We're all waiting for Google to finally release the open-source code for Android 3.0.1 (Honeycomb), but if we're to believe Bloomberg (and usually you should), it's not going to happen in the "foreseeable future" -- and possibly never. I'll pause and allow the nerd-rage to subside for a moment, because I'm feeling it too -- hard. When we've all composed ourselves a bit, join me after the break. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
The whispers our pals at CrackBerry first planted in our heads last August are true (and again this spring) -- Android applications are coming to the BlackBerry Playbook via BlackBerry App World.
We'll let that sink in for a minute.
Here's the deal: Any app that runs on Android 2.3 will work, RIM says. There will be a pair of optional "App Players" that provide the runtime for the android applications. There will be compatible APIs, so developers should be able to easily port their apps. The apps will be downloaded from RIM's App World and run in a secure sandbox. So we're not talking low-level stuff here.
From the press release:
Developers will simply repackage, code sign and submit their BlackBerry Java and Android apps to BlackBerry App World. Once approved, the apps will be distributed through BlackBerry App World, providing a new opportunity for many developers to reach BlackBerry PlayBook users. Users will be able to download both the app players and the BlackBerry Java and Android apps from BlackBerry App World.
The PlayBook goes on sale April 19, but Android applications won't be able to run at launch. Instead, RIM will show off the new App Players and demo Android apps at BlackBerry World in Orlando on May 3-5.
Said RIM president and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis:
"The BlackBerry PlayBook is an amazing tablet. The power that we have embedded creates one of the most compelling app experiences available in a mobile computing device today. The upcoming addition of BlackBerry Java and Android apps for the BlackBerry PlayBook on BlackBerry App World will provide our users with an even greater choice of apps and will also showcase the versatility of the platform."
So, yeah. Android applications will be able to run on the PlayBook. But the apps can't be all that deep, and will be running in some sort of emulation layer. But perhaps it's a all a middle ground to entice Android developers to go all-in with the BlackBerry NDK and do real ports, and not just emulation. We'll just have to see. Full presser's after the break.
Google just announced that in-app billing -- first announced at the Honeycomb event we were at in February -- will launch next week. In-app billing is an unsexy name for the way an app developer can sell you extra features -- levels, weapons, clothing, cheats, etc -- while you're inside the app. No diving back out to the Market, all seamless and smooth.
And to get things ready, developers can now upload and test apps for the service. It's all done within in the existing Developer Console, and the dev sets the prices.
One of my favorite things about Android is the wide variety of keyboards that are readily available in the market, making it easy for just about anyone to find a keyboard with a skin that they enjoy. While we have seen tons on Android phones, we have not yet seen many get updated for tablet use, but FlexT9 has recently been updated, and it allows just that. One thing that sets this keyboard far apart from any other is the option to speak, trace, write, or tap all from within the same single keyboard, while all the others only do one of the four. For $4.99 you may think the price is a bit higher then most others, but keep in mind you are basically purchasing four different keyboards, all packaged up as one application. Download information available after the break.
Asda Direct, part of the British supermarket chain of the same name, is offering the Samsung Galaxy Tab at a reduced price of £299 (~$500) for a limited time. This is a pretty good deal considering most UK-based retailers are still charging upwards of £400 for the 7-inch tablet. Asda itself lists the Tab's standard price as £437 (~$700).
Despite the imminent UK launch of the Motorola Xoom, the Froyo-powered Galaxy Tab is still highly capable tablet, and the £299 price point makes it cheaper than most similarly-spec'd Galaxy S phones. Asda isn't listing a deadline for this deal, however it is time-limited, so hit the source link to find out more if you're interested. [Asda Direct]
The EC05 Froyo OTA is slowly trickling out for the Sprint Epic 4G, but users who like to tinker don't have to wait any longer. Android Central forums adviser Paul627g has worked up a flashable version that's pre-rooted and ready to go. You'll need Odin, the Windows drivers, and a few minutes time, but the payoff is worth it in the end. To make it even better, there is no data wipe required whether you're currently running Eclair or one of the leaked/official/pulled previous Froyo updates. Nice work fellas! [Android Central forums]
XDA user spacemoose1 is very close to having a working version of Honeycomb on the original Samsung Galaxy Tab. He's been documenting his efforts to bring the SDK build of Android 3.0 to Sammy's 7-inch tablet over the past couple of weeks, and he's very close to having a full, working port. Recent progress has involved correcting video driver issues, and spacemoose is now turning his attention towards fixing up touchscreen and Wifi support.
