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).
Thanks to a leaked slide, some rumored release dates for upcoming T-Mobile 4G devices have been cemented. First up is Dell's Streak 7, which is set to debut on February 2; that will be followed by the Galaxy S 4G on February 23, while the Honeycomb-sporting G-Slate won't be launching until March 23.
Also leaked were two promos for the Streak 7 that nail down an on-contract (presumably) price of $299 - a pretty good deal for two cores and 7 inches of screen real-estate.
Want in on the Galaxy S action but not interested in any features like a front-facing camera or HSPA+? T-Mobile has a deal for you! Now until January 26 at 10:00 pm (PT), the Samsung Vibrant is free with a two-year contract, and is only available online. So, if you really can't wait a few more weeks for the Galaxy S 4G, this is probably the time to act.
Source: T-Mobile Twitter
Every year, Google takes over the Moscone Center in San Francisco (a convenient train ride away from me) and hosts a full-blown conference called Google I/O. The usual schedule consists of 2 opening keynotes followed by presentations and demos related to all kinds of Google technologies. Google I/O also gives you an excellent chance to mingle with developers from all over the world, network, and exchange contact information. My favorite part is something called Fireside Chats, where developers from a specific team in Google sit around, talk about their product, and answer questions.
TmoNews posted an image last night confirming that tomorrow, the price of the Galaxy Tab with a new T-Mobile 2-year contract will be cut to just $250 after mail-in rebate - $50 less than the current mark. Price cuts for the Galaxy Tab have been popping up all over it seems, and after Verizon announced that it'll be getting a new-and-improved 4G Galaxy Tab with a faster 1.2GHz processor, it makes sense.
For anybody who is still using their mobile browser to get weather information, Google has made a neat addition to their mobile site. By searching "weather," you'll see the new widget, and in addition to the same information you'd see regularly, it now has a slider that allows you to see an hour-by-hour forecast of the day. Temperature, wind speed, precipitation, and humidity will change, as will the background of the widget to reflect the time of day.
Though Google may have fixed two infamous SMS issues via the recent Android 2.2.2 and 2.3.2 updates, it appears at least one bug is still unconquered. Namely, some users are reporting that when they tap on the "New Message" alert in the notification bar, all their SMS conversations get deleted.
Our tipster experienced this on his HTC Desire Z, but he tells us that two of his friends - one using a Nexus One and the other on a Galaxy S - have come across the same bug.
Well, we knew it was coming. Did you honestly think Big Red would bundle your 3G and 4G into one big, happy family? Neither did we. An anonymous Engadget tipster snapped a picture of Verizon's latest data plans - probably set to be released in time for the iPhone 4. Check it out:
Droid-Life posted a helpful companion image of the old pricing for comparison's sake:
Notice the 150MB smartphone plan has vanished, along with an increased base data cap for feature phones.