"Great news, everyone!" Last week, Google launched the new in-app billing capability of the Android Market into private beta testing, promising a public release this week, if all went well. Apparently, all did go well, as the company today opened this most-exciting feature to everyone. To be fair, iOS users have been enjoying in-app billing in the App Store since 2009, so Google's move is quite a bit late (don't make me bring up the whole copy-paste thing to balance the argument!).
Well those days are back… if you can get ahold of a Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, dubbed the PlayStation phone, and equip it with N64oid (which was recently taken down from the Market, but you can always find links floating around).
In an awe-inspiring display of the ThunderBolt's raw horsepower, Derek Rodriguez (@drod2169) has thrown together a kernel which enables CPU speeds of up to 1.8GHz - a figure to which even the mighty Motorola XOOM can't lay claim. What's more, when @TheRealBeesley ran the kernel through Quadrant, he was met with (nearly) unprecedented results - have a look:
The kernel has not yet been released, which is simultaneously fortunate and tragic for ThunderBolt owners - on one hand, 1.8GHz is an undeniably crave-worthy speed; on the other, well, you know you don't want to leave your handset at such high velocities when even Derek notes that "you think I'd really let my phone sit at that?"
Nevertheless, this is a fantastic example of what the ThunderBolt's hardware is capable of and what we can expect from future mods (especially now that we have the necessary resources) - developers, go, go, go!
Welcome to the weekly roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Market or were spotted by us in the previous week
2 weeks or so. Due to CTIA last week, we decided to postpone last week's roundup and roll all the apps into one big 2-week post.
Get ready - the list is quite massive and may freeze up your browser while loading - I suggest you open up links in new tabs to avoid page reloads.
It’s not much of a secret that Amazon is quickly becoming one of my favorite companies. The way they have embraced Android is wonderful, creating diversity where there used to be none. I recently ran down some of the pros and cons of the Amazon Appstore for Android, which is starting to become my go-to marketplace for new apps. Now they have released a new music streaming service, Cloud Player, which brings some of the functionality that was originally a hope of Google Music to my Droid.
If you read today's Amazon Cloud Storage announcement carefully, you may have noticed that Amazon threw in a special offer allowing a free 1-year upgrade for your Cloud account from 5GB to 20GB with the purchase of any MP3 album. Why pay $20 a year when you can buy an album cheaper and achieve the same thing without spending the extra money (otherwise known as taking advantage of a loophole)?
Ready for it?
While some companies are content to just talk, talk, talk about what they are doing, Amazon seems to be quietly hard at work. Last week they gave us the Amazon Appstore for Android and last night they dropped another bomb – the Amazon Cloud Player.
If Grooveshark and Dropbox had a baby, it would be Amazon Cloud Player. It consists of Cloud Drive - 5GB of free cloud storage on Amazon’s servers (upgradable to 20GB with the purchase of one album or for $20/year; $1 per gigabyte after that) - and the Cloud Player, which can be accessed from the web or from an Android device.
One of the most popular Android games, Angry Birds Seasons, by everyone's favorite developer Rovio Mobile went on a 1-day sale today as the free premium app of the day over at the Amazon Appstore. The only difference between the already-free version of the same name and this one is the absence of those annoying ads that pop up in the most ridiculous locations at the most inopportune times.
To grab Angry Birds Seasons that currently consists of 4 editions (St Patrick's Day, Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine's Day), proceed to the Angry Birds Season Appstore page.
Today is starting out pretty well - minutes ago, we finally got the HTC Thunderbolt kernel source, and now Sony Ericsson decided to lift our spirits even further via a blog post announcing their commitment to the Android development community. And a commitment it is - Sony Ericsson may just be the first large manufacturer truly listening to us.
Sure, Motorola unlocked the bootloader of the XOOM, and Samsung did the same to the Nexus S, but Sony Ericsson is promising to release versions of ALL Xperia phones with easily unlockable bootloaders, at least ones slated for 2011.
After bickering back and forth with the Android community about the terms and timelines of kernel source releases and getting flooded with emails, HTC finally put together the source code for the Thunderbolt kernel and uploaded it to their developer portal.
The file weighs in at 87MB and will enable ROM developers to finally do some proper work on custom ROMs, including improving battery life, over- and under-clocking, and implementing other tweaks (hopefully, it includes LTE drivers so that CyanogenMod devs don't have to reverse engineer the protocol and write their own).