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5 years ago

Amazon Appstore proving lucrative for developers, according to new report


The Amazon Appstore is less than a year old, and still isn't officially available internationally. Despite this though, the latest report from app analytics company Distimo states that a good portion of Android developers are making decent money there. 

Of the top 110 apps appearing both in the Amazon Appstore and Android Market, the report claims that 42 of them are making more money from the Appstore. Additionally, 28 percent of the revenue from those top 110 came from the Appstore. 

The Appstore is also proving to be a popular place for paid applications. 62% of the apps are paid apps compared to just 32 percent at present in the Android Market. The Kindle Fire launch last year has played a massive part in the growth of the Amazon Appstore. 

Another interesting piece of information to emerge from this report regards Amazon exclusive applications. Distimo says that around 50 percent of Amazon's apps aren't present in the Android Market. While there isn't a clear definition on how many of these may be Kindle Fire versions of already established apps, it is still a surprisingly high percentage. 

Seems the future is bright over in the Amazon camp. There have been mixed reactions since it's inception over pricing and how Amazon controls it, and indeed how they handle compensating developers involved in the free app of the day. But it seems that there is money to be made by submitting applications to Amazon. And with their tighter control over what makes it into the Appstore, quality apps may find opportunities to shine through. Just imagine what could happen if the whole world could take advantage.

Source: GigaOM

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5 years ago

Asus begins pushing ICS to its EeePad Transformer today in Taiwan


Asus today announced that it is beginning to push its official Ice Cream Sandwich update to the original EeePad Transformer, just it had promised early last month. The OTA rollout of firmware will start today in Taiwan, with other markets set to receive the update"soon after." Asus has been known to be committed to updating its devices in a timely manner: its Transformer Prime tablet is already running Android 4.0, while the original Transformer saw timely updates to Honeycomb.

Although we will announce several new innovations at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week, we take great pride in delivering on-going enhancements and support for products that are well into their life cycle.

We'll keep our eyes peeled for the OTA to hit US shores, and of course we'll bring you up-to-the-minute coverage of Asus' presence at next week's MWC.

Source: Asus on Facebook

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5 years ago

White Motorola RAZR coming to Phones4U in the UK from Mar. 1


Not wanting to feel left out in the flurry of pre-MWC announcements, Motorola has revealed the availability of the international (GSM) RAZR in white in the UK, starting at Phones4U next Thursday, Mar. 1. As you might've guessed, it's the same Motorola RAZR that's been available in the UK since late November, with a funky white trim.

Phones4U appears to have scored brief timed exclusivity period with the white RAZR, so it's likely you'll need to pony up for a 1-2 year contract if you want one right away. But if you do manage to snag one between launch day and Mar. 25, you'll be entered into a draw to win tickets for the Snowbombing festival this April in Austria.

Phones4U's pre-order page shows the white RAZR as available for free on a number of contracts with O2, Orange and Vodafone. The best deal seems to be a £21.50 per month package with O2, offering 200 minutes, 3000 texts and 500MB, though Orange has triple the minutes and double the data allowance for £28.50 per month.

For more on the RAZR, check out our review of the Verizon version from last year.

More: Phones4U, Motorola

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5 years ago

Privacy policies not exactly a new idea for Android apps


So Amazon, Apple, Google, HP, Microsoft and RIM have all decided to hold hands and form a circle around the California attorney general and agreed to privacy principles designed to bring the industry in line with a California law" that requires apps to have privacy policies. Follow all that? 

It's privacy principles that the companies have all agreed to, as well as the need to conspicuously display them in the app somewhere. And chances are you'll see them all roll out some guidelines to developers in the coming months, rather than leaving the devs to come up with them on their own. 

Privacy policies aren't exactly a new thing for Android apps. Go all the way back to an Aug. 4, 2010 blog post from Nick Kralevich of the Android Security Team titled "Best Practices for Handing Android User Data." What's the No. 1 tip he had for developers? 

