Archive for February, 2010

Google: 60,000 Android Devices Shipped Daily

February 20, 2010

Source: http://www.googleandroidblog.com/blog/google-60000-android-devices-shipped-daily

Android

has been a pretty popular mobile OS for Google, and it’s been a hit with customers, developers and cell manufacturers, too. However, it’s hard to imagine that it’s this popular. Google CEO Eric Schmidt, giving a keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Spain, mentioned that Google and their OEM partners are shipping 60,000 Android phones a day.

Obviously, all those units aren’t Nexus Ones. In addition to the phone’s steep price, reports on the internet

say the phone is selling poorly. However, unlike the iPhone OS, there is a wide variety of phones shipping worldwide that carry the Android OS and some of them are pretty cheap, and appealing.

If you do the math, then by Eric Schmidt’s logic, you can expect 21.9 million Android phones to ship over the course of 365 days. While that may seem like a lot, it might not be. There were 8.7 iPhone sold in the last three months of 2009, which, would mean 34.8 million iPhones sold over the course of a year.

When comScore analyzed the smartphone OS marketshare earlier this year. They found that the iPhone OS made up 25%, while Android carried only 5.2%. You can expect this to change – though. Only one company sells and manufacturers devices that use the iPhone OS on a mobile phone. Multiple companies make Android phones and sell them at multiple price points.

Furthermore, a wave of “cheap” smartphones could be coming. We’ve seen Marvell and ST-Ericsson show off low-cost smartphone chipset platforms that are designed for Android. As you can imagine, these low-end handsets will only further expand Android’s marketshare.

Garmin Outs First Android nuvifone

February 12, 2010

Source: http://ping.fm/n0t5h

Just a days before Mobile World Congress, Garmin-Asus today unveiled their nuvifone A50, the company’s first Google Android OS device.

The A50 will come loaded with location-based features, including geotags for digital photos, texts, and emails in addition to a host of Google services like YouTube, Gmail, and Google Maps.

Location, Location, Location
Garmin-Asus touts the A50 as an “Android smartphone with more location technology than any other smartphone.” The A50 will receive all location information from Garmin’s satellite, network, and terrestrial sources. All maps will be preloaded on the A50, meaning the device retains Garmin navigation even if the cell loses reception.

In addition, the device will feature additional apps for weather, traffic, fuel price, safety camera, and flight status information. Garmin did not mention pricing for these services, but there was a monthly fee for similar features on the Nuvifone G60.

City-based users can also download cityXplorer for public transit information and navigation using the A50’s e-compass.

A50 Specifications
The nuviphone A50 will have a 3.5 inch HVGA capacitive Touchscreen with an accelerometer, 4GB internal storage, microSD slot, 3 megapixel camera, and a multitouch capable WebKit browser.

The device will also sync with Exchange servers for business users. For drivers, the A50 will ship with a car mount and vehicle power cable.

Pricing and Availability
The nuvifone A50 is slated for European release during the first half of 2010. There is no word on US availability or pricing.

[via Brighthand]

 

Oops! Motorola Jumps the Gun on Droid Upgrade Announcement

February 12, 2010

Source: http://www.googleandroidblog.com/news/oops-motorola-jumps-the-gun-on-droid-upgrade-announcement

Motorola and AndroidMotorola, it seems, has suffered an embarrassing bout of premature release.

Monday afternoon, the company announced on its Facebook page that the Android 2.1 update would beginning hitting Droid handsets this week. The reaction was huge: nearly 800 “likes” and pages upon pages of excitement-filled comments.

Now, however, the company says the announcement was made in error.

Where’s that damn undo button when you need it?

Motorola’s Android Announcement

Motorola Droid and Android 2.1 Android 2.1 entered the world with the release of Google’s Nexus One last month. At the time of the launch, Motorola said the software update would be reaching the Droid and other Android phones at some point in the near future.

Fast-forward to this past Monday, when the following message appeared on Motorola’s official Facebook fan page:

“Hi all — we know you are frustrated with the lack of details regarding Android software upgrades and we sincerely apologize for not being able to share info sooner. We’re happy to relay the 2.1 upgrade to DROID will start to roll out this week, and we will have more information to share on other device upgrades later this week as well. Thanks for your patience and continued support.”