This is all pretty impressive considering the Honeycomb source code isn't even available yet. If you're a Galaxy Tab owner with a nagging case of Xoom envy, then you'll probably want to keep watching the source link for further developments. [XDA]
If games are something you enjoy on your Android device, and you struggle to find unique games that are fun and can keep you occupied, Word Collector may be just what you are looking for. While the concept of the game is rather simple, collect falling and rising letters to create a word, it is a bit challenging in that you have to tilt the device from side to side in order to capture the letters.
Through the game there are a few additional bonuses that are able to be unlocked, and many different backgrounds to play on. Whether you have a few minutes, or a few hours to kill, this game may be the perfect one to keep your brain going. Download links available after the break.
Alongside recent Nexus S 4G announcements, Google has revealed that the original 3G version of its flagship phone has just launched in an additional 17 countries including Ireland, Australia and most of continental Europe. In other Nexus S news, Samsung Canada has opened a preview page where you can sign up for updates on the phone's Canadian availability.
Join us after the jump for a complete list of territories and links to buy the Nexus S in your country. [@googlenexus]
Phil, Dieter and Kevin wrap up all the news from CTIA Wireless 2011 in Orlando. (Hint: There's a TON of Android news, including the Sprint HTC EVO 3D and EVO View 4G, plus the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and others!)
Color is a new camera and image-sharing app that has been making its rounds across platforms. Launched on both Android and iOS, Color allows you to capture photos and share them with others in a new sort of way. Rather then needing to send photos via email or uploading them to a site or even attaching them in a MMS, Color allows anyone within 150ft who is also running the app able to view any images you take.
Take for example you are at a party, you want to snap a pic of some friends share it with some of those at the party -- chances are, they have a device that can run Color as well. All they need to do is open up the app, you take the picture and then the image will automatically appear on their device and vice versa if they took a picture of you.
With added features such as SMS messaging, Facebook and Twitter built right into the app, the concept here is great. If you're looking for a new, cool way to share photos at a party or event, then Color may be just what you've been looking for. Color is available in the Android Market now for free. You can jump on past the break for the download QR code. Keep in mind it does require Android 2.2 or greater.
With the warm weather rolling back in us outdoors lovers will be heading back outside, whether to do some hunting or some fishing, just getting back to the wildlife is a great feeling. While on the go who wouldn't enjoy having helpful hints and tips available in your pocket on your Android device. The Field & Stream application brings you all of the award winning online content, in an easy to navigate and read format, for while on the go. The application will give access to blogs, slideshow's, and videos, making it an essential item for all the outdoors lovers. Download information available after the break.
The Motorola Atrix 4G has had a bit of a rough go out the gates. While many would say that it just having Moto Blur is bad enough, the whole blocking of upload speeds on the device by multiple carriers didn't help it any. To add to those issues, many users (including Phil) have confirmed the device does suffer from some rather serious voice quality concerns.
While Motorola won't be able to address some of those issues, they have started looking into the voice concerns and are now accepting up to 1,000 users that will be selected to test out a new software release that hopes to address some of the remaining bugs in the device. Sadly, at this time they've not given off a list of enhancements coming with the software update but-- they will post them when registration closes. If you're among those having issues you'll likely want to try and get into the program. Hit the source link for the full details and to get yourself registered. Given Motorola hasn't posted the changes to be included, the voice quality issues still may not be in this release. [Motorola Forums]
HTC's pen-based Scribe technology will be made available for developers to use, according to recent reports. This will allow developers to create apps which take advantage of the unique hardware of HTC's upcoming Flyer and EVO View 4G tablets, which combine a touchscreen and pressure-sensitive pen.
HTC has already shown off a few interesting uses for Scribe at MWC and CTIA, including note-taking and drawing apps, so we look forward to see what developers can come up with when they're let loose on the technology. In particular Nintendo DS-style pen-based games would be an interesting prospect. HTC hasn't mentioned when the APIs will be released, but the Flyer and EVO View are both due out during the second quarter of the year. [ReadWriteWeb]
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