Welcome to the weekly roundup of the best new Android applications, games, and live wallpapers that went live in the Market or were spotted by us in the previous week
2 weeks or so. Due to CTIA last week, we decided to postpone last week's roundup and roll all the apps into one big 2-week post.
Get ready - the list is quite massive and may freeze up your browser while loading - I suggest you open up links in new tabs to avoid page reloads. Read More
Update: Linux devs are not happy about this.
Update #2: And just like that, only a few hours after this article, HTC released the Thunderbolt kernel source.
If you've been following the "drama" around Android kernel source release timelines and device manufacturers (such as HTC), you should be already aware of 2 forces pushing in opposite directions:
- On one side, we have the Android community, which maintains that according to GPLv2, Android kernel sources need to be published together with a given device release.
The smartphone is slowly becoming the "all-in-one" gadget, however one big gap that still exists is the inability to easily make purchases directly through the device instead of using cash or credit cards. According to the WSJ and "people familiar with the matter", Google is working with MasterCard and Citigroup to fill this void by using the still nascent NFC (near field communication) technology to develop a new mobile payment service. Read More
In typically blisteringly-quick fashion, the hackers at XDA have managed to root a Wi-Fi XOOM in no time at all - good news, considering that the root method for the regular XOOM was bricking the Wi-Fi models. It's worth noting that unlocking the XOOM's bootloader (which is required for root) wipes the device.
The current method does require some ADB commands, but certainly nothing tricky. Still, for those who are hesitant, it's likely that an automated method won't be far behind. Read More
Droid-life just dropped an exciting informational tidbit for Incredible owners to mull over: the device may be getting the Gingerbread bump some at the end of the second quarter. The upgrade to 2.3 will entail all of the optimizations made to the Android OS since Froyo's release almost a year ago, and hopefully will provide Incredible owners with the newest version of HTC's Sense UI.
The tip came via an email from an HTC rep in response to a customer's help ticket:
I will be happy to assist with your software update inquiry.
You might want to take a seat for this one: an early Gingerbread build has leaked for the Samsung Galaxy S I9000, and is now available for download. The file first landed in the hands of one Tricky103, and shortly thereafter was downloaded from Samsung's internal database and uploaded to a public mirror courtesy of iammodo.
Installation instructions are Read More
virtually non-existent in the post, so you should probably know your way around modding already before attempting this (update) turns out installation instructions aren't there because it's super simple: just use the three button combo to flash the new ROM.
We saw it coming from a mile away (and knew all the details), and now it's finally happened: the Amazon Appstore officially launched on Tuesday, March 22. So far, with the exception of a minor hiccup, it looks like the launch has been fairly smooth. Read More
Without taking a break from yesterday's free Shazam Encore deal, Amazon is continuing its daily giveaway of awesome premium Android apps with another one of our favorites - SwiftKey Keyboard.
SwiftKey normally costs $1.99 in the Android Market ($1.79 in the Amazon Appstore), but for the next 24 hours, U.S. residents will be able to download it to their Digital Lockers for free, thereby claiming it forever. Even if you are not a fan of SwiftKey just yet, there is no reason to pass on this deal if you can get it - just do it now, then think and decide later. Read More
They may have publicly stated that the Xperia X10 wouldn't be receiving further Android updates just a few months ago, but it looks like Sony Ericsson has had a change of heart: they now say the phone will receive an update to Android 2.3.3 (Gingerbread) sometime in late Q2 or early Q3. You can apparently thank the Xperia PLAY, arc, and neo, as the company says similarities in development of these devices has made it easier to bring the update to the X10. Read More
There has been quite an uproar as of late over Google's handling of the source code for Honeycomb, their most recent version of Android. The company announced this week that it would be delaying the release of the Honeycomb source in order to iron out some issues, specifically ones involving running it on small-screen devices (i.e. phones). Andy Rubin gave an explanation as to why these issues exist:
Android 3.0, Honeycomb, was designed from the ground up for devices with larger screen sizes and improves on Android favorites such as widgets, multi-tasking, browsing, notifications and customization...We didn't want to think about what it would take for the same software to run on phones.