Remember that blog post from Amazon a couple days back detailing how DRM (digital rights management) would work? Basically, it said if you download an app from the upcoming Amazon App Store, it'd need to check in with the Amazon App Store app on your phone before declaring itself legally downloaded and allowing you to use it. But once it's done that, it's status quo, all systems go, business as usual.
It caused a bit of a ruckus, to be sure.
Only, Amazon apparently left out a couple things. And Thing 1 is a pretty important one: The Amazon DRM only applies to applications that opted to use Amazon's DRM in the first place.
Oh. Indeed, that makes a difference.So if a developer chooses not to "Apply Amazon DRM to this binary" (that's the actual upload screen above), it's just like downloading an application from anywhere else, and it'll work just fine.
Thing 2 is this: Amazon DRM downloads a token that gives your phone access to use the downloaded application. It's an offline token, meaning you don't have some constant connection checking in with the Amazon mothership, draining your battery and worrying your precious sense of personal privacy. In other words, it's not nearly as scary as you probably first thought. [Amazon]
If you're not the sort of person who explicitly trusts GPS and mobile navigation, move on. For everyone else, Google's just flipped the switch on a cool little feature for Google Maps Navigation (which we're reminded yet again is still technically a beta product). Now, when you're driving and using a Google Maps Nav route and have traffic up ahead, the app will automatically route you around it. And you don't have to touch a thing. From the Google Mobile Blog:
You don’t have to do anything to be routed around traffic; just start Navigation like you normally would, either from the Navigation app or from within Google Maps. ... Starting today, our routing algorithms will also apply our knowledge of current and historical traffic to select the fastest route from those alternates. That means that Navigation will automatically guide you along the best route given the current traffic conditions.
Hey, whatever keeps us from having to ask for directions is a good thing. Full deets at the source link. [Google Mobile Blog]
Sure, you might have been using Gowalla for some time now to check in an show your friends where you're at and what you're up to. But you haven't really been using Gowalla until now. Gowalla 3 dropped this morning, and it's a completely overhauled experience. The activity feed's been redone. Leaving photos and comments is easier. Highlights are front and center. Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr and Facebook are closer than ever.
But the big change is the new passport view, which shows where you checked in last and can remind you to check in again if it's been a while. It's quite a spectacular change, actually. Check out all the details at Gowalla's blog, and we've got download links after the break. [Gowalla]
You might have noticed AirAttack HD Lite in this week's app picks. And if you haven't played it yet -- especially on a tablet -- you're definitely missing out. But even after its recent upgrade to add a second level, we still really want to see the full version see release.
And it's coming on March 11. Tucked into the game at the end of the second level is the teaser, which we've confirmed with the developer. We'll see the full version of AirAttack HD coming in just a few more days. And we can't wait.
OK, you Droid Incredible peeps. We've got a treat for you. We've got five (count 'em, FIVE!) Pamela Durkin cases from Keru up for grabs, courtesy of the Android Central Store. If you're new to these cases, that's not some cheap paint.
Keru's leather products are highly resistant to household chemicals, perfumes and cosmetics and it's images will not fail or separate from the leather. It looks, feels and acts like leather, because it is! The image won't fade, it won't chip, and won't peel.
What you see here is the equivalent of one Big Man on Campus meeting the other behind the bleachers after school, sizing each other up, then walking away. On the top, the Samsung Galaxy S II. On the bottom, the LG Optimus 3D. Dual-core powerhouses in their own rights. Two phones enter, two phones leave, as this isn't a full-on fight or anything. But we're pretty sure it's the first time we've seen them in the same arena. Check it out after the break.
In Singapore today, Samsung unveiled its most recent addition to the Samsung Galaxy line-up of devices. The Samsung Galaxy Pro is a full QWERTY keyboard shot right in the direction of BlackBerry devices everywhere. Samsung however has kept the specs rather modest for this device:
2.8-inch touchscreen display
Samsung Social Hub Premium
The device will hit UK carrier Three in the coming months and while no pricing or specific launch date was given, Three did give us all a video walk-through of the device already. Jump on past the break for a better looks at the Motorola Droid Pro competition. [Samsung Hub]
Funny thing about golf tournaments -- they don't really like it when your cell phone goes off, or when you're gabbing away while someone's lining up a putt. So it's not unusual to see designated cell phone areas. And Android Central Forums member ibejack96 found himself in such a designated area this weekend, and the area was sponsored by Verizon, which was also showing off phones.
