If you haven't been to the web version of the Android Market today, I suggest you go take a look. Google has thrown in a few new features, like trending apps and top grossing apps from the past 30 days. Not only that, but the navigation is much more intuitive, as the top paid and top free apps have been revamped, along with the addition of top games in the sidebar.
- The International market is taking over - U.S. 70% majority in 2010, but now international is 60% in 2011
- The new Market dashboard for developers will now let them view and exclude any of the 300+ Android devices, per app
- Starting in June, a new format called Multi-APK will be launched to bundle multiple APKs into one package
Yesterday at Google I/O, The Goog announced the next version of Honeycomb (Android 3.1), and said that the first tablet to see the update would be the Verizon version of the Motorola XOOM. Motorola followed up that announcement with an official statement today, including when the other XOOM variants could expect to see to get some updated Honeycomb action.
XOOM owners will be able to enjoy some nice improvements with this update, including support for the new Movies feature in the Android Market, resizable widgets, full support for the newest version of Adobe Flash player (10.2), which brings drastic improvements to performance and stability; and support for USB peripherals like game controllers, keyboards, and mice.
The first day of Google I/O 2011 is now over (see our highlights) - in fact, the next one is starting in mere 7 hours (4 hours of sleep - check). That doesn't mean, however, that the information presented was lost forever - on the contrary, Google has archived most, if not all, of the footage and made it available to you on YouTube via the GoogleDevelopers channel.
You can find the full keynote, filled with Android goodness to the brim, along with the most interesting Android sessions below.
While it doesn't affect those of you who have no idea what FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is, today's Android 3.1 announcement (see the SDK release here) will make a lot of people who gave up MP3s for FLAC files happy. Forget happy - think ecstatic. Unlike MP3s, FLAC is a lossless codec, meaning it does not degrade in quality after compression, making it the perfect solution for audiophiles who really care about the quality of their sound.
Google didn't leave us waiting long for the Android 3.1 SDK; hot on the heels of this morning's unveiling, the software development kit for the latest version of Honeycomb has landed. With it comes a boatload of new APIs (no wonder the API level is now 12) - most notably resizable widgets, improved animation frameworks, and, last but certainly not least, a host of options for interacting with USB devices.
A ton of Android news has already come out of Google I/O, but this time Google TV is thrown into the mix. GTV is set to see an OS update to Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) which means two things: developers will be able to create apps that will run on Honeycomb tablets and Google TV using the same SDK, and the Android Market will finally be a part of Google TV. Unfortunately, Google TV will not receive the Market update before the Honeycomb update, as they will both be released as one, OTA update.
Well, we all saw it coming. After giving away phones the past two years (HTC Magic G2 in 2009, HTC Nexus One/Motorola Droid and HTC EVO 4G in 2010), Google I/O attendees will be leaving with shiny new Limited-Edition Samsung Galaxy Tabs. Here's our little (big) guy:
The Tab 10.1 will be available to the masses on June 8, but I/O attendees will be receiving it first. The Tab 10.1 of course will be running Honeycomb (and will be getting the upgrade to 3.1 in a few weeks), have a 10.1'' screen, 1Ghz dual-core processor, and sport 32GB of onboard memory.
When Google announced its new Movies service today, some of the details of the service's launch were omitted in the information overload that is I/O. But now that we've had a minute to regain our composure and, you know, investigate, we've got some exciting news about Google Movies: you can start renting and watching right now (note: only the United States is currently supported):
The catch is that you'll only be able to do it from your personal computer (via the Web Market or YouTube in the browser) or on a Motorola XOOM in the Videos app for the moment (we're assuming that means it's limited to Honeycomb Android devices for the time being).
Shortly after Honeycomb dropped, we were told that the next version of Android would bridge the gap between tablets and phones. That bridge was officially announced this morning at Google I/O: Ice Cream Sandwich.
Ice Cream Sandwich will be the newest version of Android, and it's going to bring the goodness of Honeycomb to phones, along with Gingerbread features to tablets. The update is due out in Q4 of this year, and the goal is to unify the Android experience across devices, which is a huge step towards ending fragmentation as we know it.