  1. Maintain a privacy policy.

The other nine suggestions really should be mandatory as well, including minimizing the permissions needed, giving users a choice regarding data collection, and using encryption. Common sense stuff. But it's wild world out there, no? Not every app has a conspicuous privacy policy -- that goes from Google to Android Central to, well, far more applications than we'd like to see. (You can find our site policies at the very bottom of this page.)

The proprietors of the major app stores coming together for a common set of privacy policies as well how to best present those policies to the us, the users is a good thing. A very good thing. Now we just need to see better implementation.

More: California Attorney General's Office; more at

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5 years ago

Samsung Rugby Smart coming to AT&T on March 4 for $99


Samsung and AT&T this morning announced the Samsung Rugby Smart, a 3.7-inch Android 2.3 smartphone that should stand up to a beating or a soaking or any sort of other torture you might put it through.

In addition to being dustproof, it can be submerged in up to 1 meter of water for as long as 30 minutes -- quite a bit longer than you'd last -- and is also hardened against humidity, rain, shock and extreme tempertatures. Specs include:

  • Operating System:  Android 2.3
  • Display:  3.7-inch WVGA Super AMOLED display
  • External Memory: Supports up to 32GB via microSD™
  • Internal Memory: 4GB
  • Dimensions: 122.4mm x 65.9mm x 12.19mm
  • Weight: 4.2 oz
  • Camera: 5MP rear facing with flash and auto focus with HD 720p video capture; 1.3 MP front facing camera;
  • Battery: 1650 mAh LiIon Poly
  • Talk Time: Up to 8 hours
  • Standby Time: Up to 16 days

The Rugby Smart will cost $99 with a two-year contract. We've got a couple videos of the Rugby Smart after the break.

Source: AT&T

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5 years ago

'HTC One X' image leaks out ahead of Mobile World Congress


The pace of pre-MWC leaks shows now sign of slowing, as a new leaked image claiming to show the "HTC One X" (aka Endeavor) has surfaced over on PocketNow. As you can see, it looks like an HTC phone. And Sense 4.0 looks the same as in that leaked RUU.

Hold tight, folks, just a few more days until HTC takes the lid off its MWC line-up.

Source: PocketNow

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5 years ago

T-Mobile USA to launch LTE in 2013 using spectrum from AT&T


Alongside its fourth quarter operating results, T-Mobile USA has announced plans to significantly expand its network over the next two years, including the launch of its own 4G LTE network. Dubbed the "reinvigorated challenger strategy", the plan outlines the carrier's plans to remain competitive as rival networks grow their LTE coverage in the coming months and years.

In short, Tmo says it'll invest $4 billion in its network, which will go towards "network modernization", including the expansion of existing voice and ("4G" HSPA+) data coverage, as well as the new LTE network. The carrier says it plans to build this new network using spectrum obtained after the collapse of AT&T's buyout bid, as well as freeing up space for LTE in its existing AWS and PCS spectrum . In arriving a little late to the LTE party, Tmo CTO Neville Ray says it'll benefit from a "more mature device ecosystem", likely meaning improved radio efficiency, and in turn better battery life.

T-Mobile may have big plans for 2013, but things weren't exactly rosy during the last quarter of 2011. The network lost over 800,000 subscribers during the last three months of the year, which it attributed to "iPhone 4S launches by three nationwide competitors."

We've got T-Mobile's full press release after the break.

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5 years ago

Galaxy S II sales top 20 million worldwide, says Samsung


Sales of Samsung's leading smartphone for 2011, the Galaxy S II, have reportedly reached 20 million, ten months on from release. This figure, reported by Korean news agency Yonhap​, sees Samsung doubling the 10 million it sold in the first six months of the handset's availability, and reportedly brings total Galaxy S series sales to over 40 million worldwide.

Late last year, Samsung overtook Apple to become the world's leading smartphone manufacturer, and reported some 300 million total handsets sold in 2011. However, the two companies remain locked in a international legal skirmishes which have seen both try to block each other's products from sale.

Samsung has announced that it won't be showing the successor to the Galaxy S II at next week's Mobile World Congress, but that it'll be unveiled at a separate event sometime in the first half of the year.