Motorola DroidAll seemed peachy until yesterday, when a manager at Motorola’s official support forum posted a message saying the update was not, in fact, ready to go.

“How embarrassing,” he wrote. “Apparently we jumped the gun on these details.”

He reiterated the mistake in a later posting, saying: “The details posted here and on the support site were prematurely released for public view. They have been removed from both places.”

(See? I wasn’t lying about that premature release business. I guess it really does happen to everyone.)

Motorola’s Droid and Android 2.1

All right, so what’s the story now? A representative from Motorola tells me the Android 2.1 update is expected to roll-out to Droid owners “soon,” though she was not able to provide a specific time frame for its debut. She did confirm that it would be sent over-the-air as a free download, as typically occurs with mobile OS updates.

So stay tuned, my fellow Droid owners. With any luck, this delay won’t last long.

In the meantime, if you want somewhere else to channel your frustrations, go read this story. It’ll make you appreciate Android’s open nature — or, at the very least, give you an uplifting chuckle.

[via PC World]


Android Updates: Flash 10.1, Android 2.1 Coming Soon

February 11, 2010

Source: http://ping.fm/PayVw

The news concerning Android and its ever-swelling flock of smartphones fails to cease. Today’s tidbits include more information about Android 2.1 for the Motorola Droid and HTC Hero, as well as an update on Flash 10.1.

Android 2.1 on Droid

We heard earlier this week from Motorola that it planned to make Android 2.1 available to the Motorola Droid sometime “this week.” While we wait, Moto thought it would update us on what’s in store. According to Motorola, the Droid will not only gain multitouch in Google Maps, but also in the browser and gallery applications. On top of that, a new gallery app, new music app, new news app, and new weather app will all be included. Also on board will be Google Goggles and voice recognition and virtual keyboard enhancements. Sounds good to me. Bring it on!

Android 2.1 on HTC Hero

Remember the Hero? HTC announced its third Android device back in the second quarter of 2009. There’s an international version of the device, as well as the CDMA-toting versions offered by Sprint and Verizon Wireless (as the Droid Eris). Well, HTC has officially said that it will be offering Android 2.1 along with an upgraded version of Sense UI to the international GSM version of the Hero. Sprint and Verizon have also indicated that their version of the device will receive updates. Exact time frames were not provided.

Flash 10.1 for Android

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Adobe about Flash Player 10.1. According to Adobe, the player is on track for the delivery to consumers during the first half of the year. Adobe wouldn’t be any more specific than that. Adobe is also hard at work on developer betas for WinMo and webOS. Beta versions of the desktop client are already available for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows 7.

Flash Player 10.1 will work in concert with the native Android browser to make sure that Flash video content plays on Android devices seamlessly, just as it would on the desktop.

[via InformationWeek]

 

The news concerning Android and its ever-swelling flock of smartphones fails to cease. Today’s tidbits include more information about Android 2.1 for the Motorola Droid and HTC Hero, as well as an update on Flash 10.1.

Leaked: HTC Scorpion Features WiMax, 1.5 GHz Processor, Android 2.2

February 11, 2010

Source: http://ping.fm/Jiavg

mk-scorpion

The Android onslaught continues. According to a leaked build file  published on AndroidSPIN, the next HTC Android device to make a big splash in the market will be the Scorpion a.k.a. Olympian. While the site posts a disclaimer that it can’t validate the authenticity of the information, what we see is certainly impressive.

The indication is that the Scorpion will get a 1.5 GHz Snapdragon processor under the hood. It will feature WiMax compatibility and will run the FRE65C build of Android 2.2. If these specs hold true, this phone should leave current Android owners drooling with envy.

Engadget speculates that it could be a rumored smartbook as opposed to a handset.