And it was much to Jack's surprise when a rep pulled out -- you guessed it -- an HTC ThunderBolt. And Jack, being the good Android Central reader that he is, took the thing for a spin, snagging video in the process. And Jack, being the really good Android Central reader that he is, pumped the rep for any release info.
"I asked the lady at the stand if she knew when it was expected to be released, and she told me that she didn't know, but that it was supposed to have already been out (the date was pushed back because of problems, namely the battery, which was dying too early. I think it must be because of the battery life the LTE data required.)"
So there you have it. Jack's joined the club of people who have actually held and used a ThunderBolt. (We're having jackets made.) Check out his hands-on after the break.
While all of us here thought it was just a little odd Sprint blocked off such a mass amount of time to kick off CTIA, the latest rumors suggest they'll have quite a bit to say about at their two-and-a-half hour event and we certainly hope that is true. So what exactly may they have in store for us all?
Well for starters, a Samsung Nexus S 4G is now being rumored after some Wi-Fi Alliance filings (.pdf) caught some attention. And what of the EVO branded devices Sprint advised there would be more of? The EVO 3D is rumored to be making a showing at CTIA as well which by name alone suggests -- 3D version of the EVO but no mention of any other changes. Finally, something no carrier can do without these days -- a tablet announcement. The EVO View is expected to be a similar in style, CDMA version of the HTC Flyer.
Since the Motorola Xoom can be rooted and unlocked it was only a matter of time before someone tried loading an OS that shouldn't be on there, onto one. As such, the above video shows us that Ubuntu can indeed be loaded up on the Motorola Xoom and while it's certainly not running at optimal speeds the fact it loads at all gives hope to some. If you fancy jamming Ubuntu onto your Motorola Xoom hit up the source link for the full installation instructions. [TRSohmers via Xoom Forums]
With yet another week coming to a conclusion, thinking back on Monday and how much news has come across this week again is rather intense. The Android news never seems to stop, and keeping up with all of it can be a difficult task. If you think you have missed anything this week, let's take a look below at some of what that could be.
Those who have picked up a Motorola Xoom upon launch have noticed the absence of an extremely popular app from the Android Market: Google Voice. You can sideload it onto your Xoom, but it will crash when launching (see picture above).
The good news is that the app is currently being developed and optimized for Honeycomb; the bad news being that we don't know when we can expect to see it. Here is what Google employee Zeke had to say in the Google Voice forums.
Glad to hear from so many Xoom early adopters! As you've noticed, Google Voice isn't available for Honeycomb yet. We're working on it, and I'll update this thread as more info is available.
Here we go, folks. Mystic Game Development made quite the name for itself with its iBoobs app for the iPhone, which got itself banned from Apple's App Store in late 2008. Now it's found refuge more than two years later in the Android Market, and it's sent out a slew of e-mails to announce and celebrate. (And probably to poke the bear a little bit.) From the presser e-mail:
We recently decided to do an experiment and create iBoobs for Android, which is now currently available in the Android app market store. We think the fact that it is available on Android does show that the Android platform offers more flexibility and is more open-minded to app developers.
Dunno how much we'd call this an "experiment" -- tawdry sex apps are nothing new in the Android Market. This is more of a marketing ploy. (Yes, we know full well we're aiding it here.) And now might not be the best time to test Google's patience. But short of an app stealing data or harming your phone, little has been done insofar as soft-core apps go.
There's a little more after the break, if you're into this sort of thing.
Google late Saturday night publicly revealed the action it has taken in the wake of a number of malicious applications that were lurking not so quietly in the Android Market. As you'll recall, some 21 apps from a single developer were found to be collecting and sending device IDs (IMEI codes) and Android versions, but the exploit left users open to worse attacks. Here's the short version of what Google's done since being alerted March 1:
The apps were removed from the Market, developer accounts banned and law enforcement notified.
Google is remotely removing the malicious applications from infected phones. (That's a feature Google has its disposal, and has used in the past.)
Google is pushing an update to undo the security exploits that allowed these malicious apps to work in the first place.
Google is "adding a number of measures to help prevent additional malicious applications using similar exploits from being distributed through Android Market."
A couple things to note here: If you are running Android 2.2.2 or higher, you don't have these security vulnerabilities. If you were affected, you'll be getting an e-mail from Google (firstname.lastname@example.org) explaining things, and you'll be getting an Android Market Security Tool 2011 app to patch the exploits.
So the barn door's been closed, folks. Google says it's taking additional steps to keep this sort of thing from happening again. That's not to say it won't happen -- by nature, attacks will continue. But good on Google for explaining exactly what happened, and what's being done in the aftermath. [Google Mobile Blog]
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