It might just be us, but we've always thought Android Market looked a little too 'beta' for our tastes. We love the simplicity it offers but have been itching for a redesign for quite some time now. But worry no more, because a Motorola Sholes User has leaked what looks like a fresh new Android Market and we like what we see.
In the new design, there are clear options to show the Top Paid, Top Free, and Just In applications. There's also a new search icon in the top right corner. Overall, Android Market remains the same, it's just that key points of the UI have been brought to the forefront (and in a much cleaner way). Instead of being buried in menus, everything looks to be much more intuitive.
We like it, what about you guys? Are you happy with the current design of Android Market?
MIIPS Technologies recently demoed an Android-powered set-top box capable of 1080p video. Short reaction: Sweet. Long Reaction: We're unsure if there's even demand for an Android set-top box but if we know one thing about typical TV user interfaces is that they suck, big time. Android could work wonders in that market.
According to MIIPS, this is "a major milestone toward the creation of a reference platform" that'll eventually lead to Android-based products in your living room. This is all only proof-of-concept and with no video of how it actually works, it's pretty tough to tell if it'll be a winner or not. Regardless, we're interested in seeing more development on this front and it just continues to show how amazing Android can be.
We'll definitely keep an eye on Android set-top boxes in the future. Thoughts?
Twidroid, our favorite Android Twitter application, just received an update to 2.5.1 (now 2.5.6) and has introduced a PRO version for Twitter enthusiasts. Twidroid revamped their design in this update, bringing a sleeker design which includes a revamped menu bar. Though the icons are a wee bit small, the change is welcome and we're glad to see Twidroid get better. The Twidroid folks recommend uninstalling the current Twidroid and doing a fresh install of the updated version.
The real news is that Twidroid PRO is now available for Android users and it includes features such as: multiple account support, desktop widget, video posting, color themes, and a 'neat black pro application icon'. Twidroid PRO is available for $4.89 via Android Market--we personally think it's a worthwhile upgrade, but it's up for you guys to decide for yourself.
Who uses Twidroid? Who uses another Twitter application? And who doesn't even use Twitter?
Though Android users don't have the same complaints with AT&T as iPhone users, that may change after the report of AT&T denying Motorola Android phones on their network comes out. By denying Motorola Android devices, the Death Star network is inhibiting their customers from enjoying all the smartphone world has to offer.
MKM Partners analyst Tero Kuittenen reported that AT&T determined that the Motorola Android phones expected to launch on the network were too "out of date" for the quite obviously "cutting edge" product portfolio of AT&T (sarcasm). We think it's a big mistake on AT&T's part because the smartphone world has been expecting a "last hurrah" effort from Motorola and what better network to launch it on than AT&T?
Streaming digital TV channels hasn't become commonplace for US smartphones but that's more likely due to the lack of quality offerings on the major platforms rather than the lack of demand. That's all about to change because SPB TV, a popular TV streaming application on Windows Mobile, is now available for Android in Android Market.
For a one-time fee of $9.99 (no subscription whatsoever), Android users will be able to watch TV directly on their handset via a 3G or Wi-Fi connection (Wi-Fi obviously works best). Available channels span from local networks from major cities to international news channels. We've briefly tested SPB TV and came away pretty impressed. There's a 'Lite' version of SPB TV so those wary of the $9.99 startup fee can test the application for free (albeit a limited version).
You'll need an Android device running Android 1.5 and an HVGA screen resolution. We're fairly certain most of the Android community qualifies so go ahead and head to Android Market to check out SPB TV!
The FCC tested the Archos A5S, which has a touchscreen, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth, FM transmitter/receiver, microSD slot, and microUSB port. 3G connectivity is reportedly available but the FCC did not test it (perhaps that's what the A5H has). The A5S is also using what we believe to be a custom build of Android (a la HTC Sense).
We're definitely excited about the Archos A5S but wonder what kind of market it will find. Are you guys interested in the Archos Android Tablet?
T-Mobile will soon be launching a huge ad campaign for the myTouch 3G, one they claim to be "the largest product launch advertising campaign in T-Mobile history". Stars such as Whoopi Goldberg, Phil Jackson (Lakers Head Coach), and Jessie James will be featured in the ads that stress the unique customizable nature of the myTouch 3G.
You can see the first commercial up above and it's got a fairly catchy thing going on. We don't know how successful the whole "personalize your phone" is going to be but at least they're letting folks around the country realize a new T-Mobile phone with Google is available!
Apple has been catching a lot of flack for their draconian app approval process, and for the most part, it's a well-deserved takedown. On our grass is greener side, Google has been looking pretty nice throughout the whole he-said, she-said battle between the FCC, Google, Apple, and AT&T and it's looking even better now that details about how Google deals with Android apps in Android Market have been revealed.
To date, Android Market has only banned 1% of the applications from its virtual shelves and none of those banned applications have their blood on Google's hands. Namely, the banning process begins with users flagging specific applications and then Google investigating the applications--there is no pre-approval process for developers to jump through. We, the Android users, decide what gets cut. The most common reasons for removal are apps that contain adult content or violate copyright laws.
Though not having a pre-approval process can lead to a lot of shoddy and useless applications being passed through, we'd much rather have it the Android way than Apple's. Plus, Apple still has just as many fart apps as we do.