Yesterday, Microsoft announced its latest Android licensing deal with Taiwanese manufacturer Compal, marking the company's tenth such agreement to date. While such a small manufacturer in terms of market share makes little overall difference in Microsoft's profits derived from Android, its deals with HTC and Samsung, combined with various smaller manufacturers like Compal, means it now receives royalties from over half of all Android smartphones sold in the US (the figure may be even larger on a global scale).
An analysis of recently compiled data by ABI Research indicates that Android phones are for the first time downloading apps in greater numbers than Apple's iPhone. This would seem like a milestone, but ABI's research also shows that while the total number of apps downloaded onto Android devices in the last quarter exceeds that of the iPhone, Android handsets outnumber iPhones by a factor of 2.4 to 1.
This means that Android users are still downloading far fewer apps on an individual basis than iPhone owners - ABI suggests by a ratio of 2 to 1 one, in Apple's favor.
The clever folks over at WirelessGoodness located an FCC filing today that indicates with a fair degree of certainty that a GSM version of the upcoming DROID RAZR is headed to either AT&T or US regional carriers, as the phone does not support T-Mobile frequencies. The filing doesn't say anything about the RAZR itself, but it does contain a part number matching the RAZR's unique non-removable battery, the first on a Motorola smartphone.
So, you want to jump over to Sprint, but don't need the fastest device on the planet?
Both Amazon Wireless and Wirefly have a good deal going on the just released EVO Design 4G by HTC: $50. Update: It's still $50 at Wirefly, but Amazon Wireless just dropped the price to $30. Of course, this requires a new two-year contract, so all current Sprintsters will be stuck paying $80, which still saves about $20 over the in-store price.
As part of a special Halloween promotion, Gameloft is offering two of its premium titles (as well as Uno) on the Android Market for a paltry $0.99 each for a "limited time." We assume this means until Halloween, but Gameloft's app descriptions don't specify.
Order And Chaos is the largest (and really only) MMORPG on Android, and with your $0.99 purchase you'll receive a free 3 month game subscription, after which you'll have to pay a monthly fee to continue accessing the game.
Continuing on the quest for the perfect dialer to replace Android's stock phone application, I've come across Contapps Contacts & Dialer, an app I had never heard of until I began scouring the market. For a free dialer app, it has a lot to offer, and I'm surprised that it isn't more popular.
At A Glance
Contapps is a dialer replacement that is simple, practical, and well-designed, with enough extra features to make it feel new.
So, you recently picked up the Samsung Stratosphere on Verizon and want to get the most out of your new toy. It's no secret that when it comes to getting the most out of any Android device, root access it the key. Fortunately, KnightCrusader over at RootzWiki just dropped the info on how to gain root on the Stratosphere.
The process seems to be pretty straightforward: a little ODIN action, some adb commands, and a kernel flash -- that's pretty much it.
The mid-range Samsung Transform Ultra was recently announced for Boost Mobile, a pre-paid subsidiary of Sprint. It looks like the Now Network loved this little guy so much, though, that it just had to snag its own version, too -- but don't expect many (or any, really) changes over the Boost Version.
The Transform Ultra is sporting a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 512MB RAM, a 3MP rear camera and VGA front-facing, with a 3.5-inch display, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and Android 2.3.
Can you believe we and NVIDIA have already conducted this many giveaways? It seems like just yesterday we were giving away the Motorola XOOM, and...
Never mind; let's cut to the chase: this time around NVIDIA has been generous enough to sponsor a giveaway of not one, but two white 16GB ASUS Eee Pad Sliders powered by the Tegra 2 processor and fueled by a wide range of available games from the Tegra Zone.
Our friends over at informIT are back with another new book on programming for Android. This time around, though, the book places more emphasis on learning directly by creating apps - in other words, learning by doing. The book is Android for Programmers: An App-Driven Approach, and it packs 16 fully coded Android apps as examples.
Written by Paul J. Deitel, Harvey M. Deitel, Abbey Deitel (quite the family affair...) and Michael Morgano, the book is 512 pages long and can be had for $29 for the eBook, $36 for a paper copy, or $49 for both.