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3 years ago

Why the Google phone store didn't work out (and what happened to the Sprint and Verizon Nexus Ones) [#io2010]

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So what, exactly, killed off the Google phone store? We had a couple really good questions during this afternoon's Q&A regarding the death of the web distribution model, and what happened with the Sprint and Verizon versions of the Nexus One. Said Mario Queiroz, above, vice president of Android product management:

"The web store as a direct distribution model is really a very small part of the overall Android strategy. With the Nexus One we had the objective of bringing to market a very technologically sophisticated phone, which we did, which really set a new bar for quality. And I think you've seen a lot of the phones in the market today, that have come to market in the past few months, have been influcing, in many ways ... by what the Nexus One was able to do.

"The web store was another element of the strategy. It was, in many ways, an experiment for us. ... Android was in a very different place six months ago. ... And today, we believe that the right thing to do from a distribution perspective is different from what it was a few months ago. And so we've chosen to double down on our partnerships ... we're focusing on building great technology -- being an Internet software company -- and working with our partners on distribution."

Andy Rubin followed up with a great explanation with what goes into working with carriers. Check it out after the break.

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3 years ago

Hands-on with Laminar Research's X-Plane Android flight sim [#io2010]

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I'm pretty sure I could probably fly myself home after spending a few minutes with Laminar Research's X-Plane Android flight simulator (this is no mere "app"), which we toyed around with at Google IO. You have seven airplanes -- Piper Malibu, Beach King-Air, Eclipse Jet-500, Piaggio Avanti, Cirrus Vision, Cessna 172 and Columbia 400 -- from which you can choose, and it features custom terrain (no Google Earth here) and even shows where lift is affecting the aircraft. It's not available yet in the Android Market because they're waiting for a few technical issues (with the Market, not their app) to be resolved. But hopefully we'll see this soon. Check it out after the break. Anybody want to navigate for me?

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3 years ago

Android's Andy Rubin: It's 'legacy,' not 'fragmentation' [#io2010]

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First question out of the gate today for the Android leadership at Google IO was about everybody's favorite subject: fragmentation. And VP of engineering Andy Rubin put things in perspective: 

Some of the press has called this "fragmentation," and that's probably the wrong word for this. The better word for it is "legacy." These phones and devices ... the iteration ... is incredibly fast.

And when we stop to think about it, we like that term. It's not all fire and brimstone like you guys are looking for, but it's the way it is.

Look, that's really not going to make a lot of you happy. But that's just the hard truth: These phones are progressing extremely fast. At some point yours will be old. At some point ours will be old. And we'll all have to live with that.

Check out the whole exchange after the break.

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3 years ago

Froyo sculpture finally unveiled on Google's campus

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We first showed you the official Froyo sculpture a week ago, and here it is, finally on the Google campus. Yummy, eh? [Twitpic via @billnapier]

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3 years ago

Heads up: This week's podcast moving to Friday evening

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A small programming note, people: Due to our regularly scheduled Android Central Podcast falling smack in the middle of Google IO/cross-country travel, we're going to push it back a day this week. So, no podcast tonight. Instead, join us Friday at 7 p.m. EDT / 4 p.m. PDT as we wrap up all the week's Android news -- including Froyo and Flash -- and we might even have a few special treats to give away. We'll be at AndroidCentral.com/live. See you Friday!

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3 years ago

No Froyo just yet, Google says

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You guys keep asking, and here's the official answer: Android 2.2 -- Froyo -- is trickling out in the SDK now, but it's going to be a few weeks before we see it on phones en masse. That doesn't mean we won't see it anywhere, just that you don't need to be checking for updates (and e-mailing us) every day, m'kay? [Twitter]

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3 years ago

Android's Google Voice app updated

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The Google Voice app for Android received a nice update today, so for all those looking for Froyo from Google I/O but were bummed it didn't get pushed to you today, at least you can check out this update. The last update that this application received was a rather large one with the message syncing, which gave nearly instant notification of SMS, and this features has been further improved in the latest build. In addition to the refinement of this feature, they have added the ability to turn on and off SMS forwarding from the application, as well as fix a few other bugs. One great new feature is that now in the notification pull down, it says who the SMS is from, instead of "1 Google Voice Message" like it used to. Overall, nothing earth shattering, but a very solid release with some great new features. [Google Mobile]

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3 years ago

Adobe AIR SDK publically available now

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Today brought a slew of FroYo toppings, and Adobe AIR is just one of them.  While this might not be as exciting to some of us upon first glancing, it probably should be.  Adobe AIR is an easy way for developers to take their Flash programs and package them up nice and neatly to run as standalone apps on Android 2.2.  This could enable a developer to remove the need for an internet connection and the need for the browser to use their application.  They've announced that the pre-release version will include a 30 day trial of the direct to publishing method; it seems like Adobe wants to get a bunch of apps translated quickly so they can strut their stuff.  At Google IO they showed off a few select applications from developers who were in the closed AIR program.  Stay tuned, because the Android Market is going to explode! [via Adobe AIR blogs]

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3 years ago

Hulu on Google TV? Only if Hulu wants it

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We heard a bit of talk about Hulu this morning in all the Google TV hooplah. And it was reiterated later that the usual rule applies: Google TV has all the Flash it needs to watch Hulu. The question is will Hulu -- and any other only provider for that matter -- want to make itself available on Google TV. It's the exact same situation we're in with the Skyfire browser. Skyfire will play Hulu just fine, but Hulu doesn't want to be available on Skyfire, and so it blocks it.

There's still plenty of time for things to be worked out, and plenty of content providers that hopefully be lined up around the block to get on board.

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3 years ago

Android 2.2 / Froyo to bring Bluetooth voice dialing

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We obviously have plenty of Froyo features to do deep dives on in the coming days and weeks, but there's one new feature that we want to point out that has us particularly excited: voice dialing with Bluetooth headsets. Android Central reader Luke tipped us off to take a closer look at Google's Android 2.2 rundown and right there, plain as day, they drop the bluetooth bomb:

  • Voice dialing over Bluetooth
  • Ability to share contacts with other phones
  • Support for Bluetooth enabled car and desk docks
  • Improved compatibility matrix with car kits and headsets

All of the above is quite nice, but given that Android is miles ahead of other mobile platform when it comes to robust voice support, it's good to see them finally check that box off.

Thanks, Luke!

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