One thing a 10-inch tablet is perfect for is playing Backgammon. If you've never played, it's an ancient game -- something like 5,000 years old, by some accounts that involves rolling dice and removing all of your pieces (or checkers) from the board. It's a good mix of strategy and luck, and it really doesn't take long to get the hang of it.
We've taken a look at some of the free backgammon games available in the Android Market, and gave them a go on a Honeycomb tablet. Check 'em out after the break.
It's been more than half a year since ComiXology hit beta status. And now, just in time for the San Diego Comic-Con, ComiXology is out of beta and bringing countless comics to your Android device. The app itself is free in the Android Market; comic issues run from 99 cents to $2.99. There are more than 3,000 issues available from the DC Comics and Vertigo libraries.
Google held an event in Tokyo yesterday entitled Google Mobile Revolution. Former CEO Eric Schmidt was the speaker and hit on everything from the explosive growth of Android to the Apple/HTC patent issue.
Concerning the growth of its mobile operating system Schmidt said that he expects Android to be the most popular platform in Asia due to lower prices brought about by increased competition. Asia boasts some of the world’s fastest growing economies; this, coupled with the booming populations of these nations make the possibilities for adoption endless. Quoting Schmidt:
“Every month, China and India are adding 10 million mobile subscribers and we expect to see amazing growth in markets with lower penetration rates such as Indonesia and the Philippines.”
The patent issues were also brought up, which Google hasn’t commented on much thus far. Friday represents a potential blow to the Android platform as it was ruled that HTC infringed on 2 of Apple’s patents. Schmidt remarked:
"We have seen an explosion of Android devices entering the market and, because of our successes, competitors are responding with lawsuits as they cannot respond through innovations. I’m not too worried about this.”
What exactly Google’s plans are regarding support for its OEMs remains to be seen, but it’s good to see a Google executive comment directly on the case. There's no doubt that Android is being attacked mainly due to its success. Its growth outlook, particularly in the Asian continents represents exponential growth, which will only invite more lawsuits. It's pretty safe to say that Google has invested heavily in Android and won't let it or its OEMs go anytime soon.
Box is offering prizes ranging from $25,000 to free HP TouchPads for the developers who can build the best 10 mobile apps. Between now and Sept. 9, Android, webOS, and iOS developers can submit their applications to the folks at box.net, who are looking for "the next generation of enterprise-grade mobile applications that will enable workers to be as productive in the field as they are in the office."
First prize is $25,000 US, second place walks away with $10,000 US, and the top ten all receive a free HP TouchPad. In addition, the top two winners each get $5,000 in the InMobi ad network, and a chance to pitch their ideas to venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which is quite a nice prize as well. If you're an application developer, and feel up to it, be sure to check it out -- and be sure let us know what you're working on when it's ready for us to have a peek.
If you're an NFL fan, you know the name Fred Taylor, the hard nosed running back who played most of his career for the Jacksonville Jaguars. His son, Kelvin Taylor, is now a high school football player who is looking to follow in his father's footsteps. If you're a fan of the Taylors or just want to track a good young football player's progress, Kelvin now has a free app that is currently exclusive to the Android platform.
The app is divided into four sections:
HS Football: provides news and analysis pertaining to the biggest high school football stars and the college recruiting process
Video Footage: Gives users access to video footage of both Kelvin and his father Fred
Photos: Organizes various football photos of Kelvin
What's interesting to note is that Kelvin decided to release the app on Android first, though the iPhone version is 'coming soon'. If you're a huge high school football fan or want progress on Fred Taylor's son, find the link to the app after the break.
Blue Drone is a Bluetooth controlled R/C car that can be controlled by any Android device running Android 2.0 and higher. It's currently in its initial phase at Kickstarter, where the developer is looking for initial interest in order to justify the production costs. If you're not familiar with Kickstarter, you can opt-in and support a new project, and if the funding goals are met you'll be charged and receive what you've paid for. If the goal isn't met, you aren't charged and the project is left to seek funding elsewhere, or just fizzle away.
This one is way too cool to let that happen. For a buy-in of $59, you'll get a scale model R/C car, and the app to control it from your Android phone or tablet via a Bluetooth connection. The car is controlled via the touchscreen or uses the accelerometer for steering. You'll get three hours use from a trio of AAA batteries, and the whole set-up has a 30 foot range. Check the video above, this looks like loads of fun. Hit the source link for more information.
The two winners of the TeleNav, Sprint, and Android Central EVO 3D giveaway have been chosen from the over 2,100 entries. Without further ado, the winners are (envelope please):
We'll pass the e-mail address you used for registering at Android Central on to the right people, who will reach out to you for shipping information. On behalf of all of us here at Android Central, congratulations and enjoy your new EVO 3D -- and be sure to drop by the forums for all the hints and tips about the EVO 3D you'll ever need. Look for more contests and giveaways soon, folks.
