02
Feb
wm_2011-02-02 16h30_58
Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Android users have been clamoring for an official online Android Market solution for ages, and today, El Goog finally delivered with the Android Market Web Store. Once the issues with the "Sign in" button (clicking it returned an 'Invalid Request' error) were fixed, we didn't think twice about delving in and giving it an in-depth look. Read on for our first impressions!

Front Page

wm_2011-02-02 16h30_58

The front page of market.android.com (aka the Android Market Web Store) is simple, clean, and sexy - just the way we like it.

02
Feb
eclipse-android-logo-195x110

One of my biggest gripes with the Android Market (and mobile app stores in general) is that apps often have lite versions, essentially limited editions of the full app. These lite versions make it harder to find the real app, and a seemingly easier solution would be to simply give users a free app and allow them to buy add-ons for it as they go.

Well it seems Google has finally decided to implement this in the Android SDK via "in-app purchasing." Devs can bake it into their app now thanks to an update to the SDK, though users won't be able to access it until later this quarter.

02
Feb
Screen shot 2011-02-02 at 1.17.39 PM

As part of today's Honeycomb- and "Android ecosystem"-event, Google demoed Renderscript - a new 3D graphics library in Android. And part of their demo?  A new application called Google Body, aka the "Google Maps of human anatomy."

Screen shot 2011-02-02 at 1.17.19 PM Screen shot 2011-02-02 at 1.17.26 PM Screen shot 2011-02-02 at 1.17.39 PM

Screen shot 2011-02-02 at 1.17.43 PM Screen shot 2011-02-02 at 1.17.47 PM

It looks like it'll be a pretty cool way to explore the human body - just like Maps, you can strip away layers (i.e. skin, bones, etc.), rotate it in 3D, and search for body parts before having them highlighted in the app.

02
Feb
2011-02-02 13h36_57

Oh yes, those juicy rumors about an online version of the Market were true - the "Android Market Web Store," as Google is calling it, is accessible now via market.android.com.

2011-02-02 13h36_57 2011-02-02 13h39_03 2011-02-02 13h41_29

As you can see, a list of featured/best selling games populates the front page, along with a list of categories, a "Sign in" button (which, at the time of this writing, leads to an 'invalid request error'), and a "Search" function.

02
Feb
game

We've already seen a few apps shown off at Google's live Honeycomb event, including two 3D games that take full advantage of both cores on the Tegra 2 processor. Monster Madness, ported from the PS3 to Android, is a hack and slash game with amazing 3D graphics and destructible environments, while Great Battles is an epic RTS that's also called an "educational game." While that doesn't sound that cool, just take a look at the pictures of the game in action.

01
Feb
gslate

Just before tomorrow's Honeycomb event, T-Mobile is out to steal the spotlight with their G-Slate Honeycomb tablet that was announced at CES earlier this year. Back then, we had virtually no details other than the fact that it was running Android 3.0, but tonight, T-Mobile's spilling the beans:

  • 8.9" HD display
  • 3D capable with glasses
  • Dual stereoscopic cameras for 1080p 3D video recording, as we've already figured out
  • 5 megapixel camera with dual LED flash
  • 2 megapixel front-facing camera
  • HSPA+ capable
  • Gyroscope and Accelerometer
  • 32 GB internal storage
  • HDMI out
  • NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor
  • Android 3.0 Honeycomb

What is highly disappointing about the G-Slate is the silver band that looked very much like a kickstand seems to be just a cosmetic element.

01
Feb
Samsung Fascinate_LowRes

We have some somewhat good news for Fascinate owners: a new, official, very final-looking Froyo build DL30 for the Samsung Fascinate has been leaked, and it's been released completely unmolested (short of pre-rooting it). Even the bloatware has been left intact.

Obviously, the silver lining here is that we can see that Samsung and Verizon are making progress, and this could be a sign that the update is closer to being ready to roll out.

01
Feb
smartphone-OS-share1

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.

smartphone-OS-share1

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%.

31
Jan
image

Google I/O, a conference dedicated entirely to Google technologies and hosted in San Francisco's Moscone Center, is fast approaching, and Google today opened up early registration to key developer partners and 2010 I/O attendees. Early reg, available to the first 1500 people who complete it, costs $450 ($100 more than last year). Don't worry though - when it goes public next week, the price is going to stay the same until April 17th, at which point it will go up another $100 to $550 (thanks for the correction, Philip!).

31
Jan
android-wrench

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.