Source: Yonhap

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5 years ago

Everything Everywhere maybe possibly hoping for UK 4G network this year


Everything Everywhere, the company which resulted from the merger of T-Mobile UK and Orange UK a couple of years back, has announced that it plans to roll out its 4G LTE network this year, assuming all goes to plan on the regulatory side. EE, which oversees both carriers, says it's held successful trials of LTE on 800MHz in rural Cornwall, and that a new 1800MHz trial is due in April.

Of course, it's far from certain that either Tmo or Orange will actually be able to roll out LTE this year. The UK 4G LTE spectrum auction, which will see the 800MHz and 2600MHz bands divided up between the UK's four main operators, has been fraught with delays, and legal challenges from O2 and Vodafone.

However, the fact that Everything Everywhere is testing LTE on its existing 1800MHz 2G spectrum is interesting, and potentially puts it at an advantage compared to competing networks, which own far less 1800MHz spectrum. Vodafone, O2 and Three will have to wait on the 800MHz bands currently used for analog TV signals -- as well as the new 2600MHz bands being auctioned -- to be freed up before they can roll out 4G on these frequencies. As EE already owns great chunks of 1800MHz, in theory it just needs approval from Ofcom to use this for LTE, just as O2 did when it repurposed some of its 900MHz spectrum for 3G. It'll still take time, but it's less reliant on third parties.

And LTE on 1800MHz may present an ideal middle ground between 800MHz, expected to be used in rural areas due to its wider range, and 2600MHz, due to be used in cities with greater concentrations of signals.

Of course, it should be noted that even if the spectrum auction does go off without a hitch, these things still take time to roll out. Cell towers need to be upgraded, and devices need to work their way out to consumers. So while we're hopeful (and excited) about the prospect of real, actual 4G in the UK by the year's end, it's by no means set in stone. EE is certain to receive a some publicity for being the first network to announce its LTE plans, but equally, Ofcom and the spectrum auctions are an easy scapegoat if it ends up having to push things back to 2013.

In the meantime, the company says it's continuing its roll-out of 21Mbps HSPA+ across its 3G network, with trials of 42Mbps due to begin soon.

Source: Everything Everywhere

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5 years ago

Late-night poll: What desktop OS do you use?


There's been a lot of talk about Ubuntu since they let it out that they're working on some goodies for Android devices, and it got us to thinking. In the real world (you know, that one that exists outside the Internet we hear so much about) Linux holds a tiny sliver of consumer market share, forecasted at less that two percent for 2012 according to Gartner by way of Wikipedia. Compare that to the five percent of the market that Apple holds, and the whopping 93 percent that is the Microsoft juggernaut. But based on the chatter the past couple of days, I'm thinking that people who read Android Central don't really fit those numbers. That means I gotta ask, or I'll never know. Cue our late-night poll for the evening:


What OS do you use on your desktop?

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5 years ago

LG unveils the Optimus 4X HD ahead of Mobile World Congress


LG has just announced the Optimus 4X HD, its fourth fifth sixth seventh eighth new Android phone to be announced in recent days. (Previously announced: the Optimus 3D MAX, Optimus 3D Cube, Optimus L3, L5 and L7, Optimus Vu and the Optimus LTE Tag.) This one looks to be the cream of the crop, and based on hardware it looks like a stunner.  Combine awesome specs with Ice Cream Sandwich and you have our attention. Speaking of specs:

  • 1.5GHz 4-PLUS-1 Tegra3 processor
  • 4.7-inch "True HD" IPS display (720p resolution)
  • 16 GB Internal storage
  • 1GB DDR2 RAM
  • 8MP rear camera with flash; 1.3MP front camera
  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

We'll see this one soon in Barcelona, and you can bet that we'll get our greasy hands on it for some camera time. 

On thing to note, while this all lines up well with the rumors about the O4XHD, LG and T-Mobile are still mum about any G4X version that may be in the works. We'll poke around and see if anyone has anything to say about that one as well. Just a couple more days, folks.

