It's not every day that I shoot videos of Android games (in fact, this is my first one ever) but when I saw EVAC HD hit the Market yesterday, I felt the need to do it. It wasn't even the graphics, which, by the way, are awesome, it wasn't the gameplay, which is also good - it was the music and the sounds that captivated me. I have only one way to describe them - "magical".
Try to contain your excitement, here: Sony-Ericsson will begin rolling out an the update to Android 2.1 (Éclair) for the Xperia X10, X10 Mini, and X10 Mini Pro devices starting November 1. As sarcastic as we are about being updated to an already out-of-date version, it's still a huge step up from the current Android 1.6. Major features of the updates:
• HD video recording with continuous auto-focus for high quality videos
• Upgrade of the Android platform to Android 2.1
• New back up and restore application, with extended content back up
• 5 homescreens for apps, widgets, shortcuts and folders
• Social phonebook which automatically syncs contact pictures from Facebook and shows when your friends are online
Xperia X10 mini and X10 mini pro:
• Improved Bluetooth functionality with support for sending and receiving pictures, contacts and more
• New backup and restore application with extended content back up
• Automatic synchronization of your contact pictures between Facebook and your phone book
• Improved ways of handling pictures, audio, text and numbers in your messages
• Upgrade of the Android platform to Android platform 2.1
Android 2.1 brings a slew of benefits on its own, so their "Upgrade of the Android platform to Android 2.1" entails an awful lot of changes on its own.
Finally, some empirical evidence that illustrates what we've known for some time now: Android is growing like gangbusters. In fact, 28% of smartphones sold in Q1 2010 were Android, compared to 21% for iOS. RIM still holds the top spot with 36%, but that's a drop of roughly 12% in the past year - while iOS has fallen approximately 10% itself. In the same period, Android increased over 20%.
In fact, it seems like Android grew at the expense of just about everyone else - excluding a minor 1-2% increase in "other".
In what is certainly a grade-A dropping of the ball, it looks like somebody accidently pulled the trigger on a post at PayPal's Blog before it was time to. We say accidently because the post read:
... reporting from Innovate 2010. Today, Google announced that you can use PayPal to buy apps on their Android Market.
The only thing is, at the time the post went live, no such thing had been revealed yet - whoops.
Remember that Sony Ericsson PlayStation phone we heard about back in August? Turns out it's not only real, but a prototype is out and about in the wild - and Engadget has landed themselves some surprisingly clear and detailed pictures of the device. Better still, it looks pretty close to the renders we saw in August - surprising, given the track record for Android rumors.
Between the PlayStation moniker and the slide-out gamepad, I think it's pretty clear that this beastie will be marketed as a gaming phone.
I'm not sure exactly how recently Google has done this (update: apparently, it's been a few months, thanks Brad), but there is a tab in the mobile search interface called "Android Apps." I'll give you 3 tries to guess what it does.
Clicking on each result pops open the Market app and works exactly as you would expect. The interface does show the star rating to help weed out the crapola, the price, the company name, and the number of reviews.
T-Mobile's recently announced LG Optimus T isn't exactly the most specced-out little bugger, despite its Autobot-like name, but according to the carrier's Facebook page, it will have at least one exciting feature: a budget-friendly price point. Indeed, T-Mobile will be selling the device for a seriously considerable $29.99 (on a new two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in-rebate, of course) starting November 3rd. A top-of-the-line device this may not be, but there's no denying that at a price more affordable than that of many messaging phones, many customers will view the Optimus T as an impulse purchase.
There is no shortage of media applications for Android - in fact, Winamp that came out last week was the most serious and robust media offering I've seen so far. However, when it comes to strictly the media player functionality, even Winamp can't touch what I'm about to show you - a new beta app called PowerAMP.
PowerAMP is an Android media player developed by a cool Russian dude by the name of Maxim Petrov (Max MP).
Best New Android Apps
PowerAMP is the sexiest Android music player I've seen to date. It also includes equalizer and preamp support, making it not just gorgeous on the outside, but smart on the inside.