Mar 03, 2011 - 11:25 AM - by dgstorm
New data from market research firm Nielsen Company shows Android has pulled slightly ahead of RIM and Apple in market-share among none-paid subscribers in the United States. Android is sitting at 29%, while Apple and RIM are just below at 27%.
The report indicates that a higher percentage of Android users fall into a younger age group than on RIM and Apple. This comes as no real surprise as the BlackBerry isn't as appealing to the younger generation, and the iPhone is a bit pricier than the multiple Android offerings. Furthermore, the open-nature and 'cool' factor on the Android was sure to contribute to this.
Interestingly, the report also breaks down Android into it's multiple manufacturers. HTC takes the 'lion's share' with 12%, Motorola 10%, Samsung a paltry 5%, and everyone else rounding out the final 2%.
Source: Android.net via AndroidPolice and TechCrunch
Mar 03, 2011 - 10:46 AM - by dgstorm
In an interesting and potentially very smart strategic move by RIM, they have just announced their intention to offer a port of their BlackBerry Messenger service on Android. (and eventually iOS as well) Former BlackBerry users that switched to Android but enjoyed RIM's BBM service can rejoice.
We've seen Android come to dominate the smartphone market over the last year and a half, and it's mostly been at the expense of RIM, so the makers of the BlackBerry had to stop the hemorrhaging somehow. They haven't announced pricing as of yet, and have hinted that they may provide the app and service for free, but only as a "lite" version. Timing has also not been nailed down, but they indicated their intention for later this year. Apparently, Android was chosen first due to the fact that its development and integration are much easier with its open platform.
Ultimately, this seems like a fairly smart strategic move on their part. Thinking long-term, if the BlackBerry itself goes the way of the dinosaur, then RIM's service and the company can live on as software in every other smartphone on the planet. What do you guys think of this development? Any former Blackberry users excited about this?
Mar 02, 2011 - 12:28 PM - by dgstorm
Have you ever thought it would be cool to have an Android Tablet built-in to your car? That idea is one-step closer to reality thanks to Saab Automobile. Saab shared today that their newest vehicles will soon come with Android operating systems powering their 'IQon' "infotainment system". With an 8-inch touchscreen it will primarily be used for audio, video and GPS, but it will also be able to monitor your car's on-board computer and will be upgradeable, customizable and allow you to download apps.
Here's what Saab had to say in their press release,
This is pretty slick stuff. Let's hope this is a 'trend' that other car manufacturers follow.
Saab's 'open innovation' strategy offers the global developer community access to the full bandwidth of car communications – infotainment, telematics, systems monitoring and diagnostics. In this way, it opens up new dimensions in customer choice for the personalization of in-car services. Even applications specific to particular countries can be included.
Source: AndroidTablets.net via AndroidPolice and Saab Android Powered IQon Infotainment System Full Press Release
Mar 02, 2011 - 11:54 AM - by dgstorm
Update: The picture comes straight from the Union's website and is a bit incendiary. Perhaps they don't realize that it could be offensive, or perhaps this is the face of their perspective. We shall have to wait and see.
[Update 2 to yesterday's story below:] After doing some more digging Engadget found out a bit more of the whole story regarding the Android Developer's Union and their grievances with Google. Here's what they had to say,
This sheds a brighter light on the subject, and although it doesn't excuse Google's shoddy customer support and communication with developers, it still makes it hard to justify creating a 'Union' if you can call it that. Perhaps these guys should have done a 'fact-check' on their own ethics before calling out Google...
If you look at the legacy Market posting for Rapid Download on AndroLib, we can immediately spot at least one thing that's wrong here -- the guy is encouraging users to infringe copyrights right in the product description. Whoops! Sure, Google should be more proactive in letting developers know where they went wrong... but if you don't see the problem in this, you probably have no business being a professional developer -- at least, not one that's claiming ethics on their side.
A group of inflamed Android developers have formed an alliance against Google for what they see as serious grievances related to lack of support from Google, unfair take-down practices, overcharging, and more. Their intention is to pressure Google to improve the Market and their support of developers. They have formed the Android Developers Union and have created a blog.
