2011 was a great year for Android - Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich was announced. The Galaxy Nexus was released. A whole truckload of Android tablets came out. The first 4G LTE smartphones appeared. But there were some significant speed bumps as well. Here are, in no particular order, the five things in the world of Android in the last year that really got our hopes up, but ended up being a little disappointing.
After initially deciding it wouldn't update Galaxy S phones to Ice Cream Sandwich last week, Samsung has now (supposedly) given some semi-official lip-service to vocal Galaxy S and OG-Tab owners who have been clamoring for an official update to Ice Cream Sandwich. The English-speaking side of Samsung's media arm hasn't commented on the alleged statement as of yet.
According to a translation of the Korean source articles, Samsung has officially committed to "reviewing" the "possibility" of an Ice Cream Sandwich update for its Galaxy S phones, as well as the original Galaxy Tab.
After months of wondering and looking around for answers, we think we've finally found out why all of Verizon's 4G LTE phones (and modems / USB dongles) are having data connectivity issues, and it's a wee-bit technical even for us, but we'll do our best. This information has been gathered from various comments and forums across the net, so, take us at our word here.
When Verizon launched its LTE network in November of 2010, it was the first time the carrier had utilized a GSM-based (WCDMA, as opposed to CDMA2000) network in the United States.
Following up on last week's editorial, I decided it may be interesting to take a look at the other side of the story – that is, what effect has Google's 10 Billion App promotion had on the developers who were invited to participate?
To begin with, I think it would be wise to take a look at just how developers were invited, and how Google ran the promotion overall. We've heard from a handful of developers about this, so we've got a pretty clear picture of how things went.
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.