One problem that Android app developers (specifically game developers) have had to face is the size limit for apps in the Android Market, because up until now it's been a measly 50MB. For most apps that is more than enough, but for others - like graphically intense games, for example - it's not even close, so developers had to jump through hoops and implement downloading of additional resources manually. Remember Spectral Souls with its 1GB of data?
One of the Android Market's biggest downsides has always been the inability to buy/sell apps in certain areas of the world. It looks like Google has been hard at work tackling this issue, though, as the reach of Android app purchases is extending to 99 more countries, for a total of 131.
This is probably some of the biggest Market-related news to come out of I/O this year, especially for citizens of the affected countries.
If you haven't been to the web version of the Android Market today, I suggest you go take a look. Google has thrown in a few new features, like trending apps and top grossing apps from the past 30 days. Not only that, but the navigation is much more intuitive, as the top paid and top free apps have been revamped, along with the addition of top games in the sidebar.
If you just can't get enough first-person-shooter action in your life, then you'll be glad to know that Gameloft released a port of its popular iOS title Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus in the Android Market this morning. Up until now, this game was available exclusively through Gameloft's website, so hopefully this means that we'll start to see more GL titles hit the Android Market moving forward.
This game itself looks like it really lives up to all of the FPS goodness that we've all come to expect from modern games - fast gameplay, multiplayer, and all of the headshots that you can handle.
Yesterday at Google I/O, The Goog announced the next version of Honeycomb (Android 3.1), and said that the first tablet to see the update would be the Verizon version of the Motorola XOOM. Motorola followed up that announcement with an official statement today, including when the other XOOM variants could expect to see to get some updated Honeycomb action.
XOOM owners will be able to enjoy some nice improvements with this update, including support for the new Movies feature in the Android Market, resizable widgets, full support for the newest version of Adobe Flash player (10.2), which brings drastic improvements to performance and stability; and support for USB peripherals like game controllers, keyboards, and mice.
So you have your shiny new tablet in front of you, fire up the market, download the Facebook app, and then it hits you: this app sucks. It was meant for phones, not tablets. Wouldn't it be great if there were a Facebook app that was optimized for tablets? Yeah, that would be pretty rad... Oh, wait, there is! It's called FriendCaster Tab, and according to the developer, it's the first Facebook app optimized for tablets.
In the world of Android, devices have to go through a certain right-of-passage in order to really be embraced by the community. Part of the journey is becoming rooted, and thanks to XDA Forum member Chandon, the LG G-Slate has officially passed this portion of the test.
- Rooting Explained + Top 5 Benefits Of Rooting
- Top Android Apps Every Rooted User Should Know About: Part 1 (Apps 1-8),Part 2 (Apps 9-16), Part 3 (Apps 17-25)
- How To Fully Back Up And Restore Your Android Phone Using Nandroid Backup
The process is nowhere near as easy as it is for, say, the Galaxy Tab 10.1, so don't expect a simply copy/paste or even a one-click root.
The popular do-everything notepad app Catch Notes received an update today that includes full Honeycomb support and provides some advanced features specifically designed for tablets. Among the new features is an improved UI that makes the app much more intuitive on the larger screen. You can now expect to see multiple views on the same screen, which will make note input a much more fluid task, along with an enhanced note editor that will allow for much faster note taking, and better overall organization.
A ton of Android news has already come out of Google I/O, but this time Google TV is thrown into the mix. GTV is set to see an OS update to Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) which means two things: developers will be able to create apps that will run on Honeycomb tablets and Google TV using the same SDK, and the Android Market will finally be a part of Google TV. Unfortunately, Google TV will not receive the Market update before the Honeycomb update, as they will both be released as one, OTA update.
Shortly after Honeycomb dropped, we were told that the next version of Android would bridge the gap between tablets and phones. That bridge was officially announced this morning at Google I/O: Ice Cream Sandwich.
Ice Cream Sandwich will be the newest version of Android, and it's going to bring the goodness of Honeycomb to phones, along with Gingerbread features to tablets. The update is due out in Q4 of this year, and the goal is to unify the Android experience across devices, which is a huge step towards ending fragmentation as we know it.