Android smartphones you can buy for as little as a penny on a new two-year contract tend to be few and far in between, but it looks like Amazon's looking to change that. The movement started with them selling all US versions of Samsung's Galaxy S phones (save for Sprint's Epic 4G) for $0.01 on contract a few weeks back, and now they're taking the same approach with the Motorola Droid 2.
Welcome to the weekly roundup of the best new Android applications and games that went live in the Market in the previous week or so. Compared to last week's roundup, this one is huuuuge and is a real testament to how seriously developers are starting to treat Android.
Best New Android Apps
Android Police coverage: Napster, A Subsidiary Of Best Buy, Launches Official Android App
Listen to your choice of over 11 million full-length songs—anytime, anywhere, all for just $10 a month.
Well it isn't CyanogenMod 6, but according to our tipster, it's close - one of the Epic 4G's first ROMS has just gone live on xda-developers, and it looks... promising, if nothing else.
While we haven't had a chance to test this ROM out ourselves, the forum post states that the ROM's standout features include:
- Sprintware Removed
- Modified MMS/SMS app
- Bootup/Shutdown sounds ported from the Samsung Galaxy S I9000
- Changed shutdown display screen
- Choice of 4 launchers
- ADW Launcher
- Launcher (Vanilla)
- Car Home
- GenieWidget (News & Weather)
- AOSP Lockscreen
- EVO YouTube App
- Spare Parts
- Google Maps & Google Street View are up to date
- Pandora Compatible
Live Wallpapers ported from the Samsung I9000 & Samsung Fascinate:
- Blue Sea
- Layers Of Light
- Ocean Wave
As with most other ROMs, a full wipe of both the data and cache partitions is required, but since one of my wife's main gripes with the Epic has always been its lack of an option to play YouTube videos in HQ (something my EVO is capable of), I think the Epic Experience ROM might just be worth a try.
After months and months of waiting for a voice-enabled Skype to be out on Android and giving Verizon users an evil eye for that exclusive deal Skype signed with the largest US carrier, I am here to tell you that less than 2 hours ago, Skype officially hit the Market. This time, the long-awaited app is no longer restricted to Verizon, so download away (Android 2.1+ required)!
To offset the not so successful news of the Samsung Vibrant's supposedly (but not actually) GPS-fixing update, Samsung has just rolled out software version S:D700.0.5S.DI18 for the king of the Galaxy S ring, the Epic 4G for Sprint. It isn't FroYo, but it does introduce a number of important fixes, including:
- an issue where the battery would drain as a result of the cell modem continuously searching for available networks while on standby
- an issue with 3G upload speeds
- an issue with Amazon not being able to download music over 4G
- an issue where large emails would be slow to upload
The update will be rolling out over the next few days and will be available in typical over-the-air fashion, with Sprint citing download times of around seven to eight minutes.
All of Samsung's Galaxy S family have the same 4.0" Super-AMOLED screen, share a common iPhone-esque UI, and ... well, that's about it. The disparity between features in the SGS line has certainly caused some frustration with users; two have a flash, one has a keyboard and 4G, one has Bing (not really a feature worth crowing about), and two have front-facing cameras. Those two are the appropriately-named Epic 4G and the mothership, the Galaxy S i9000, which is mainly sold in Europe and Korea.
The Fascinate hasn't even been on Verizon's shelves for a month yet, and it looks like they're already planning on adding another variant of the Galaxy S to their lineup: the Continuum (SCH-i400). Technical details on the phone are light at the moment, but we can see in the images that it's rocking two displays - the main one (up top), as well as a small screen below the capacitive touch buttons.
Assuming this leaked image is real, Sprint has got two new Android devices in store for its customers, although one of them is hardly new at all: the Kyocera Zio, which will be branded as the Sanyo Zio, and the Samsung Transform, which appears to be another Android device, perhaps even from the Galaxy S series.
The Zio probably won't fire anybody up; it was announced last March, and even then it was considered a mid-range phone.
Here’s something to get your teeth into. Over at LaptopMag, a whole host of Androids have been put through their paces in a grueling battery life endurance test. The goal was to keep the phones’ screens on while doing a moderate amount of processing, namely cyclically browsing a collection of web pages. Despite the supposed power savings afforded by AMOLED screens, the phones employing that screen technology fell quite a ways behind in comparison to the traditional LCD phones.
The official app for Box.net made its entrance into the Android market today, giving you a powerful alternative to Dropbox. While the free service offered by Box.net only offers half as much storage capacity as Dropbox (1GB), the Business offering ($15/mo) gives you a litany of awesome features that Dropbox just can't touch.
Official press release follows:
Palo Alto, Calif. – September 23, 2010 – Cloud content management provider Box.net today announced that its Android app is now available for free on the Android Marketplace.