There’s no word or speculation on when exactly the Scorpion will hit the market, but it’s not expected for some time. Until then, we’re stuck with the Nexus One and Droid. [AndoridSpin via BGR]

[via GadgetCrave]

T-Mobile myTouch 3G Gets a Hardware Upgrade

February 11, 2010

Source: http://www.googleandroidblog.com/phones/t-mobile-mytouch-3g-gets-a-hardware-upgrade

T-Mobile has released a new version of the myTouch 3G. It now offers more memory, twice as much storage, and a more standard headphone jack, but the price for this Android OS-based smartphones stays the same.

The new version — which goes under the same name as its predecessor — is bundled with an 8 GB microSD memory card, while its predecessor came with a 4 GB one. It also has more RAM than the original: 288 MB.

T-Mobile myTouch 3GInstead of using the mini-USB slot for its headphones, the updated myTouch 3G has a standard 3.5 mm headset jack.

In addition, T-Mobile has added some software, most notably Swype, a system designed to make it easier for users to enter text on the touchscreen.

Aside from these changes, though, this new version is essentially identical to its predecessor.

An overview of the T-Mobile myTouch 3G
This model has tablet shape with a 3.2-inch HVGA Touchscreen and a trackball on its front.  For text input, it depends on a virtual keyboard, which can change orientation automatically from portrait to landscape mode, depending on how it is held.

With the name “myTouch 3G” it’s no surprise that this phone supports T-Mobile’s high-speed network; it also has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The Android OS was created by Google, and has strong ties to this company’s online services for email, calendar, navigation, and more.

Other consumer-friendly features in the myTouch 3G include a multimedia player, built-in 3.2-megapixel camera, and more. To make full use of these features, the myTouch 3G comes with a GPS receiver and an 8 GB microSD memory card for storing music, videos, and images.

It is available in three colors: black, white and red.

Pricing & Availability
The T-Mobile myTouch 3G sell for $150. Naturally, getting this price requires a two-year service contract.

Although this carrier says it is launching the new version today, it is currently listed as “Coming Soon” on its website.

For more information or to place an order, go to T-Mobile’s website.

 

[via BrightHand]

Droid Gets Android 2.1 Update

February 9, 2010

Source: http://ping.fm/Xihtl

Motorola announced via its Facebook page yesterday that the Droid will be getting an over-the-air (OTA) update to Android 2.1. The new version of the Android OS (a.k.a. Eclaire), is currently running only on Google’s Nexus One.

Motorola announced the forthcoming update for later this week and apologized to Droid users for a lack of details on which functions will be included.

“Motorola Hi all – we know you are frustrated with the lack of details regarding Android software upgrades and we sincerely apologize for not being able to share info sooner. We’re happy to relay the 2.1 upgrade to DROID will start to roll out this week, and we will have more information to share on other device upgrades later this week as well,” Motorola posted on its Facebook page.

The Droid was released running Android 2.0 and has since received one OTA to version 2.0.1.

 

[via Wireless Week]

 

A pretty chart of top apps for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry

February 6, 2010

Source: http://ping.fm/N47Tc

Mplayit, maker of the mobile app catalog that lives inside Facebook, will release a report later today that lists the top games in their collection. Tetris, The Sims 3, and Wheel of Fortune are among the winners. So are Tap Tap Revenge and Rock Band.

On Mplayit, users can rate, comment on, and recommend individual apps to their social network on Facebook and Twitter. They can browse friends’ app collections, and follow their interests.

The most interesting stat in the report is that while games account for only one in five of the 130,000 iPhone apps at Mplayit, they’re half the traffic. By contrast, games are only 30 percent of BlackBerry traffic and 20 percent of Android.

“iPhone developers are driving this phenomenon, putting out simply fantastic games that get people excited,” Mplayit founder and CEO Michael Powers said in a press release going out today. “But the developer catch-up is underway on Android.”

What about my BlackBerry? “Although BlackBerry is renowned for apps,” Powers said, “it continues to be underrated and overlooked as a games platform.”

Gaming interests vary across platforms, in ways you could probably guess. Music games like Rock Band are popular on the iPhone. Android users like games that use the phone’s GPS and camera, as well as augmented reality games like Barcode Beasties.

