11
May
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Ahh, Google I/O, how we'll miss you for the next 365 days or so. The last 2 days have been filled with anticipation, knowledge, surprises, excitement, and fun - the perfect recipe for happy developers. As a developer myself, I've picked up heaps of new information, especially from the SDK Tools and ADT session by Tor Norbye and Xavier Ducrohet, and viewing the keynotes was simply a blast.

As you may have seen yesterday, day 1 keynote and sessions were already posted last night, and now the same fate reached the sessions and keynote from day 2.

11
May
nfc-sharing

A lot of interesting products and services have been demoed at Google I/O 2011, including a number of interesting features for Ice Cream Sandwich, Android's forthcoming iteration. One of the less flashier features demoed is the 0-click peer-to-peer NFC sharing. This allows compatible Android devices to share content (contacts, links, YouTube videos) between the devices by simply placing them in close proximity to each other. No app needs to be run and no buttons need to be clicked - hence the "0-click" moniker.

11
May
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Last Updated: August 2nd, 2011

I've never been a big proponent of using folders on my home screen; I'm the kind of guy that can fit all the apps he uses frequently on a 5x5 grid. With the possible exception for a "Games" folder, I find them pretty useless. I mean, the app drawer itself is one big folder, and if there's anything I really need to access, it goes on my front page.

folder organizer 1 folder organizer 2 folder organizer 3

However, I've been playing around with a tool that's making the maintenance and use of folders a bit more practical.

11
May
android-market-logo

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?

11
May
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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.

11
May
market

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.

11
May
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  • The International market is taking over - U.S. 70% majority in 2010, but now international is 60% in 2011

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  • The new Market dashboard for developers will now let them view and exclude any of the 300+ Android devices, per app
  • Starting in June, a new format called Multi-APK will be launched to bundle multiple APKs into one package

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  • Starting June 2011, individual app size is increasing from 50MB to up to 4GB.
11
May
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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.

11
May
Motorola_XOOM

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.

11
May
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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.