One of the big perks about Froyo is the ability to move applications to the microSD card storage. It's easy to do, and if you don't plan on using swappable SD cards it's something you should check out. From the home screen:
So here's the deal: the National Association of Broadcasters (radio) and the Recording Industry Association of America (music labels) have been arguing and nit-picking at each other for years over who gets what money. As of right now, only songwriters are paid for what is played on the radio. This means both the RIAA and the NAB are missing out on boatloads of money. So, if you were a big multi-million dollar company - what would you do? You would push it onto a third party of course. Well, that's what they're doing at least; and that party just so happens to be the Consumer Electronics Association.
The Consumer Electronics Association is the trade organization that oversees most of the technogly industry - including the maker of that cell phone you're holding. As you can imagine, having someone else dump their money problems on you can have you feeling pretty frustrated.
So what are RIAA and the NAB proposing? They want Congress to enact a law that will mandate that all cell phones, PDAs, portable devices, etc; to include an FM receiver on each device. If passed by Congress, the Consumer Electronics Association would be responsible for the oversight of this transition. Radio would then agree on paying around $100 million a year to record labels and in turn, the stations would gain a much larger network to reach out to. Everybody wins, right?
CEA president, Gary Shapiro, had this to say on the matter, "The backroom scheme of the [National Association of Broadcasters] and RIAA to have Congress mandate broadcast radios in portable devices, including mobile phones, is the height of absurdity. Rather than adapt to the digital marketplace, NAB and RIAA act like buggy-whip industries that refuse to innovate and seek to impose penalties on those that do."
So where are the consumers in this mess of politics and conglomerates? The music labels and and broadcasting industry believe that this will all be in the best intrest of consumers; as it would provide "more music choices."
How do you feel about having an FM receiver in all of your electronics devices? Some Android smartphones are already have FM built-in. Wait, you just really that Pip-Boy 300 -- don't ya? [Ars Technica]
Tablet madness is upon us, and if you're like me you can't wait to see what Android looks and feels like on a proper tablet device. The Asus Eee pad just may be one of those devices. Originally planned to release with Windows 7 Embedded, Asus has decided to scrap that and run with Android instead. And get this -- Asus has not ruled out that the device will ship with Gingerbread on board.
The unit should cost less than $399 USD, and be available in March 2011. Looking forward to this one myself, hopefully the Eee Pad is as dependable as the Eee series of netbooks, and the price seems right. [PC World, Zath.co.uk]
Symantec has found more malware in the Android Market1, even going so far as to give the app it's own 'viral' name AndroidOS.Tapsnake. Symantec states that Tapsnake sends your GPS data, and users with another application can read your location. And they're right -- but read further and you'll see that calling this any type of threat is as silly as developing it in the first place.
In Symantec's own words:
"For the application to really be used maliciously, an attacker would need to have access to the phone to install the program. For it to work, an email address and “key” must be typed into the phone running AndroidOS.Tapsnake. This same registration information must later be typed into the phone running GPS Spy."
In other words, you not only have to download a Snake game that tells you it's going to use your GPS data, you also have to enter a keyword, and the e-mail address of the person who will be doing the spying.
There are real threats out there, but this isn't one I'm going to worry about. Watch what you download and use the tiniest bit of common sense and you'll be just fine. [Symantec]
1. author's note: I tried seven different Android phones, and couldn't find Tap Snake on the Android Market. Symantec says it is available, so your mileage may vary.
Not to rain on everybody's parade, but it is worth reminding that the rumor in question started by Mashable was of the "somebody told us" variety, without any real sourcing. And we've seen rumored updates (especially for Verizon updates) fall through before. We're excited right along with you, but we're also sitting back with a fair amount of skepticism.
T-Mobile this morning announced the G2, the follow-up to the very first Android smartphone, the G1. And the sequel will be the first to sport T-Mobile's HSPA+ data speeds (which it's touting as being 4G). T-Mo's still being a bit of a tease, not actually showing us the phone yet (our guess is still the HTC Vision/Blaze slider), but it promises to share more details n the coming weeks, and that there will be "exclusive first access to current T-Mobile customers."
For now it's just a rumor, but wouldn't a November launch of a waterproof Android phone on T-Mobile be really cool? Supposedly the Motorola Jordan is that phone, and BGR is reporting that it will be waterproof to a depth of 10 meters. Think of all the phones you've left in the rain, dropped in the sink, or even worse -- in the toilet. Not to mention those of us who like to fish or go boating.
