If you’ve kept an ear out for Android in the blogosphere recently, then you’ll have heard some contradictory information regarding the sale of applications in the Android Market. Some people are shouting out that the end is nigh, others say that life is trending towards better times, making it tough to know what’s really going on. Apparently it all depends on what market you’re looking at.
Take Handango for example, a third party application store for multiple mobile platforms. Offering over 140,000 mobile applications for just about every device you can imagine – they also have a wide range of Android packages. From a quick glance, it looks like a mix of above average quality, and overpriced trash all thrown in together. The point here is that they’ve been reporting that the Android platform is their number one mobile game selling platform.
Great news for the life of the OS, right? Well, great news for Handango at least – especially considering that these sales come from their very own “Market”.
An appropriate counterpoint would be mobile game developer Larva Labs who have recently let the world know that they’re incredibly bad at making money. No, that’s not quite what they said, it was more like “We only get like, $60 a day from our games on the Market” or something., whereas they earn a heck of a lot more from other platforms. One would love to say “Too bad for you, best make some better games, whiners.” (seriously, have you played Retro Defense? How much effort did they really put in there?) but complaining about the sheer usability of the Android Market seems to be the done thing at the moment – with good reason.
The Market in its current form is serviceable, but well, lacking in many respects. However, fear not gentle reader, it’s getting a major overhaul in the coming updates. Praise be to Google. There are screenshots out there, but more on that later.
As much as we would love to verbally abuse developers who are simply porting over their lame ideas from other platforms to Android, instead of designing for it from the ground up, the fact that they’re not making money doesn’t appear to be entirely their fault if a third party app market can do so much better.
How about a solution then? It seems to be on the way, so the answer people, is patience. Sweet, difficult patience. Oh, and make some better games. Seriously.
You maye have noticed over the last little while, updates haven’t been forthcoming. Currently, the owner and writer of DROIDSPY is moving his life from one country to another.
This process should take another couple of weeks at most, and so updates will be few and far between. Once done however, all will go back to normal.
Thanks for hanging in there.
About time! Heck, there’s already been an unofficial Google Voice app (GV) available for ages. Apparently this new application, from the big G themselves, is not only more official – but integrates properly with the rest of Android. Great news of course, for all of the people who have access to and can actually make use of Google Voice. It has also been released to Blackberry.
Unfortunately, I can’t give you my personal take on a the thing, as I live somewhere between the Czech Republic & Australia, with neither of these places being remotely close to inside the US of A. How boring of me. Seriously though, why provide an invite if I’m not even able to hook it up to a SIP phone? /rant.
Thanks to Google Chrome OS and Android having a “great deal of commonality” the Google CEO Eric Schmidt stated that the two platforms may “merge even closer”. Which, seems to point in the opposite direction of their original statements about the future of Android now that the Chrome OS has been announced. This little tidbit came out of a general Google business press conference and certainly sounds interesting, but what does it actually mean for Android itself? No one seems to be sure.
By now we all know what Android is, really, you wouldn’t be on this site if you didn’t. So surely you’ve heard of Google’s upcoming Chrome OS? What’s that? You haven’t? Fear not, here’s the rather recent official announcement. The gist of it is that Google is creating a lightweight, stripped down OS that’s based on a Linux kernel (no surprises there), with their own windowing system, that boots into the Chrome browser. Currently aimed at netbooks, they’ve also got their sights set on desktops some time in the future. Of course, like Android, it will all be open source – so good for them!
You’ve got to wonder though, if the Chrome OS is aimed at netbooks, will we be seeing the much investigated Android netbooks any time soon? Any time… at all? Since the Chrome OS is also being built to run on ARM processors (which power a whole bunch of phones, amongst other things) how long will it be before we see mobile phone versions of this thing? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the idea. It just doesn’t seem like good business sense to have two ultimately similar products doing essentially the same thing, and maybe that’s the point of this possible “merge” statement.
