Last night we got the wonderful news on Google's App Inventor for Android. But what about an app which allows you to customize your very own live wallpapers? It turns out, a few days ago, such a tool was developed by madwolfchin of XDA, and is called OwnSkin.
On the surface, OwnSkin looks like any standard live wallpaper. However, looks can be deceiving! Upon selecting OwnSkin from the Live Wallpaper menu, you will venture into settings, and find two tabs: "My Store" and "Download". From "Download," you can download live wallpaper templates, which you can customize with various widgets and other objects. Currently, there are about a dozen templates available, with unique widgets and objects to each. I suggest you give it a whirl, and let us know your first impressions! Check out a quick preview video below:
From the video, there also seems to be a desktop-component to the app, maybe which will allow deeper customizations, and the building of your own templates. However, the desktop component has yet to be released. Currently OwnSkin is not available yet on the Android Market. To get started, you will need to download and install the OwnSkin...
Rumors have been circulating over the past week or so, that Droid X inventories would be limited on its July 15th launch date. And as we approach launch date, these worries are continuing to mount. So, to give you a better idea of what to expect when you venture off for your Droid X in three days, Droid-Life has leaked the inventories of Droid X devices for the major metropolitan areas. Check out the screenshots below, to see if your local stores are listed, and where may or may not be the best place to go in the wee hours of July 15th:
Update 7/19/2010 @ 5:20PM EST: App Inventor invites are rolling out now! Let us know if you receive one! (via Reddit)
Ever wanted to become an Android developer and write your own app, but felt overwhelmed by programming language? Well, Google heard your cries! As of today, Google is releasing a do-it-yourself application creation tool, called App Inventor for Android. The beta of App Inventor should be available publicly as early as today, but you will need to sign up with your GMail account for access before you can get started.
Google considers App Inventor a comprehensive tool capable of creating anything you could think of, from maze and Whackamole games to apps utilizing the accelerometer, from educational quiz games using text-to-speech to apps utilizing GPS services.
And the most fascinating part about App Inventor is that it requires no knowledge of programming! Google Labs has prepared for you a handy UI, on which you can build your apps with ease. The first test users included sixth graders, high school girls,...
ADW Launcher, an open-source alternative to Android's bulky Launcher2, has come a long way since its humble beginnings, and now is the main launcher powering CyanogenMod 6. The latest ADW, version 0.9.0, is extremely impressive due to its customizability and speed. So, what's next for the popular launcher? Well, a couple hours ago, AnderWebs, developer of ADW put out a small teaser, via Twitter, on what to expect for the next ADW update: the ability to theme ADW natively within the launcher's settings! No more messing with ADB to theme your ADW! And there will be a link from within the launcher (possibly a repository) to retrieve (and upload?) themes. Now, when there's an update to ADW Launcher in the future, it will not break your theme. Other leaked snapshots suggest new options for the launcher, as well as different ways for your app shortcuts to be displayed. Currently, there is no ETA on the update, but Ander Webs promises "soon." Check the screenshots out below:
Many in the Android community, including myself, have been patiently waiting for Cyanogen, Koush and the rest of the CM developers to crank out a stable release of CM6 (an AOSP-based FroYo ROM). Don't get me wrong; alphas and nightly builds were being released on a regular basis, and the reaction from the community to them had been quite positive. However, today is a monumental day in the Android community, as the Release Candidate has finally arrived for CM6. What does this mean? A mostly-stable release, and you know nothing gets Cyanogen's seal of approval easily. CM 6 has been in the works ever since June 23, the day 2.2 hit AOSP, and dozens of developers have been working tirelessly to get CM6 to this point. So, I urge you to check out the latest and greatest from Cyanogen, Koush and the rest of the Android team. CM6 Release Candidates have also been released for the Nexus One, Dream, and Magic, and we expect it soon on the Evo 4G, Incredible, and even the G1. Grab it on ROM Manager now! Alternate Download Link here
With CM6 RC1 comes a 800Mhz kernel by default. If you're looking for a different speeds (up to 1200Mhz), may I recommend...
Mangler - Ventrilo for Android! [Exclusive First Look]
There is no official Ventrilo support for Android, or Linux for that matter, despite a project being "in the works" since 2005. But that hasn't stopped the open-source community from developing its own Ventrilo client. And this is exactly what a team of devs have been working on since September, 2009. Dubbed Mangler, Linux's first Ventrilo-capable client was born. Since then, Mangler has made great strides, eventually growing into a full-featured stable Ventrilo substitute for Linux. But, the question remained, would we ever see Mangler on Android? The same developers behind Mangler began to toying with an Android port of its open-source Ventrilo client in December, but after a few roadblocks, and the lack of a UI, the project was put on hold for awhile.
However, the project picked up steam as interest for an Android port in the community grew. And finally, on June 12th, the first alpha for Mangler was released to the public. Truly a monumental occasion! Since June 12th, and tons of bug fixes and feature implementations later, Mangler Android 1.0 alpha 4 was released on July 7th. I have had a chance to play with Mangler Android 1.0alpha 4 for a few days, and let me tell you, for an early alpha, it is was a pleasure to use. The UI is somewhat clunky, which...
The closer it gets to launch day, the more we realize just how hot the Motorola Droid X will become. Review after review we continue to hear nothing but positive remarks and very little, if any negative comments. (Check out Garemlin's first impressions over at the Droid X Forums here: Droid X First Impressions)
Verizon's new BIG Daddy Droid is slated to hit retail stores next Thursday the morning of July 15th. If you haven't already pre-ordered one, it could be a little harder to pick one up then previously thought. We were tipped off today with an email that indicates Verizon stores have allocated enough stock only for the first several days after the release. Once the initial batch of X's are sold, it could be a while before the stores are restocked. All I can say is am I am glad I have mine set aside for release day!
Google "quietly" invested $100 million in Zynga, the online game developer responsible for FarmVille, according to TechCrunch. Experts feel that this is not a precursor to Google acquiring Zynga, but instead a strategic partnership between the two companies. It is believed that Zynga will spearhead Google Games, a service slated to debut later this year.
Considering that Zynga provides a high-quality base on which to build social online games, the partnership will be beneficial to Google on multiple fronts. First of all, Google will not have to reinvent the wheel when launching its Games service. Secondly, this will certainly improve the odds of Google creating a worthy social-network competitor to Facebook. Currently, Google has wavered on the social networking front, with dissappointing attempts, like Buzz and Latitude. However, a strong lineup of social online games, in conjunction with the information storage capabilities of the Google Cloud, and a superior search engine, Google could eventually become a legitimate contender to Facebook.
A partnership with Zynga may also have positive implications for Google Checkout, which also not has become as successful as Google had hoped. It has been suggested that Zynga is the leading customer for PayPal,...
Droid X's have been floating around for quite some time, but only recently have they been getting in the hands of retail customers (thanks to a few early shipments by Verizon). As a result, many questions about the device remained unanswered. One such question was whether or not the bootloader was locked by Motorola. Well, we have some disturbing news for those in the Android development community looking to make the switch to the Droid X. Birdman (a popular Moto Droid and HTC Incredible developer) has had a chance to play with a retail Droid X, and is reporting the the Motorola Droid X's bootloader is indeed encrypted, and may be locked down worse than the Milestone.
Stephen Bird, a.k.a BirdMan, goes into much further depth on what he has noticed in regards to the locked-down state of retail Droid X's:
Apparently, also included in the Droid X system image...
Even if you're not a fan of Motorola, you have to give them credit for their resilience. We all know about Motorola's upcoming high-end Android devices arriving on Verizon this summer: the Droid X and Droid 2. Also, recently announced was the mid-range Motorola Charm coming to T-Mobile sometime soon. So, what about that niche market looking for a low-level (i.e., cheap) Android phone? Well, the Motorola WX445 just may be the phone for you.
The WX445, according to Engadget, will be launching on Verizon, but there is no release date yet. According to the leaked photos, the WX445 is running Android 2.1 (what a relief!), and possibly the same version of Blur seen on the Droid X. Also visible is the Verizon branding. The phone resembles the Palm Pre Plus, but with a matte finish, as opposed to a plastic one. But don't let that fool you, the device is very plastic-y, according to Engadget. Also, on-board you will find a flashless camera, a 2.5"-3" screen, and a paltry 1175mAh battery. Pricing and availability is unknown at this time, but it's quite obvious those looking for a true smartphone experience will likely be choosing a Droid X, Droid 2, or Samsung Fascinate instead of the WX445.