated Voice Recognition and more! Real-time drawing!? Built for performance, you’ll really see the magic at first doodle!
icon Totemo
Unloose the spirit. Break the spell. Uncover the mystery hidden between the realms in a unique puzzle game. Storm your brain and relax your mind solving over 60 mind-soothing logic tasks. Play the survival mode for extra challenge and write your name into the on-line leaderboards. http://hexage.net
icon Mazeness
The goal of the game is rather simple – you need to bring all the balls ( up to 4 per level!) to their goals at the same time, with help of barriers, teleports and holders. It seems simple at first, but it’s not that easy. The difficulty is growing steadily from level to level.

Lifestyle Winners

icon SweetDreams
SweetDreams is a revolutionary tool that will finally allow you to go to sleep without worrying about changing your phone settings in order to avoid unwelcome late night calls. You can even use those inactivity periods to save battery power as well, and of course forget about enabling WiFi, Bluetooth or ringtones volume …
icon SpecTrek
Improve your fitness with this revolutionary augmented reality ghost hunting game. Walk or run around using GPS and your phone’s camera to find and catch virtual ghosts. You will experience a new adventure each SpecTrekking session. The game offers statistics, awards, titles, records, and most of all a whole lot of fun!
icon FoxyRing
FoxyRing makes your phone smarter by analyzing the ambient noise and adjust the ringer volume. Also: – Sleeping hours to silent your phone during the night. – Geolocated ringer profiles, change ringtone or make your phone vibrate only at work! – Widget to silent your phone for a timed period. – Great interface

Media Winners

icon Buzz Deck
BuzzDeck is the quick and easy way to get all the web content you care about most. Flick through your daily hit of favourite news topics. And get Twitter & Facebook updates alongside. BuzzDeck learns what you like and recommends cool new stuff. Simple, elegant & fast. NB: No landscape mode yet. http://mippin.com/buzzdeck
icon SPB TV
SPB TV is a highly usable IP-TV solution, optimized to run on mobile devices. SPB TV provides users with lots of channels in multiple languages with easy-to-use features and settings. No subscription fee! Requires a reliable 3G or WiFi network connection for proper streaming. Full-featured 60-days trial.
icon FxCamera
FxCamera enables you to take a picture with various effects. – ToyCam (Toy Camera Emulator) – Polandroid – Fisheye – Warhol (Andy Warhol-izer) – Normal *this app requires SD card*

Productivity/Tools Winners

icon WaveSecure
WaveSecure is a complete mobile security solution that protects your device, data and privacy. 1. Track your phone’s location and who is using it 2. Lock down your phone remotely, making it worthless to the thief 3. Backup all your data 4. Wipe out your data remotely 5. Restore your data May the phone be with you!
icon Hoccer
Hoccer is your application for ad-hoc data exchange. Use gestures to “throw” your data through the air and let the recipients “catch” it. There is no need for prior exchange of contact details.
icon Tasker
Tasker let’s you link any Task (action set) to the Contexts (application, time, day, location, event, widget press) where it should run. Send an SMS at 3:15 Monday, make per-app settings or locks, map camera button to a menu, launch music app on headphone insert, timelapse photos, encrypt on-the-fly, the list is endless!

Social Networking Winners

icon Ce:real – Everyday trends
Ce:real, What’s happening in this world? Are you curious about real world? How about North Pole or an edge of Africa? Also, it can be your neighborhood. It is offering to you hot photo stories with Twitter trends keyword which has speed of lights. Enjoy millions of happenings in real world and you participate in it as well.
icon SocialMuse
Check out what users on the other side of the world are listening to! Find people with similar musical taste, or just explore the world through music. Browse other users’ music libraries, listen to previews of their songs, and buy them if you like them. Check out their profiles on MySpace, Facebook and Last.fm.
icon SpotMessage
SpotMessage is a communication tool using GPS. Send a message designating a spot with Google Maps then the message will be notified when the recipient arrives at the spot. SpotMsg finds various uses; as an alarm reminding you of a task at a certain spot or for sending your friend a surprise message on his or her arrival.

Travel Winners

icon Trip Journal
Trip Journal is the ultimate trip tracking and sharing solution currently available on Android powered Smartphones. Impress your friends by sending them real time updates from the places you are visiting. GPS route tracking, record waypoints, photos & notes, trip statistics, KMZ & Picasa exports, incorporated Google Maps.
icon iNap: Arrival Alert
Ever wanted to get some sleep during a train ride, or a quick powernap on the bus to work? You either hoped to wake just in time not to miss your station, or set an alarm to wake you far too early… Using your phone’s GPS it will determine where you are, and wake you when you are close to your destination!
icon Car Locator
Save your location whenever you park, and Car Locator will navigate you back to your car should you ever have trouble finding it. – Points in direction of your car using GPS and compass – Radar view, map view, and split view – Parking timer alarm GPS and compass must be enabled. This free version expires after 25 runs.

Misc Winners

icon Rhythm Guitar
Plays like a real 6-string, 5-fret guitar. Strum and pick chords, make new chords, string them together to create songs, transpose songs to fit your vocal range. Great for songwriting, chord reference, learning radio hits, or even plugging into speakers and pedals.
icon Andrometer
Andrometer allows you to measure the approximate distance from you to an object that you can see. Uses GPS, accelerometer and geomagnetic sensor. Tips: – Keep as steady as possible – The further you walk, the more accurate the measurement – Must be outdoors with clear view of sky – Works best under 1 km
icon Calton Hill GPSCaddy
GPSCaddy allows golfers to quickly and easily map any golf course either out on the course using GPS or in the comfort of home using satellite imagery. Then, when they are playing the course, it uses GPS to tell them exactly how far they are from the significant features of the hole they are playing (green, bunkers, etc).

LG reveals its first Android phone

December 2, 2009

Source: http://www.googleandroidblog.com/phones/lg-reveals-its-first-android-phone

Android-based LG GW620 aimed at first time smartphone users and social networking fans

LG reveals its first Android phone The LG GW620 is the company’s first Android phone.

LG has announced its first smartphone that runs Google’s Android operating system, with a target market of first time smartphone users.

The LG-GW620 features a 3-inch full LCD touchscreen and slide out QWERTY keypad, and has been designed to be easy to use, and also includes features to provide better connectivity with social networks.

The GW620 comes with Social Network Site (SNS) Manager application, which integrates all of the user’s social networking sites and functions in one place, and the handset includes connectivity with instant messenger, threaded SMS and real-time push email functions.

The handset also has Auto Face-Tagging and Face To Action features, which allow the user to tag a face in a photograph, and then execute a range of functions by touching the selected face. A 5 megapixel AF camera and high- resolution video recorder capture add to the multimedia functions.

HS Paik, president of LG Electronics Gulf FZE commented: “The LG-GW620 will appeal to first time smartphone customers by offering a new and different kind of user experience. Our objective is to provide a wide selection of smartphones to satisfy the diverse preferences of today’s consumers. This Android phone is just one of many smartphone models we plan to introduce worldwide in the years ahead.”

The LG GW620 will be available soon in the UAE, according to LG.

[via ITP.net]