Source: LG Korea (Korean)

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5 years ago

NVIDIA dubs its Tegra 3 architecture 4-PLUS-1, hints at a big MWC presence


Formerly known as a quad-core system with a fifth low power companion core, or vSMP, NVIDIA has just put out the word that its new Tegra 3 architecture will be known as "4-PLUS-1". (We were kind of partial to Ninja Core ourselves.)

It's the same four-core Cortex A9 system on chip that we talked about a while ago, it's still just as fast, and still goes easy on your battery. It just has a hip new name that's nice and easy to say while being descriptive about what's going on under the hood. We love hardware vendors who make things easier on us. NVIDIA, which is trademarking the 4-PLUS-1 moniker, says it needed a user-friendly name after getting some customer feedback. Makes sense, and 4-PLUS-1 will certainly look good on a box that holds the next hot tablet we all lust after.

The Tegra 3 chip uses the fifth core in a unique way -- it's active when not a lot of CPU power is needed, and handles things in the background like checking for new mail and watching video. This leaves the other four high-performance cores ready to kick in when needed, and uses much less juice from your battery while they are idle. It's unique, and it's great to see anyone doing things that give us a longer time between charges. One thing we're sure of, is that when all four of the high-speed cores are going, that sucker is fast. They're updated their white paper about the Tegra 3, and you can find it right here.

Also of interest, they also let us know that we'll be hearing the 4-PLUS-1 name quite a bit at Mobile World Congress next week. We've heard rumors of devices from HTC and others using the Tegra 3 platform, and we're sure that we'll see more starting Sunday in Barcelona. Phil and Alex will be spending the week there, so we'll keep you guys on top of everything 4-PLUS-1 related, as well as all the other news.

Source: NVIDIA

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5 years ago

Quest for Stars' latest endeavor will once again launch Motorola hardware into space


Quest for Stars, the 501(c)3 that engages students in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology studies, will harness the power of Android once again for its latest endeavor. Stratoshuttle, the latest Student Shuttle Program, is challenging students around the country to design a shuttle that will withstand a launch into the stratosphere and return home in one piece. The winning design will ultimately be outfitted with a Motorola tablet or smartphone that will act as data aquisition and navigation for the aircraft. Quest for Stars' partnership with the Motorola Mobililty Foundation gave way to an OG Droid being sent into the stratosphere for photos and GPS tracking, a task later adopted by a couple of Droid Xs.

Launch date and location will be announced at next week's Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers' Conference in Palo Alto, as will details on how to enter your hand crafted spaceship into the running. We'll keep our eyes to the skies for the launch, and we'll pass along the Motorola-snapped photos as soon as they return to Earth.

Source: Quest for Stars

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5 years ago

MOTOACTV taken to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, survives the journey


While we've been getting in shape during Mobile Nations Fitness Month and sharing our tips and tricks with you all, we came across a pretty awesome use for the MOTOACTV recently. Highlighted on the Motorola blog is Christine Rolf, who has taken her MOTOACTV to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and back for a good cause:

After hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu I wanted a bigger challenge. Kilimanjaro was it: the summit is 5895 meters/19,340 feet high. I hiked 62 kilometers in 7 days – first a 4,405 meter ascent followed by a 3,915 meter descent, through a total of 5 climate zones. I also wanted to raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation where I’ve volunteered for over 10 years. The donations totaled over $2,500!

Amazing to say the least. Christine noted the MOTOACTV was a great tool to have in her arsenal for the climb and while we won't be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro any time soon - we're not going to disagree.

Source: Motorola

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5 years ago

Excessive Data usage, Transformer Prime unlock [From the Forums]


With this morning starting off rough for Verizon 4G LTE users, we're rolling into the evening on a some better notes. There was quite few app updates coming from various places today and announcements coming from all corners. So if you missed out on anything, get yourself caught up. Once done there, hit up the Android Central Forums, you dig?

If you're not already a member of the Android Central forums, you can register your account today.

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