Personally, I both love and despise April Fool's day. On one hand, it is a lot of fun, but on the other, it makes me waste entirely too much time trying to see as many jokes as I can and then figure out which stories are real and which ones are not. Alas, such is life, and April 1st will keep coming every year (at least until 2012 :-S), so we'll just roll with it and link the best Android-related trolls of the day.
We've all heard that Ice Cream (the next version of Android) is supposed to combine Gingerbread with Honeycomb, but our friends over at Phandroid have gotten the inside track on some additional information, and it looks like Google TV may become part of the bundle as well. While Google TV has gotten off to a rocky start, incorporating it into Android seems like it would be a smart move for Google.
For everything that we love about Android – openness, customization, large selection of devices, etc. – there are things that we hate about it, too, like fragmentation and manufacturers pre-loading devices with crapware and (some) custom UIs. It seems, though, that Google is looking to change all of that. Insiders from companies “in the Android ecosystem” have told Businessweek that Google is starting to crack down on changes that manufacturers are allowed to make to Android.
"Great news, everyone!" Last week, Google launched the new in-app billing capability of the Android Market into private beta testing, promising a public release this week, if all went well. Apparently, all did go well, as the company today opened this most-exciting feature to everyone. To be fair, iOS users have been enjoying in-app billing in the App Store since 2009, so Google's move is quite a bit late (don't make me bring up the whole copy-paste thing to balance the argument!).
The last two Android developer phones - the Nexus One and Nexus S - have both been quite popular amongst the Android fans because of their latest-gen hardware and fast-paced software updates (though maybe not so much for the N1). But a new developer phone coming straight from chip manufacturer Qualcomm won't be aiming to replace your personal phone - it's all about the development.
Knowing just a few of its specs, it certainly seems like it could be some manufacturer's next flagship phone, but there are two big catches:
- 1.2 GHz Dual core Snapdragon processor with Adreno 220 GPU
- 1GB RAM
- 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera
- 13 megapixel rear camera
- Stereo speaker system
- Four microphones
- Android 2.3
- No Market access
Battery "pack" as opposed to a cell
Those last two points are the reason this phone won't be available or even usable for consumers.
The smartphone is slowly becoming the "all-in-one" gadget, however one big gap that still exists is the inability to easily make purchases directly through the device instead of using cash or credit cards. According to the WSJ and "people familiar with the matter", Google is working with MasterCard and Citigroup to fill this void by using the still nascent NFC (near field communication) technology to develop a new mobile payment service.
That's right folks - CyanogenMod7 RC3 is up for grabs, and we'll be posting the devices it's available for as they come in. Here's the links we have so far:
- HTC Desire HD (and Inspire 4G)
- HTC Click/Tattoo
- Commtiva Z71
- Geeksphone Zero
- Geeksphone One
- Hero CDMA
- myTouch 4G
- Nexus One
- EVO 4G (Download link only, will add thread when it's open)
- HTC Legend
- HTC Slide
We'll keep this list updated as more devices are added.
TeamBlackHat has publicly released a leaked official Gingerbread (Android 2.3.3) software update build for the Motorola DROID 2. To install the update, you must have the DROID 2 Bootstrapper by Koush. Instructions and download links below:
1. Download this file from the TBH app or download below
2. Use Bootstrap to get your phone into recovery.
3. Create a backup (This is not compatible with new firmware)
TeamBlackHat has publicly released a leaked official Gingerbread (Android 2.3.3) software update build for the Motorola DROID X. To install the update, you must have the DROID X Bootstrapper by Koush. Instructions and download links below:
Has your XOOM experience just been incomplete without the ability to view Power Point presentations and Excel spreadsheets? Well, hold on to your triple mocha decaf vanilla sugar free latte, then - QuickOffice Pro HD has arrived to super-size your productivity for maximum tablet utility.
Seriously, though, QuickOffice is a must-have if you need to view formatted documents as part of justifying that Honeycomb-tablet purchase. In addition to reading Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files (both the old 2003 and 2007+ file versions), QuickOffice Pro comes with a powerful file browser utility that hooks into your Google Docs, Dropbox, Box, Huddle, SugarSync, and MobileMe accounts to make accessing your cloud-synced documents a breeze.