In case you haven't heard, Google has been offering 10 apps a day for just $0.10 each as part of a 10 day promotion to celebrate the 10 billionth download from the Android Market. For end users, this promotion has been fantastic, as it offers quality paid apps for next to nothing. In fact, the promotion has also been great for the developers behind the promoted apps, who have seen hugely increased exposure, skyrocketing purchases, and higher spots in the "Top Paid" list.
Dear Android Custom ROM developers: I love most of you. Really. You're part of what makes Android so awesome, because you're so enthusiastic about it, and about making it better. Because of you, we have awesome things like CyanogenMod.
I want to give you some numbers. Let's just look at some popular Android devices:
- T-Mobile Galaxy S II: 9
- AT&T Galaxy S II: 8
- HTC ThunderBolt: 23
- DROID BIONIC: 7
- Epic 4G Touch: 10
What do these figures represent?
Google Music is old hat. Sorry, guys - it's true. Streaming? Amazon's Cloud Player and iTunes iCloud both have it. Locker storage? Amazon gives you a decent amount, too - and they might even increase it if they feel Google Music is one-upping them. Purchase options? Apple and Amazon both have more music you can purchase digitally, including titles from Warner Music Group (which Google Music does not have), where many major contemporary artists are signed.
It seems that invitees to Google's big not-yet-officially-about-Google-Music-event have just received a second invitation - to the after party. Oh, and Maroon 5, Busta Rhymes, Dirty South, R3hab, and Drake will all be in attendance - and so will we. We'll be watching the earlier event via livestream along with most everyone else (space is apparently very limited), but Android Police will present for the post-event-event Wednesday night, below. We're excited.
Android has a mysterious case of gigantism, and I'm not entirely certain why manufacturers keep feeling the need to have a bigger phone than the next guy. The size war (all male anatomical euphemisms aside) is on, and we're not sure when it's going to end. Take a look at these device charts for the three major Android manufacturers in (pretty much) chronological order of release:
High-end phones only. No QWERTY devices.
Android’s massive worldwide popularity has, in large part, the availability of cheap, low-end handsets to thank. We all know this. In developing markets in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, Android powers almost all of the smartphones that are being purchased by growing numbers of prepaid subscribers.
Cheap Android phones are, for that reason alone, a great thing. They’re empowering consumers in developing economies, giving them access to the full web wherever they go - something that has generally been the privilege only of the wealthy and of Western nations in the past decade.
OK, before I even get into this post, let me be clear: this is based on old news. However, it was news that no one seemed to pick up at the time, and when we discovered it, we thought it was quite interesting.
If you're unfamiliar with Lodsys, let's start with a history lesson. They're better known as the shell corporation offspring of a company called Intellectual Ventures LLC, a patent clearinghouse owned by a group of, shall we say, enterprising individuals.
There's been some discussion of late that, perhaps, Android phone manufacturers are iterating handsets at a pace which is detrimental to product polish and subsequent software support. In fact, a couple of days ago I took a look at the state of Android phones on US carriers with a few simple charts.
I also promised to write another post looking at how quickly, as opposed to how prolifically, Android handsets are moving in the US marketplace.
After reading a couple of great pieces on Droid-life about how Android manufacturers seem to be moving at breakneck pace to advance hardware and iterate handsets like crazy, I had an idea - let's visualize it in different ways. First, we'll start with a pretty basic comparison, showing the US's four major carriers and the number of Android devices they currently offer.
*includes upcoming DROID RAZR and Galaxy Nexus on Verizon.