Current Dolphin Browser users awoke to a nice surprise this morning -- the release of Dolphin Browser v6.0. The latest version of Dolphin brings some updated features and improves upon some of the already existing features such as gestures and add-ons. One new feature that sticks out is Webzine:
Dolphin brings out the beauty of the web and with Dolphin Webzine users can experience the web like never before. Web pages are cleanly displayed as a series of thumbnail images and users can scroll through web pages instantly using an intuitive touch interface, tapping on any thumbnail image to open the desired page.
Having now gained more than 8 million users worldwide on mobile devices in less then 15 months, the Dolphin team has a strong grasp of their goals being that they want to bring the best mobile browsing experience to the world.
To help with their vision, they've secured $10 Million in funding led by Sequoia Capital. The folks behind Dolphin, MoboTap -- will use the funding for rapid development of Dolphin helping make it better with each new version released. If you jump on past the break, you'll find their full press release as well as the download link to the new Dolphin browser.
We're just getting rolling here on this fine Monday after a pretty laid back weekend. As always, we have lots in store for this week so stick with us and don't hesitate to join us in the forums either. Some threads below might be of interest:
We'll hold off on celebrating just yet, but if some comments directly from Rogers via their Red Board blog are confirmation enough, then you'll be very pleased to know the Canadian version of the EVO 3D may come with the bootloader already unlocked. If you're a Sprint EVO 3D owner though this info will likely make you just a little bit irritated especially when you take into account you'll be waiting a while for your bootloader to be unlocked. Until we can get a hold of a Rogers EVO 3D and confirm, we'll be sticking to the "wait and see" policy. Oh right, if you're a Rogers customer -- you can now also reserve your EVO 3D using the Rogers website. Same goes for the LG Optimus 3D if that's more your flavor.
It's that time again. Android Central's Top 10 Android Phones Report ranks the popularity of the best Android Phones over the past 30 days as determined by our proprietary algorithm which compiles data from across the AC community and beyond (Lloyd invented the system and gave it his blessing).
Basically, it goes like this: We look at what phones you're visiting the site with, and searching for. And what phones you're searching for in our store. What phones you're talking about. What phone you have sitting next to you while you sleep. If your phone didn't make the cut this month, it's OK. We still love your phone. And we still love you. You just need to click on more stories try a little harder for next month, is all.
So check out the list below to learn more about what's popular in the Android Universe!
Update: And Samsung's confirmed this one for us. It indeed has a micro SIM card.
Now this is a bit interesting. According to this little tidbit that just hit our inbox, Verizon's upcoming LTE version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will feature a micro SIM card, and not a full size SIM card as found in the HTC ThunderBolt, Samsung Droid Charge or LG Revolution. That's not a huge deal, necessarily, though it does mean you're not going to be swapping your SIM card from device to device without an adapter.
The U.S. Army is just about finished with a six-week experiment in which it took iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7 devices into the field to see which of the operating systems best suits its needs. Out of the three, two will be selected to be approved devices, and the reason behind narrowing it down was in hopes of keeping the development costs down, they won't need to ensure all three platforms have the same applications, instead just two. Both iOS and Android devices were well received by the folks, and no official word about Windows Phone 7 at this point. Will be interesting to see, will our nation put Android devices in the hands of the folks in the U.S. Army? We must wait and see.
Disney Publishing has released its first Android application, "Winnie the Pooh: What's a Bear to Do?". It's an interactive children's book, starring one of the most loved characters of our childhood, that's sure to be a hit with any pint-sized Android lovers you have scurrying underfoot around the house. It's more than just an eBook, though. Features of the app include:
Read in any of 5 languages: English, French, German, Spanish, or Japanese!
Professional narration, sound effects, and Winnie the Pooh background music
Readers can record their voice or their child’s reading the story
Three reading modes to suit any reader’s mood: Read to Me, Use My Recording, and Auto Turn pages
Four interactive jigsaw puzzles
Tap ‘n’ Play surprises throughout the story – several new animated sequences added for Android
Pooh’s Cupboard matching game ties in to the story and reinforces color recognition
Visual Index allows readers to jump to their favorite page or puzzle
Disney's published a video (after the break) and I have to say, this looks very nicely done. It's a name your child is sure to know and love, and time spent with a book (even of the application variety) certainly beats time spent in front of the television. You can grab it from the Android Market (devices running 2.0 and higher) for $2.99. The link as well as that video, is after the break.
Sprint has officially announced that the Motorola Titanium will hit the shelves July 24, for $149.99 with a new line or eligible upgrade and $100 mail-in rebate. The Titanium has a portrait qwerty, 3.1-inch touchscreen, Nextel Direct Connect (chirp!), and is designed to meet Military Specification 810G for dust, shock, vibration, low pressure, solar radiation, high temperature and low temperature. This successor to the Motorola I1 looks to be one tough customer. Toss in an 1820 mAh battery, and there's a lot here to interest anyone who needs a phone that takes the abuse of a day of hard work.
While it's not the powerhouse that some other new Android phones may be, this certainly fills a niche that needs filling by a tough, quality smartphone. And it plays Angry Birds. Hit the break for the press release.
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