The big question on everyone's mind (well, at least ours) today is: How will the iPhone coming to Verizon next month change the smartphone landscape? At this point, it's anyone's guess, but Android's unabashed domination on the US's largest wireless carrier will certainly be challenged in the coming months. However, there are significant forces at work that won't exactly help the iPhone with its Verizon debut - namely, Verizon and Android.
Many of you read it, enjoyed it, and found the information contained within quite helpful, so we've decided to make it an Android Police series.
Part deux begins right now.
Love the geeky freedom of connecting your computer to your Android device via ADB but wish it could all be done wirelessly?
If there's one thing CES told us about the upcoming twelve months in technology, it's that 2011 will be the year of Android tablets. And with noteworthy entries such as the Motorola XOOM, ASUS' lineup, and the T-Mobile G-Slate, it looks like the tablets' quality might be just as high as their quantity - at least hardware-wise.
But what about the software? After all, isn't a device's OS what makes or breaks it?
During CES 2011 Sony Ericsson's newest smartphone, the Xperia arc, was sighted running Android version "2.4".
A few weeks ago there were rumours that Honeycomb, Google's next iteration of the Android platform, would actually be Android 2.4 and not Android 3.0. Although it was later confirmed that Honeycomb will indeed be Android 3.0, rumours suggested that an incremental update to Android was being readied. The About section of the Xperia arc, displayed below, appeared to confirm that there was indeed a version 2.4.
If you were one of the early adopters of the Samsung Nexus S, chances are you have been plagued by the highly obnoxious reboot syndrome experienced during daily phone calls. Upon making or receiving a phone call, the phone will suddenly and unexpectedly go black and reboot for no apparent reason. Up until recently, Nexus S owners have felt ignored by Google in regards to this issue. Previously, Google has qualified their negligible stance on the issue with claims that the issue was not with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, but instead Samsung's fault because of the hardware itself.
App store analytics company Distimo has released a report reviewing the changes in the Apple, Android, Blackberry, and Nokia app stores in 2010, and the results are impressive for all four. To highlight a few points from the 28 page report:
It's not unheard of for tuners to throw a small PC into a car (commonly called a "carputer" in the industry). It's a lot less common for Android to appear in cars, though it does happen - GM has considered using it to power OnStar and has a Volt app, while the Roewe 350 rocks Android in a pretty hardcore way. We've yet to hear of aftermarket tuners taking advantage of Android - until now, that is.
Back in October of last year, ZeptoLab, the maker of a very popular iOS game Cut The Rope, announced its tentative plans to port the hit to Android, albeit without an expected release date. We've waited for a few months, but the release didn't come (though, I'm sure, they're hard at work). Feelingtouch Inc, however, didn't want to wait and in the meantime developed and released a clone - Rope Cut.
Google just updated its Goggles app to version 1.3 and added three noteworthy features that make it even more desirable than it was before. First is the ability to scan QR codes without actually taking a picture; just hover your camera over the image and Goggles will automatically recognize it.
Second, Goggles now recognizes ads in major US newspapers and magazines. I couldn't get this to work, but Google claims it will work with any ads dated since August 2010.
Motorola is expected to launch its XOOM tablet in February 2011 and, according to DigiTimes, they have placed an order for about 700,000 to 800,000 units. If there is greater demand, DigiTimes expects the order to reach up to one million units by the end of the first quarter of 2011.
Interestingly, DigiTimes also claims that Motorola and Samsung are being given special treatment by Google, while competitors, such as LG and HTC, are being left behind.