01
Feb
checkin

The official Google Maps app has been updated again, this time with a major addition to Latitude - check-ins. Just as Hotpot seemed to be a Yelp-killer, Google must now have Foursquare in its sights, because Latitude's check-ins have a few major advantages over Foursquare and its competitors.

Latitude will notify you when it recognizes your location, giving you the option to check-in wherever you are. However, you can also set up automatic check-ins for only the places you want, an incredibly convenient feature that still covers any privacy concerns.

01
Feb
Samsung Fascinate_LowRes

We have some somewhat good news for Fascinate owners: a new, official, very final-looking Froyo build DL30 for the Samsung Fascinate has been leaked, and it's been released completely unmolested (short of pre-rooting it). Even the bloatware has been left intact.

Obviously, the silver lining here is that we can see that Samsung and Verizon are making progress, and this could be a sign that the update is closer to being ready to roll out.

01
Feb
HTC_Inspire_4G

The first of AT&T's entourage of Androids for 2011 has had its release date and pricing set in stone. The Inspire 4G, essentially an AT&T version of the Thunderbolt, will be dropping on February 13th for 99 bucks on contract or upgrade pricing. And for a double-digit price, the Inspire 4G is packing some respectable specs.

  • 4.3"  SLCD display
  • 1GHz single-core processor
  • HSPA+ connectivity (AT&T's first stab at "4G")
  • 8MP Rear camera
  • 768MB RAM
  • Android 2.2 w/ HTC Sense 2.0 (the "new" Sense)

HTC_Inspire_4G

What remains unknown is whether or not AT&T will charge a premium fee for access to its HSPA+ "4G." Given the fact that AT&T has made explicit its plans to eventually roll out true LTE 4G in Q4 2011, it might serve their publicity machine better to keep data plan rates as they are until that time.

01
Feb
smartphone-OS-share1

According to Don Kellogg from the Nielsen Company, 31% of all mobile phone users in the U.S. own some type of a smartphone. More interestingly, it appears that the race for market share in the U.S. by the leading smartphone platforms - Android, iOS and BlackBerry -  is in a dead heat.

smartphone-OS-share1

We have already learnt from analysts at Canalys that shipments of Android-based smartphones globally commanded a 32.9% share of the market, followed by devices running Nokia's Symbian OS at 30.6%, Apple's iPhone OS at 16%, and RIM's BlackBerry OS at 14.4%.

01
Feb
image

After yesterday's launch of Optimus V on Virgin Mobile USA for $150, MetroPCS, another prepaid carrier, just followed the same suit and dropped the price of its own Optimus variant, the Optimus M, from $229 to $149.

The $80 President's Day price drop consists of an instant $30 discount and a $50 mail-in rebate, valid on purchases made from February 1st (that's today as of 5 hours ago) and February 28th.

01
Feb
image

Whether you believe the rumors about Samsung's Android upgrade plans or not doesn't really matter - the company has proven again and again that when it comes to older devices (read: released more than 3-4 months), your chances of an update drop dramatically. Froyo has been around for over 6 months now, but 3 out of 4 flagship Galaxy S devices in the U.S. (Captivate, Fascinate, Epic 4G) are still sporting outdated and Flashless Eclair builds, while the rest were only just upgraded in the last month or so.

31
Jan
new_android_apps_thumb1_thumb_thumb3
Last Updated: April 13th, 2011

Welcome to the weekly roundup of the best new Android applications and games that went live in the Market or were spotted by us in the previous week or so. WTF apps were definitely in abundance this week.

Please wait for this page to load in full in order to see the AppBrain widgets, which include ratings and pricing info.

Looking for the previous week's roundup? Find it here: 46 Best (And 2 WTF) New Android Apps And Games From Last Week (1/18/11 – 1/24/11)

Note: I've removed the Texty application from this list after some valid concerns about its legitimacy - thanks Nexuz-Uno.

31
Jan
Optimus 3d
Last Updated: February 14th, 2011

Update:LG has confirmed via its MWC Twitter account that the Optimus 3D will indeed be shown at the Mobile World Congress. They also confirmed the glasses-free 3D display, 3D video capability, and HDMI.

LG's "Into the New Dimension" event is scheduled for February 14, but Phandroid has gotten a hold of an image that is purported to be the LG Optimus 3D. Although a 3D display can't be confirmed by the picture, we can determine that this device is not the LG Optimus 2X or LG Optimus Black.

31
Jan
image

Google I/O, a conference dedicated entirely to Google technologies and hosted in San Francisco's Moscone Center, is fast approaching, and Google today opened up early registration to key developer partners and 2010 I/O attendees. Early reg, available to the first 1500 people who complete it, costs $450 ($100 more than last year). Don't worry though - when it goes public next week, the price is going to stay the same until April 17th, at which point it will go up another $100 to $550 (thanks for the correction, Philip!).

31
Jan
android-wrench

Although, the Android Market has exploded recently, it is no secret that apps on the iOS platform consistently look and perform better. With revenues from mobile apps set to triple this year, Google is going on a mass hiring spree to find developers to create quality apps for the Android Market, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Google, like Apple, takes a 30% cut for every app sold in the Market. However, with paid app sales failing to live up to expectations, Google is hoping to increase its revenue stream by improving the overall quality of the apps available in the Market.