02
Feb
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Today has definitely been one of the more exciting days this year, at least in the Android department. Last week, Google sent out invitation for a Honeycomb-related event, where we, of course, were expecting detailed walkthroughs of Android 3.0 and hands-on with the Motorola XOOM.

Rumors of the web store that was promised almost a year ago as well as Google Music, teased at the same time at Google I/O last year, were flying, and one of them definitely came true today - we've finally got ourselves a web-based Market with over-the-air app installations.

02
Feb
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Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Android users have been clamoring for an official online Android Market solution for ages, and today, El Goog finally delivered with the Android Market Web Store. Once the issues with the "Sign in" button (clicking it returned an 'Invalid Request' error) were fixed, we didn't think twice about delving in and giving it an in-depth look. Read on for our first impressions!

Front Page

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The front page of market.android.com (aka the Android Market Web Store) is simple, clean, and sexy - just the way we like it.

02
Feb
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One of my biggest gripes with the Android Market (and mobile app stores in general) is that apps often have lite versions, essentially limited editions of the full app. These lite versions make it harder to find the real app, and a seemingly easier solution would be to simply give users a free app and allow them to buy add-ons for it as they go.

Well it seems Google has finally decided to implement this in the Android SDK via "in-app purchasing." Devs can bake it into their app now thanks to an update to the SDK, though users won't be able to access it until later this quarter.

02
Feb
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As part of today's Honeycomb- and "Android ecosystem"-event, Google demoed Renderscript - a new 3D graphics library in Android. And part of their demo?  A new application called Google Body, aka the "Google Maps of human anatomy."

Screen shot 2011-02-02 at 1.17.19 PM Screen shot 2011-02-02 at 1.17.26 PM Screen shot 2011-02-02 at 1.17.39 PM

Screen shot 2011-02-02 at 1.17.43 PM Screen shot 2011-02-02 at 1.17.47 PM

It looks like it'll be a pretty cool way to explore the human body - just like Maps, you can strip away layers (i.e. skin, bones, etc.), rotate it in 3D, and search for body parts before having them highlighted in the app.

02
Feb
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We can't say we didn't see it coming, considering we saw this preview of the tablet-optimized SwiftKey keyboard during CES, but what SwiftKey is announcing today looks quite a bit different, to say the least.

Allow me to introduce Swiftkey Tablet - a tablet-only Honeycomb keyboard set to launch around the same time as the Motorola XOOM tablet. Sticking with the 3-way-split design, the new holographic look reminds me quite a bit of Tron.

02
Feb
2011-02-02 13h36_57

Oh yes, those juicy rumors about an online version of the Market were true - the "Android Market Web Store," as Google is calling it, is accessible now via market.android.com.

2011-02-02 13h36_57 2011-02-02 13h39_03 2011-02-02 13h41_29

As you can see, a list of featured/best selling games populates the front page, along with a list of categories, a "Sign in" button (which, at the time of this writing, leads to an 'invalid request error'), and a "Search" function.

02
Feb
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We've already seen a few apps shown off at Google's live Honeycomb event, including two 3D games that take full advantage of both cores on the Tegra 2 processor. Monster Madness, ported from the PS3 to Android, is a hack and slash game with amazing 3D graphics and destructible environments, while Great Battles is an epic RTS that's also called an "educational game." While that doesn't sound that cool, just take a look at the pictures of the game in action.

02
Feb
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I must admit that I was very skeptical of this morning's Samsung GT-i9003 rumors, simply because they involved a Galaxy S successor with a Super LCD display. This seemed suspicious to me because Samsung has spent a lot of time hyping up Super AMOLED, but it turns out the rumors are true - the Galaxy SL, or the i9003, is now official.

Besides the addition of the aforementioned Super Clear LCD screen, the SL differentiates itself with a 1GHz TI OMAP 3630 CPU; the original Galaxy S devices were powered by a 1GHz Cortex A8 "Hummingbird" processor.

02
Feb
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Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Let's face it: Dell's new Streak 7 isn't exactly the hottest member of the CES Android tablet litter. In fact, the seven-inch tablet's mediocre screen and disappointing performance became painfully visible, even in the short period of time we spent with it at CES.

Well now the early reviews are in - and frankly, they don't give Dell's latest entry into the world of Android much hope, despite its low price tag ($199 on contract) and dual-core Tegra 2 processor.

02
Feb
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The world's first 4G (subject to your definition) tablet is available now! Well, if you live on the East Coast, and assuming snow or rain or some terrible combination thereof aren't preventing you from going outside. Those of us west of the Rockies will have to wait another 2 hours before getting our Streak on, but I feel like my LA sunshine is worth it. Of course, anyone can order it online right now.

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