One of the specific arguments they are making includes an anecdote from a disgruntled developer named Rich, who has developed 18 different Android apps for the last two years, including Port Scandroid and aBTC, the Android BitTorrent client, and the official ‘This American Life’ application.
In reference to one of his latest apps, 'Rapid Download', he claims, "Without any warning or notification, the application was removed. I only noticed when I went to check my sales and noticed I had not made any money for the previous week and a half." He attempted to contact Google through their normal procedures, but only received auto responses without any helpful information. Eventually, all he received from them was a letter threatening that [his] account would be deactivated and all of [his] applications would be removed from the Market if he violated the rules again. He still had... [Read More]
Mar 02, 2011 - 11:17 AM - by dgstorm
At CES this year Samsung teased an Android 4G LTE phone with no-name that has 'gone under the radar' since then, but today it appeared in an FCC filing with the model number SCH-I510. A Verizon insider has indicated that this phone will be called the Samsung Stealth, which is rather appropriate. As you can see from the pic above it is a CDMA phone with LTE, which definitely lends credence to the Verizon tip. No other details are available for this 'phantom' phone yet, but we will keep you apprised as more info comes to light. Here's a video teaser below from CES.
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OEdouIxcUk&feature=player_detailpage]YouTube - Samsung 4G LTE Smartphone Demo at CES 2011[/ame]
Mar 02, 2011 - 10:45 AM - by dgstorm
Without giving any specifics, Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo indicated at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom conference yesterday, that Verizon will move to "tiered" data plans for smartphones later this summer. They have not finalized any type of pricing structure yet. Mr. Shammo said, "We are still working on the models." When speaking about their current unlimited data plan, He elaborated, "Everyone knows that isn't long-term. We will move to tiered pricing in the mid-summer time frame."
The eventual tiered plans will probably include either capped speeds or capped download amounts or both. Shammo further described that during the time when Verizon trialed a $15 per month tiered data pricing plan late last year, it "stimulated activity."
It's important to note that anyone already on an unlimited data plan will be "grandfathered in"; however, whenever that person wants to upgrade their phone or plan in some way, they will get stuck with whatever the new pricing is. What do you guys think of this news?
Source: Android.net via BGR and Fiercewireless
Mar 02, 2011 - 5:35 AM - by tp7six
GoAruna for Tablets is a Honeycomb optimized cloud based storage and file manager application. It is not accessable from the Android Market from your tablet just yet so I have downloaded it on my Droid 1 and uploaded the .apk for everyone. After you register for their service, you are given 2 GB of free storage with 20/50/150 GB upgrade options. So far it looks pretty solid with a few force closes here and there, but the interface looks pretty nice and is easy to navigate and use.
GoAruna for Tablets .apk
GoAruna Official Website
Thanks to CZonin -
After an Android user noticed that many popular free apps had been stolen, renamed, and uploaded to the Market by a new publisher, he took a closer look at the code. He found that the apps root the device and steal user data.
However, upon closer inspection, AndroidPolice's resident hacker found that not only do the apps steal more user data than initially thought, but they also open a backdoor that allows more code to be downloaded and installed.
Follow through to Android Police for the full read.
Mar 01, 2011 - 1:42 PM - by tp7six
It’s pretty hard for anyone to argue that the Motorola XOOM is not an incredible product, but that hasn’t stopped the onslaught of angry would-be customers over its $799 premium price tag. And thanks to the WSJ, we can see the exact breakdown for the pricing of each component and how it compares similarly to that of the original iPad.
Thanks to wicked
Continue reading @ DroidLife
Mar 01, 2011 - 1:28 PM - by tp7six
We've already had some indication that Amazon's own app store for Android devices would be launching fairly shortly, and it now looks like it could be coming as soon as this month. That word comes from the seemingly in-the-know ad network Millennial Media, which tweeted earlier today that the Amazon Appstore for Android is "launching this month," and linked to a blog post that details what's in store for developers.
