You could say Motorola's earnings call ended on a high note - the company's CEO, Sanjay Jha, told analysts that the Atrix 4G will be launching at the end of February, as will the 3G version of the XOOM. That doesn't quite line up with the rumors we've been hearing about a February 17th release, and Jha later added that the XOOM might even be bumped to a release in March if things don't go according to plan.
Ah, what a breath of fresh air. After today's SDK Tools r9 and ADT 9.0.0 update that I talked about earlier this morning, I noticed another new feature in the SDK Manager that has been requested for years. As if the near-instant AVD restart support due to the new snapshotting was not enough of a present, developers can now edit properties of existing AVDs!
Before this update, once you've created an AVD, the AVD Manager did not let you touch any of its properties, forcing you to create a brand new virtual device for any tweaks.
XDA user x2kjosh got curious about what exactly his phone was doing at any given time, as I'm sure we all have at some point. Your GPS icon randomly showing up in the task bar is a perfect example: What the hell is it doing there? What app is getting my location? Obviously tired of all the questions, Josh wrote a handy little app called Task Identifier.
The idea of it is simple: Notify the user whenever an app is loaded into memory.
Engadget was lucky enough to get its hands on a prototype of Sony's much-anticipated PlayStation Phone (believed to launch as the Xperia Play), and while not everything on the unit they got was finalized (Wi-Fi was completely broken), it does give us a pretty good idea of what to expect when the phone officially launches.
First, we have some of the most important specs:
- 4.0" 854 x 480 LCD display
- Single-core 1 GHz processor (believed to be Qualcomm) with Adreno 205 GPU
- 512 MB RAM
- Android 2.3 with Timescape UI
- 5 megapixel camera
That single-core processor might seem disappointing with all the excitement surrounding Tegra 2 phones, but the Xperia Play still manages to get high marks in a number of benchmark tests (including a Quadrant score of 1,689).
If you are a developer, you will want to fire up SDK Manager right now and perform an update. Besides the Honeycomb SDK preview that we'll talk about separately, Google also unleashed the next version of Android Development Tools, or simply ADT, for Eclipse as well as SDK Tools r9. I've been using ADT versions 9.0.0 preview 1, 2, and 3 for a number of weeks now, and I can tell you that 9.0.0 is a huge step up to where a serious set of development tools needs to be.
The Android Developers Blog just announced the availability of a "preview" of the upcoming Android 3.0 SDK. Developers can start getting their Honeycomb on immediately, as the preview is available via the Android SDK and AVD manager as part of the Android SDK.
But even more exciting is the fact that the Android Developers page has been updated with a plethora of information regarding Honeycomb and its features. Where to begin?
Samsung is well-known for its ubiquity in the feature-phone market, and it's starting to look like they'll be employing the same assault-on-all-sides approach with Android phones too. As if they aren't struggling already to keep their phones up to date, Sammy is now digging a deeper hole with today's announcement of four budget-oriented devices set to prop up the rather premium Galaxy S.
Starting from the bottom, we have the Galaxy mini, intended to be a "first smartphone" for those crazy, hip youths you keep reading about.
In the past year the Android platform has exploded with a number of new smartphones and tablets launching as well as significant growth in the number of apps available in the Android Market. Despite its success, Google is "not happy" with lacklustre sales of paid apps in the Market, says Eric Chu, Android's platform manager. Speaking from the Inside Social Apps conference held in San Francisco earlier this week, Chu went on to give a very broad outline of Google's plan for the Android Market in 2011.
The UK branch of one of the largest retailers in the world - Amazon.com - came out with an Android app today, dedicated to the UK market. The app is very similar to the U.S. version and offers convenience and speed of a locally installed application over browsing amazon.co.uk and having to keep track of your logins. Barcode scanning, 1-click ordering, prime membership, wish lists, recommendations, customer reviews, order tracking and modification are all supported.
Having your app unceremoniously pulled from the Market just a few short hours after it launches can certainly be discouraging, but the developers behind Kongregate Arcade didn't let that stop them from trying again.
Indeed, Kongregate Arcade has returned to the Android Market, albeit with a few tweaks intended to please Google. Most importantly, the app no longer downloads game data to users' SD cards; instead, the information is stored in the standard browser cache (Kongregate Arcade is actually a WebKit-based browser with some heavy modifications).