A nice little piece of litigation cropped up on the mobile news radar today - Skyhook, a WiFi/GPS location services provider, is suing Google for "forcing" certain Android device manufacturers (specifically Motorola and Samsung) to utilize Google Location Services instead of Skyhook on the DROID X and Galaxy S devices as their primary location services provider, respectively. If you're thinking "but Android is open source," stay tuned kids, I'll be explaining why that doesn't matter so much in this case.
One of the weaknesses of Android has been a lack of high quality games. Sure, there are some very good games, but not nearly as many as there should be, and they are often hidden in the Android Market. Fortunately, Android gaming momentum has been increasing with hits like Angry Birds arriving on Android recently. Now, OpenFeint is further increasing that momentum with the announcement of twenty Android titles in the next month, including several top 10 iOS hits like Fruit Ninja, MiniSquadron, and Super Slyder.
Wow, what a day today for Verizon's Samsung Fascinate! When it was introduced for $199 on a contract, Verizon threw in a 2-for-1 deal, making the price $99.99 if you buy 2.
Shortly after, Wirefly and Amazon Wireless both dropped the price to $99.99, making it a great deal for those who need only 1 Fascinate.
Today, the price war got serious. Really serious.
- Amazon Wireless is now selling the Fascinate to new accounts at exactly $0.01, which is a penny over absolutely free.
Adobe announced a "critical vulnerability" in the Flash 10.1 platform for all OS's, including Android, yesterday. While this is an extremely common occurrence (I use it to mark the new moon), it is a little troubling to know that Adobe's infamously-insecure plug-in could be giving evil-doers unsolicited access to Android devices running Flash.
While Adobe was not clear on exactly what malicious activity the exploit could allow on Android devices, the typical "control of a user's system" language is used when describing the implications of the problem.
WorldMate is a company that was created to make travel easier - easier to track, easier to book, and easier to keep up with from the moment you receive that itinerary confirmation email. WorldMate already has apps out for Blackberry, iOS, Symbian, and WinMo, and today it is finally filling in the glaring omission by announcing the official Android app.
The most useful feature, to me and thousands of users of this free service, is the ability to forward those itinerary confirmation emails from any of the popular booking sites to email@example.com and have them automatically converted into a new travel itinerary, broken down into individual travel items.
At the AppNation conference today, I got a chance to talk to Shainiel Deo, the CEO of Halfbrick, a company most known for its best selling iOS game Fruit Ninja.
Fruit Ninja is an addicting game in which you try to slash as many pieces of fruit thrown in the air as possible, getting bonus points for combo slices, while avoiding bombs at all costs.
Gartner, one of the top research and analysis companies in the world, has run the numbers and decided that Android could very well hold the #1 spot by 2014. Nokia's Symbian OS is likely to hold the top spot until 2014, and the analysts aren't certain Android will have taken the lead by then:
I am live here at the AppNation conference in San Francisco, and after San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom's welcome speech, in which he tried to get a bunch of developers to make apps for the government for free (yeah, riiight), we are looking at a mobile report from Nielsen, called The State Of Mobile Apps.
Nielsen, one of the largest media research companies in the world, compiled a report containing a few interesting metrics, such as:
- Most Popular Apps
- Application Discovery Methods
- Free VS Paid Apps
- App Billing Preference
- a few Advertising related stats
You can download and read the full report below, but before you do that, I wanted to highlight one metric that I found the most interesting.
It's that time of month again: Android's platform distribution numbers are up for the period ending September 1, and things are looking pretty good. Android 2.1 is up to nearly 41.7% of the market, and 2.2 checks in at 28.7% - between the two, 70% of Android phones are running 2.1 or better.
Android 1.5 and 1.6 still measure at a combined 29.5% of all devices. Obviously, any number above 0 isn't good, but as long as the rate is dropping, we'll take it.
TweetDeck for Android, which got immensely popular ever since its first public release a month ago, just got an update which finally brought the missing and very much anticipated widget support. After updating, you will find not 1, not 2, but 3 different widgets.
Here is the changelog:
- New "Quick post" widget
- New "Column" widget
- New "Quick launch bar" widget
- All new Add Column interface
- Fixed various bugs and improved performance
Check out all of the new widgets in the screenshots I just took: