If you've ventured away from the stock browser on your Android phone at least once, there's a good chance that you've used (or at least heard of) Dolphin Browser HD. Recently, the Dolphin team started working on the fifth incarnation of its HD browser, which is now part of a private beta. Oh, did I say private? I'm sorry, I meant here-it-is-for-everyone-to-download beta, courtesy of XDA Forum member scaredsoul.
The official OTA for the GSM version of the original Galaxy Tab just started rolling out, and Chainfire over at the XDA forums has already pulled the update, rooted it, and made it available for your downloading pleasure. There are two different versions of the download - one with a new bootloader and one without. While I didn't read the entire thread, it appears that most users had better luck with the version that includes the bootloader.
Yesterday Motorola officially announced that Android 3.1 would be hitting Verizon 3G XOOMs first, then WiFi and other variants "in the next several weeks." I'm not really sure how Motorola defines "several weeks," but it appears to be a little bit different than the rest of the world, as we're starting to see reports pop up all over the net that suggest the update may already be underway.
That's about as deep as the details go for now, but if you get the update on your XOOM, make sure to let us know!
Remember the HTC Merge? Yeah, the one that HTC officially announced back in February. Well, it looks like it's finally available on Big Red today, but there's an interesting stipulation with this one: you won't actually find it in any Verizon Wireless store. According to an internal VZW document that fell into the hands of Android Central, you'll only be able to get a hold of this little gem at third-party retailers, like Best Buy.
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.