While we at Android Police don't exactly wait with bated breath to hear what Steve Jobs has to say at Apple announcements like the one for the iPad 2 today, we would be fooling ourselves to pretend that Apple products don't directly affect the market for Android devices. While an Android fan's first reaction to the latest iAnnouncement is often to (understandably) bash the smooth-talking fruit company from Cupertino, I believe that today's events could shake up the tablet market for the better.
In what's sure to be a hit with hardware nerds, AnandTech has run a suite of benchmarks on 27 different devices. The line-up is dominated by Android, but also includes the iPhone 3GS (both on 4.1 and 4.2.1), iPhone 4, iPad, Blackberry Torch, and the WP7-powered HTC Surround. The results? Broadly speaking, Android comes out looking damn good. As for the dual cores - well, as you'd expect, they performed even better.
Google has announced a new subscription service called One Pass, which will allow publishers to create a centralised system for "user authentication, payment processing and administration".
One Pass will take a 10% cut of the cash collected, with 90% going straight to the publishers. This will be a welcome alternative to Apple's draconian model which takes a significant 30% of each transaction. However, Google will also be providing publishers with the names and email addresses of subscribers, something which Apple has refused to do.
Super Bowl XLV is going down this Sunday, and while most people can't wait to see the Steelers face off against the Packers, Android fans have another reason to be excited: Motorola plans to air a commercial for the world's first Honeycomb tablet during the big game.
However, for those of us who simply can't wait any longer, Motorola's released 15 seconds of the ad - check it out:
As you can see, Motorola has decided to take yet another jab at Apple and the iPad's lack of customizability - not exactly the most innovative approach, but so long as it piques the public's interest, it should suffice.
According to Don Kellogg from the Nielsen Company, 31% of all mobile phone users in the U.S. own some type of a smartphone. More interestingly, it appears that the race for market share in the U.S. by the leading smartphone platforms - Android, iOS and BlackBerry - is in a dead heat.
We have already learnt from analysts at Canalys that shipments of Android-based smartphones globally commanded a 32.9% share of the market, followed by devices running Nokia's Symbian OS at 30.6%, Apple's iPhone OS at 16%, and RIM's BlackBerry OS at 14.4%.
Although, the Android Market has exploded recently, it is no secret that apps on the iOS platform consistently look and perform better. With revenues from mobile apps set to triple this year, Google is going on a mass hiring spree to find developers to create quality apps for the Android Market, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Google, like Apple, takes a 30% cut for every app sold in the Market. However, with paid app sales failing to live up to expectations, Google is hoping to increase its revenue stream by improving the overall quality of the apps available in the Market.
It appears that Motorola's ad campaign for the XOOM is underway, with the following ad released today by ShareMoto. As in the previous, and I would say much more successful Tablet Evolution ad, Apple plays a big part, being compared to the Big Brother from 1984. Motorola then flies some [impressive] specs around and... that's it. No pictures of the XOOM - nothing. If this is indeed their Super Bowl ad they are planning to air during the game this Sunday, I will be very disappointed.
As Android's market share continues to grow, it is inevitable that it will become a target for viruses and other malware. Indeed Steve Chang, the chairman of Trend Micro, a provider of security software, cautioned that Android is far more susceptible to malware attacks than iOS.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Chang claimed that Android's open source infrastructure allowed hackers to better understand the underlying architecture and source code.
verizon-iphone-4The big question on everyone's mind (well, at least ours) today is: How will the iPhone coming to Verizon next month change the smartphone landscape? At this point, it's anyone's guess, but Android's unabashed domination on the US's largest wireless carrier will certainly be challenged in the coming months. However, there are significant forces at work that won't exactly help the iPhone with its Verizon debut - namely, Verizon and Android.