Thanks to wicked
Continue reading @ engadget
Mar 01, 2011 - 11:27 AM - by dgstorm
An obvious case for the 'definition of irony' can be made from the new Android Market search app called 'Chomp'. According to some reviews on the web, it works better than Google's own search function for the app market.
Of course, for anyone who has used the Android Market search, any improvement would be welcome, and 'Chomp' was designed specifically to address that issue. The co-founder of Chomp, Ben Keighran, had this to say,
He also indicated that they have had a team of 20 computer scientists working on this patented technology.
“We’ve developed the algorithm that really stands out on Android since search is so bad. It learns the topic and function of every app in the store. And using AI and machine learning, it builds a whole new database of apps,”
While his claims of using "AI" are a bit lofty, the result of their work speaks for itself. The interface of Chomp is intuitive and easy to use, and it actually works the way they claim. An article from TechCrunch had this to say,
Furthermore, a review from AndroidPolice shared,
And it’s not just what’s underneath — Chomp on Android actually looks really good and gives you a pleasing way to browse apps. Navigation is simple and intuitive, and the core way to browse when you find the category you’re looking for is just to swipe from side to side across different apps until you find the one you want.
It's surprising that Google, the 'de facto standard' in internet search could 'epic fail' on their own Android Market search function, and another company can surpass them in functionality. Of course, it isn't truly comparing 'apples to apples' since both search functions look for different info in different ways, but it is ironic that Google couldn't do a better job. It just goes to show that anyone can produce a quality... [Read More]
Clearly, Chomp is leaps and bounds ahead of the Android Market in terms of the relevance of search results. Alongside the results, the combination of attractiveness and functionality of the UI makes this a soon-to-be hit app.
Mar 01, 2011 - 10:58 AM - by dgstorm
More news is coming out of the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference today. Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha indicated that Motorola already has plans in motion to release more Android tablets with different form factors into the market this year. Apparently, the Xoom is just the 'flagship' herald of a wide variety of tablet products from Motorola, including a 7-inch tablet that Jha mentioned specifically.
Motorola currently has plans in motion to release more Android tablets with different form factors into the market this year. Apparently, the Xoom is just the 'flagship' herald of a wide variety of tablet products from Motorola, including a 7-inch tablet that Jha mentioned specifically.
He also suggested that tablet prices will fall in general toward the middle half of this year as component prices to manufacture them drop. He also shared that the initial sales of the Motorola Xoom have gone "relatively well."
It looks like there will be a 'silver lining' after-all in regards to the Xoom and its forthcoming 'siblings'. Does this make you guys rethink Moto again? Sound off in the forums.
Source: Androidtablets.net via Engadget
4G LTE handsets on the horizon might be enough to keep you from diving into this deal, but if you are itching for a new Android handset from Verizon and can’t wait for the carrier to make up their mind on the launch of the HTC Thunderbolt you should be pleased to know that all DROID-branded handsets have been marked down by $100. This equates to various pricings of free to $99.99 on new two-year contracts.
The deal is available over at Verizon’s online store and includes free overnight shipping, Only for those who get unlimited Talk & Text plan....
Mar 01, 2011 - 10:24 AM - by dgstorm
Early last month, we shared with you that NVIDIA would be creating their own mobile gaming store and app for the Android market, called the 'Tegra Zone'. It has arrived and is available now. This app/store aims to create a single 'portal' where you can find the latest and greatest games that maximize the hardware potential of your phone. The app offers a large variety of other features as well, including reviews, screenshots, trailers, and news, and even more. It's basically a separate and individual market, showcasing higher-end games that were designed for or optimized for the Tegra 2. Here's a list of just a few of the titles available for it already:
- Backbreaker Football THD - screenshot below
- Dungeon Defenders - using the Unreal Engine 3
- Fruit Ninja THD
- Monster Madness
- Samurai II
- Vendetta Online
Those with Tegra 2 phones should definitely download and check it out. Below is a screenshot of the impressive looking football game 'Backbreaker Football THD'. Those with a Tegra 2 device should download and try this, and Let us know what you think in the forums.
Source: Phandroid via NVIDIA Tegra Zone
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