Have you been wondering what happened to BlindType, the creator of the keyboard that showed us all what a real onscreen keyboard should be like? Well, it turns out that they have been in top secret negotiations with the big dog himself, Google, because today BlindType announced that they have been acquired by our favorite friends in Mountainview - you know, the ones whose name rhymes with 'boogle'.
A guest post by Eric Chu just went live over at the Android Developers blog, officially announcing the expansion of the Android market to 20 new countries. While we can't exactly say we didn't see this coming (and have an idea what countries it was coming to), it's nice to see nonetheless. It looks like Distimo's estimation was pretty dead-on, too: 11 of the 13 countries they listed are confirmed by Mr.
Have you ever wanted to make custom ringtones, alarms, or notification sounds in Android but had no clue how to do it, even if you already put a media file onto your device? I can't blame you - Android is absolutely terrible about letting you do anything but pick one of the existing system sounds and offers no way of adding your own.
Enter Ringdroid. Ringdroid's sole purpose is to let you take an existing music file, crop it exactly how you want it, and then save it as either a ringtone, an alarm, or a notification.
Well, the title says most of it, and what it doesn't is pretty easily expressed in a chart: the stock browser - even in Froyo - isn't the best option available. In fact, it's not even close, especially for sites that haven't been saved alread:Skyfire 2.0 is faster by 3.3 seconds. The gap for saved sites is less significant, with Opera Mini faster by 1.4 seconds.
Surprisingly, Mozilla's Fennec comes in last in both categories; then again, Fennec is still considered alpha, and it's a fairly safe bet that times will drop as development progresses.
Researchers from Intel, Penn State, and Duke teamed up to study just how secure the apps in the Android market are. Specifically, they wanted to see what private data was collected by apps, and what the apps then did with said data. The results: 15 out of 30 "popular" applications sent geographic data, 7 sent unique hardware information, and a few sent info such as phone number and SIM serial to developers.
We received a tip in the wee hours of the morning that we managed to miss until now, despite its overwhelming awesomeness. In short, it's a video demonstration of a Senseta rover running with custom hardware and controlled by a Nexus One, although it looks like it will run on any Android device with Bluetooth.
The combination of Android and the simplified hardware allows for a simpler setup that saves weight, and in a little bugger like this, any lost weight counts for a lot.
Okay, some details:
For each sale of an App, we will pay you a royalty equal to the greater of 70% of the purchase price or 20% of the List Price as of the purchase date (70/30 is standard, this 20/80 split is somewhat odd and confusing)
The List Price is apparently in place so that you can’t sell your app cheaper on other “similar services” — meaning other app stores, presumably
The “similar services” should also include the forthcoming Chrome Web Store, if I’m reading this correctly
There is a $99 fee to be a developer in this program (the same as Apple’s iOS developer program)
It seems like if your app is available on other platforms, you have to make sure to update it at the same time on Amazon’s store that you do in any other store (this will piss off a lot of developers)
Apps will have to be laced with Amazon DRM — meaning they will only work on devices they approve (obviously)
Amazon has the right to pull any app for any reason (obviously)
You can offer free apps
The app store is U.S.-only (at least for now)
This part is interesting too: “We have sole discretion to determine all features and operations of this program and to set the retail price and other terms on which we sell Apps.”
Some pretty lame requirements there, no?
Millennial Media, one of the largest mobile advertisers in the US, has released their August MobileMix. Based on their ad impressions, they estimate that Android now commands 26% of the Smartphone market - up 7% month-over-month. If accurate, that puts Android 7% ahead of RIM - but still 22% short of iOS.
Other tidbits: smartphone impressions gained 3% in the last month, up to 51%. The original Motorola Droid surprisingly still holds 9.44% of the market as the second most popular phone (obviously, the iPhone is first); based largely on the success of the Droid, Motorola is now the third largest device manufacturer.
Last month, AP contacted Smith Micro with the intention of writing a detailed hands-on with SendStuffNow (SSN). Specifically, we wanted to look at SSN from a corporate-use perspective with the (then) new Android app. They made themselves available in a beautiful fashion, with Matthew Covington, Senior Director of Product Management, taking the time to thoroughly demonstrate the software to us. Unfortunately, complications arose on our end of things, with the end result that SSN has landed in my un-corporate lap.
On Saturday, Google revealed that they are planning on bringing access to paid applications to more countries, but didn't actually reveal which countries they have in mind. Enter Distimo (their name may sound familiar thanks to their App Store analytics reports), who thinks they may have a clue as to what countries are on Google's list.
The way they came up with their guesses? They noticed a number of new countries where paid apps have been added to the Market:
- Hong Kong
- South Africa
They're not sure if people can actually purchase the apps yet, and they point out that the list may be incomplete (or inaccurate).