BlackBerry users prefer to read the Wall Street Journal on their phones. I’m kidding. Mplayit says they’re a less youth-culture oriented than iPhone and Android owners. They prefer TV and movie-related games like Deal or No Deal, and CSI Miami, and traditional card games like GT Blackjack and Aces Solitaire.

Mplayit has prepared an easy-to-read chart of the top games by phone type and game category.

 

[via VentureBeat]

 

Dropbox For Android On The Way

February 6, 2010

Source: http://ping.fm/BVrD4

For starters, let me just say that this is a service that I can DEFINITELY see myself using even WITHOUT the Android application. The fact that Dropbox is coming to Android is pretty awesome and if you don’t know what it is… I think you’re really going to like it.

Essentially Dropbox is syncing software. On any computer/phone to which you install Dropbox, a “shared” folder will be created. Add stuff to that folder from 1 device and it will be synced across ALL devices. The app is already out there for the iPhone and the folks at AppVee did a pretty good/helpful review/summary:

Apparently the folks at Dropbox sent out an E-Mail to their customers saying something to the extent of, “Android users have a lot to look forward to!” We followed up with them and they said they are working hard on the Android app and also said if we know any developers who might want to work on it… let them know.

The developer part makes me think a release is anything but imminent, but I can tell you as SOON as Dropbox launches on Android Market I’m going to become a customer. I have a desktop computer, 2 laptops and a phone and having documents on some and not others is a HUGE pain in the butt. I have been reluctant to find a solution but it looks like the solution may have found me!

Any current Dropbox users out there that this excites? Any future Dropbox users based on learning about the service?

FYI Dropbox pricing is as follows:

  • 2GB = FREE
  • 50GB = $9.99/month
  • 100GB = $19.99/month

I’m unsure if the app will have to be purchased or whether it will be a free app that is only usable if you’ve already got a paying Dropbox account… or something else. But I’m eager regardless!

[via Phandroid]

 

Symbian Foundation Opens Sources Platform

February 5, 2010

Source: http://ping.fm/eLhbg

The Symbian Foundation announced this week that the source code for the platform is now entirely open source software. It is distributed under the terms of the permissive Eclipse Public License and can be modified and redistributed at no cost.

Symbian’s path to openness began in 2008 when Nokia, which already owned half of the company, acquired the rest of the shares. In a partnership with other Symbian stakeholders, Nokia launched the independent Symbian Foundation with the aim of building a vendor-neutral ecosystem to advance the platform and facilitate its transition into an open source software project.

During the early stages of the transition, the code remained proprietary but was made available under royalty-free terms to members of the foundation. Last year, the organization began the process of relicensing the platform’s source code, starting with Symbian’s EKA2 microkernel.

Virtually all of the remaining code has now been opened, several months ahead of the foundation’s original schedule. The code has been published in Mercurial version control repositories that are hosted on the foundation’s Web server. The foundation will soon be shifting its focus toward community-building efforts now that the code is freely available.

“The announcement that the Symbian platform is now wholly open source represents a unique moment for the mobile industry as a whole. The most widely distributed smartphone platform, the biggest migration from proprietary to open source software in history; delivered 4 months ahead of schedule,” wrote Haydn Shaughnessy, editor of the Symbian Foundation’s official blog. “Now the platform is free for anyone to use and to contribute to. It is not only a sophisticated software platform, It is also the focal point of a community. And a lot of the foundation’s effort going forward will be to ensure the community grows and is supported in bringing great innovations to the platform and future devices.”

Although Symbian currently holds global dominance in the smartphone market, the platform is losing a lot of ground to major emerging competitors like the iPhone and Android. The foundation has launched a wide range of technical initiatives to help ensure that Symbian remains relevant. For example, a port of Nokia’s excellent Qt development framework will make Symbian application development a lot less ugly. The foundation has also launched an Open Signed Online initiative which will allow developers by bypass the Symbian Signed program when they are testing their applications.

Despite these advancements, building and deploying software on Android is still a lot easier, and it’s not totally clear if the Symbian Foundation’s best efforts will be able to fully close the gap.

[via ars technica]