The big question on everyone's mind (well, at least ours) today is: How will the iPhone coming to Verizon next month change the smartphone landscape? At this point, it's anyone's guess, but Android's unabashed domination on the US's largest wireless carrier will certainly be challenged in the coming months. However, there are significant forces at work that won't exactly help the iPhone with its Verizon debut - namely, Verizon and Android.
During CES 2011 Sony Ericsson's newest smartphone, the Xperia arc, was sighted running Android version "2.4".
A few weeks ago there were rumours that Honeycomb, Google's next iteration of the Android platform, would actually be Android 2.4 and not Android 3.0. Although it was later confirmed that Honeycomb will indeed be Android 3.0, rumours suggested that an incremental update to Android was being readied. The About section of the Xperia arc, displayed below, appeared to confirm that there was indeed a version 2.4.
App store analytics company Distimo has released a report reviewing the changes in the Apple, Android, Blackberry, and Nokia app stores in 2010, and the results are impressive for all four. To highlight a few points from the 28 page report:
It's not unheard of for tuners to throw a small PC into a car (commonly called a "carputer" in the industry). It's a lot less common for Android to appear in cars, though it does happen - GM has considered using it to power OnStar and has a Volt app, while the Roewe 350 rocks Android in a pretty hardcore way. We've yet to hear of aftermarket tuners taking advantage of Android - until now, that is.
Back in October of last year, ZeptoLab, the maker of a very popular iOS game Cut The Rope, announced its tentative plans to port the hit to Android, albeit without an expected release date. We've waited for a few months, but the release didn't come (though, I'm sure, they're hard at work). Feelingtouch Inc, however, didn't want to wait and in the meantime developed and released a clone - Rope Cut.
Google just updated its Goggles app to version 1.3 and added three noteworthy features that make it even more desirable than it was before. First is the ability to scan QR codes without actually taking a picture; just hover your camera over the image and Goggles will automatically recognize it.
Second, Goggles now recognizes ads in major US newspapers and magazines. I couldn't get this to work, but Google claims it will work with any ads dated since August 2010.
Motorola is expected to launch its XOOM tablet in February 2011 and, according to DigiTimes, they have placed an order for about 700,000 to 800,000 units. If there is greater demand, DigiTimes expects the order to reach up to one million units by the end of the first quarter of 2011.
Interestingly, DigiTimes also claims that Motorola and Samsung are being given special treatment by Google, while competitors, such as LG and HTC, are being left behind.
As a fan of Ubuntu, I really love using Mozilla Firefox. In my opinion, it is the best desktop browser out there (sorry, Chrome). It was because of my love for Firefox that I became elated when I first heard that Mozilla would be developing a browser for the Android platform.
Having followed the development of Firefox for Android from an alpha and now to a beta, I jumped at the chance to interview software engineer Matt Brubeck, one of the lead developers of Firefox for Android.
Red tape seems to be getting in the way of Notion Ink's plans to ship initial pre-order customers' Adam tablets today. An email sent to us by one of those pre-order customers this morning indicates that it is the FCC's certification process which has put the brakes on the Adam's release:
Having just released the full version of Jet Car Stunts, mobile game development company True Axis also decided to release a demo version of the game, aka Jet Car Stunts Lite (currently live in the Market). Like the full version, the lite version features OpenFeint compatibility and gives users the ability to make huge jumps and fly through the air doing crazy stunts. For those who aren't familiar with the game, it’s a 3D driving sensation where your opponents are not other players, but the tracks.