If Chrome OS turns into a beautiful powerhouse of web-happy applications and greatness over the next few years, and Android keeps up the rapid development cycle, and then they combine the two – we could be looking at one of the best multiple device operating systems ever seen. Plus, it’ll be open, customisable, and best of all – free.
Source: Android Community
My oh my, if you want the visual goodies, head straight down to the video. If you’re curious about the details though, keep on reading.
Sony Ericsson is bringing out a couple of Android-based phones in the not so distant future, and they look rather slick indeed. However, the big winner here is the Rachael (could use a more phone-like name though). Not only does it feature our beloved Android OS, but it’s packing a Snapdragon processor, 3D acceleration, 7.2Mbps HSDPA, and an 8 megapixel camera complete wth auto-focus. Does that sound delicious, or what?
To top it off, they’re skinning in their own UI, and it’s making just about everyone who sees it jealous of the future. Check out the video below, and prepare to fall in love with Rachael.
You can find images of the actual phone(s) in the source link, if you’re interested. Now we all just have to start hoping that Sony Ericsson can deliver on their UI promises.
Source: Boy Genius Report
Peter Ha over at MobileCrunch reports that the Android OS will be receiving not just one, but two more updates by the end of this year. Apparently some overly talkative T-Mobile representative gave him the tip-off, way to spoil the surprise guy. No, just kidding – it’s always great to know that your platform of choice is not just supported, but constantly being developed and improved.
One of these updates will feature minor improvements, possible bug-fixes and the like, while the other is going to have major impact a la Cupcake. This time however, it’s the infamous Donut that we’ve been hearing about in bits and pieces over the last couple of months.
So feel good, fellow ‘droid lovers. New features arrived only a little while ago, and more are on the way in the very near future.
For those interested in a seeing a little HTC Android photo love, gadget blog Gizmodo have put up a gallery of pictures showing off the last three “generations” of HTC Android phones all sitting pretty next to one another.
Check out this link for the eye-candy.
Google is gearing up for their second Android Developer Challenge. This time, with close to $2 million worth of prizes up for grabs. Hot damn, this means we can expect to see some fantastic new applications hitting the Market in the not too distant future.
The last Android Developer Challenge produced some of the best apps that Android has to offer, taking advantage of a wide range of features, with stunning results. That time, there were only 50 finalists. But oh-ho, this time, we’re looking at 200 finalists in 10 categories, so get ready to benefit from some serious competition.
Not only has the number of finalists expanded, but the Android community itself is going to have a say in who gets to be one – making the whole thing a user-driven, ratings given, application lovefest. Yep, it’s time to start getting excited.
Incredibly curious about Android? Desperate to see what it looks like, and get a feel for the thing? The LiveAndroid Team are here to help you out then. They’re aiming to build a bootable LiveCD (and LiveUSB) that allows your average computer user to check out Android without having to emulate it, or get their SDK on.
The idea behind this is that you simply download the CD, burn it (or create a bootable USB), and then restart your computer. Bingo! Your PC will now boot into Android, allowing you to examine the OS at your leisure without altering your current computer setup, or requiring you to purchase another device.
If you’d like to check out Android and this still rather young project, you can find it here.
AndroLib.com is a new, neat little website that gives you easy access to the Android Marketplace – inside your browser. If you’re already at a computer, it simply makes it easier to search out and lock on to the latest and greatest apps that have made their way into the Market.
Now, some of you might say that Cyrket already does this, and does it fairly well. You’re right, it does. Both AndroLib and Cyrket feature ratings, show comments, and have built-in QR codes for easy app retrieval. Aside from the site designs, there isn’t a whole lot to differentiate the two. Where AndroLib really shines through though is in speed. It’s simply much faster than Cyrket, and this in itself makes using AndroLib a more enjoyable experience.
Regardless, it’s great to see multiple websites filling the very obvious hole that Google left in their Marketplace strategy – the power to find your apps, whilst still keeping your phone in your pocket.