This could make one hell of a weekend phone, for those times when you have one hell of a weekend. We'll let you know as we find out more. [BGR]
Chirp! -- whether you find it annoying, or rely on it every day at the workplace, when Push-to-Talk (or DC, or chirp, or beeps -- whatever name you tag it with) made it's debut on Android you know we had to check it out. You've seen the first quick look at the Moto i1, and while we're waiting for Jerry to get in gear and give it a proper review, we can have a peek at one of the phone's biggest draws. Check out the video after the break.
We brought you the first shots of the Motorola Flipout with AT&T branding, and now it's back, with a new look, a new name and its same square sliding form factor. There's not too much new in Giz's leak, though they say it's codenamed "Chindi," and we get a look at the rear of the phone, which is done up in some, erm, interesting copper scheme. Could just be a preproduction shell, but who knows. Check out the pics at the source. [Gizmodo]
As is usually the case, a major update to one of Google's applications brings out a new version of what's popularly known as "Gapps or Gbits" -- a collection of all of Google's closed source applications for Android. Updating the voice search application to include voice actions brings them out this time, and some changes to the Gmail app along with.
As you can see above, the message headers are smaller and bunched at the top of the window, and it really does make a difference if you like to mark messages with a star for later action. Other changes are a new reply button, which opens a small bubble with reply options (meaning you don't have to scroll all the way through a long message to reply or forward), and the choice of whether to include quoted text with a reply. Screen shots of both these are after the break. These are now included by default in CyanogenMod, expect to see it in other Froyo custom ROMS soon. Sorry, these changes are Froyo only. Don't shoot the messenger! Holler out if you have found any of the "Lots more cool stuff" we haven't seen yet.
GetGlue, a popular web-based and iOS social networking application, has announced its new Android application. For those who are unfamiliar with GetGlue, it is a social networking game, similar to Foursquare, except you don't even have to leave the comfort of your house. Users are able to "check in" to share with their friends what book they are reading or what movie they are about to watch. Once you check into a few of a particular category, the system can pick up your trend and it will actually begin to provide you with suggestions of other books, movies, or musicians you may be interested in. In addition to the release of their Android application, they are also announcing some new partnerships with companies like HBO, PBS, Universal, and more, which just helps expand their game.
Instead of receiving badges upon check in's, users receive stickers instead as part of the game. One of the neatest features is that a user can go online to their website at any time and request physical copies of any stickers that they may have earned. GetGlue will send you, free of charge, a copy of the stickers and all they ask in return is a picture showing where you used the sticker. With over 500,000 users, and nearly five million check ins and ratings a month, this application is bound to keep those looking for new material on their toes. Finally, in addition to their iOS, web based, and Android application they will be offering a very light mobile web version so you can keep up with your friends on the BlackBerry and webOS devices for the time being, so spread the word! Download link and screenshots are after the break.
We all love Google's turn by turn navigation system, but many times we're looking for a solution that works off-line. Enter NDrive -- the world navigation system that stores map data on-device, ready to work with no data or WiFi connection. But off-line maps is only a small portion of what NDrive offers -- wait until you see the video after the jump!
The good people at NDrive have reached out and are offering full license and USA maps to 20 lucky Android Central forum members (a $500 total value). To enter, see the rules and official contest thread in the forums HERE, and after the break is that video overview of NDrive that we promised, check it out!
Used to be my daughter would sit in the back of the car, bored, and ask to use my wife's iPhone to draw. No more, now that I've got Kids Finger Paint. It's about as simple as it gets, which is how it should be for a drawing app. Touch the screen, and you draw. To get a different color, you touch the color wheel. No hidden menus to mess with. Now I'm the coolest parent in the car. The app costs a perfectly reasonable 99 cents. Download info after the break.
The growth of Android has been remarkable; a few weeks ago, we reported on Android's staggering Q2 numbers year-on-year.
Now, a report from DigiTimes suggests that the total number of Android shipments worldwide will surpass 55 million, which would be a 561% growth from last year.
Android's share of the worldwide smartphone market has risen from less than 5% in 2009 to 13.8% in the first half of 2010 and is projected to reach 24.5% in the second half to become the second most popular smartphone platform, according to Lin.
DigiTimes also provided some interesting statistics on worldwide smartphone growth. The total number of Android devices shipped this year is predicted to top 280 million, which is a 57% growth rate from 2009.
Smartphones are only going to become more prevalent and continue their rapid growth rate. Android should see that growth continue too as manufacturers devote more resources to the OS. [DigiTimes]
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